Islamic Literary Networks in South and Southeast Asia – a seminar by Dr Ronit Ricci (Wed, 11 November 2009)

Speaker: Dr Ronit Ricci (Postdoctoral Fellow, Asia Research Institute, NUS)
Date: Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Time: 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Venue: AS3, Level 6, SEAS Seminar Room (06-20)

This paper presents research done over the past several years on the circulation and translation of literary works among Muslim communities in south India and Indonesia. Drawing on sources in Javanese, Malay and Tamil I suggest that literature can be viewed as one more type of network – in addition to and often overlapping with those of travel, trade, and genealogy – connecting Muslims across distance and diverse cultures. Inspired by Pollock’s theory of a Sanskrit cosmopolis in South and Southeast Asia in which language and literature played a pivotal role, I propose an Arabic cosmopolis in many of the same regions during a later period.

About the speaker
Ronit Ricci received her B.A and M.A from the Department of Indian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Ph.D in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan in 2006. After that she was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University and the Asia Research Institute (2008-2009). In 2010 she will begin teaching in the Faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University. Her main research interests are Translation Studies, Javanese manuscript literature, Islamic literary cultures in South and Southeast Asia and alphabet histories.