WORKSHOP on Śakuntalā

Data evento: 29 – 30 June 2023 Indirizzo: Durham University & online

Workshop on Śakuntalā

A workshop on perhaps the most famous Indian play, Kālidāsa’s Śakuntalā will be held as a part of the launch of a new research centre in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham, CLAWS (Centre for Language and Writing Systems – Durham University), which supports research on the languages and cultures of Antiquity, broadly conceived. We hope that this event will be of interest to both scholars of Sanskrit and Classicists: many of the themes explored in the workshop, e.g. the reworking of traditional epic material, the changing depictions of women across time and genre, and the Colonial reception of the play, are of great interest from a comparative angle. The papers will be followed by a response from a specialist in Greek drama, who will reflect on the themes of the conference as well as the possibilities for comparative scholarship and the value for expanding what we mean when we talk about ‘Classics’ to include key examples from the early Indian literary canons.

The workshop will be held over two half-days (June 29th-30th) in the Ritson Room of the Department of Classics and Ancient History (38 North Bailey, DH1 3EU), with an option for online participation. The schedule is as follows:

June 29th:

13:30-14:05–coffee and mingling


14:15-15:15–Session 1: Dr. Brian Black (Lancaster), ‘Śakuntalā before Kālidāsa: Tales of Truthful Mothers in the Upaniṣads, Jātakas, and Mahābhārata


15:30-16:30–Session 2: Dr. Bihani Sarkar (Lancaster), ‘Consciousness, Love and the Tragic Middle in the Śakuntalā

18:30: dinner (some space will be available beyond presenters, please contact me in advance if you’d like to attend)

June 30th:

11:00-11:30–coffee and mingling

11:30-12:30–Session 3: Dr. Maddalena Italia (UCL): “The Modernity of Śakuntalā: from Goethe’s ‘young year’s blossoms’ to Tollywood movie Shaakuntalam


14:00-15:00–Session 4: response by Dr. Lucy Jackson (Durham), followed by general questions and discussion

If you’d like to participate remotely, please register here to receive the zoom links:

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