The Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities is a premier research and teaching institute that offers undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral degrees in Philosophy, English and Sociology. One of the most exciting academic experiments in higher education in India, MCPH fosters a culture of innovative and reflexive pedagogy, intellectual freedom, student initiatives, and new directions in scholarship.
Sundar Sarukkai, the Founder-Director of MCPH, on the origins of MCPH –
MCPH had its origins in the many summer schools and other philosophy workshops which I used to organize while I was at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. Finding a great need for quality humanities education from students and professionals alike, and at the same time taking into account the difficulties which students had in the usual undergraduate courses in humanities, I decided to move away from a research institute and establish an institution which could offer rigorous teaching as well as support quality research. Manipal University offered the required ambiance, support and enlightened leadership, and the first batch of six students was admitted in 2010 for a Masters degree in ‘Interdisciplinary Humanities’. Each year, the student strength has grown and from offering one MA course we now offer three innovative and interdisciplinary MA courses in Literature, Philosophy and Sociology, along with an active and growing PhD program. We have active collaborations with some of the best institutions in the world and at the same time have a strong outreach program with the local communities in order to share the joy of ‘doing’ humanities and the social sciences with these groups. Our new building, with a well-equipped stage space, has enhanced our engagement with arts. Most importantly, we hope that our students will not only become more critical and creative individuals but also more humane citizens of a global community.
“Nowhere in my experience philosophy and social sciences were taught in an interdisciplinary way… MCPH has an excellent approach in its syllabus and its students will be unique as practitioners and teachers of literature”
— Prof. U.R. Ananthmurthy
Eminent Kannada writer and Jnanpith laureate
“MCPH is asking its students to take as seriously as possible core questions…It is demanding that they learn major works…It is inviting them to confront the problems, and promises, of…interdisciplinary work…What more could one possibly provide one’s students?”
— Prof. Sheldon Pollock
The Arvind Raghunathan Professor of Sanskrit and South Asian Studies
Columbia University, USA
I have now made two very worthwhile trips to the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and the Humanities. Each visit was marked by much intellectual stimulus and serious discussions with the faculty and students, among whom the morale was high, the scholarly commitment intense and genuine, and the quality uniformly excellent.
— Prof. Akeel Bilgrami
The Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy
Columbia University, USA
“MCPH..[is] committed to studying how mind, body, and society are co-constitutive, or bound together to form our ethical dispositions toward law, medicine, education, and economics….their research represents the future of humanities and social sciences not only in India, but in the world”
— Prof. Carolyn Rouse
Department of Anthropology
Princeton University, USA
I enjoyed meeting the students who seemed intelligent, well-trained, and grounded, and acquainting myself with your colleagues and their work interests. The Centre is quite unique in several respects in this part of the world, and its achievements impressive for its size. I guess most of it is down to the cheerful enthusiasm you and your other colleagues bring to your work, and the encouraging milieu provided by the Centre and the University. I hope it will endure, and successful defy widely-held stereotypes about the life-cycles of academic institutions in India.
— Prof. G. Balachandran
Graduate Institute of International & Development Studies (Switzerland)
Managing Editor, Indian Economic and Social History Review (IESHR)
I was invited to be a writer-in-residence at the MCPH for a month in 2017. I have just one very serious grievance against the authorities and students of the English and Humanities Departments. They threw me out after the month was over when i was more than happy to settle down and be with them for the rest of my life. I will never forgive them for this diabolical act. On a serious note, the head of the department of English, Professor Nikhil Govind and Professor Gayathri Prabhu bent over backward to make life comfortable for me and allowed me every opportunity to be with the students. As for the students, they were a sheer joy. They were so hungry and thirsty for knowledge and insight, and so full of friendly enthusiasm, it was very difficult to say goodbye to them. Hey guys, after that perfectly honest flattery, isn’t it time you got me back to Manipal to be with you for good?