Cornell University

SAP Speaker Series, M.K. Gandhi's Apologies, by J. Daniel Elam

Monday, February 4, 2019 at 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Uris Hall, G08

M.K. Gandhi apologized for his actions many times over the course of his long political career, but almost always refused to apologize for the philosophy of satyagraha that provoked those actions. In 1939, however, Gandhi apologized twice for having been "gripped" (graha) by the wrong "truth" (satya): once for a failed fast in Rajkot, and once for his flippant response to Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. This talk explores the possibility of "false truths" (jootha sachh) in Gandhi's political thought, and takes seriously the err, or the mistake, at the core of Gandhian anticolonial practice. 

J. Daniel Elam is assistant professor of comparative literature at the University of Hong Kong and a Fellow in the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University. He has written on revolutionary and radical South Asian anticolonial thought in the early twentieth century. His forthcoming monograph is World Literature for the Wretched of the Earth: Anticolonial Aesthetics, Postcolonial Democracy.

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, South Asia Program



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Valerie Foster Githinji

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Available upon request; please contact Valerie Foster Githinji in advance to plan for accommodations.

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