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17-18 January 2015
Cultural Dialogues Between India And Southeast Asia From The 7th To The 16th Centuries
2 days seminar

KR CAMA Oriental Institute in Mumbai, India

The circulation of people, goods and ideas, through bilateral and intermediate exchanges between India and Southeast Asia, occurring within the interlocking networks of overland and maritime routes, which extended from West Asia to China since the earliest times is a subject of abiding interest for researchers.

Extensive archaeological research of the last three decades has not only underscored the antiquity of this long standing trade but also revealed the existence of social structures predating the advent either of Hinduism or Buddhism in Southeast Asia. By doing so, these studies have challenged the long-held theories characterising the region as being “backward” and a passive recipient of civilisational inputs from India .The objective of this seminar is to cultivate a more balanced approach to the trade and cultural exchanges between these two contact zones and to evaluate the impact of this interface on the polities, societies and consciousness of the region.

The details of the working sessions are as follows:

The transplantation of Hinduism, Buddhism and, later Islam to Southeast Asia and their gradual indigenisation in a manner that rendered them more compatible with local beliefs is the main thrust of this session. The intention is to examine how instead of replacing existing traditions, the major religions were grafted on to the indigenous religious practices and gradually assimilated into the spiritual and cultural ambience of the host countries. Accordingly, papers that will highlight the persistence of local beliefs, folk traditions, and earlier customs, embedded in the ritual practices of the three ‘imported’ faiths are being invited.

Given that the majority of surviving monuments of the period under review in Southeast Asia reflect the architectural traditions from India, it would be interesting to use these edifices as reference points to gauge the subsequent transformative processes . The emphasis would be on monuments that were created in new and unique idioms to reflect the local ethos and the varied aesthetics of the region. This session will focus on those elements of Indian architecture that were either adopted, re-elaborated, and study those transformed or even discarded.

Though inspired by the popular themes of the Indic narrative traditions, the retelling and reinterpretation of familiar stories acquired a local twist in the hands of the Southeast Asian artistes. The focus of this section is on the radical transformation of the Indic iconography that increasingly accommodated characters and imageries drawn from localised myths and legends in the different cultural zones of Southeast Asia.

In addition to the Indic narratives, the local folklore and the indigenous traditions have played a pivotal role in shaping the literary traditions and performing arts of Southeast Asia. Papers have been invited on literature, dance, theatre, music, culinary traditions and the culture of leisure of the region.

Textiles were not mere items of trade but also the symbols of cultural and technological transfers between India and Southeast Asia. Chintzes or patterned cottons and patolas or tie-and dye-silk that attired the rich and famous, also played a significant role in ceremonial and diplomatic exchanges in both the contact zones. Papers which explore the migration of textile designs and manufacturing techniques, between India

KR Cama Oriental Institute:

The letter of invitation >>>
The registration form >>>

24 - 25 July, 2015
The Second International Conference on
Study of Oriental Lacquer Initiated by H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
for the Revitalization of Thai Wisdom

Napalai Ballroom, Disit Thani Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

The conference will focus on current research in oriental lacquer. Topics include cultivation and breeding of lacquer trees, oriental lacquer in arts, toxicity of oriental lacquer, scientific study of oriental lacquer and conservation treatments of lacquered objects.

Conservators, curators, art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, scientists, architects, engineers, physicians, forestry experts, botanists, artists and others engaged with these topics are invited to submit papers for presentations.

Abstracts for papers (500 words maximum), accompanied by a short biography of the author may be submitted in English. Contact information should include name, postal and e-mail address, telephone numbers and fax. Please submit abstracts by March 16th, 2015l beliefs, folk traditions, and earlier customs, embedded in the ritual practices of the three ‘imported’ faiths are being invited.
Call for papers >>>
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