*Reposted* Due to a technical error this did not appear on the website first time round:
Now that we have had time to review all the feedback and take stock, we would like to thank everyone who participated in and supported the 2021 Spalding Symposium on Indian Religions. Our especial thanks go to the Spalding Trust, who fund the Symposium annually and make this fertile community of scholarship and exchange possible.
We were quite ambitious, running 16 papers over three days, but the quality of the papers and the discussion was worth it, and this year’s programme continued the usual standards of excellence at the Spalding. Many of you remarked that you appreciated that panels ran punctually and many of you enjoyed the sterling contributions of our graduate scholars – giving us an insight into exciting new directions in emerging scholarship on Indian religions. We could have done better on the virtual socialising spaces, but we did manage to get some spontaneous meet-ups going in the evenings after the talks finished.
One of the major bonuses of being held online was that we were able to reach a far greater number of participants than usual – this was reflected in the many timezones of our speakers, but also in the registration and attendance of almost 300 scholars over the three days. Although not everyone was present at once, our discussions and feedback sessions benefited from the wide range of expertise represented in our attendees.
We have this year, for the first time, been able to record most of the research talks and, starting today, we will be making these available throughout the year in order to build up an online research archive and to widen the reach and impact of the Symposium. This is all made possible by our new website, designed by Notch Productions, which has received very positive feedback and which we will continue to update in the next weeks and months. Here is our first recording: of Professor Oliver Freiberger’s keynote address, ‘Comparing Religion Within and Beyond South Asia’.
Sadly, the conference unfolded against the developing public health crisis in India and we dedicated our symposium this year to all those affected by the pandemic and to all those scholars, friends and family members we have lost along the way.
We cannot confirm any details yet for next year’s Symposium. Our hope would be to revert to an in-person gathering on a UK campus, but we will have to assess the public health situation later in the year.
Best wishes, The Spalding Symposium Organising Committee