Rethinking the History of the Kāma World in Early India

Journal of Indian Philosophy 39 (1):1-13 (2011)

This essay introduces a special issue on the history of kāmaśāstra in medieval India. It briefly reviews the secondary scholarship on the subject from the publication of the first translations of the genre at the end of the nineteenth century. It highlights the relatively unexplored history of later kāmaśāstra, and stresses the need for contexualized and detailed studies of the many kāmaśāstra treatises produced in the second millennium CE. The introduction, and the essays that follow, also argue for an expanded interpretive framework for the genre, moving beyond ‘sex’ and ‘sexuality,’ to a more widely defined notion of a ‘kāma world’, in which sensual pleasure is understood as being deeply enmeshed with aesthetic, ethical and cosmopolitan cultures
Keywords Kāma   Kāmaśāstra  Pleasure  Sexuality  Aesthetics  Ethics  Michel Foucault  Cosmopolitanism
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DOI 10.1007/s10781-010-9115-7
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Conjugal Love in India: RatiSastra and Ratiramana.Edwin Gerow & Kenneth G. Zysk - 2004 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 124 (2):402.
Indian Erotics of the Oldest Period.Ludwik Sternbach, Ivo Fišer & Ivo Fiser - 1969 - Journal of the American Oriental Society 89 (1):204.

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