Di Castro & Templeman (eds), Asian Horizons (2015)

AsianHorizons1000519-3-2Angelo Andrea Di Castro and David Templeman (eds). Asian Horizons: Giuseppe Tucci’s Buddhist, Indian, Himalayan and Central Asian Studies. Serie Orientale Roma CVI / Monash Asia Series. Melbourne: Monash University Publishing, April 2015. xxvi+613 pp. AUD$99. ISBN (pb): 978-1-922235-33-6; (epub): 978-1-922235-34-3.

Contributors …… vii

Preface …… xi

Introduction …… xix


Gustavo Benavides. Giuseppe Tucci, Anti-Orientalist …… 3

Francesco D’Arelli. A Glimpse of some Archives on Giuseppe Tucci’s Scientific Expeditions to Tibet: 1929–1939 …… 16

Ruth Gamble. The problem with folk: Giuseppe Tucci and the transformation of folksongs into scientific artefacts …… 45

Alex McKay. ‘A very useful lie’: Giuseppe Tucci, Tibet, and scholarship under dictatorship …… 68

Francesco Sferra. The ‘thought’ of Giuseppe Tucci …… 83

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The Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente (IsIAO), standard bearer of the scholastic brilliance incarnated in Giuseppe Tucci, co-founder of its predecessor institution, is a walking ghost. Its liquidation has already been decreed. But this is a ghost that will not go quietly. Let me satiate the preta by linking to its disembodied voice: isiaoghost.wordpress.com.

"Una chiusura che è un’usurpazione, un’imposizione, una costrizione di volontà..."
IsIAO Ghost opens with a quote from Carlo M. Cipolla, a one-time professor of economics at UC Berkeley who articulated the laws of stupidity:

A stupid person is a person who caused losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see that this is directed at the bureaucrats who sacrificed Tucci’s and Gnoli’s legacy upon the unholy altar of economic irrationality. Come to think of it, though, it could equally apply to certain academics. “It is not difficult to understand how […] institutional power enhances the damaging potential of a stupid person,” Prof. Cipolla observes. How true!

(Thanks to A. for the pointer.)

Giuseppe Tucci Symposium, Monash University, 2010

Giuseppe Tucci Symposium, Monash University (Caulfield), 2010

The Giuseppe Tucci Symposium jointly convened in Melbourne by Monash University, IsIAO and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura over September 29 to October 1, 2010 has successfully concluded. In my estimation, the quality of presentations was quite high, with a great deal of new material coming forth regarding Giuseppe Tucci’s life, times and scholarly legacy.

Two volumes of proceedings are planned. In the meantime, a foretaste is available in the booklet of the abstracts in downloadable PDF form.