March 29-April 4, 2002
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Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Shulman to discuss religion and culture in South India
Off the Shelf -- recently published books by U.Va. faculty and staff
Poet Carl Phillips next Rea Visiting Writer
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Shulman to discuss religion and culture in South India

By Anne Bromley

A scholar known for his ability to make the most arcane details of Indian culture accessible and relevant to history, religion and literature will visit U.Va. next week.

David Shulman, professor of Indian studies and comparative religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, will present three Page-Barbour and Richard Lectures April 2-4 on “Emptiness, Poetry and the Making of God in South India.”

Shulman “has pioneered new fields in the study of South Asia (such as Telugu studies), and has written interpretations of Hindu literature that have become definitive in the field,” said Anne Monius, assistant professor of religious studies who is on the speaker selection committee.

Besides studying South Indian literary culture in three languages — Sanskrit, Telugu and Tamil — Shulman has published articles and edited volumes on more general history of religion and literature themes, including studies of myths and recent works on riddles in religious literature and a comparative history of dream interpretation. Among many awards and accolades, he has received a MacArthur “genius” grant. Shulman has lectured around the world and is an award-winning poet in Hebrew.

Shulman’s books include: Self and Self-Transformations in the History of Religions: Comparative Studies in the History of Religions; The Wisdom of Poets: Studies in Tamil, Telugu, and Sanskrit; A Poem at the Right Moment: Remembered Verses from Pre-modern South India (collected and translated by Velcheru Narayana Rao and Shulman); and God Inside-Out: Siva’s Game of Dice.

His talks will address several important issues relevant to a range of disciplines, including religious studies, history, art history, comparative literature and anthropology. He will look at the relationship of literary texts to religious practices, the ways in which literary texts can be used to do historical work and the interplay between Hindu and Buddhist forms of art.

Tuesday, April 2 • “The Riddle of Daksharama,” 5-7 p.m., Minor Hall Auditorium

Wednesday, April 3 • “Cursing and Filling,” 5-7 p.m., Campbell 153

Thursday, April 4 • “Merging God into God,” 5-6:30 p.m., Minor Hall Auditorium



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