Report on 9th Sanskrit Conference

purushottama bilimoria pbilmo at
Tue Mar 8 15:19:37 UTC 1994

9th World Sanskrit Conference, Melbourne, Australia
Report from Robert Goldman and Sally Sutherland (UC-Berkeley)
>From January 9th to January 15th, 1994 the International Association of
Sanskrit Studies, La Trobe University, Deakin University, The Australia-
India Council, the National Centre for South Asian Studies, and the Indian
Council for Cultural Relations sponsored and organized the IXth Would
Sanskrit Conference in Melbourne, Australia.  The conference was a
tremendous success from the point of view of the scholars attending.  It
provided an opportunity for scholars of  Sanskrit and related areas to
meet and exchange ideas in a pleasant environment conducive to
stimulating, intellectual exchange.  The intellectual breadth of the
conference can be evidenced from its range of papers, submitted by some
two-hundred and fifty scholars from around the world.   The scholarly
expertise and range of discourse of the scholars enabled the formation of 
nineteen sections divided into fifty-one panels, ranging from traditional
grammar to modern theoretical readings of ancient texts.  For
Sanskritists~who are often the sole representative of the field in their
college or university community~this was truly an intellectual feast.
Especially useful and crucial for the survival and renewal of the field was
the organizers' inclusion of panels that sought to contextualize the
traditional materials or Indological scholarship within new and emerging
theoretical and methodological trends in literary, historical,
and cultural studies.  Particularly important in this regard were the panels
on `Contemporary Indology and Cultural Analysis,' and `Pandita Tradition
and Western Epistemes in Indology.'   The papers presented at these
panels by us (Goldman and Sutherland) and Australian scholars such as
Bailey and Bilimoria made, we feel, considerable progress in furthering
efforts to  intellectually revitalize the field of Sanskrit Studies by
addressing the sorts of problems being grappled with in allied branches
of humanistic scholarship.
The in-country organizers, Professors Greg Bailey and Purushottam
Bilimoria, must be commended for their insight, organization, and
A conference such as this is exceedingly difficult to organize since the
diverse population of academics it attracts has dramatically different needs
and concerns.  Professors Bailey and Bilimoria were sensitive to these
problems and did an excellent job in accommodating the  varying dietary,
housing, and intell    
ectual needs of the participants.
Support for the conference on the Australian side was impressive.  The
contributions of the local academic institutions and the participation of
scholars from many  Australian institutions was most gratifying.  Particular
thanks are due to the faculty and administration of La Trobe and Deakin
Universities as well as the staff of the National Centre for South Asian
Studies (Melbourne) and a group of ardent Student helpers. Also
impressive was the active participation and support on the part of the
representatives of the Government of India and the community of
Australians of Indian origin. Noteworthy here was the support India~s High
Commissioner of India, The Honorable A.M. Khaleeli, the proprietors of
Johnston Opals, the Australia-India Council and the many Indian families
who graciously accommodated delegates from India.  Their gracious
hospitality and the wonderful entertainment, including classical dance and
music performance, they provided was greatly appreciated and turned this
outstanding scholarly conference into a truly memorable event.

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