April 11, 2002
Vol. 21 No. 13

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    Rudolphs to present annual Nora and Edward Ryerson Lecture

    By Josh Schonwald
    News Office

    Two of the country’s leading scholars of South Asia will co-deliver this year’s Nora and Edward Ryerson Lecture.

    Lloyd Rudolph, Professor in Political Science, and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, the William Benton Distinguished Service Professor in Political Science, will deliver a lecture titled “Engaging Subjective Knowledge: Narratives of and by the Self in the Amar Singh Diary” at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 15, in Max Palevsky Cinema.

    Singh, a military officer and Edwardian gentleman in Imperial India, produced what may be one of the world’s longest continuous diaries. His daily entries extend over 44 years and 90 volumes of about 800 pages.

    The Rudolphs’ talk, which will be accompanied with slides, is an outgrowth of a 30-year involvement with Singh, which they shared with Singh’s nephew and heir, Mohan Singh Kanota. A collaboration between the Rudolphs and Kanota led to the publishing of Reversing the Gaze: Amar Singh’s Diary, A Colonial Subject’s Narrative of Imperial India, a book that was re-published this year by Westview Press.

    “Singh wrote reflexively about his own life in ways that reveal culture in the making as well as the doing,” Susanne Rudolph said. “He constructs a self in the liminal space between Rajput and British societies.”

    Singh’s diary will serve not only as an account of the construction of colonial identities; it also will serve as a vehicle for a more general argument about the nature of truth in the social sciences. “Our intent is to expand the universe of what counts as knowledge, not restrict it,” said Lloyd Rudolph, “and to suggest that subjectivity can contribute to representations of truth.”

    This year’s lecture is especially significant because it also is a farewell for the Rudolphs, who plan to retire at the end of the academic year.

    “Susanne and Lloyd Rudolph have been mainstays of our distinguished program in South Asian studies for nearly four decades,” said Richard Saller, Provost. “Their scholarly presence and generous sense of citizenship will be irreplaceable.”

    The Rudolphs have been on the University’s faculty since 1964. Lloyd Rudolph’s research and teaching have focused on institutional political economy, narratives and metaphors of state formation, South Asian comparative politics, and Gandhian thought and practice, while Susanne Rudolph’s teaching and research concerns include Max Weber’s social science, South Asian Civilization and the politics of category and identity formation.

    They have collaborated on seven books, including The Modernity of Tradition: Political Development in India and In Pursuit of Lakshmi, The Political Economy of the Indian State.

    In addition to their scholarly work, the Rudolphs have had a distinguished career of service to the University.

    During her tenure, Susanne Rudolph has served as Director of the Center for International Studies and Master of the Social Sciences Collegiate Division.

    She also was Director of the South Asia Language and Area Center for 18 years and is a Quantrell Teaching Award winner. She recently has been nominated President-Elect of the American Political Science Association.

    Lloyd Rudolph has served as Chairman of the Committee on International Relations and of the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences. He currently is Chairman of the College’s and International Studies and South Asian Studies concentrations. In 1999, he was awarded the University’s Graduate Teaching Award.

    The Ryerson Lecture was established as an annual event in 1972. The lecture provides an opportunity for a senior faculty member to present research to the University community. An appointed faculty committee nominates the lecturers.