Dhvani Workshop, New Delhi (March 4-8, 2018)

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Dhvani Workshop, New Delhi (March 4-8, 2018)

Organized by

The Abhyas Trust, New Delhi

The Abhyas Trust invites applications for a week-long Workshop on the Dhvani Theory from March 4-8, 2018,  at New Delhi.

The workshop will commence with a public lecture by Prof C Rajendran, titled Resonance Beyond: The Aesthetics of Dhvani, at the Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on 3rd March 2018, at 7 p.m.

About the Workshop

This workshop will principally include a close textual reading of selections from the Dhvanyāloka of Ānandavardhana—the celebrated work on Indian literary theory—together with the Locana commentary of Abhinavagupta. The Dhvanyāloka deals with the entire gamut of signification in poetic language, arguing that great literature always communicates through suggestion (dhvani). Another salient feature of the work is that it offers a broad-based aesthetic theory relevant in other art forms like music, drama and painting. The workshop will focus on select passages of the text and explain its sense in English putting Ānandavardhana’s work in proper perspective. The aim of the workshop is to familiarize the participants with core themes in the text of the Dhvanyāloka so that the necessary theoretical background could be created to explore its aesthetic dimensions, which could broaden their horizons of thought and enhance their artistic sensibilities as creative artists and connoisseurs of art.

Deadline for Application:  Tuesday 30 January, 2018

Program and Faculty

Professor C. Rajendran, University of Calicut, Calicut will be the principal instructor. We are also expecting a few other experts of Indian aesthetics to join us. The morning and afternoon sessions will include the readings of the text in Sanskrit followed by special lectures in the evening by various experts in the field of Indian aesthetics. The seminar will be held in English and readings will be circulated in advance. The workshop will be preceded by a special lecture by Prof Rajendran on the topic Resonances Beyond: The Aesthetics of Dhvani on 3rd March 2018 to set the workshop in motion. This special lecture will also serve as an introduction to the workshop and all participants are mandatorily expected to attend. There will also be an evening lecture by Prof. Parul Dave Mukerji (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) who will talk about the Indian aesthetics from the lens of comparative aesthetics. Prof. Milind Wakankar (IIT-New Delhi) and Dr. Malcolm Keating (Yale-NUS College in Singapore) will also deliver lectures. A special performance will also be organized during the workshop.

Confirmed Scholar Participants

Prof. Parul Dave Mukerji, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Dr. Mrinal Kaul, Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities, Manipal, Karnataka

Dr. Malcolm Keating, Yale-NUS College in Singapore

Prof. Milind Wakankar, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi

Selection Criteria

Though a rudimentary knowledge of the Sanskrit language on part of the participants would definitely help, the workshop does not presuppose any theoretical background of textual scholarship. We seek interested research students and scholars from across India and abroad. The selection will be made based on the strength of the application. We cannot accept more than 25 participants  and the priority will be given to the applications from research scholars in disciplines or with experience in Sanskrit, Philosophy, Aesthetics, Yoga, Performing Arts, Religion and Literature. There will be a participation fee for all participants. Applicants will be informed about the decision of selection after the deadline of application.

Location and Accommodations

The event will be held at Studio Abhyas, 112 Anand Lok (basement), New Delhi. Centrally located in South Delhi, the studio is close to all the major cultural venues of the capital and easily accessible; it is also close to the Metro line. A registration fee will be charged that includes a working lunch, tea/coffee with snacks for the five days of the workshop. Travel cost will not be reimbursed. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to offer accomodation.

Registration Fees

Registration is mandatory for attending the workshop. No participation without due registration will be allowed.

Regular Participants: Rs. 4000

Student Participants: Rs. 3000

Application Information

Applications should include the following, preferably sent as PDFs:

1. Description of research interests and their relevance to the topic of the workshop (max. 300 words)

2. Brief Curriculum Vitae / resume highlighting relevant skills, experience and training.

Applications should be sent to:

Navtej Johar

(Convenor-Workshop on the Dhvani Theory)

Studio Abhyas

F 27 Green Park, New Delhi 110016


email: <info@abhyastrust.org>

Tel +91-981-888-2918

For more information please contact Studio Abhyas


Workshop on Rasa Theory in Manipal University, February 2017

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Poetry and Prayer: Stotras in the Religious and Literary History of Kashmir (Dr Hamsa Stainton)

Earlier this year Hamsa Stainton who is now the assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Kansas completed his doctoral research on the topic “Poetry and Prayer: Stotras in the Religious and Literary History of Kashmir” from Columbia University. With the permission of Dr Stainton I am herewith reproducing the abstract of his dissertation which, I am sure, will interest many of us. He has been kind enough to allow me to do so and would be very happy if someone has any questions, comments or thoughts. He can be contacted at: <stainton@ku.edu>.


This dissertation investigates the close connection between poetry and prayer in South Asia by studying the history of Sanskrit hymns of praise (stotras) in Kashmir. It offers a broad introduction to the history and general features of the stotra genre, and it charts the course of these literary hymns in Kashmir from the ninth century to the present. Historically, Kashmir was one of the most dynamic and influential centers of Sanskrit learning and literary production in South Asia. This dissertation focuses on a number of innovative texts from this region, such as Kṣemarāja’s eleventh-century commentaries and Sāhib Kaul’s seventeenth-century hymns, which have received little scholarly attention. In particular, it offers the first study in any European language of the Stutikusumāñjali, a major work of religious literature dedicated to the god Śiva and one of the only extant witnesses to the trajectory of Sanskrit literary culture in fourteenth-century Kashmir. This dissertation also contributes to the study of Śaivism by examining the ways that Śaiva poets have integrated the traditions of Sanskrit literature (kāvya) and poetics (alaṅkāraśāstra), theology (especially non-dualism), and Śaiva worship and devotion. It argues for the diverse configurations of Śaiva bhakti expressed and explored in these literary hymns and the challenges they present for standard interpretations of Hindu bhakti. More broadly, this study of stotras from Kashmir offers new perspectives on the history and vitality of prayer in South Asia and its complex relationships to poetry and poetics.

Profile: http://religiousstudies.ku.edu/hamsa-stainton