no chair of Sanskrit in London

Hueckstedt hueckst at cc.UManitoba.CA
Mon Nov 11 19:30:42 UTC 1996

This is naturally a depressing sUtra (thread), but we must face it as 
best we can in our respective areas. Here, at the University of Manitoba, 
massive changes are likely in the quite near future, and who knows what 
may happen. However that may be, I have a suggestion for young 
Sanskritists. It comes ultimately from Professor Wolf Leslau. Many years 
ago he was President of the American Oriental Society, and in that 
capacity it was his duty to give the President's Address at the annual 
conference. He did so with slides and much gusto. It was about languages 
in Ethiopia. Many of those languages had only four 
speakers or sometimes even less. Near the end of his talk he posed this 
question: How is it possible for a young scholar to study such languages? 
The answer he offered was this. The young scholar should be sure to have 
a "cash" language that he or she can teach. In his case it was Hebrew.  
Partly because of his suggestion, which was made to the group as a 
whole and not directly to me, I made sure that I could teach Hindi when I 
finished my Ph.D. in Sanskrit literature. Most of the teaching I have 
done for the past 13 years has been Hindi teaching, but that has helped, in 
circuitous ways, to 
keep me employed, at least so far. The advantage for me has been that 
while I do have to spend a lot of time teaching Hindi and Urdu, and while 
I feel it my duty, and it also is my joy, to do some work with those 
languages, primarily translating, I still have the opportunity to teach 
Sanskrit to whomever decides to sign up for my Sanskrit courses, and I 
still have the time to continue doing my own projects in Sanskrit 
literature and Paninian grammar. It is not ideal, of course, and this 
university couldn't care less whether or not I taught Sanskrit, but as 
long as I'm here, I'll offer it. They can't tell me not to. At least, so 
far they can't. 

With hope,
Bob Hueckstedt

Robert A. Hueckstedt, Associate Professor of Indic Languages
Asian Studies Centre, 328 Fletcher Argue, University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2 Canada
fax 1 204-261-4483 phones 1 204-474-8964, 1 204-488-4797

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