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University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)
Thibaut d'Hubert (Project Director: December 2018 to present)
A Bengali Sufi Romance from Premodern Myanmar: Alaol's Sayphulmuluk and Badiujjamal

Preparation for publication of a Bengali edition and English translation of Sayphulmuluk and Badiujjamal, a 17th century Bengali Sufi poem, written at the court of the kingdom of Arakan (today’s Myanmar). (18 months)

The project "A Bengali Sufi Romance from Premodern Myanmar: Alaol's Sayphulmuluk and Badiujjamal" offers to produce a critical edition and translation of a masterpiece of precolonial Bengali literature. We will make the texts available in book format in Bangladesh, India, and the U.S. and as an online corpus in Bengali and English, thus catering to both specialized and general readerships worldwide. Alaol's Sayphulmuluk and Badiujjamal (ca. 1656-70) is an eloquent illustration of the convergence of Indic and Persianate literary cultures in Buddhist lands. It will open a unique window onto the cultural past of a region that is today facing a major humanitarian crisis: the persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The Rohingya crisis is erasing the memory of a cosmopolitan kingdom that was home to unique cultural encounters. The edition and translation of this poem will be our modest contribution to foster the memory of a forgotten coexistence.

Project fields:
Asian Languages

Scholarly Editions and Translations

Research Programs

$109,605 (approved)
$109,605 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2019 – 12/31/2021