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Literary Circulations in South Asia: Producing, Translating, Preserving Texts

Colloque international, 21-22 août 2018

The international conference Literary Circulations in South Asia: Producing, Translating, Preserving Texts takes place in the wake of five previous thematic workshops organized by the DELI project in Paris since 2015. For the first time, such an academic meeting in the framework of the DELI project will be held in India itself thanks to the collaboration of the French Institute of Pondicherry with the hope of benefitting more directly from the expertise and knowledge of Indian and international scholars as well as other professionals of South Asian editing world. Like in the previous thematic workshops, this conference aims at strengthening, sometimes even initiating, interdisciplinary discussions around a notion which is crucial for the understanding of literary cultures in South Asia, beyond the chronological, spatial and linguistic boundaries. The “circulation” of persons, groups, things and ideas, has obviously played a major role in shaping the evolution of the South Asian subcontinent since the ancient times up to the contemporary period. However, the notion itself and most studies fall in the domain of social history (in the broader sense of the word) from the medieval period onwards, in keeping with the diversity of factors – rather political, religious, economic, or technical...– involved in the phenomenon of mobility and of short or long-distance movements. A remarkable rise of studies using and elaborating the notion of “circulation” in the cultural, even more precisely literary, fields in South Asia, mostly for the early modern period, could be noticed in recent years (Orsini / Sheikh 2014, de Bruijn / Busch 2014, Pauwels 2015); older periods have been far less researched. In parallel, the studies of “book history in South Asia” have emerged as quite active and innovative ones, around the collective volumes co-edited by Abhijit Gupta and Swapan Chakravorty (2004, 2008, 2011, 2016); some scholars (Orsini 2013) have been involved equally in both of these trends. It is quite understandable as the study of “circulation” in the cultural and literary fields requires a broad outlook and a holistic approach of the diverse elements fuelling such circulation: liveliness of a literary culture, networks of authors and of their patrons, material, technical and economic constraints of the book production and the book market, existence of an interested readership, availability of translators acting as brokers between different languages (in parallel with the various kinds of adaptations of texts circulating between South Asian literatures since the earliest evidence), appropriation by very diverse groups of the same literary text or corpus.

This conference can be thus conceived as being primarily at the confluence of two major scientific trends, the history of circulations of literary texts through translations, rewritings and re-enactments in South Asia, and the book history, with its emphasis on material factors in the production, movement and preservation of texts in South Asia.

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Créé le 5 septembre 2018

mise à jour le 5 septembre 2018

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