South Asian Seminar Series: “What Should the Bhakti Movement Be?”

South Asia Seminar presentation by Jack Hawley.

In his book A Storm of Songs (Harvard University Press, 2015), Jack Hawley attempts to unearth the historical, political, and performative contingencies that gave birth to the concept of the bhakti movement. It emerges that, starting with the Mughals and their Kachvaha allies, North Indian groups looked to the Hindu South as a resource that would give religious and linguistic depth to their own collective history. Only in the early twentieth century, however, did the idea of a bhakti “movement” crystallize -- in the intellectual circle surrounding Rabindranath Tagore in Bengal. What should we do with the idea of the bhakti movement once we recognize that this portrait of history is deeply conditioned by a history of its own?

Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103