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Holy Rivers and Healthy Landscapes: Contrasting Visions of the Kaveri River Delta in Early Modern South Asia w/ Dr. Jay Ramesh

January 30, 2023 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Monday, January 30 5:00 – 6:15 PM

Murphey Hall, Room 0118

Jay Ramesh (PhD Columbia, 2020) is Lecturer in Tamil and Sanskrit in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University, having also taught previously at Claremont McKenna College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Stony Brook University. His doctoral dissertation, “Abodes of Śiva: Monuments and Memory in Medieval and Early Modern South Indian Purāṇas,” examines the history of the talapurāṇam (literally, “place-lore”), a type of medieval and early modern poem written in the Tamil language which describes the legends associated with Hindu shrines as well as the manner in which rituals at the temple must be conducted. Through an analysis of the poetics of these texts, the stories that they narrate, and the historical circumstances surrounding their popularity, he demonstrates how the Tamil talapurāṇams mark a conscious and sustained effort to unite a community of devotees around a set of shrines that existed in South India by appealing to and simultaneously producing the collective memory of a distant past. His current research explores the imagination of the natural world, and of fluvial landscapes specifically, in Sanskrit and Tamil devotional literature.

This talk is brought to you by the Department of Religious Studies.


January 30, 2023
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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The Carolina Asia Center supports diverse Asia-related events. However, CAC co-sponsorship of any talk, seminar, documentary screening, film screening, performance or celebration does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein. As an academic institution, we value diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding.

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