July, 2015

Gandhi and the Global Politics of Nonviolence: A talk by Dr. Karuna Mantena

Date: 31st July, 2015
Time: 11 am to 12 pm
Venue: 3rd floor auditorium, Ashoka University Campus

In the century that has passed since Gandhi began his momentous experiments in mass satyagraha or nonviolent action, nonviolence has become a staple of protest politics across the globe. Indeed, from the anti-corruption protests here to the Occupy movements and the Arab Spring, nonviolent politics seems to be entering a new phase of resurgence and revitalization. At the same, there is very little consensus on what counts “nonviolence” and even skepticism that such a thing as nonviolence exists in practice. Dr. Mantena will discuss competing accounts of how nonviolence is thought to work in politics. Focusing on Gandhi and interpretations and adaptations of Gandhi, she will consider what forms of political action count as “nonviolent” and under what conditions nonviolent politics has proven most effective.

About the Speaker

Picture1 (2)Karuna Mantena is Associate Professor of Political Science. Her research interests include modern  political   thought, modern social theory, the theory and history of empire, and South Asian politics and history. Her first book, Alibis of Empire: Henry Maine and the Ends of Liberal Imperialism (2010), analyzed the transformation of nineteenth-century British imperial ideology. Her current work focuses on political realism and the political thought of M.K. Gandhi.

Since 2011, Karuna Mantena has been serving as co-director of the International Conference for the Study of Political Thought.

Professor Mantena has taught courses on Indian politics, empire and political thought, postcolonial political thought, and History and Politics in the Directed Studies Program. This fall she is offering a new undergraduate lecture course on “Gandhi and the Politics of Nonviolence.” In the spring, she will be teaching a graduate seminar on “Means and Ends in Politics.”


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