About the Book :
The essays of this volume were first presented to a conference of South Indian specialists convened at the University of Wisconsin on 7-9 April 1970. This was the second such conference of the Society for South Indian Studies, the first having met at the University of Texas on 5-7 December 1968, from which came a valuable set of essays entitled Symposium on Dravidian Civilization (1971), edited by Andree F. Sjoberg. Robert E. Frykenberg, Department of History, University of Wisconsin, the convenor of the second SSIS conference, intended that the papers and discussion should be a comprehensive "stock-taking" of scholarship on South India. Each of the scholars invited to present papers was specifically asked to make such an assessment in the field of his or her competence and was also asked to suggest potentially useful lines of future research in the light of that assessment. The scope of the essays is broad; they reflect the range of interests and scholarship of Americans in South India. And, though each of the writers accepted the charge of Professor Frykenberg to survey some portion of the totality of knowledge of South Indian society, culture, and history, some essays provide new and sometimes startling formulations. This was an unexpected dividend of the conference.