Jain Practices of Literary Transcreation

Ghent University (& online)

Deadline: 8 August 2022

The Department of Indian Languages and Cultures at Ghent University is happy to announce the organization of the Conference on ‘Jain Practices of Literary Transcreation’, held at Ghent University, Belgium on the 8th and 9th of September 2022.

The conference organizers invite international scholars to present 20-minute papers on the theme of translation, transcreation or adaptation of literary works by Jain authors. Papers may treat literature from a wide range of periods (from ancient to modern times), and in a variety of Indian languages (both classical and vernacular, and Southern as well as Northern Indian languages). The organizers especially invite researchers who consider a diachronical and dialingual approach to the theme of the conference.

Conference Theme

The conference theme arises from the recognition that there is a vast corpus of Jain texts lying unexamined in manuscript libraries, many of which are different versions of earlier works with an identical content. Therefore, in recent years Jainism scholars (e.g., Cort, Clines, Plau) have called for an end to the disregard of these later texts, appreciating them as literary works in their own right. This conference wants to provide a coherent frame to study these undiscovered texts within their literary reality of transcreation as a Jain practice.

Though the prevalence of literary transcreation within historical Jain communities is striking, it is by no means a practice exclusive to them. The broader field of South Asian Studies has in previous years increasingly dealt with the creative engagement of South Asian authors with an authoritative literary object (e.g., Ramanujan 1999). Although these studies have brought to the fore some important conclusions, the Jains as a literary community have remained noticeably absent from these discussions. This conference wants to fill this gap, highlighting the influential role of Jain authors in the multilingual literary world of South Asia.

Scholars interested in presenting at this conference, may send a title and abstract (max. 300 words) to and, by the 8th of August 2022.

We hope to welcome participants in person, but are also open to online participation.

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