Day 1  – September 23rd, 2011

Main Venue: Jackman Humanities Building, St. George Campus, Room 318


Breakfast: 7:45 AM – 8:45 AM

Jackman Humanities Building, Room 317


Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Time: 8:45 AM – 9:00 AM


Panel 1: Textual Tension – Discourses of Orthodoxy, Reform, and Ritual

Time: 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM         


Andrew More (Yale University) – Possession and Past Lives: Jumbled Modes of Discourse in Medieval India

Maithili Thayanithy (University of Toronto) – Transgressive Bodies and Subversive Liberation: Reading the Medieval Tamil Text Tirumantiram

Sean Hillman (University of Toronto) – Voluntary Death as Found in the Epics Mahābhārata & Rāmāyaa

Respondent: Professor Malavika Kasturi (University of Toronto)

Panel Chair: Smita Kothari (University of Toronto)


Coffee Break: 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM


Panel 2: Textual Figurations of Medieval South Asian Society

Time: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM


Marko Geslani (Yale University) – Śiva Sthāṇu as Tank Consecration

Raj Balkaran (University of Calgary) – Virtue and Violence in the Devī Māhātmya: Kingship, Asceticism, and the Greatness of the Goddess

Darry Dinnell (McGill University) – Sacred Kings and Sacred Kingship: The Magical Sovereign of the Sāṃrājyalakmīpīṭhikā

Respondent: Professor Arti Dhand (University of Toronto)

Panel Chair: Devanathan Jagannathan (University of Toronto)


Lunch: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Jackman Humanities Building, Room 317


Panel 3: (Re)Making Identities in Modern India

Time: 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM


Meera Kachroo (McGill University) – Śrīvidyā’s Rahasya: Esotericism in Contemporary Chennai

Jodi Shaw (Loyola Marymount University) – The Subversion of Derogatory Language: Is It Empowering or Subjugating for the Kallar of Madurai?

Smita Kothari (University of Toronto) – Dāna and Dhyāna: The Laukika and the Lokottara in Jaina Yoga

Respondent:  Professor Francis Cody (University of Toronto)

Panel Chair: Maithili Thayanithy (University of Toronto)


Coffee Break: 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM


Panel 4: Global Overtures – Negotiating Practice and Identity in the Diaspora

Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM


Bhakti Mamtora (University of Pennsylvania) – Hindu Devotionalism in Virtual Space

Rohit Beheraj (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) – Pilgrimage in Karnataka: Examining Hindu Identity in the Diaspora

Yasaman Munro (Wilfred-Laurier University – University of Waterloo) – Interpreting Lived Āyurveda Among Hindu Immigrants in Canada: Domestic, Relational and Material Perspectives

Respondent: Reid Locklin (University of Toronto)

Panel Chair: Ben Wood (University of Toronto)


Coffee Break: 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM


Roundtable Discussion: Crossing Boundaries – The Uses and Abuses of “Boundaries” for the Study of South Asian Religious Traditions

Time: 5:30 PM – 6:45 PM

Discussants: Professor Arti Dhand, Professor Srilata Raman, Professor Christoph Emmrich

Roundtable Chair: Arun Brahmbhatt (University of Toronto)





Day 2 September 24th, 2011

Main Venue: University of Toronto Mississauga, IB250


Breakfast: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Jackman Humanities Building, Room 318


Travel to UTM for Conference Panelists: 9:00 AM


Panel 5: Genealogies of Ideas – Influence and Interaction in South Asian Religious Traditions

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 AM


Ellen Gough (Yale University) – Śākta Influence on Medieval Jainism

Devanathan Jagannathan (University of Toronto) – Appayya Dīkṣita’s rejection of Pañcarātra

Eric Steinschneider (University of Toronto) – Aligning the Āgamas:  Interpretation and Identity in Bhāskararāya’s Setubandha

Respondent: Professor Christoph Emmrich (University of Toronto)

Panel Chair: Jasveen Puri (University of Toronto)


Lunch: 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

University of Toronto Mississauga, Davis Building Faculty Lounge


Panel 6: Powerful Poetry – The Centrality of kāvya in South Asian Religious Literature

Time: 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM


Hamsa Stainton (Columbia University) – The Power of Poetry among the Śaivas of Kashmir

Sarah Hicks (University of Pennsylvania) – Pampa’s Ādipurāṇa: Spreading Jain Dharma through Poetry

Isaac Murchie (University of California, Berkeley) – The (Linguistic) Terror of War: On the Fifteenth Sarga of Bhāravi’s Kirātārjunīya

Respondent: Professor Ajay Rao (University of Toronto)

Panel Chair: Eric Steinschneider (University of Toronto)


Coffee Break: 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM


Panel 7: The Language of Love – Articulations of bhakti in Text and Practice

Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM


Jeremy Morse (University of Chicago) – Devotion According to the Rules: The Dual Emphasis on bhakti and vidhi in Western-Indian Guru-Devotion

Arun Brahmbhatt (University of Toronto) – Sadasya and Rahasya Texts in the Swaminarayan Tradition

Ashley Lyons (University of Chicago) – Erotic and Ecstatic: Evolving Conceptions of Rasa in the Dāna-Keli-Kaumudī of Rūpa Goswāmin and Kavikarṇapūra

Respondent:  Professor Srilata Raman (University of Toronto)

Panel Chair: Sean Hillman (University of Toronto)


Coffee Break: 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM


Plenary Address: Professor Laurie Patton, Dean of Arts and Sciences (Duke University)

Venue: University of Toronto Mississauga, IB245

Time: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

“Is Every Sanskritist a Nationalist? Notes from the Worlds of Women and Sanskrit in Contemporary India”


Special thanks to:

Department of Historical Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga

Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto

Centre for South Asian Studies, University of Toronto