Research Interests: Sociology of Science, Philosophy of Mathematics, Anthropology of Texts and Literature, Sociology of Religion, History of Anthropology, History of Hindi Literature, Anthropology of Kinship and Philosophical Anthropology
Saumya Malviya is a Social Anthropologist trained at the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics. He specialises in sociology of mathematics and science, with deep and abiding interests in anthropology of religion, ethics, language, literature and philosophical anthropology. He received his PhD degree in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics and his dissertation was titled Metaphor and Metonymy in the Constitution of Mathematical Knowledge: An Ethnographic Exploration. His PhD research involved a study of styles of mathematical work across cultural and institutional contexts in India and the relationship between biography and mathematics. Instead of a typical science studies work his PhD thesis is an exploration of the link between the ‘mathematical’ and the ‘ethical’ as it is exemplified in mathematical practices.
Saumya is also a Hindi poet and his work regularly appears in Hindi literary magazines and journals.He is also committed to the idea of doing social science in the vernacular and has written a short introduction to Claude Lévi Strauss’s anthropology in Hindi.
Saumya studied mathematics at University of Delhi as an undergraduate, and then shifted to sociology for further studies. Subsequent to his undergraduate degree, he obtained MA, MPhil and PhD degrees from the department of Sociology at Delhi School of Economics. His Mphil dissertation was a study of the role of the nature/culture opposition in the work of the French anthropologist Claude Lévi Strauss. He continues to read and reflect on the history of anthropology in the 20th century, with a special focus on the French tradition.
Saumya has more than five years of experience of teaching Sociology at various colleges in University of Delhi and prizes above all the experience of working and learning with his students. He is fundamentally committed to the idea that teaching and research go hand in hand and are mutually constitutive of each other.
Saumya is currently working towards an archaeology of modern mathematics and a sociological/philosophical study of ecological themes in Hindi Literature.
Saumya’s research interests include:
Through his various research interests Saumya is trying to understand the relationship between ethics and mathematical/scientific/literary thought and to locate the ‘social’ within various knowledge producing and creative practices. He is also interested in exploring the influence of modernity on the professionalisation and institutionalisation of disciplines like mathematics, sociology etc., and in tracing the trajectories of particular mathematical and sociological traditions. He is currently studying the treatment of ecological themes in Hindi literature, particularly in the poetry of Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh.
Papers taught previously at the University of Delhi
At Ahmedabad University
Saumya has a poetry collection to his credit titled Ghar Ek Namumkin Jagah Hai (2021), published by Hind Yugm Prakashan, New Delhi.
‘Mathematics and Forms of Sociality: Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics’ Talk delivered in the Sociology Seminar series at South Asian University, 16th October 2019.
‘What is Modern Mathematics?’ Talk delivered in the Sociology Seminar Series at Shiv Nadar University, 12th November 2020.
‘Revisiting the Modern in Mathematics: An Exploratory Exercise’ Talk delivered in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Seminar Series at IIT Delhi, 23rd February 2021.