Université d'Erfurt

Dr. Anne Murphy

Gastwissenschaftlerin am Max-Weber-Kolleg
von Mai bis Juli 2017



Sufis, Yogis, and the question of religious difference: Individualization in early modern Punjab
As a Visiting Fellow at Max-Weber-Kolleg, Universität Erfurt, Germany in May-July 2017, I explore early modern Punjabi literary production in relation to broader theories of vernacularization and religious individualization, the ongoing research theme at Max-Weber-Kolleg. Can an understanding of religious individualization inform conceptualization of the dynamics of identity and difference in the pre-colonial period in South Asia? And, further, can it help us to understand in a new way cultural production in early modern Punjabi outside of the court patronage associated with emergence of other parallel vernacular languages in the early modern period in the subcontinent?
This project and its exploration of early Punjabi religious formations relates to a broader project I am engaged in entitled, "Punjabi in the (late) vernacular millennium" on the historical emergence of the Punjabi language in north India in the early modern period and its literary expression. The story of Punjabi language and cultural production provides a means for addressing the imagination and expression of community, religion and (more recently) nation, and for excavating a contested arena for interaction and coexistence among Punjabis, across religious and national boundaries that have divided them in the modern period.

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