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Memory Construction and Emotion in India, Past and Present
Memory Construction and Emotion in India, Past and Present
WhenFriday, Sep. 15 – Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017
Campus locationCommunications Building (CMU)
Campus room202
Event typesConferences
Event sponsorsSimpson Center for the Humanities, Asian Languages & Literature, the Comparative Religion Program, the Center for Global Studies, the South Asia Center, the Seattle Art Museum, and Gent University

The symposium Memory Construction and Emotion in India, Past and Present examines how Hindu, Muslim, and Jain cultural self-understandings were shaped in India’s past and how that relates to the present. We study the processes involved in memory construction and the formation of emotional regimes as expressed in early vernacular literatures in India. Our special focus is on the use of Old Hindi for the first time as a vehicle for retelling Sanskrit epics at the Tomar court in early fifteenth-century Gwalior. This north Indian town was a vibrant commercial center for Hindus, Muslims, and Jains. The latter are often forgotten, but they played an important role in supporting Apabhramsha literature, painting, and—most spectacularly—giant Jina images hewn into the cliffs beneath the Gwalior fort.

At the same time, Gwalior was also a center of Sufi literary production. We investigate how these instances of memory construction in different media and emotional regimes were interrelated, situating the literature against the backdrop of the arts and built environment. Our team brings together students and junior and senior scholars from Benares Hindu University,  Gent University (Belgium), the Sorbonne in Paris, New York University, and the UW in a collaborative research effort to transcend the conventional boundaries of language, architecture, art, and religious studies. 

See symposium abstracts and speaker bios.

Friday, September 15
Simpson Center, Communications Building 202

9 am

  • Welcome and Introduction
9:30-10:50 am
  • Gwalior’s History and (Not so) Ideal Kings, Shariq Khan, Chris Diamond, Sander Hens; respondent Purnima Dhavan
11 am-12:30 pm
  • Performances, Past and Present, Nalini Delvoye, Arcana Kumar, Raj Kumar; respondent Christian Novetzke
12:30-2 pm
  • Lunch with Screenings of Contemporary Mahabharata (Pandvani) Performances
2-3:30 pm
  • Material Context: Pleasure Palaces, Inscriptions, and the Art of the Book, Saarthak Singh and Corbett Costello; respondent Richard Salomon

Evening Performance, Seattle Asian Art Museum

7 pm - Remembering and Creating Tradition in Art and Dance of India

  • “Black Cobras and Free Gypsies: The Recent Creation of Rajasthani Kalbeliya Dance as Intangible UNESCO Heritage,” Ayla Joncheere

Saturday, September 16
Simpson Center, Communications Building 202
9:30-10 am
  • “Mahabharata retellings in Apabhramsha,” Eva de Clercq
10-10:30 am
  • “Emotional Regimes in Vishnudas’ Pandav-carita,” Heidi Pauwels
10:30-12 pm
  • Readings in Apabhramsha
1-2:30 pm
  • Readings in Sanskrit
3-5 pm
  • Readings of parallel sections from chronicles in Hindi and Persian
5-5:30 pm
  • Concluding Session

Organized by Heidi Pauwels (Asian Languages & Literatures, University of Washington) and Eva De Clercq (Gent University, Belgium)

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