The Peopling of India

An Online Weekend Course


Tony Joseph

Course Dates

9 April 2022


INR 2,000


5:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Course Faculty

Tony Joseph

Tony Joseph is the author of the book, ‘Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From’. The Second Edition of the widely acclaimed best-seller came out in September 2021. Tony has always been fascinated by the ancient history of India and he gave up all other work to exclusively focus on it over a decade ago. Many of his articles on the subject have been highly impactful, such as the 2017 piece in The Hindu titled “How Genetics is Settling the Aryan Migration Debate’. He has been in the media industry for over three decades, and has been the Editor of BusinessWorld, Associate Editor of Business Standard and Features Editor of The Economic Times at various times. He is currently working on his second book, which will be a sequel to the first.

About The Course

Until quite recently, we did not have a good enough understanding of how the populations of different world regions were formed in prehistory. This is no longer the case because population genetics studies based on ancient DNA, or DNA recovered from the skeletons of people who lived thousands of years ago, has removed much of the uncertainty. We now have ancient DNA evidence for multiple mass migrations that happened at different periods of prehistory which shaped the world’s populations, including in the Indian subcontinent. This helps us answer many fundamental questions about India that had remained unanswered thus far. Questions such as: who were the people that built the Harappan Civilization and where did they disappear? Why do we have so many different languages grouped into at least four very different language families? Why are these language families spread the way they are? How old is the caste system? What accounts for the significant cultural similarities that we observe across the subcontinent? And what accounts for the equally noticeable cultural differences, starting from eating habits? In the light of the new answers we have, how should we now see ourselves?
And, of course, why is any of these a matter of political debate?

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    Course Objectives

    Experience New Learning & Mental Models on Important Topics

    Gain Exposure to Diverse Readings, Research and Resources

    Learn to Engage in Critical Debate & Discussion

    Expand your Perspective across Disciplinary Boundaries

    Develop Analytical & Critical Thinking Faculties

    Madhavi Menon

    Professor of English, Ashoka University

    Director, Centre for Studies in Gender & Sexuality

    Director of the PhD Programme in English

    Ph.D. Tufts University

    Madhavi Menon is an eminent theorist and scholar of gender, sexuality, politics, and identity. 

    She joined Ashoka University in 2013 as one of its founding faculty members. She went on to establish the university’s Centre for Gender & Sexuality Studies (CSGS), which is the first of its kind in India. Previously, she was a professor at Ithaca College and American University

    Most prominently known for her work on queer theory and Shakespeare, she has also edited the collection Shakesqueer and written three books on Shakespeare and sexuality. She is also most recently the author of Infinite Varieties: A History of Desire in India and Law of Desire: Rulings on Sex & Sexuality in India. 

    In addition to being Director of CSGS, she is the Director of the Ph.D. programme in English and Professor of English at Ashoka University.