Dates for 2020 event

The 2020 Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions will be held 24th-26th April in Edinburgh, with the theme of Comparison(s).

A call for papers will be issued in early September, and booking will open in December/January.

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Booking open for 2019 Symposium

Booking is now open for the 2019 Symposium, which will be held at the Storey Institute, Lancaster, from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th April. A provisional programme is below.

As always, we offer two booking rates: residential £190, non-residential £85

We do not offer a reduced rate for students or other unwaged attendees. However, if you are a PhD student or early-career academic in the UK and unable to access institutional funding please email naomi.appleton@ed.ac.uk as there may be some financial assistance available.

The residential rate includes two nights of accommodation, in this case at the Travelodge in central Lancaster, where we have secured preferential rates, with breakfast served at the Storey Institute.

Both the residential and non-residential rates include teas/coffees throughout, dinner Friday and Saturday, and lunch Saturday and Sunday.

Please note: We regret that we are unable to issue a visa invitation letter unless you are a speaker at this event. We can provide confirmation of your booking, but this will not normally be sufficient for a visa application.

Booking this year is through PayPal. You do not need your own account to book – if you follow the link it will give you the option of booking using a credit or debit card.

Residential rate: £190

Non-residential rate: £85

 Draft programme for 2019 Symposium

Friday 12th April

2:00-2:15: Arrival; Welcome

2:15-3:30: Keynote Speaker: Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (Lancaster University): Anger and Gender: A Sideways Look Through Rasa Theory at Draupadī and Bhīma

3:30-4:00: Break

4:00-5:00: Lidia Wojtczak (SOAS): Menstruation, Transgression and the Othering of the Female Body in the Sanskrit Tradition

5:00-6:00: James Mallinson (SOAS): Women and early haṭhayoga

Saturday 13th April

9:00-10:00: Veena Howard (California State University, Fresno): Queen Gāndhārī’s Mapping the Battlefield through the “Divine Eye:” Toward the Hermeneutic of Reversing the Masculine Gaze and Resisting Violence

10:00-11:00: Emily Hudson (Independent Scholar): Hard-Hearted Kings and Their Abandoned, Long-Suffering Queens: Gendered Aesthetics in the Vālmīki Rāmāyaṇa

11:00-11:30: Break

11:30-12:00: Katie Work: (Lancaster): Gender Balancing in Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa and the Adbhuta Rāmāyaṇa

12:00-1230: Joanna Gruszewska (Krakow): Dialogues between women and Brahmins in the Therīgāthā

12:30-1:00: Annalisa Bocchetti (Naples): Gender constructions in the theological dimension of the Sufi premākhyāns: a look at Usmān’s Citrāvalī

1:00-2:00: Lunch

2:00-2:30: Monika Hirmer (SOAS): Becoming the Goddess: Reimagining Gender and Motherhood in a Contemporary South Indian Śrīvidyā Tradition

2:30-3:00: E. Sundari Johansen Hurwitt (CIIS): The Goddess and Her Shadow:
Gender, Menstruation, Purity, and Power in Kumārī Worship in Assam

3:00-3:30: Ruth Westoby (SOAS): Rajas: female principle of the yogic body

3:30-4:00: Break

4:00-5:00: Ofer Peres (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem): Worldly Affairs: Femininity and Divinity in a Premodern Tamil Literary Work

5:00-6:00: Simon Brodbeck (Cardiff University): Patrilocality in the Harivaṃśa

Sunday 14th April

9:00-10:00: Marzenna Jakubczak (Pedagogical University of Cracow): The motif of tree goddess and women’s empowerment in the ancient and contemporary India

10:00-11:00: Paolo Rosati (Sapienza University of Rome): The origin of the yoni pīṭha in Tantric mythology: Gender dialectic and śakti’s supremacy at Kāmākhyā

11:00-11:30: Break

11:30-12:45: Keynote Speaker: Sondra Hausner (University of Oxford): Gender, Ritual, and Hierarchy: Ascetic Inversions at the Great Indian Kumbh Mela

12:45-1:00: Closing Remarks

1:00-2:00: Lunch, then departure

Call for papers, 2019 symposium

We invite proposals for papers for the 44th Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions, which will be hosted by Lancaster University, 12-14 April 2019.
The theme this year is ‘gender’. Our purview includes both religions of South Asian origin wherever in the world they are being practised, and those of non South Asian origin present within South Asia. We welcome papers based upon all research methods, including textual, historical, ethnographic, sociological and philosophical.
Presenters are allocated forty minutes for their paper and twenty minutes for discussion, and will normally be expected to pay their own conference registration and expenses. The Symposium fee, including food and accommodation, is predicted to be £190, with a non-residential rate of £85. Registration details will be released in the new year. Limited financial assistance may be available for early career scholars or scholars from South Asia. If your participation depends upon such support please indicate this when you submit your abstract.
We also welcome proposals from doctoral students, who will be allocated twenty minutes for their paper and ten minutes for discussion, and offered free registration at the Symposium (including accommodation). Doctoral student papers do not have to address the theme of gender, but are more than welcome to do so.
We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers and their provisional paper titles:
  • Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad, Fellow of the British Academy and Distinguished Professor of Comparative Religion and Philosophy at Lancaster University: ‘Anger and Gender: A Sideways Look Through Rasa Theory at Draupadī and Bhīma’
  • Sondra Hausner, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oxford: ‘Gender, Ritual, and Hierarchy: Ascetic Inversions at the Great Indian Kumbh Mela
If you would like to give a paper, please send a title and abstract (maximum 500 words) to Dr Brian Black, b.black@lancaster.ac.uk, by Friday 16 November 2018.

Plans for 2019 and 2020 Symposia

After having an excellent time in Durham this past spring, we have provisional details for 2019 and 2020:

The 2019 Symposium will take place in Lancaster, 12th-14th April, with the theme of Gender. A call for papers will be circulated in August, and further details will be posted on the website.

The 2020 Symposium will be held in Edinburgh, dates tbc (but in April sometime), with the theme of Comparison(s).

After these two symposia, we will be looking for a new person (or people) to take on the running of the symposium. If anyone is interested in becoming the convenor, secretary or treasurer from 2020, or in finding out more about these roles, please let me know: naomi.appleton@ed.ac.uk.

Final programme for 2018 Symposium

Booking is now closed, and we are all looking forward to the event. Registered participants will receive a copy of the Abstracts book and some helpful information about the venues etc by email next week. Here is the final schedule:

Friday 13th April

1.30pm            Introduction and welcome

1.45-3.00pm   Opening keynote: Professor Kunal Chakrabarti (JNU)- ‘Laksmi’s Other: Brahmanical Construction of a Negative Goddess’

3.00-3.30pm    Tea and coffee

3.30-4.30pm   Prof. Elizabeth M. Rohlman (University of Calgary) – ‘Regions and Regionality in the Mahāpurāṇas: The Literary Cultures and Religious Communities of Western India in the Markāṇdeya Purāṇa

4.30-5.30pm   Dr Marzenna Jakubczak (Pedagogical University of Cracow) – ‘Non-theistic devotion in the classical and neo-classical Sāṃkhya and Yoga

5.30-7.00pm   Dinner at Lebeneat Restaurant

7.00-8.00pm   Dr Brian Black (Lancaster University) and Dr Naomi Appleton (University of Edinburgh) – ‘Teaching Indian Religions in Schools’

Saturday 14th April

9.00-10.00am Dr Christopher V. Jones (University of Oxford) – ‘Mystery and Secrecy in the Mahāyāna: A Shared Theme in the ‘Lotus’ and ‘NirvāṇaSūtras’

10.00-11.00am Prof. Natalie Gummer (Beloit College, Wisconsin) – ‘Reassessing Rasa: Sūtras, Sovereignty, and the Ritual Substance of Speech’

11.00-11.30am Tea and coffee

11.30-1.00pm Postgraduate papers

Sophie Barker (Lancaster University) – ‘“Why Would I Want to Get Married?” Negotiating Permission for Renunciation in the Therīgāthā

Sayori Ghoshal (Columbia University NY) – ‘Locating Race in the Question of Religion in modern India’

Güzin A. Yener (University of Oxford) – ‘Practices of Kurukullā: Feminine Wisdom of Love, Power and Magic in Tibetan Buddhism’

1.00-3.00pm Lunch and then free time to explore the city

3.00-4.00pm   Postgraduate papers

Durga Kale (University of Calgary) – ‘Whole Cosmos in Her Bosom: The Making of a Multifarious Deity in Coastal Maharashtra’

Zuzana Špicová (Charles University, Prague) – ‘“He Never Touched the Ground”: Bhīṣma’s Two Falls’

4.00-4.30pm    Tea and coffee

4.30-5.30pm   Dr Elizabeth Cecil (Leiden University) and Dr Laxshmi Greaves (Independent Researcher, Cardiff) – ‘Adorning the Lord with Garlands: 
Liṅga Worship as Lived Religion in the Images of Early North India’

5.30-6.30pm   Durham roundtable discussion featuring:

Rachel Barclay (Curator, Oriental Museum)

Robin Coningham (UNESCO Professor, Archaeology)

Yulia Egorova (Reader, Anthropology)

Jonathan Miles-Watson (Associate Professor, Theology and Religion)

Tanju Sen (Community Engagement Officer, Oriental Museum)

7.00pm            Dinner at Claypath deli then evening of socialising

Sunday 15th April

9.00-10.00am  Dr Mikel Burley (University of Leeds) – ‘Dance of the Deodhās: Divine Possession, Blood Sacrifice and the Grotesque Body in Assamese Goddess Worship’

10.00-11.00am Dr Garima Kaushik (Nalanda University) – ‘Socio–economic imperatives in the emergence of the Sapta Matrikas Iconography’

11.00-11.30am Tea and coffee

11.30-12.45     Closing keynote: Professor (Emerita) Eleanor Nesbitt (University of Warwick) – ‘Idolatry and ethnography: reflections on two centuries of western women’s writing about Sikhs’

12.45-1.00pm Closing remarks

1.00-2.00pm   Lunch and then departure

Booking open for 2018 symposium

Booking is now open for the 2018 Symposium, which will take place at Hatfield College, University of Durham, on 13th-15th April. We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers:
– Kunal Chakrabarti, Professor of Ancient Indian History at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNR), Delhi, and
– Eleanor Nesbitt, Professor Emeritus at the University of Warwick.

A provisional programme is below.

Bookings can be made via the following link: https://www.dur.ac.uk/conference.booking/details/?id=877

There are, as usual, two booking rates: £95 unresidential (conference attendance and refreshments only) and £185 residential (including two nights B&B)

Provisional programme:

Friday 13th April

1.30pm                        Introduction and welcome

1.45-3.00pm   Opening keynote: Professor Kunal Chakrabarti (JNU)- ‘Laksmi’s Other: Brahmanical Construction of a Negative Goddess’

3.00-3.30pm   Tea and coffee

3.30-4.30pm   Elizabeth M. Rohlman (University of Calgary) – ‘Regions and Regionality in the Mahāpurāṇas: The Literary Cultures and Religious Communities of Western India in the Markāṇdeya Purāṇa

4.30-5.30pm   Dr Marzenna Jakubczak (Krakow) – ‘Non-theistic devotion in the classical and neo-classical Sāṃkhya and Yoga’

5.30-7.00pm   Dinner at Lebeneat Restaurant

7.00-8.00pm   After dinner paper or entertainment tbc

 

Saturday 14th April

9.00-10.00am Dr Christopher V. Jones (University of Oxford) – ‘Mystery and Secrecy in the Mahāyāna: A Shared Theme in the ‘Lotus’ and ‘NirvāṇaSūtras’

10.00-11.00am Prof. Natalie Gummer (Beloit College, Wisconsin) – ‘Reassessing Rasa: Sūtras, Sovereignty, and the Ritual Substance of Speech’

11.00-11.30am Tea and coffee

11.30am-1.00pm Postgraduate papers

Sophie Barker (Lancaster University) – ‘“Why Would I Want to Get Married?” Negotiating Permission for Renunciation in the Therīgāthā

Sayori Ghoshal (Columbia University NY) – ‘Locating Race in the Question of Religion in modern India’

Güzin A. Yener (University of Oxford) – ‘Practices of Kurukullā: Feminine Wisdom of Love, Power and Magic in Tibetan Buddhism’

1.00-3.00pm Lunch and then free time to explore the city

3.00-4.00 Postgraduate papers

Durga Kale (University of Calgary) – ‘Whole Cosmos in Her Bosom: The Making of a Multifarious Deity in Coastal Maharashtra’

Zuzana Špicová (Charles University, Prague) – ‘“He Never Touched the Ground”: Bhīṣma’s Two Falls’

4.00-4.30pm Tea and coffee

4.30-5.30pm Dr Elizabeth Cecil (Leiden University) and Dr Laxshmi Greaves (Independent Researcher, Cardiff) – ‘Adorning the Lord with Garlands: 
Liṅga Worship as Lived Religion in the Images of Early North India’

5.30-6.30pm Showcase of Durham speakers

7.00pm Dinner at Claypath deli then evening of socialising

 

Sunday 15th April

9.00-10.00am Dr Mikel Burley (University of Leeds) – ‘Dance of the Deodhās: Divine Possession, Blood Sacrifice and the Grotesque Body in Assamese Goddess Worship’

10.00-11.00am Garima Kaushik (Nalanda University) – still to confirm due to funding investigations underway, but positive/confident – ‘Socio–economic imperatives in the emergence of the Sapta Matrikas Iconography’ 

11.00-11.30am Tea and coffee

11.30am-12.45pm Closing keynote: Professor (Emerita) Eleanor Nesbitt (University of Warwick) – ‘Sikhs through the eyes of western women 1809 to 2012’

12.45-1.00pm Closing remarks

1.00-2.00pm   Lunch and then departure