“Becoming More: Sanskrit Literature and the Burden of the Past” by Professor Gary Tubb

11:30 am
Auditorium, Miranda House (University of Delhi)


"Becoming More: Sanskrit Literature and the Burden of the Past" by Professor Gary Tubb, Faculty Director, UChicago Center in Delhi

The Sanskrit language and its literature are especially important in offering access to an unusually long and rich record of the past history of human thought and experience.  This status carries with it a burden equally distinctive in its magnitude, that of the growing difficulty of contributing to the ever-increasing wealth of the Sanskrit corpus in ways that are vital enhancements, rather than merely preserving a static collection of knowledge.  At the Sanyukta Chaudhri Memorial Lecture Series, Guest Speaker, Professor Tubb provided a brief examination of the development of a single theme within several famous examples of the mahakavya genre which may help to illuminate some of the ways in which the greatest poets have made the already immense Sanskrit literary tradition into something more, by reinterpreting and reinvigorating elements of that tradition.

About the speaker

A leading Sanskrit scholar, Gary examines the tradition’s poetics, grammatical forms and commentarial traditions and draws insights across the culture’s philosophy, religion, and literature. Speaking Sanskrit, German, Hindi and Urdu and familiar with Marathi, French, Latin, Spanish and Prakrit, Gary brings unparalleled skills to bear on original texts and widespread commentaries and has written the definitive disciplinary reference: Scholastic Sanskrit: A Handbook for Students, currently being updated for a second edition. His book, On Poets and Pots: Essays on Sanskrit Poetry, Poetics, and Philosophy, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Gary has served as the Chair of the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations as well as its Director of Graduate Studies, and as the Chair of the Indian Ministry of Culture Vivekananda Visiting Professorship search committee. He is a member of the University’s faculty steering committee for the India Center.

Gary earned a Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from Harvard University (1979) and previously taught at Harvard University (where he was chair of the Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies and Editor of the Harvard Oriental Series), Brown University, Vassar College and Columbia University before joining our faculty in 2007. He has held visiting appointments as a scholar-in-residence at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Hebrew University. Gary has been recognized as a Research Fellow of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies.