The State of India Studies in the United States

book-indiareview-flatCo-editor, with Sumit Ganguly, and contributor.

Special issue of India Review, Vol. 5, no. 1 (January 2006). 172 pp.

ISSN: 1557-3036 (electronic) 1473-6489 (paper)

Halfway through the first decade of the twenty-first century, interest in India has exploded in the United States in a very public way. In years past, India occupied so marginal a position in the American imagination that Asia meant China, Japan, or occasionally Korea–excluding the whole of India from that continent. By 2005, however, breathless cover stories of news magazines featured India as a rising power second only to China; the business press, it seemed, could not get enough of India and its opportunities for growth; and President Bush and India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed a series of agreements that poised India and the United States for a new relationship of strategic partnership.

The transformation in public perception of India in the United States has been welcomed by many scholars who for years had been compelled to argue what precisely India’s relevance was to American, and global, interests. That India’s importance now appears self-evident marks a new phase for India studies in the US. Indeed, taken in its broadest possible sense, the study of India has percolated beyond the narrow confines of academia to include broad public audiences through titles published by major trade presses, as well as public discussions such as those convened by World Affairs Councils in cities throughout the US.

This growing American interest in India comes at a time of shifting India interests in the US academy as well. The essays in this volume represent an effort to understand this changing balance of interests both within academic disciplines, as well as beyond the academy. Even with the palpable upswing in perceptions of and interest in India, however, there is still room for growth. As the chapters in this volume show, while the study of India has in some spheres been growing, in others it has been experiencing a stagnation if not retrenchment in comparison with previous decades. A wide-angle lens on this landscape thus reveals challenges and opportunities in variegated ways.

Chapter Contents

1. Introduction: The State of India Studies in the United States, Sumit Ganguly and Alyssa Ayres; 2. Beyond Disciplines: India Studies in the United States, Alyssa Ayres; 3. Economics, Economists, and the Indian Economy, John Adams; 4. The State of Political Science and Security Studies of India in the United States: Increased Importance but Declining Academic Attention, Arthur Rubinoff; 5. The Study of Indian Religions in the US Academy, Christian Lee Novetzke; 6. The American Anthropology of India, Kelly D. Alley; 7. The Study of Indian History in the US Academy, Benjamin B. Cohen