Events & News | Perso-Indica


7th and 8th February, 2014 - Conference
Friedrich-Wilhelm University Bonn

The Second Perso-Indica Conference

The Persianisation of Indian Learning: Texts, Approaches and Forms of Expression

Download Program and Abstracts

The second Perso-Indica conference aims at deepening the understanding of the production of the corpus of Persian texts on Indic traditions in Pre-Modern South Asia and especially its shaping by the interaction with the canons of the receiving culture. The conference intends to explore the hypothesis that this was not simply an act of translation but also a process of adaptation, appropriation and Persianisation of the local learning and sources. And that conversely, appropriation was not an asymmetric act but a dialogic dynamics that permitted Indian learning and scholars to take possession of the forms of expression of the Persian culture. On the level of the material culture, the most evident of these transformations concerned the support of knowledge, that is to say the shift from the materials of the Indian tradition, as the palm leafs, to the bound codex of the Persian one.

The contributions should address a series of main questions related to these issues. Papers should explore how the Indian learning was adapted to the textual and conceptual frameworks of the Persian tradition. Which were the hermeneutical approaches: did there exist different methods of translation and how did these evolve during time? How was translation conducted on a lexical and semantic level and in what way was the Indian philosophical, religious and scientific terminology integrated in the technical lexicon of the concerned Persian disciplines? Moreover, how could adaptation be also an active process of construction of meaning and not simply an act of translation? To what extent did this interaction result in the production of new hybrid forms of expression of the Indic learning? Furthermore, beside the translations and new Persian monographs on Indic knowledge, how was this learning and its lexicon incorporated into other kinds of Persian texts and how did these texts contribute to integrate and transmit them in the wider context of the Persianate culture of South Asia? Moreover, which were the forms of contact and the institutions that supported the appropriation of the Persian language and culture by the Hindus scholars and other non Muslim elites in South Asia? 

Scientific coordination: Eva Orthmann (University of Bonn) - Fabrizio Speziale (University Sorbonne Nouvelle).

Funded by Friedrich-Wilhelm University, Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies, Bonn – The German Research Foundation (DFG) – University Sorbonne Nouvelle – CNRS Centre ‘Mondes iranien et indien’, Paris - Iran Heritage Foundation, London.

Location and info

Friedrich-Wilhelm University - Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies

Heussallee 18-24, 53113, Bonn, Germany

Contact for information : Fabian Falter (