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CHiTra Mela III: Research and Pedagogy in South Asia and Global Hindu Traditions: A Symposium for Faculty and Graduate Students in Florida

This event has passed.
February 16 – February 17


Center for the study of Hindu Traditions (CHiTra) at the University of Florida presents

CHiTra Mela 3

Research and Pedagogy on South Asia and Global Hindu Traditions

February 15-17, 2019

216 Anderson Hall, University of FloridaWe gratefully acknowledge support from the CHiTra Endowment Fund, the Department of Religion, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Office of the Vice-President of Research, University of Florida


Saturday, February 16th

<h69:00 – 9:05 – Welcome</strong

9:10 am – 10:10 am   Panel 1: Jainism and Buddhism
  1. Amy Langenberg, Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, Eckerd College, FL, “’Two Live Together United’: The Shadow World of Same-Sex Affection in the Bhiksuni-vinaya.”
  2. Carol Rodriguez, Graduate Student, Florida International University, ““Layers of Virtue in the Līlāvatīsāra: The Limitations of Female Agency and the Place of Women as the “Other” in Jain Didactic Narrative.”
  3. Steven Vose, Bhagwan Mahavir Assistant Professor of Jain Studies and Director of the Jain Studies Program, Department of Religious Studies, Florida International University. “Globalizing the 25th Tirthankara: Rakeshbhai Jhavery’s Rajacandra.”
10:15 am – 10:45 am         Panel 2: UF Organizations
  1. Allysa Peyton, Assistant Curator of Asian Art at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, “Gem on Campus: Some Highlights from the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.”
  2. Muthusami Kumaran, Associate Professor of Nonprofit Management & Community Organizations, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida, “UF in India & Nepal: NGOs and Development.”
10:45 am – 11:00 am    Coffee Break
11:00 am – 12:00 pm    Panel 3: Ramayana
  1. Dustin Shane Hall, Graduate Student, University of Florida, “Tulsidas’ Ramacaritamanas: Explorations of Saiva and Vaisnava sampradayas in Medieval Indian Poetry.”
  2. Muttaki Kamal, Graduate Student, University of South Florida, “Apes in Bengali Ramayana.”
  3. Venu Mehta, Graduate Student, University of Florida, “Re-contextualizing the Rāmacaritamānasaand its Agents in Morari Bapu’s Mānas Gaṇikāand Mānas Kinnar.”
12:00 pm – 1:15 pm   Lunch
1:15 pm – 1:45 pm     Panel 4: Language and Translation
  1. (Padma Shri) George Hart, Professor Emeritus, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, “Suggestion in Early Tamil: The Akananuru as a Template for later Tamil and Sanskrit.”
  2. Kausalya Hart, Professor Emeritus, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley,,“The Plea of the Devotee: Manikavacagar as a Suppliant.”                       
1:50 pm – 2:50 pm      Panel 5: Rhetoric and Key Figures
  1. Bhakti Mamtora, Graduate Student,Department of Religion, University of Florida, “Religious Canons in Multidimensional Perspectives.”
  2. Josh McKinley, Graduate Student, University of Florida, “Naṭātūr Ammāl and the Prapanna Parijata”
  3. Sucheta Kanjilal, Assistant Professor of English and Writing, University of Tampa, “Reading Ekalavya in contemporary writings.”
2:50 pm – 3:10 pm  Coffee Break
3:10 pm – 4:10 pm  Panel 6:Gurus and Authority, Trinidad and Ghana
  1. Priyanka Ramlakhan, Graduate Student, University of Florida, “Roles of Female Authority in Trinidadian Hinduism.”
  2. Albert Kafui Wuaku, Associate Professor, Ethnography and African/African Diaspora Religions, Department of Religious Studies, Florida International University Florida International University, “When the Swami passed on: Charisma and the Leadership Crisis in Ghana’s Hindu Monastery.”
  3. Shobana Shankar,Associate Professor, History,Stonybrook University, NY, “Pongal in Ghana: A Female Guru’s Self-Realized (Svayambhu) Rituals as a Roaming Saint.”
6:30 pm    Dinner



9:15 am – 9:40 am   Panel 7: Architecture 

Vandana Baweja,Associate Professor, School of Architecture, University of Florida

“Otto H. Koenigsberger in Princely Mysore” 

9:45 am – 11:30 am    Panel 8: Performance
  1. Nina Menezes, University of Florida, “One Voice, Many Spaces: Uncovering Contemporary Tamil Film Song Cover Culture in Chennai, South India”
  2. Rodney Sebastian, Graduate Student, University of Florida, “Variations of the Manipuri Rāsalīlās in the 20th century: The Nitya Rās and Diva Rās
  3. Rebecca Peters, Graduate Student, Florida State University, “Devotional Space, Playful Space: Pūjā and Līlā in Indian Cinema.”
  4. Prema Bhat, Independent Scholar and Professional Musician, Carnatic music, “Composing music for the master composer and saint-singer Purandaradasa.”