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We are pleased to announce this year’s online symposium to be held April 23-25 2021 (online) – all timings are BST (GMT+1).


Please register via this link:


Day 1: Friday 23rd April

11.55-12.00: Welcome

12.00-13.00: Keynote Address

Jacqueline Suthren Hirst (University of Manchester)

When is a Blue Lotus not a Blue Lotus? Categorisation, Learning and Epistemic Shifts

13.00-13.15: Coffee Break

13.15-14.15: Arun Brahmbhatt (St Lawrence University)

Debating the Scholastic ‘Other’ in Svaminarayan Literature

14.15-15.15: Heleen De Jonckheere (University of Chicago)

Vernacularising Jainism. The Dharmaparīkṣā by Manohardāss

15.15-15.30: Coffee Break

Postgraduate papers:

15.30-16.00: Szilvia Szanyi (University of Oxford)

The Changing Meanings of the Term Āśraya in Vasubandhu’s Abhidharmakośabhāṣya

16.00-16.30: Ranjamrittika Bhowmik (University of Oxford)

Mystical Utterances of Sahaja: The Soul-Body Amalgam in Caryāgīti, Tukkhā and Bāul-Fakir Songs of Bengal

16.30-17.00: Seema Chauhan (University of Chicago)

Parodying Mīmāṃsā Epistemology Through a Jaina Rāmāyaṇa




Day 2: Saturday 24th April

11.00-12.00: Ananya Vajpeyi (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies)

The Ethics of Poetry and the Poetry of Ethics: Bhartṛhari’s Three Hundred Reconsidered

12.00-13.00: Karl-Stéphan Bouthilette (University of Ghent)

Acknowledging the Philosophical and Spiritual Value of Doxography as a Literary Genre

13.00-13.15: Coffee Break

13.15-14.15: Christopher T. Fleming (University of Oxford)

Devasvatva: New Contributions to the Study of the Sanskrit Jurisprudence of Divine Ownership

14.15-15.15: Caley Smith (University of Washington)

What Kind of a Subject is the Vedic Śūdra?

15.15-15.30: Coffee Break

15.30-16.30: Stuart Ray Sarbacker (Oregon State University)

Pātañjala Yoga and Buddhist Abhidharma on Extraordinary Perfections and Accomplishments: A Comparison of Pātañjalayogaśāstra 4.1 and Abhidharmakośa 7.53 on the sources of Siddhi and Ṛddhi

16.30-17.15: Plenary (Topic TBC)



Day 3: Sunday 25th April

12.00-13.00: Charles DiSimone (University of Ghent)

Notes on Recent Buddhist Manuscript Discoveries from Mes Aynak and Greater Gandhāra

13.00-13.15: Coffee Break

13.15-14.15: Jonathan Duquette (University of Cambridge)

Power, Independence and Divinity: A Śaiva Response to Veṅkaṭanātha’s View of the Goddess

14.15-15.15: Deepak Sarma (Case Western Reserve University)

Comparison as Means of Colonization, Comparison as Strategy to Controvert: Madhva Vedanta and Christianity

15.15-15.30: Coffee Break

Postgraduate papers:

15.30-16.00: Radha Blinderman (Harvard University)

Why Kṛṣṇa and Śakti Have Their Own Grammars: Rivalry and Innovation in Sectarian Grammars of Sanskrit

16.00-16.30: Charlotte Gorant (Columbia University)

Nāgas in Early Buddhism: Fluidity and Framing Presence in Art

16.30-17.30: Keynote Address

Oliver Freiberger (University of Texas at Austin)

Comparing Religion Within and Beyond South Asia

17.30-17.35: Closing Remarks