[INDOLOGY] Sources on Relationship btw Oral/Literary Traditions

Mark McLaughlin markasha at gmail.com
Thu Nov 2 21:21:03 UTC 2017

Dear Indology mind-hive,

I have an undergraduate student who is interested in writing a paper on
questions of oral and literary traditions. I would like to solicit your
opinions on potential sources for her. Please see her message below for a
more detailed delineation of her questioning.

Many thanks in advance!


Professor McLaughlin,

I read through a little more of the Pollock book last night to get a better
feel for some questions. I think generally this is what I'm thinking:

What is the difference and relationship between the oral and literary
tradition? How has that relationship evolved with the emergence of written
texts, vernacularization, and the subsequent privileging of textual sources
by the colonial West and the Academy? Who is excluded and/or included by
the privileging of one kind of knowledge over the other? For scholars, what
kind of nuanced understanding of literacy should be sought or acknowledged
given that "to be literate" can mean different things in different

Let me know if this sounds like what I was talking about the other day!



Mark McLaughlin
*Visiting Assistant Professor of South Asian Religions*

*Department of Religious StudiesCollege of William and MaryWilliamsburg, VA*

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