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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:

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

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