[INDOLOGY] Emerging Scholars in Jain Studies - Lecture by Dr. Nandita Punj (Arizona State University)

Ana Bajzelj anabajzelj1 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 30 17:32:59 UTC 2024

Apologies for cross-posting.

Dear Colleagues,

We are happy to invite you to the next lecture in our “Emerging Scholars in
Jain Studies” virtual series co-organized by the Departments of Religious
Studies at UC Davis and UC Riverside. The lecture will be delivered by *Dr.
Nandita Punj* (Arizona State University) on *Friday,* *February 9,
2024*, *9:00-10:20am
PST*. You will find more information about the lecture and the speaker

Register for the event here:


Please note that you will need to sign into your Zoom account before
entering the Zoom room.

Best wishes,

Ana Bajzelj and Lynna Dhanani


*From Poverty to Riches and Renunciation: A Jain Tale and Its Early Modern
Painted Iterations*

The *Shalibhadra Chaupai*, a seventeenth-century Shvetambara Jain narrative
tale in old Gujarati, extols the benefits of almsgiving to the monastic
community and is directed primarily at merchants. While the end goal
remains realization of the futility of worldly ties and renunciation,
Shalibhadra’s story, which is meant to be performed with music, promises an
individual success in worldly as well as religious affairs. Sumptuously
painted manuscripts of the *Shalibhadra* *Chaupai* from early modern
Rajasthan and Gujarat concretely visualize this ultimate reward through
bright and colorful imagery of a luxurious Jain merchant culture. However,
this genre remains understudied, having been overshadowed by the
illustrious narrative of courtly art. Through the lens of the *Shalibhadra
Chaupai* painted manuscripts, this lecture will address the contribution of
Jain art, artists, and patrons to the visual culture of early modern
western India.

*Dr. Nandita Punj* is the Gurudev Kanjiswami Postdoctoral Scholar in Jain
Studies in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at
Arizona State University. Nandita obtained her doctorate in Art History
from Rutgers University. Her research on early modern Jain manuscript
paintings from Gujarat and Rajasthan explores Jain artistic practices and
highlights their contribution to the construction of eighteenth-century
visual culture. Focusing on under-represented workshops and artistic
traditions, her study questions binaries such as courtly/elite as opposed
to non-courtly/folk. Nandita also holds a PhD in History from the
University of Delhi and has worked on various aspects of Jain monastic
orders in early medieval western India. Her current research interests
include studying the cultural and ritual practices of the Jain diaspora,
especially the process of replication of pilgrimage sites and the
sanctification of these recreated sacred spaces.


Ana Bajzelj
Associate Professor
Shrimad Rajchandra Endowed Chair in Jain Studies
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department for the Study of Religion
Cooperating Faculty Member
Department of Philosophy
University of California, Riverside
Co-Chair, Jain Studies Unit, American Academy of Religion
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