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

Jesse Knutson jknutson at hawaii.edu
Fri Sep 23 20:44:08 UTC 2022

Such a beautiful human being and scholar. I always felt close to him from
the first moment I met him, such a brilliant and generous spirit. It's so
sad that he has gone so suddenly. The consolation is the people he
mentored--to whom you alluded Andrea, people such as yourself--who keep his
legacy alive through the impact he has had on them. His work also
guarantees his immortality. It is still so sad to lose him like this.

On Fri, Sep 23, 2022 at 2:33 AM Madhav Deshpande via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Andrea,
>      This comes as a shocking surprise. I feel very sad to hear about
> Tom's passing. During my early years at the University of Michigan, Tom was
> a student of mine at the Department of Linguistics, but he became a
> longtime friend. Along with his academic interests, Tom was an excellent
> Sarod player, and often played it at our home in Ann Arbor. I have a few
> photographs of him at our Ann Arbor home. Around 1978, we had bought an old
> house that needed a good deal of work on it. Tom volunteered to help me out
> in fixing various things. After he left Michigan, he kept in touch. I am
> sad to lose a very good friend. Rest in peace, my friend! 😥😥😥 🙏🙏🙏
> Madhav M. Deshpande
> Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Linguistics
> University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
> Senior Fellow, Oxford Center for Hindu Studies
> Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India
> [Residence: Campbell, California, USA]
> On Fri, Sep 23, 2022 at 3:21 AM Andrea Acri <andrea.acri at ephe.sorbonne.fr>
> wrote:
>> 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.
>> 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
>> EPHE/EFEO, Paris
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Jesse Ross Knutson PhD
Professor of Sanskrit Language and Literature
Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures
University of Hawai'i, Mānoa
461 Spalding

It is creative apperception more than anything else that makes the
individual feel that life is worth living. Contrasted with this is a
relationship to external reality which is one of compliance, the world and
its details being recognized but only as something to be fitted in with or
demanding adaptation. Compliance carries with it a sense of futility for
the individual and is associated with the idea that nothing matters and
that life is not worth living. In a tantalizing way many individuals have
experienced just enough creative living to recognize that for most of their
time they are living uncreatively, as if caught up in the creativity of
someone else, or of a machine.--Donald Winnicott, *Playing and Reality*
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