[INDOLOGY] In memoriam Thomas M. Hunter (1947–2022)

Andrea Acri andrea.acri at ephe.sorbonne.fr
Fri Sep 23 10:20:47 UTC 2022

Dear colleagues,

it is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing away of Dr. Thomas M. Hunter. Many will remember him as a dear colleague, friend, and supportive mentor who inspired many scholars and students around the world (including myself). Tom was Lecturer in Sanskrit and South-Southeast Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia from 2018 until 2021, where he taught very popular courses spanning such diverse subjects as Sanskrit, Gender in Southeast Asia, The Sanskrit  Cosmopolis, and History of the Indian Ocean World. Prior to joining UBC, he held various visiting positions at academic institutions in Heidelberg, Berlin, Jerusalem, Yogyakarta, Denpasar, and Darwin. Struck by a sudden illness, he moved to Bali under the care of his wife, Dr. Ni Wayan Ariati, until he passed away on September the 20th, at the age of 74. His cremation will be held in Bali on September the 27th.

Tom was a pioneer in the comparative study of Sanskrit and Old Javanese languages and literatures, and encouraged a cross-pollination between South and Southeast Asian Studies. Among his most significant works are a contribution to the monumental edition, translation, and study of the Old Javanese Kakavin Sumanasāntaka (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013), two chapters in “Innovations and Turning Points: Towards a History of Kāvya Literature” by Yigal Bronner, David Shulman and Gary Tubb, and many scholarly articles in academic journals and edited volumes, only a handful of which are available at https://wix.academia.edu/ThomasHunter <https://wix.academia.edu/ThomasHunter>. 

Tom left behind a significant body of in-progress unpublished work, including draft translations of Old Javanese Kakavins, a Reader of Old Javanese literature (Sekar Iniket), and a grammar of Old Javanese. A collaborative edition and translation of the unpublished Kakawin Pārthayajña was being undertaken by Tom and myself, and will hopefully be published before too long.

Best regards,

Andrea Acri


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