The South Asian Manuscript Book: Workshop Programme

Workshop at the Faculty of Asian Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge
25th-27th September 2014
Rooms 8 & 9

 

25th September

The Cambridge Collections

Chairperson: Harunaga Isaacson
9.30–10.10 Vincenzo Vergiani
The Sanskrit Manuscripts Project: Past, Present, and Future
10.10–10.50 Camillo A. Formigatti
The Day After: A Survival Manual for Catalogers of Sanskrit Manuscripts
10.50–11.30 Daniele Cuneo
The Seven Indic Gems Churned from the Cambridge University Library Ocean (केम्ब्रिजविश्वविद्यालयपुस्तकालयरत्नाकरमंथितभारतीयरत्नसप्तकं)
11.30–11.50 Coffee Break
11.50–12.30 Nalini Balbir
The Cambridge Jain Manuscripts: Highlights, Colophons and Provenance
12.30–13.10 Hugo David
Manuscripts of Sanskrit Philosophical Works in the CUL Collection: a Brief Overview
13.10–14.30 Lunch Break
Chairperson: Dominic Goodall
14.30–15.10 Marco Franceschini
The Grantha Manuscripts in the Cambridge University Library Collections: a Survey
15.10–15.50 Elisa Ganser
An Overview of the Sanskrit Manuscripts in Malayāḷam Script in the Cambridge University Library Collections
15.50–16.30 Eva Wilden
Tamil Satellite Stanzas II
16.30–16.50 Tea Break
16.50–17.30 Gergely Hidas
Dhāraṇī Collection: Mapping a Genre
17.30–18.10 Nina Mirnig
Śaiva Gleanings from the Cambridge University Library Collection

26th September

Manuscript and Textual Traditions in North India, Nepal and Central Asia

Chairperson: Vincenzo Vergiani
9.30–10.10 Mahesh Deokar
A Journey of Ideas: The study of the Candravyākaraṇapañjikā and the
Moggallānapañjikā with special reference to CV II.2.1
10.10–10.50 Vincent Tournier
The Canonical Transmissions of the Mahāsāṃghika and Mahāsāṃghika-Lokottaravādin Schools in North and North-West South Asia: Remarks on Three Fragments from Nepal and Afghanistan
10.50–11.30 Cristina Scherrer-Schaub
Questioning the Manuscript Tradition of the Prajñāpāramitā
11.30–11.50 Coffee Break
11.50-12.30 Lata Deokar
Subhūticandra: A Journey Across Borders
12.30–13.10 Hildegard Diemberger
Buddha’s Word: Curating an Exhibition of Buddhist Manuscripts and Prints between Research and Outreach
13.10–14.30 Lunch Break
Chairperson: Camillo Formigatti
14.30–15.10 Harunaga Isaacson
Title t.b.a.
15.10–15.50 Francesco Sferra
A Propos of a Recently Rediscovered Buddhist Manuscript
15.50–16.30 Péter-Dániel Szántó
The Book in Late Tantric Buddhist Lore
16.30-16.50 Tea Break
16.50–17.30 Jürgen Hanneder
Pre-modern Sanskrit Editors and Readers
17.30–18.10 Anett Krause
Sanskrit Letters from Kashmir in the Private Archive of Johannes Hertel

27th September

Editorial Practices in South India and South East Asia

Chairperson: Daniele Cuneo
9.30–10.10 Kengo Harimoto
Title t.b.a
10.10–10.50 Giovanni Ciotti
Multilingualism and Material Culture: A Few Rare (?) Colophons from Tamil Nadu
10.50–11.30 Dominic Goodall
What information can be gleaned from Cambodian inscriptions about practices relating to the transmission of Sanskrit literature?
10.30-11.50 Coffee Break
11.50–12.30 Emmanuel Francis
The Other Way Round: From Print to Manuscript
12.30–13.15 Conclusion
13.15–14.30 Lunch
15.00–16.00 Visit to the Exhibition Buddha’s Word at the Museum for Archeology and Anthropology
19.30 Final Dinner at the Riverside Restaurant

The South Asian Manuscript Book: Material, Textual and Historical Investigations

Programme (online version)

Programme (print version)

Following the workshop on “Buddhist Manuscript Culture: Textuality and Materiality” held in April 2013, this workshop will once again mainly focus on books as cultural artefacts, but it will broaden its scope to encompass all the major religious and intellectual traditions that constituted the South Asian manuscript culture, many of which are well represented in the collections of the University Library at Cambridge. Particular attention will be paid to aspects of the history of manuscripts in pre-modern South Asia such as their production, physical characteristics, decoration, use, circulation, preservation and accessibility in relation to broader dimensions of cultural practice, religious affiliation, patronage and locality. Its echoes and parallels in other parts of Asia, such as Tibet and Southeast Asia, will also be part of the picture.

Spotlight on Collaborators I: the Grantha Connection

Dr Marco Franceschini, a research fellow and lecturer in Sanskrit at the University of Bologna, has returned to Cambridge for a three-months’ stint to collaborate with the Sanskrit Manuscripts Project. Dr Franceschini is an expert on the Grantha script that was used to write Sanskrit in South India. He is preparing the first-ever paleographic study on Grantha as used in manuscripts, and for that purpose he is building a database that contains thousands of digital images of characters and ligatures drawn from South Indian manuscripts, rather than relying on computer-generated glyphs. He is one of the contributors to the Encyclopaedia of Manuscript Cultures in Asia and Africa, which is being developed at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, University of Hamburg, and has recently completed an article on the analysis, interpretation and correspondence with the Gregorian calendar of the dates found in the colophons of manuscripts hailing from Tamil Nadu and written either in Grantha or Tamil (forthcoming, proceedings of the workshop “Reconstructing Space and Time: Localising Manuscripts through Para-texts”, organised by Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg, October 2013).

The UL Sanskrit collections include more than 40 manuscripts in Grantha, most of them on palm leaf. Most of these were part of the most recent large acquisition of South Asian manuscripts on the part of the Cambridge University Library, which dates from the early 1990’s and includes works in various scripts (besides Grantha, Malayalam and Tamil) and languages (Sanskrit, Malayalam, Tamil, Maṇipravālam). Until now the information available about these manuscripts was scanty and often inaccurate, and many of them had not even been properly class-marked, therefore remaining virtually unknown to researchers. In the course of his collaboration with the Project, Dr Franceschini will prepare online records for all the Grantha holdings in the UL, thus making them accessible to the public, and tap them for paleographic data that will be integrated into his database.

Lecture by Dr Emmanuel Francis

Dr Emmanuel Francis (EHESS-CNRS, Centre d’étude de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud, Paris), an historian who specialises on South India, will give a talk with the title “Ellis and the Legend of the Cowpox: a Pious Fraud in Early 19th century Madras or How to Convince Indians to Accept Jennerian Vaccination.”

BIULO MS.IND.4, collections of the BULAC, Paris.

Dr. Francis will discuss the form, language and content of the Āṟāmāvaraviḷakkam (“Light on the sixth great boon”), a Tamil text composed by Francis Whyte Ellis (1777–1819) at the beginning of the 19th century in order to lift the reluctance of local population against the smallpox vaccination.[1]

Friday 31st January, 5.00pm, room 7, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.

1. For more information on the topic, click here.

 

Workshop on the Vajrāmṛtatantra by Prof. Francesco Sferra

Manuscript Or.158, colophon with the date Nepāla saṃvat 282 / 1162 CE.

Prof. Francesco Sferra (Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples), will hold a two-hour workshop on the Vajrāmṛtatantra, a Buddhist Tantric work transmitted in a very old Nepalese manuscript kept in the Cambridge University Library (Or.158, dated 116 CE). Only one other manuscript of this text is known to have survived and is presently kept in a library in China. The reading and interpretation of selected passages will be integrated with the examination of images of the manuscript, thus providing both an introduction to manuscript analysis as well as to philological methodologies.

The workshop will take place on Monday January 20th, from 10.30am to 1pm in room at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge.