After six years at the helm, I am passing on the convenorship of the Spalding Symposium. It has been a real honour to look after the event, with the help of Brian Black and also of local hosts at the various venues. Although a cancelled event in a pandemic was not how I hoped to conclude my convenorship, I am very excited to know that the new convenors will be bringing their fresh ideas and energy to take the event forwards. These new co-convenors (also co-treasurers) are Karen O’Brien-Kop and Avni Chag, and Brian Black will continue to support them as secretary. I know that the Symposium is in very capable hands, and I look forward to continuing to attend and support the event over the coming years.
We are sorry to announce that the 2020 Symposium has been cancelled, due to uncertainty and travel restrictions in the light of the coronavirus outbreak. We hope to reassemble the programme for the 2021 Symposium and will circulate details in due course.
****ALL EVENTS CANCELLED****
You are all warmly invited to join two additional events taking place on the days before and after this year’s symposium. On Thursday 23rd April, Prof Maria Heim will give the Edinburgh Buddhist Studies Khyentse lecture on ‘Happiness, Pleasure, and Bliss in Early Buddhism and the Upanishads’, 4-5.30pm in the Martin Hall, New College. On Monday 27th April, Prof Oliver Freiberger will be involved in a roundtable discussion on his new book Considering Comparison: A Method for Religious Studies (OUP, 2019), with colleagues from the School of Divinity, Edinburgh, 11-12.30 in the Martin Hall, New College. If you would like to extend your stay in Edinburgh for this or any other reason, you can book additional nights in the symposium hotel by contacting them directly: Motel One Edinburgh-Royal If you have already booked a residential place at the symposium, please tell the hotel that you are staying as part of the group booking by Naomi Appleton, University of Edinburgh. They will charge you direct for any additional nights. You can also arrange additional guests (switching to double or twin occupancy) through the same method.
With regret, this year’s symposium is cancelled. We hope to reassemble the programme for the 2021 meeting.
We are now taking bookings for the 2020 Symposium. Please follow this link to the University of Edinburgh e-pay system to register. Details you provide there will be used only for administering this event (including providing guest names to the hotel) and will not be passed to any other third parties. The full programme for the event is here. Please note: We regret that we are unable to issue a visa invitation letter unless you are a speaker at this event. As always there are two registration rates: Non-residential £80 This includes full attendance at the Symposium, with lunches on Saturday and Sunday, dinners Friday and Saturday, and tea/coffee during the event. Residential £250 This includes full Symposium attendance, lunches Saturday and Sunday, dinners Friday and Saturday, tea/coffee during the event, and two nights en-suite bed and breakfast at Motel One Edinburgh-Royal (a short walk from the Symposium venue New College). Hotel places are limited so do book early to avoid disappointment. Cheaper accommodation options are available in the city, so you can book the non-residential rate and make your own arrangements, but be aware that Edinburgh accommodation sells out fast. Please note that there are no concession rates. We do have a small number of free non-residential places available for UK postgraduate students and early career scholars who would not otherwise be able to attend. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested, with a short statement of your research interests, current status, and why you particularly wish to attend the event.
Karel Werner, the founder of the Spalding Symposium, passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on Tuesday last week (26th November). His funeral service, for those who wish to attend, will be held, according to Buddhist rites, on Monday December 9th at 2 p.m. at the New Southgate Crematorium, Brunswick Park Road, London N11 1JJ.
Karel Werner founded this symposium in 1975, and convened it for many years before passing it into the hands of others; he returned for a special symposium in 2010 in honour of his 85th birthday. Many will remember his scholarship and collegiality, and we are all grateful that he made the effort to set up an event that remains a valued place for scholars to gather and share their work.
We invite proposals for papers for the 45th Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions, which will be held at the University of Edinburgh, on 24th-26th April 2020. The theme this year is “Comparison(s)”. 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, will be in the region of £245, with a non-residential rate of around £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. PG papers need not address the symposium theme, though it is an advantage if they do so.
We are delighted to announce our keynote speakers: Dr Jacqueline Suthren Hirst, who recently retired from Manchester University, will speak on “A Life of Comparisons”, and Prof. Oliver Freiberger of the University of Texas at Austin, will speak on “Comparing Religion Within and Beyond South Asia”.
If you would like to give a presentation, please send a title and abstract (maximum 500 words) to Dr Brian Black, email@example.com, by the end of November 2019.
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.
Booking is now closed. If you have booked then you should have received confirmation of all the arrangements and a copy of the final programme.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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
11:30-12:00: 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
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
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
11:30-12:45: 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
- 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’