New Delhi: Academic writing cannot be for merely the sake of publishing and earning brownie points for promotion in job. This was one of the central points of discussion at the launch of South Asian University’s first academic journal – Society and Culture in South Asia. The journal was launched by eminent economist Prabhat Patnaik at an event in India International Centre.
The launch was followed by a panel discussion on the ‘Politics of Academic Publishing.’ Patnaik had earlier set the tone of the panel by divulging the exclusion of critical writings, unconventional speculations and creatively deviant thinking in the noted journals and books. The best of the academic writings have been ones unregulated by the academic journals and publishers, he noted. The need of professional success in academics leads scholars to compromise on their vision, arguments and understanding, he further said.
Academic publishing is a noble job that entails intellectual struggles, passionate experiences and deeper engagement with the phenomenon of life, the panelists observed.
Avijit Pathak, one of the panelists who is a leading sociologist from Jawaharlal Nehru University, talked about the anti-creative and anti-aesthetic dimensions of many established journals and publication companies in India. They seem to be the extension of various kinds of professional reports written by imaginatively impoverished writers, he said.
The biannual journal is published by the Department of Sociology of the South Asian University in association with Sage India. The journal has Sasanka Perera, a leading anthropologist from Sri Lanka as the chief editor and an editorial team comprising Ravi Kumar, Dev Pathak and Ankur Dutta. The journal is committed to creating a south Asian framework for critical social science.