Req: Help justifying the teaching of Sanskrit

RAH hueckst at cc.UManitoba.CA
Sat Jul 22 15:01:02 UTC 1995

Fellow Indologists,
I have been asked to contribute an essay to a volume that will be 
entitled _Classics and the Modern Curriculum_. The word "classics" there 
is used in its broadest sense. The study of Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, 
Persian, Chinese, etc. will be all represented. I am one of two people 
who have been asked to hold up the Indic side of the project. Any help I 
receive from anyone will be greatly appreciated, and of course, if any of 
your ideas become incorporated in my essay, they will be duly footnoted. 

The classical languages of South Asia I define as Sanskrit, Prakrit, Old 
Dravidian, and Persian. We could maybe also include Apabhramsha and other 
Middle Indic languages. So, given such a definition of classics in South 
Asia, I am already feeling inadequate to the task. It's impossible for me 
to read all those languages, and even just within Sanskrit, I am not, nor 
can any one person be, a master of all the disciplines in which 
literature in Sanskrit has played an important part in the history of ideas.

Nevertheless, here is my basic plan. I hope to show what a university 
misses by not having at least one Sanskritist on its faculty and Sanskrit 
offered in its curriculum. Unfortunately, I have only 20 pages in which 
to accomplish my goal. 

Johns Hopkins University Press has expressed interest in publishing the 
book, and they suggest that it would fit in their series on higher 
education, which focusses on curricular issues, and perhaps also in their 
series on ancient studies. So fellow "classicists" and perhaps university 
administrators would be the target readership.

I hope and pray I can do a respectable job of it, and I look forward to 
your suggestions. If you think your comments are worth the attention of 
the readers of indology, then just post them to indology. Otherwise, you 
may also reply directly to me.

Bob Hueckstedt

Robert A. Hueckstedt, Associate Professor of Indic Languages
Asian Studies Centre, 328 Fletcher Argue, University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2 Canada email: hueckst at
fax 1 204-275-5781 phones 1 204-474-8964, 1 204-488-4797


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