[INDOLOGY] Call For Papers

Collins, Brian collinb1 at ohio.edu
Mon Feb 10 16:26:08 UTC 2020

Good day all,
I'm happy to announce creation of a new unit in the American Academy of Religion:
The Mahābhārata and Classical Hinduism Seminar.  We will begin with the annual meeting in November 2020 in Boston, the first of the five years of the Seminar.

The Mahābhārata and Classical Hinduism Seminar Mission Statement

The Mahābhārata and Classical Hinduism Seminar seeks to facilitate the academic exchange so necessary to progress through a format similar to a workshop, with pre-circulated papers.  This seminar will bring together philologists, Indologists, ethnographers, scholars of performance theory and practices, and generalists taking on the daunting task of incorporating India’s great epic into their coursework on Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, or Yoga. Over the course of the five-year seminar, we hope that these varied approaches will prove mutually illuminating and raise new questions. The seminar’s scope includes not only the Sanskrit text, but also dramatic and fictional retellings, regional and vernacular versions, etc.  We will select papers by asking the following four questions, which will change somewhat according to each year’s topic: Does the paper shine a new light on some previously underappreciated aspect, episode, character, or form of the epic? Does the paper either represent or respond to the most current trends and arguments in Mahābhārata studies? Does the paper help to demystify the Mahābhārata, helping non-specialists who are intimidated by its length and complexity to incorporate it into their teaching or scholarship? Does the paper provide a model for interdisciplinary practice (e.g., Does it bridge the gap between philology and new forms of critical textual analysis or between ethnography and history of religions?).

Steering Committee:
Arti Dhand, University of Toronto (Co-chair)
Bruce M. Sullivan, Northern Arizona University (Co-chair)
Brian Collins, Ohio University
Shubha Pathak, American University
Frederick M. Smith, University of Iowa

Call for Proposals

An Open Call for Papers on the State of the Field of Mahābhārata Studies
This session would be dedicated to taking stock of what has been accomplished to date, what approaches to the text and its interpretation show the most promise, and areas in which new research are most urgently needed. Note that this might include a paper on the state of Bhagavad Gītā studies, or other portions of the text such asHarivaṃśa or Nārāyaṇīya studies, or regional versions, etc. An appraisal of the extensive contributions of Alf Hiltebeitel to the understanding of the text would also be welcome.

Paper proposals are due March 2; we will use the PAPERS system via the AAR website.  Notification of acceptance by the Steering Committee should be provided about April 1.  As a Seminar, this new unit has a distinctive format.   At the annual meeting, the papers will be discussed, not read aloud.  This means that, at least one month prior to the meeting, accepted proposals are to be completed as written papers that will be circulated to Seminar participants. Those whose proposals are accepted are to submit the completed paper by October 15.  Please consider proposing a paper for our Seminar, either for this year's session or in future years.

Assoc. Prof. Brian Collins
Department Chair and Drs. Ram and Sushila Gawande Chair in Indian Religion and Philosophy
234 Ellis Hall
Ohio University
Athens, Ohio
Author, The Other Rāma: Matricide and Genocide in the Mythology of Paraśurāma<http://www.sunypress.edu/p-6920-the-other-rma.aspx> (SUNY Press, forthcoming)

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