[INDOLOGY] John and Mary Brockington Rāmāyaṇa archive

John Brockington John.Brockington at btinternet.com
Wed Jan 27 12:16:02 UTC 2016

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that we have just deposited on the Oxford 
Research Archive our material relating to the development and spread of 
the Rāma narrative (pre-modern), so that it can be available for others 
to consult even in its present, unfinished state.It can be accessed at 
(or you can find it via the Bodleian Libraries website, under ORA, by 
looking for its title).

Here is a description of it adapted from the abstract mounted on the 

This material is part of our continuing attempt to survey presentations 
of the Rāma story as it has been developed from its origin in the 
so-called /Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa/, through transformations in all genres, 
media, languages, religions and geographical areas, until roughly the 
end of the eighteenth century.However, later material has also been used 
if it preserves motifs or records trends relevant to the earlier period, 
though not where it introduces new developments.In order to explore the 
crucial role played by sculpture and paintings in the transmission and 
development of the narrative, we have placed visual material 
side-by-side with verbal (narratives presented in words, whether written 
or spoken).

The basis for the survey is: a Bibliographic Inventory providing 
references to everything of value consulted (and a list of our own 
publications); a detailed tabulation of the Narrative Elements employed 
and modified by successive tellers to build up the story; Background 
Notes and photographs; and unpublished Drafts surveying the material or 
arisingfrom it. Guidance Notes give detailed instructions for use.

The material is a joint project: John has compiled the Bibliographies, 
composed the Draft on Development and many of the notes, and taken the 
photographs; Mary has identified and tabulated the Narrative Elements, 
and supplied some of the Drafts and other notes.

The material is far from complete, and we hope to be able to update it 
from time to time, and to produce further analyses and syntheses of the 
material.From the nature of its wide scope, much of the compilation has 
had to be made from translations into the major European languages, or 
from summaries found in secondary literature, resulting in the omission 
of material inaccessible by these means; regrettably, we also have no 
way of knowing whether the translation or summary used has been totally 
reliable.Where possible, always check carefully before placing too much 
reliance on it. Wewill warmly welcome any corrections or supplementary 
information from other scholars specialising in individual fields.With 
all its deficiencies, weoffer this inventory as a tool to facilitate 
further research, not as a substitute for such research, and we will be 
pleased to learn of any use to which our work is put.

Because of the nature of our own contacts this message is being sent 
primarily to other Indologists but, if any of you are aware of 
colleagues in other fields (for example Southeast Asian languages or 
visual culture) who might be interested, do please pass the information 
on to them – and similarly, if anyone has access to academic lists on 
which it could be posted, we would be grateful for its being sent to 
them.We shall ourselves be sending it to the INDOLOGY and RISA lists.

With all good wishes

John and Mary

John Brockington
Emeritus Professor of Sanskrit, University of Edinburgh
Vice President, International Association of Sanskrit Studies

Mary Brockington
Research Fellow, International Association of Sanskrit Studies

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