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Products for grant FEL-263292-19

FEL-263292-19
In God’s Bazaar: Merchant Religiosity in Early Modern India
Tyler Williams, University of Chicago

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FEL-263292-19

The Old Account: How Clerical Technology Shaped Early Modern Indian Religion and Literature (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The Old Account: How Clerical Technology Shaped Early Modern Indian Religion and Literature
Author: Tyler Williams
Abstract: This paper reveals how merchant and clerical communities in sixteenth century India parlayed 'mundane' forms of literacy like accounting and record keeping into privileged forms of 'literary' activity, in the process becoming a significant force for the spread and development of Hindi literature. I examine the account books, notebooks, and other handwritten documents of several merchant 'clans' to demonstrate how mercantile and clerical writing scripts, scribal and record keeping techniques, and even the material form of financial and political records shaped the look, shape, and 'feel' of literary 'books' in this period. The upshot is that merchants played a much larger role in Hindi literary history than has previously been acknowledged.
Date: 03/26/20
Conference Name: Office Supplies: Bureaucratic Cultures and the Material History of Inscription, University of Pittsburgh

'Reading' Manuscripts: Approaches to Early Material Texts (Conference/Institute/Seminar)
Title: 'Reading' Manuscripts: Approaches to Early Material Texts
Author: Tyler Williams
Abstract: This half-day workshop will introduce art history and literature students to techniques and issues of paleography and codicology. Students will receive basic instruction in reading a variety of documents in the Devanagari, Kaithi, and Persian scripts and be introduced to several different formats of material texts. We will work together on deciphering and examining several examples while discussing broader issues concerning the circulation and histories of individual documents and the changing formations of archives.
Date Range: 11/02/19
Location: Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Female Saints, Bhakti Thought, and the Idea of India (Conference/Institute/Seminar)
Title: Female Saints, Bhakti Thought, and the Idea of India
Author: Medha Kumari
Author: Tyler Williams
Abstract: This public seminar included several talks by scholars of Indian literature and religion, the performance of a play on female Indian saints, and performances by several Indian musicians.
Date Range: 10/19/19
Location: University of Chicago Center in Delhi

Remembering the Lives of Saints: Historicizing Performance and Performing History in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-century Rajasthan (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Remembering the Lives of Saints: Historicizing Performance and Performing History in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-century Rajasthan
Author: Tyler Williams
Abstract: The hagiographical poems of religious communities in Rajasthan, including the Dadu Panth, Niranjani Sampraday, and Ramanandi Sampraday provide rich accounts of the social lives of communities, including communal singing and other types of performance. In this way these narratives simultaneously historicize performance practices of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries while performing the histories of saints and their followers. This presentation uses examples from the Dādū Janm Līlā (1620) of Jangopal, the Sant Guṇ Sāgar (1604) of Madhavdas, the Bhaktamāl (1660) of Raghavdas, the Dayāl Jī Kī Pañc Paracaï (c. 1730) of Hariramdas, and the Bhaktamāl (c. 1600) of Nabhadas, as well as singer's handwritten notebooks from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to reconstruct historical performances and show how hagiographical works 'work'.
Date: 09/12/2019
Conference Name: Performing Rajasthan: Reading Practices

The Guru's Voice: The beginnings of writing, scripture, and history in the vernacular. (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: The Guru's Voice: The beginnings of writing, scripture, and history in the vernacular.
Abstract: What changes in a tradition when texts begin to be committed to writing? How are writing, the concept of religious 'scripture,' and historical consciousness related to one another? This presentation explores these questions in the context of 'bhakti' religious communities in sixteenth through eighteenth century Rajasthan and Punjab.
Author: Tyler Williams
Date: 09/26/19
Location: O.P. Jindal University

Lipi and Sound, Sacred and Otherwise: Vernacular Texts, Literacy, and Performance in North India. (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Lipi and Sound, Sacred and Otherwise: Vernacular Texts, Literacy, and Performance in North India.
Abstract: In the domains of religious, social, or literary studies, texts are now less seen as abstract vehicles of meaning encoded in language, and they are rather considered within the multiple dimensions that led to their production and consumption. What surrounds the text contributes to regiment its meaning and language alone is not enough to turn a text into a source or an object of aesthetic inquiry. With this panel we will discuss the renewed interest in the material and performative dimensions of the study of textual practices in South Asia. We will use as points of entry two recent publications: the volume Text and Tradition in Early Modern North India (OUP 2018), co-edited by Tyler Williams, Anshu Malhotra, and John Stratton Hawley, and Thibaut d’Hubert’s In the Shade of the Golden Palace: Ālāol and Middle Bengali Poetics in Arakan (OUP 2018). Tyler Williams and Thibaut d’Hubert will also introduce their respective book projects, which both address topics related to the history of vernacular literacy in early modern North India.
Author: Thibaut d'Hubert
Author: Tyler Williams
Date: 05/29/19
Location: Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata

Reading Early Material Texts: A South Asian Paleography and Codicology Workshop (Conference/Institute/Seminar)
Title: Reading Early Material Texts: A South Asian Paleography and Codicology Workshop
Author: Tyler Williams
Author: Thibaut d'Hubert
Author: Chander Shekhar
Abstract: This three-day workshop (part of an ongoing book history initiative between the University of Chicago and Indian universities) will provide graduate students and early career scholars an opportunity to receive basic training in the paleography and codicology of South Asian material texts, and provide more advanced scholars an opportunity to share approaches, receive feedback on current research, and reflect critically on traditions and trends of textual criticism, scholarly editing, book history, and the digital humanities. Participants will interact and learn from scholars working on different languages, regions, time periods, and traditions, making new comparative work possible and helping to establish a network of scholars working on pre-colonial material texts. At its heart, the workshop will consist of eight presentations by scholars in which they will guide participants through the process of working with manuscripts in a ‘hands on’ fashion, introducing them to techniques not only for reading textual artifacts, but also for understanding those artifacts in their historical, social, and material totality using both traditional and emerging methods (e.g. techniques from the digital humanities). This is therefore intended not as a conference for the presentation of finished research, but as a collaborative heuristic exercise in which junior scholars will learn essential research skills and advanced scholars will gain a comparative perspective, thus enabling a deeper discussion of the modes through which textual scholarship illuminates, but also produces, objects of knowledge. The workshop will feature a keynote address by a prominent textual scholar and a final discussion on future initiatives in order to situate the workshop’s content in the broader field of South Asian book history and build a community of scholars in this rapidly-expanding field.
Date Range: 05/20-22/19
Location: University of Chicago Center in Delhi

Introductory Workshop to Paleography, Epigraphy, and Codicology (Conference/Institute/Seminar)
Title: Introductory Workshop to Paleography, Epigraphy, and Codicology
Author: Tyler Williams
Abstract: This workshop will provide research students (MA and PhD students) with an introduction to techniques and approaches to reading documents and inscriptions in Sanskrit, Persian, Hindi, and Urdu from the pre-colonial period. The workshop consists of three half-day sessions, each devoted to a different aspect of examining, reading, and analyzing material texts. Additional topics will include navigating archives, catalogs, and methodological and epistemological problems presented when working with manuscripts.
Date Range: 02/16,20,27/19
Location: University of Delhi

प्रारम्भिक हिन्दी लेखन का इतिहास और भक्ति सम्प्रदाय / The History of Early Hindi Writing and Bhakti Sects (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: प्रारम्भिक हिन्दी लेखन का इतिहास और भक्ति सम्प्रदाय / The History of Early Hindi Writing and Bhakti Sects
Abstract: It is usually assumed that the medieval and early modern religious saints associated with 'bhakti' religiosity were illiterate and their songs and sayings circulated in oral form for decades or even centuries before being committed to writing. But is this true? This talk will present new evidence and new arguments to assert that these saints-- at least those that composed in Hindi--were either literate or composed in literate social contexts and that their compositions circulated in written form from early on in their histories.
Author: Tyler Williams
Date: 11/20/18
Location: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Pune

Studying the Humanities and Social Sciences in US Graduate Programs (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Studying the Humanities and Social Sciences in US Graduate Programs
Abstract: Professors Tyler Williams and Thibaut d'Hubert from the University of Chicago will speak on pursuing post-graduate studies in the humanities and social sciences at American universities. Following their presentation there will be a question and answer session.
Author: Thibaut d'Hubert
Author: Tyler Williams
Date: 05/27/19
Location: American Cultural Center, Kolkata

Graduate Studies in Humanities (Public Lecture or Presentation)
Title: Graduate Studies in Humanities
Abstract: Professor Tyler Williams from the University of Chicago will speak on pursuing post-graduate studies in the humanities and social sciences at American universities. Following their presentation there will be a question and answer session.
Author: Tyler Williams
Date: 09/04/2018
Location: United States India Educational Foundation, New Delhi


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