Front matter

Mabel Lee, Michael Wilding


The essays collected here have been contributed in honour of Soumyen

Mukherjee, for many years a member of the History Department and

later the School of Asian Studies at the University of Sydney. In their

range and variety they represent something of the range and variety of

his interests.

Soumyen Mukherjee's vision is of the ideal coming together of

the concerned intelligence, of the committed intellectual. It is a vision

that will always attract institutional opposition, but it will always exist.

This volume testifies to the endurance of that tradition. It is not an

oppositional tradition at all. It is the true idea of the university,

preserving its ground in the face of the ignorance of the entrenched

establishment. This may seem a far cry from the blatant aberrance of

today's university. But universities have always fallen into disrepute

and discredit. That is their nature, today no less than in the last century

or the centuries before.