Bindu Bhadana

Postnational Perceptions in Contemporary Art Practice

Media and Cultural Studies, Vol. 3

This publication focuses on the works of Chitra Ganesh (b.1974), Tejal Shah (b.1979) and Nikhil Chopra (b.1976) in order to highlight the changing relationship of the gendered body with national identity in contemporary art practice. Ideas of national belonging are challenged precisely through a concerted focus on identities marginalized by the nation. It proposes the ‘postnational’ as an empowering term to mark the shift away from the nation, and, employing a post-structural framework, it argues that the nature of national identity is in itself a construct.

Tony Robinson and Minsun Ji

A Flying Dragon
King Taejo, Founder of Korea’s Choson Dynasty

Yi Seong-gye (1335-1408)  began life as an obscure warrior of Korea’s borderlands, but rose to overthrow the 500-year Goryeo dynasty and become King Taejo, who founded the 518-year Joseon dynasty, Korea’s final royal lineage and the longest lasting Confucian dynasty in history. King Taejo’s momentous life intersected with watershed East Asian developments: the collapse of the Mongol Empire in Korea, the rise of China’s brilliant Ming dynasty, the pacification of massive Japanese pirating operations, and the rise of Asia’s most thoroughly realized Confucian society in Joseon. This biography tells the tale, ending with the tragic descent of King Taejo‘s own family into fratricide and grief.

Judith Müller, Juliane Dame, Sneha Sharma, Carsten Butsch (Eds.)

Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien
12. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 21./22. Januar 2022, Bonn/online

Geographien Südasiens, Vol. 14

Extended Abstracts of the 12th Annual Meeting of the AK Südasien, 21./22. Januar 2022, Bonn/online

Monika Horstmann and Dalpat S. Rajpurohit

In the Shrine of the Heart
Sants of Rajasthan from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

In the early modern period, the Sants emerged in North India as devotees of a formless interior god. The volume introduces seven Sant authors living in Rajasthan in the period from the first half of the sixteenth to the eighties of the seventeenth century. It explores their complex cultural background, their literary conventions, and their sectarian network, and presents samples of their poetry in the original Hindi with English translations. By far the most of the compositions in this volume have not been translated before, and of one of these the original text is published also for the first time.

Sant poetry has been transmitted in oral and written form. It owes its continuing vitality largely to congregational and private performance. This fact has been illustrated by a number of audio and video samples.

Vitus Angermeier, Christian Ferstl, Dominik A. Haas, Channa Li (Eds.)

Proceedings of the 12th International Indology Graduate Research Symposium (Vienna, 2021)

Puṣpikā – Tracing Ancient India through Texts and Traditions: Contributions to Current Research in Indology, Vol. 6

In the series Puṣpikā – Tracing Ancient India through Texts and Traditions: Contributions to Current Research in Indology, the proceedings of the International Indology Graduate Research Symposium (IIGRS) are published. Puṣpikā is a peer-reviewed series that provides early-career scholars with a platform to share the results of their research on pre-modern South Asian cultures.

This is the 6th volume in the series, containing thirteen articles based on the talks presented at the 12th IIGRS online and in Vienna, Austria on 22–24 July 2021.

Malini Ambach, Jonas Buchholz, Ute Hüsken (Eds.)

Temples, Texts, and Networks
South Indian Perspectives

For many centuries, Hindu temples and shrines have been of great importance to South Indian religious, social and political life. Aside from being places of worship, they are also pilgrimage destinations, centres of learning, political hotspots, and foci of economic activities. In these tem­ples, not only the human and the divine interact, but they are also meeting places of different members of the communities, be they local or coming from afar. Hindu temples do not exist in isolation, but stand in multiple re­lationships to other temples and sacred sites. They relate to each other in terms of architecture, ritual, or mythology, or on a conceptual level when particular sites are grouped together. Especially in urban centres, multiple temples representing different religious traditions may coexist within a shared sacred space. The current volume pays close attention to the con­nections between individual Hindu temples and the affiliated communities, be it within a particular place or on a trans-local level. These connections are described as “temple networks,” a concept which instead of stable hierarchies and structures looks at nodal, multi-centred, and fluid systems, in which the connections in numerous fields of interaction are understood as dynamic processes.

Tatiana Oranskaia, Anvita Abbi (Eds.)

The Heart of Change - Issues on Variation in Hindi

The present volume, which comprises seven English contributions and four in Hindi, addresses issues of linguistic variation – a phenomenon central to the study of language use – in regard to the major official language of India. It combines multiple theoretical and pragmatic approaches to a variety of linguistic phenomena conceptualised under the designation 'Hindi’ and attempts to obtain a more accurate portrayal of the changing reality behind this versatile taxonomic term. In doing so, this volume provides insight into how the forms and functions of Hindi are changing across borders within and outside of India; the concept of language contact is thus present in several of the studies. The analyses are based upon data observed in written texts, including manuscripts, and elicited from instances of oral speech.

The contributions, prepared by established and emerging scholars from several Asian and European countries, investigate functional aspects of the regional, social, and cultural forms of Hindi and how they interact in differing contexts, time periods, and types of communication. A similar vantage point is being adopted in the investigation of possibilities and constraints of formal variation in the grammatical structures of Standard Hindi. In addition to providing analyses from the perspectives of both general linguistics and sociolinguistics, the book discusses issues associated with teaching Hindi from the perspective of language variation.

The volume is distinguished by its innovative character in terms of both the data utilized in it and the width of its scope, and aims to contribute to a better understanding of ‘Hindi’ as a concept as well as of the general principles of linguistic variation.

Mariana Münning

Sound, Meaning, Shape
The Phonologist Wei Jiangong (1901-1980) between Language Study and Language Planning

One of the leading proponents of the radical linguistic reforms in 20th century China, Wei Jiangong remains hardly known in the West. This book describes how Wei, who was rooted in traditional philology and conceptualizing language as a tool, helped to promulgate a standard language, led the compilation of the world’s most popular dictionary, and helped to drive script reform. While these measures were characterized as violent intervention in the Chinese language sphere, Wei’s careful negotiating of linguistic description and political prescription illustrates how they also may have been steps that helped to achieve linguistic self-determination.

Judith Müller, Miriam Wenner, Christoph Dittrich (Eds.)

Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien
11. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 07./08. Mai 2021, Göttingen/Online

Geographien Südasiens, Vol. 13

Extended Abstracts of the 11th Annual Meeting of the AK Südasien, 7th/8th May 2021 in Göttingen (Online):

Barbara Schuler

Theorising Emotions
An Enquiry into the Emotion Knowledge of Premodern Tamil Treatises

It is impossible to imagine human history without emotions. But what is known about theoretical emotion knowledge in premodern South India? This volume offers a first systematic examination of emotion knowledge as found in Tamil treatises and commentaries written from the 11th to 17th century. By following different theoretical strands, it sheds light on the questions that were raised by various emotion theorists, as well as their agenda and theorising practices. It points out changes, linearity, and disruptions in their ideas, as well as historically marginal knowledge. Perhaps surprisingly, the only systematic works on emotion produced by medieval and early modern Tamil thinkers were on emotion in poetics.

Martin Roth, Hiroshi Yoshida, Martin Picard (Eds.)

Japan's Contemporary Media Culture between Local and Global
Content, Practice and Theory

This collection features a wide range of inquiries into Japan’s contemporary media culture, situating popular media content and its related practices and theories in the complex interplay between local and global. The chapters draws attention to several prominent phenomena, suggest new approaches to media culture, and highlight the importance of positionality with regard to research on media culture. The volume documents the results of a series of PhD student workshops held in Kyoto and Leipzig between 2017 and 2019, and continues the discussions started there.

A list of Errata has been added on 14th February 2022.

Johannes L. Kurz

The Imperial Library of the Northern Song
A Complete Translation of the Lintai gushi (canben) 麟台故事 (殘本) by Cheng Ju 程俱 (1078-1144)

The present text is a translation of the Lintai gushi by Cheng Ju, a book that deals with the imperial book collections under the Northern Song. The library collections of the early Northern Song were created from scratch, only to be partially destroyed again in the disastrous fire of 1015 and during the shift of the capital from Kaifeng to Hangzhou. Cheng Ju’s Lintai gushi is the oldest surviving source of information on the Northern Song (960‒1126) imperial libraries. The Lintai gushi bears witness to the various activities undertaken to rebuild comprehensive book collections and thus to fill the gap in the history of imperial Song libraries.

Jamila Adeli

Kunst, Markt, Kommunikation
Die zeitgenössische Kunstwelt in Indien im Wandel (2000-2018)

Media and Cultural Studies, Vol. 2

Contemporary visual art has long since ceased to take place only in Western art centres. In particular, "emerging art markets" such as India or China, with their aspiring middle and upper classes, have increasingly attracted the attention of the global art field since the beginning of the 2000s. However, these art markets do not simply fit into the Western art establishment, but differentiate themselves into (trans)local art fields. This book traces how (trans)local art institutions, knowledge spaces and resources have evolved in India between 2000 and 2018 and suggests that the transformation of the contemporary art world in India can be understood as a decided process of localisation. Based on the India Art Fair, the Kochi-Muziris-Biennale and the positioning and practices of local art actors in Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi, a new self-understanding of the art-interested Indian society becomes visible, which increasingly leads to emancipation from Western art centres.


Ulrike Niklas, Heinz Werner Wessler, Peter Wyzlic, Stefan Zimmer (Eds.)

»Das alles hier«
Festschrift für Konrad Klaus zum 65. Geburtstag

»Das Weltall, die Gesamtheit des in der Welt Vorhandenen, wird in den Brāhmaṇas gewöhnlich mit dem Ausdruck idaṃ sarvam ›das alles hier‹ bezeichnet…«, reads Konrad Klaus' doctoral thesis Die altindische Kosmologie (1986). The completion of his 65th year – at the same time the completion of two decades as a university professor in Bonn – is a welcome occasion for us to honour Konrad Klaus with this Festschrift. »Das alles hier« may gladly also be interpreted in terms of the honoree's life's work to date: A rich academic work with multiple activities in teaching, research and science management with a large number of brilliant publications on philological and cultural-historical issues as visible signs. Konrad Klaus has a worthy place in the scholarly tradition of Indology, which began in Germany with the establishment of the first chair dedicated to Indian philology at the newly founded University of Bonn in 1818. It would be mistaken to think that the 200th anniversary in 2018 was a kind of early funeral. The transition to South Asian Studies with a renewed profile is part of the life's work of Konrad Klaus, who, although himself a classical Indologist, fully supported and benevolently accompanied this reorientation.

Kathrin Holz

The Bhadrakarātrī-sūtra
Apotropaic Scriptures in Early Indian Buddhism

Monographs on Indian Archaeology, Art and Philology, Vol. 27

This book examines the Bhadrakarātrī-sūtra, an important representative of early Buddhist rakṣā literature, and thereby contributes to the investigation of this literary genre. This work ultimately presents an edition, partial reconstruction, and translation of the two extant Sanskrit manuscripts found in Central Asia, as well as a critical edition and translation of the Tibetan version of this text. Special focus is also given to the Chinese and Tibetan variants of the mantras. Moreover, it highlights specific rakṣā elements, formal features, and linguistic and semantic patterns of the Bhadrakarātrī-sūtra. These are crucial for the understanding of the peculiarities of its language, as well as its textual development and classification among rakṣā literature.

Liang Chen

Begräbnistexte im sozialen Wandel der Han-Zeit
Eine typologische Untersuchung der Jenseitsvorstellungen

During the Han period (202 BC - 220 AD), funerary texts were added to tombs in China. These were intended to serve as a means of communication between this world and the hereafter. This work systematically analyses funerary texts from about 180 tombs and thus shows the development of the concept of the afterlife in connection with social change in the Han period. Special attention is paid to the form and material composition of the texts, their physical and symbolic position in the tomb, as well as the layout of the funerary texts and the seals used in them. Statistical analysis of the geographical and temporal occurrence of the funerary texts will also identify centres of distribution and reveal regional interactions. In addition, the connection between the outbreak of epidemics and the distribution of the funerary texts in the Eastern Han period is examined. With the help of detailed textual analyses, the question of whether tomb-protecting texts are to be regarded as products of folk belief or Daoism is then pursued.


Arian Hopf

Translating Islam, Translating Religion
Conceptions of Religion and Islam in the Aligarh Movement

Religion is commonly perceived as an unequivocally defined concept. However, a historic perspective raises questions about this understanding and reveals religion as a concept that developed only in a process of negotiation with other religions. In particular, the 19th century is of special interest in this regard, as the colonial encounter intensifies tremendously in South Asia. The religions of South Asia are scrutinised, categorised, and compared to Christianity by Europeans, which leads to the development of religion as abstractum. Missionary and orientalist critique, as well as modern science, pose to be an entirely new confrontation for the Muslims of South Asia. This book aims to analyse Muslim responses to this confrontation, which imply a translation of Islam as a religion as well as an adaption of the concept of religion itself. The Aligarh Movement is of particular interest in this regard, as it intensively engages in these debates, trying to integrate a re-interpretation of Islam in these discourses.

Felix Otter

A Course in Reading Classical Newari
Selections from the Vetālapañcaviṃśati

A Course in Reading Classical Newari is intended for all who wish to acquire a basic knowledge of this acutely understudied language. The first part of the book provides an introduction to the phonology, morphology, and syntax of Classical Newari on the basis of the literary language of the late 17th century. Part two consists of twelve annotated reading passages that have been taken from various manuscripts of the as yet unedited Newari version of one of the most popular texts of the South Asian narrative tradition, the Vetālapañcaviṃśati. Appended to the book are a key to the exercises, translations of the reading passages, an index of verb forms, and a glossary.

Alexander Follmann, Judith Müller, Gregor C. Falk (Eds.)

Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien
10. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 24./25. Januar 2020, Freiburg

Geographien Südasiens, Vol. 12

Extended Abstracts der 10. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 24./25. Januar 2020 in Freiburg.

Fabienne Wallenwein

Tackling Urban Monotony
Cultural Heritage Conservation in China’s Historically and Culturally Famous Cities

With the threat and emergence of monotonous cityscapes in a rapidly urbanizing China, the pressure to preserve local characteristics has taken centre stage. Central and local governments at the beginning of the 1980s responded by prioritizing 24 cities with historical value and cultural relics. Drawing on international standards and experiences of early Chinese architects such as Liang Sicheng, the concept of “Historically and Culturally Famous Cities” begins to take shape. The study delineates three revitalized residential areas in the Jiangnan region, two of them characterized by splendid private gardens, Ming and Qing period mansions of historical figures, ceremonial archways, historic wells and trees. Strictly adhering to international conservation guidelines, the development of the Pingjiang Historic and Cultural Block in Suzhou came about in the conservation of its central road. As a pilot site for UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape management approach, Tongli Ancient Water Town explores its own ‘Tongli model’ for an integration of its residential and scenic areas. Contrastingly, the transformation of factory buildings and lilong architecture into a creative crucible in Tianzifang, Shanghai, is remarkable for its bottom-up approach. Based on these three areas which now serve as exemplars for integrated conservation and development, the study argues and demonstrates how “Historically and Culturally Famous Cities” developed from their initial concept into a multi-layered conservation system.