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Polyvocal Hindustan: Literatures, Languages, and Publics

The early modern period in India, roughly the 15th-18th centuries, witnessed an explosion of textual production in vernacular languages alongside the ongoing vibrancy of cosmopolitan traditions. These literary trends were accompanied by changes concerning readership communities, circulation patterns and social identities.  This conference focuses on some of the major literary developments during this dynamic period and highlights fresh avenues of research for investigating relationships between linguistic traditions and reading communities.
Friday, March 6, 2015 
9:45-10:00 am Opening Remarks
Panel 1: 10-11:30 am
Making Sense of the Vernacular: Language Choice, Prestige, and Reading Communities
Discussant: G. S. Sahota (UC Santa Cruz)
*Elaine Fisher (UW Madison): The Language Games of Siva: Language Choice and the Public Sphere in Early Modern South India
*Ananya Chakravarti (The American University in Cairo): What is Marathi good for? Two views of the vernacular in the seventeenth century
Panel 2: 1:30-3:30 pm
Situating the Local: Transregional Circulation and Shifting Identities
Discussant: Robert Crews (Stanford University)
*Mana Kia (Columbia): The Imagined Place of Indo-Persian: Collaboration, Translation and Circulation in the Subcontinent and Beyond
*Thibaut D Hubert (Chicago): Indo-Afghan legacies and the Bay of Bengal cultural area
*Roy Fischel (SOAS): Multiple Identities, Vernacular Elites, and Political Integrity in Seventeenth Century Bijapur and Golkanda
4:30 pm Keynote Address
Richard Eaton (University of Arizona): Vernacularism from above and from below
Saturday, March 7, 2015 
Panel 3: 10:00-11:30 am
Beyond the Written Word: Mixing Mediums and Idioms
Discussant: Taymiya Zaman (University of San Francisco)
*Dipti Khera (NYU): Praising Places: Travels of Pictures, Pilgrims and Poetry in Early Modern Bazaars
*Francesca Orsini (SOAS): Sant orature and poetics
Panel 4: 1:00-3:00 pm 
Novelty and Decline: Explosive Politics and Poetics in the Eighteenth Century
Discussant: Abhishek Kaicker (UC-Berkeley)
*Walter Hakala (SUNY Buffalo): The Wind Messenger: Reevaluating the Poetry of Shah Mubarak Abru
*Purnima Dhavan (UW, Seattle): Method in the Margins: Azad Bilgrami and Changes in Eighteenth Century Tazkirah Scholarship
*Arthur Dudney (Oxford): Decline in Literature and Literature in Decline: Persian and Urdu under the Late Mughals



Friday, March 6, 2015 (All day)


Stanford Humanities Center Board Room


Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Department of Religious Studies, Center for South Asia


This event is free and open to the public.