Islam and the Humanities

Tony K. Stewart ─ Mapping the Bengali Imaginaire: Fictional Encounters of Hindu & Muslim Worlds

Thursday, April 12, 2018

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Rhode Island Hall Room 108

About the Speaker:

Tony K. Stewart is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in Humanities Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. He is a specialist in the religions and literatures of the Bengali-speaking world.

About the Lecture:

A number of early modern Bangla tales dedicated to the fictional holy men (pīrs) and women (bibīs) critique religion and society through their parodies, rather than articulating doctrine or theology. Because they are fictions, any approach to their religiosity must use hermeneutic strategies suited to the literary world in which they operate. But the imagination exercised in these tales is not unlimited, rather, the parameters of the discursive arena in which they operate—the imaginaire—can be defined by two types of presuppositions and two types of intertextuality that both enable and constrain what is possible to express.

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