The research papers in this volume bring rethinking to many familiar explanations of Indian culture and introduce new evidence for many novel themes and methodologies. What unites the papers is the sophistication of the research and the breadth of the arguments. Many of the authors display the use of sophisticated technical research tools. Most of the authors discuss how their topic, including those that focus on ancient historical periods, can be used to understand contemporary India and be used for modern planning. Likewise, current cultural concerns, such as the role of women in art and politics, are discussed within an historical frame-work. This bridging of the modern and the past would please Dr. S.R. Rao, whose own work is characterized by its chronological and intellectual breadth.
Some of the papers have been incorporated here although there were many more that were read by scholars in their respective areas of expertise. The Conference Committee had received 81 abstracts among which 72 were accepted. A total of 67 papers were read by scholars in (53 in English, and 14 papers in Kannada) by 72 participants (some having two participants). Discussions by 19 chairs of various sessions were stimulating. An addition of about 31 outside scholars (i.e., non-participants) attended on June 30 and about 12 outside scholars on July 1. Among the 67 presenters, 14 were from abroad. The Sessions were divided into Indian Archaeology, Language and Literature, Ancient Texts and Concepts, Ideas and Practices, Science and Heritage, Indian Art and Society, Text Books in USA and Interpretations, Art, Crafts and Society, Ancient Goddesses, Buddhism and Jainism, Archaeology and Science, Philosophy and Religion, historical methodology, Indian Archaeology and History, Discourse on Women and Indian History, Indian Art and Visual Culture. A unique aspect of the International conference was the session in Kannada in which eminent Kannada scholars chaired the sessions.
The keynote address was delivered by Dr. Arvind Jamkhedkar on the The Concept and Development of Temples and Chaityagrihas of South and Southeast Asia during the inauguration.
The theme of the conference pertained to the interaction between various cultural traditions and local influences that have inspired the growth of Indian culture, and its self-definition. Scholars have agreed that over centuries, ancient and early medieval Indian culture has been re-framed and re-interpreted which has posed challenges to scholars to re-discover on the basis of historical evidences its complex system of traditions, networks, and organizations. The ancient history of communities in India is particularly challenging, and the leadership of historians, archaeologists, and literary scholars can help in providing insight into their tangible and intangible heritage. A multi-disciplinary approach in the conference provided new insights into ideas and practices that have stimulated its growth and development as a cultural process and a way of life.
Facets of Indian Culture does not include all the papers read, but provides a glimpse at the quality and rigor of research by the scholars. They have been divided into four overlapping sections: Archaeology and Science, Philosophy and Texts, History and Ideas, Arts and Historical Method. The papers have not been edited either for uniformity of diacritics, notes or references and the content has not been changed.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
Art & Culture (745)
Emperor & Queen (484)
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