ARUNA is an alliance of systematically marginalized scholars and thinkers working on, in, and from Asian Global South.
The ARUNA team represents scholars and thinkers, with ancestral and heritage ties to Asia as well as those with South-South parallel interests on Asia.
The original Sanskrit term ARUNA means the color or red, rudy, and tawny. It is also the name of the charioteer of the Sun God Surya in Hinduism. Across the regions of Asian Global South, the linguistically divergent term ARUNA is used to symbolize the direction of the East and the colors of dawn. The alliance emulates this meaning of ARUNA and represents the diverse array of bright and colorful scholarship and scholars working on, in, and from “the East.” By the choice of a Sanskrit term, we are by no means in support of glorifying Sanskrit and Hinduism over many other languages and cultures of Asia. We are instead committed to highlighting the diverse voices of scholars and thinkers with marginalized backgrounds, both across the global stage and in the local scenes.
The first group of team members came together in January 2021. ARUNA was born with the following mission and objectives.
As a virtual research center and a community space, ARUNA is dedicated to supporting non-traditional and experimental scholarship and to highlighting the voices of junior and emerging scholars and thinkers with systematically marginalized backgrounds working on, in, and from Asian Global South.
To expand the knowledge about the social, political, cultural, and educational landscapes in the Asian Global South through an alternative innovative research culture.
To provide junior, independent, and non-affiliated researchers with the tools and support necessary to develop research, educational and community-oriented agendas that match the mission of the organization.
To provide junior, independent, and non-affiliated researchers an environment to navigate and negotiate prevailing institutional structures
To bridge the gap between the academy and civil societies in the Asian Global South.
To serve as a virtual hub for people, organizations, researchers from any region, country, or indigenous communities in the Asian Global South.
To foster and propagate research collaboration and solidarity between researchers working on Asia with shared histories of underrepresentation and marginalization within mainstream academia.
ARUNA is a kin organization with OLA (Observatorio de les Americas), a non profit organization with similar goals for the underrepresented researchers working in, on, and from the Americas.
Nonprofit status of the organization and formal start of operations, opportunities for employment and distribution of funds are pending the formal registration as a 501(c)(3) organization. Updated Feb 20th 2021: The executive board has finalized the formal statutes and constitutive documents. Updated Feb 28th 2021: The organization has begun the process of incorporation in the State of Colorado.