The Historian and Chauvinism

February 25, 2020 - 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Professor Ramachandra Guha
Ramachandra Guha

Abstract: Scientists who deal with inanimate nature can seek to be wholly objective, keeping themselves and their prejudices wholly out of their research and their findings. Historians who deal with thinking, arguing, human beings know that pure or total objectivity will always be beyond them. Nonetheless, they must guard against four kinds of bias: which prof. Guha terms the chauvinism of discipline, the chauvinism of method, the chauvinism of ideology, and the chauvinism of nation respectively.

Commentator: Dr. Vasant Kaiwar, Visiting Associate Professor of History, Duke University

Speaker's bio: Ramachandra Guha is a historian and biographer based in Bengaluru. He has taught at the universities of Yale and Stanford, held the Arné Naess Chair at the University of Oslo, and served as the Philippe Roman Professor of History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics. Ramachandra Guha's most recent book is a two volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi. His books and essays have been translated into more than twenty languages. The New York Times has referred to him as 'perhaps the best among India's non fiction writers'; Time Magazine has called him 'Indian democracy's pre-eminent chronicler'. He has received numerous awards over the years. In 2009, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the Republic of India's third highest civilian honor.

The event is sponsored by the von der Heyden Fellows Fund, established by Karl ('62) and Mary Ellen von der Heyden.

Event flyer

Contact name

More event info


  • Duke University Center for International and Global Studies
  • Asian/Pacific Studies Institute
  • Global Asia Initiative
  • India Initiative