The Sanskrit Tradition in the Modern World


Dr Jessica Frazier
Dr Rembert Lutjeharms
Dr Bjarne Wernicke-Olesen

The 37th Annual STIMW Symposium

The Sanskrit Traditions in the Modern World Symposium celebrated its 37th event on 28th May 2021, bringing together a global community of scholars working on Sanskrit sources of all kinds, in a shared conversation hosted by the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. The Symposium enjoys a unique structure of having pre-circulated papers introduced by a scholar who then turns over to a response from the author, and opens the floor to general discussion from the audience. This year, as ever, this allowed for vigorous and collegial engagement on a range of topics. Approximately fifty participants from as far afield as Canada, Australia, India and across Europe joined in.

This year the Symposium’s papers were on Kuṇḍalinī in the early Haṭha corpus (Ruth Westoby, SOAS), Dharmaśāstra in the 2019 Ayodhya Verdict (C. T. Fleming), the Intertextuality of the Dharma-maṅgala (Rebecca Manring), and Sanskrit Humour in Kutiyattam Performance (Elena Mucciarelli & Adheesh Sathaye). The respondents were Jason Birch, Mandakranta Bose, Ishan Chakrabarti, and Jacqueline Hirst.

The Symposium was a great success, bringing together the enduring community of Sanskrit scholars in a lively, rich, and warm conversation; we look forward to May 2022.

Instructions for contributors

Full papers

  • Papers are pre-circulated so that participants can read them before the seminar to ensure the best possible use of discussion time. Papers are therefore not read out at the seminar itself. Each full paper will be allocated 40 minutes of discussion time. The paper will be briefly introduced by the person chairing the session, who will then raise questions to the paper-giver, before opening the discussion.
  • Papers should be no longer than 20 pp, A4, including notes and references, and should be presented in a font size no smaller than Times New Roman 12 point. Line spacing should be no less than 1.5. (Papers will be reduced for photocopying).
  • To facilitate discussion for those short of reading time, paper-givers should provide a one page abstract of the key argument of the paper, along with their paper. Please include your email address for further feedback.

Research reports

  • These give postgraduate students and others at the beginning of a research project the opportunity to offer a briefer report in order to gain feedback on its direction and approach.
  • Research Reports, also pre-circulated, will be allocated 15 minutes of discussion time. In this case, the chair will introduce the report presenter who will then briefly summarise his or her own research together with the questions the presenter would like the audience to comment on. The chair will then open the discussion to all present.
  • Research Reports should be no longer than 8 pp, A4, and should be presented in a font size no smaller than Times New Roman 12 point. Line spacing should be no less than 1.5.
  • To facilitate discussion, report presenters should provide a one page abstract of the main lines of their research and the key questions they would like addressed. Please include your email address for further feedback.


  • The chair of each main session will be responsible for introducing the paper-giver and paper in no more than 5 minutes, in initiating a discussion with the paper-giver (15 mins max) and in ensuring there is ample time for discussion from the floor (at least 20 mins).
  • In the case of Research Reports, the chair’s job is to introduce the candidate and to ensure that all comments from the floor are heard where possible.
  • Since the programme is packed, it is vital that chairs time-keep efficiently.