Yoga as Sport: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous?
Professor Joseph Alter
Department of Anthropology
Friday, February 13, 2009
3500 Cathedral of Learning
Joseph Alter is a sociocultural anthropologist whose area of interest is
South Asia and especially medical anthropology on topics of physical
fitness, public health, social psychology, and the relationship between
health, culture, and politics broadly defined. His most recent book ? Yoga
in Modern India: The Body between Science and Philosophy ? received the
2006 Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize for best English language book
on a South Asian subject by the South Asia Council, Association for Asian
Studies. Alter's talk for us will focus on the way in which yoga has been
manipulated to mean a large number of things to different individuals and
groups. While for some it is the sublime essence of transcendence, for
others it is a gymnastic, competitive sport. What does it mean for an
expression of cultural meaning to encompass such diversity of experience?
Do not miss this exciting foray into cultural anthropology at its best.