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Workshop: The Building of Vṛndāvana

The Building of Vṛndāvana

2–3 September 2017,
Trinity College, Oxford

The Building of Vṛndāvana, a two-day workshop held in Oxford, explores the complex history of Vṛndāvana’s early modern origins—from the late fifteenth century until the reign of Aurangzeb, when several of the traditions of Vṛndāvana moved further west due to political instability and persecution.

As a part of the OCHS research project “The Gosvāmī Era”, this workshop brings together scholars from across the disciplines to examine Vṛndāvana’s history, architecture, art, ritual, theology, literature, and the performing arts in this pivotal period, and how these various disciplines were used to create, develop, and map Vṛndāvana as the most prominent place of pilgrimage for devotees of Kṛṣṇa.


Saturday 2 September

9:15–10:45 SESSION 1 Chair: Rembert Lutjeharms (Oxford Center for Hindu Studies)

Barbara Holdrege (University of California, Santa Barbara)

“Geographic Place as Transcendent Space: Gauḍīya Contributions to Reimagining Vraja-Dhāman”

Kiyokazu Okita (Kyoto University)

“A Match Made in Heaven? Early Modern Views on Kṛṣṇa’s Relationship with the Gopīs of Vṛndāvana”

10:45–11:00 COFFEE BREAK

11:00–12:30 SESSION 2 Chair: Diwakar Acharya (University of Oxford)

Rembert Lutjeharms (Oxford Center for Hindu Studies)

“Mapping the Present unto the Past: Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Mathurā-māhātmya and the Development of Vṛndāvana”

David Buchta (Brown University)

“Building Vṛndāvana as a Locus of Rasa: The Stotras of Rūpa Gosvāmin”

12:30–14:00 LUNCH BREAK

14:00–15:00 SESSION 3 Chair: Richard Williams (SOAS, University of London)

Heidi Pauwels (University of Washington, Seattle)

“Victims or Victory Mongerers? Why Krishna Mūrtis left Braj”

15:00–15:30 COFFEE BREAK

15:30–17:00 SESSION 4 Chair: McComas Taylor (Australian National University)

Cynthia Packert (Middlebury College)

“Creative Experimentation in the Early Modern Visual Culture of Vrindavana”

Jack Hawley (Barnard College, Columbia University)

“Two Vrindavan Retrospectives, ca. 1720”

Sunday 3 September

9:15–10:45 SESSION 5 Chair: Peter Friedlander (Australian National University)

Shrivatsa Goswami (Sri Caitanya Prema Samsthana)

“Building Blocks for Vrindavan”

Måns Broo (Åbo Akademi)

“The Haribhaktivilāsa as a Specimen of Early Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism in Vṛndāvana”

10:45–11:00 COFFEE BREAK

11:00–12:30 SESSION 6 Chair: Lucian Wong (University of Oxford)

David Haberman (Indiana University Bloomington)

“Mount Govardhan as the Heart of Braj”

Guy Beck (Tulane University)

Bhakti Sangit in Vrindavana: Music at the Center of Krishna Devotion”