CFP: New approaches to manuscript variations in South Asia

Neeraja Poddar's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
November 30, 2015
Location: 
Poland
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Digital Humanities, Literature, Religious Studies and Theology, South Asian History / Studies

A panel at the European Conference on South Asian Studies
Warsaw, Poland, 27-30 July 2016

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 30 November 2015

Convenors: Neeraja Poddar (Philadelphia Museum of Art) and Arthur Dudney (University of Cambridge)

The papers in this panel will explore the themes of copying, repetition and reproduction in the context of early-modern South Asian manuscripts in order to understand how such books were valued, used and disseminated. We hope to include manuscripts in both pothi and codex format—with and without illustrations—ranging from literature and religious treatises to dictionaries and indexes. Common to them is the fact that multiple versions and editions of each were made through copying by hand. The result of such non-mechanical reproduction is that copies might not be "perfect" with variations introduced by artists and scribes, either deliberately or inadvertently. The purpose of this panel is to explore the significance of such variations. Rather than thinking of them as merely discrepancies or mistakes, we regard them as junctures where the authors' or artists' engagement with contemporary sectarian concerns, literary trends, artistic strategies and popular culture may be manifest.

Papers might compare different editions or versions in order to investigate issues such as: What is the core of a text? Which viewpoint is preferred at a particular historical moment? How are narratives transformed as they are copied? What is the impact of scribal error when such an error becomes sanctified by usage? We invite proposals from scholars who work in a variety of disciplines including Art History, Literature, and Religious Studies, especially welcoming proposals that draw upon methodologies from Digital Humanities.

To submit a proposal, go to http://www.nomadit.co.uk/easas/ecsas2016/cfp.shtml. Our panel is number P33. Please contact either of the convenors at the links above if you have any questions. Please note that in order to attend the conference you have to be a paid up member of the European Association for South Asian Studies (you can join here: http://www.easas.eu/Becomeamember).