An international symposium

 

Vienna   ¦  20–21 September 2018

Manuscript, Print and Publication Cultures in South Asia: From the 19th Century to the Present will focus on the period in South Asia from the 19th century to the present. It will explore two interrelated matters, namely the shift from a manuscript culture to a print culture, including more recent developments of digital culture, and, secondly, how systematic collections of texts formed in this period, such as collections of manuscripts or texts in digital format, and in places as diverse as Bengal, Nepal, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

The symposium will bring together international scholars whose research is based on diverse methodologies and focuses on different regions and languages of South Asia. Their contributions will shed light on different aspects of the cultural history of South Asia and display not only the complexity of the latter, but also the challenges that it poses to its interpreters.

Organizers: Johanna Buss, Alaka Chudal, and Cristina Pecchia

Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA) ¦ Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (ISTB)

 Austrian Academy of Sciences ¦ University of Vienna

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The symposium is sponsored by:

Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia (IKGA)

University of Vienna, Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies (ISTB), and Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies

Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Documentation of Inner and South Asian Cultural History (CIRDIS)

The De Nobili Research Library (SDN)

Österreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft (ÖFG)

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You can download the MPPCultures symposium posters here: MPPCultures_Vienna2018_poster ¦ MPPCultures_Vienna2018_small poster

and the programme here: MPPCultures_Vienna2018_programme

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South Asia possesses a large number of literary traditions that represent a wide range of languages and genres. The texts of these traditions were produced and transmitted over the centuries. In the late 18th century, mechanical printing of texts spread in South Asia. The new technology was used to reproduce texts in many different languages, enhancing their circulation and enabling new genres and types of publications in modern South Asian languages to emerge.

The symposium will focus on the period in South Asia from the 19th century to the present. It will explore two interrelated matters, namely the shift from a manuscript culture to a print culture, including more recent developments of digital culture, and, secondly, how systematic collections of texts formed in this period, such as collections of manuscripts or texts in digital format, and in places as diverse as Bengal, Nepal, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

We will discuss aspects of continuity and transformation within the many intellectual and technical practices relevant to text and book production. This will include examining how changes in book production and the accessibility of texts have affected traditional scholarship as well as the oral performance and transmission of texts. Other related questions involve the reception, preservation and transmission of both material culture and knowledge systems in connection with the standardization of modern South Asian languages such as Hindi, Nepali, Telugu and Tamil.

The symposium will bring together international scholars whose research is based on diverse methodologies and focuses on different regions and languages of South Asia. Their contributions will shed light on different aspects of the cultural history of South Asia and display not only the complexity of the latter, but also the challenges that it poses to its interpreters.

Manuscript, Print and Publication Cultures in South Asia: From the 19th Century to the Present is the first in a series of workshops and symposia on texts and textuality in Asia. It is planned to examine texts within wider cultural frameworks, an aspect that should contribute to the history of philology in South Asia.

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