• “Pedagogy, Philology, and Procedural Medical Knowledge”

    Author(s):
    Anthony Cerulli (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Group(s):
    Education and Pedagogy, Indology, Medical Humanities, Textual Scholarship
    Subject(s):
    Philology, India, South Asia, Area studies, Medicine, History, Medical anthropology
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Ayurveda, Kerala studies, South Asian studies, History of medicine, Medical humanities, Textual studies
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/cjv8-cq48
    Abstract:
    This article probes the history of education and current pedagogical practices among Malayali physician-teachers, vaidya-gurus, of Ayurveda in central Kerala. Considering the sources vaidya-gurus cite as the bases of their teaching styles, especially a three-part method known as mukhāmukhaṃ (‘face-to-face’ instruction), I discuss the place, production, and practice of texts in the didactic arrangement of the ayurvedic gurukula, ‘teacher’s residence’. Unlike subject-specific textbook learning at ayurvedic colleges, where students attend lectures and take exams in subjects like anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and so forth, mukhāmukhaṃ education entails a rigorous philological investigation of the Sanskrit medical classics and allied regional sources that, under the guidance and modelling of a vaidya-guru, empowers students to do things with the texts in their own clinical engagements with patients. During mukhāmukhaṃ training, the ayurvedic gurukula becomes a discursive space wherein formal rules concerning the interpretation and transmission of technical healing knowledge in texts are, by design, upended with improvisational inquiry and exploration, inter- and intratextual referencing, and an ongoing production of new texts to meet the healthcare needs of patients.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    10 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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