Call for Papers:
Special issue of Dewey Studies on
“John Dewey’s Pragmatism and India: Pasts and Futures”

John Dewey’s philosophy has had a global impact. Well known are the stories of his students from China such as Hu Shih and the reforms and visits that they spawned. More attention, however, is turning to the applicability of pragmatism to India. Sitting next to Hu Shih in Dewey’s classroom was a young Indian, Bhimrao Ambedkar. Ambedkar would return to India from his sojourn in the west and create a philosophy of democracy that both extended and resisted vital themes in what Dewey taught him.

This special issue seeks contributions that explore John Dewey or some part of his philosophy in relation to India. There are a wide range of approaches that articles can take. A few useful paths to consider are as follows:

  1. Historical articles that expand what we know about Dewey, pragmatism, and their engagement with Indian figures and traditions, such as Ambedkar and Buddhism. Such studies might focus on Dewey’s knowledge or writings on various Indian traditions, or on the reception of Dewey’s thought (such as by Tagore, Nehru, Gandhi, or Ambedkar).
  • Comparative or constructive articles that emphasize a novel and creative engagement between Dewey’s thought and Indian thinkers and traditions. These studies might usefully examine specific topics or themes across traditions, such as the role of experience in education in Dewey and early Buddhism or aesthetic experience and mystical experience in Vedanta. They might also map out how a thinker like Ambedkar extended certain topics like experience and education in developing his own pragmatist approach.
  • Contemporary applications of Dewey’s pragmatism to problems or topics in India. What is the usefulness of Dewey’s thought for India’s future? Studies in this category might use Dewey’s notion of education to evaluate contemporary approaches to education in India, for instance, or enunciate problems in Indian society with Dewey’s account of democracy as a way of life.

Submission Details:

Interested authors are encouraged to submit articles of 4,000-10,000 words in length on or before January 1, 2025, to Scott R. Stroud, guest editor, sstroud@austin.utexas.edu. Please include an abstract of 150 words with your submission.

Complete formatting and submission details can be found at the journal’s website: https://www.johndeweysociety.org/dewey-studies/submission-guidelines/

Dewey Studies is an online, open-access, and peer-reviewed scholarly publication. It is published by the John Dewey Society.