Poetry by women can be traced back in South Asia to the 6th century BCE, when Buddhist nuns recorded their joy at finding freedom from the drudgery of everyday life and at achieving not merely social but spiritual liberation in religion. Centuries later, from the 9th century onward, a more durable and powerful tradition of poetry appeared in songs by the women poets of devotional Hinduism, which afforded space to people on the margin, such as, women, lower castes and outcastes, and sparked a cultural awakening that retains its vitality even today.
This seminar will address Rabindranath Tagore's contribution to dance performance and the evolution of the Bengali dance-drama genre in Bengal in the early 20th century in relation to the religious, cultural and political milieu of that time. Dr Purkayastha has pursued research on dance and currently teaches on the Dance Programme, School of Arts, Roehampton University, London.
Subhasitas are Sanskrit sayings that generally make a moral point. This lecture will examine the role of ‘eloquent speech’ in the formation of social and political relationships in medieval India, showing the role of subhasita in the formation of ethics.
Daud Ali is Senior Lecturer in Early Indian History at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He is author of Courtly Culture and PoliticalLife in Early Medieval India, and, with Ronald Inden and Jonathan Walters, of Querying the Medieval: Texts and the History of Practice in South Asia
When we think of Rabindranath Tagore in relation to the Krishna-Caitanya religio-literary tradition of Bengal, his youthful Bhanusimher Padaboli immediately come to mind, as they should as the most explicit treatments of a Vaishnava theme in all of his immense literary corpus. But we may also ask what other indications there may be of resonances and dissonances vis-à-vis the Vaishnava tradition elsewhere in his prose and poetry, especially as he grew older.