Second National Australian Sanskrit Conference

Australian National University (ANU) Canberra, July 10 – 11, 2010


At the World Sanskrit Conference in Edinburgh in July 2006, seven Australian Sanskritists found themselves meeting regularly, a novel and most enjoyable experience. We realised that we never did this in Australia so resolved to provide an opportunity for all Australians interested in Sanskrit to meet, in Australia, to share their knowledge and Sanskrit interests. The Sanskrit expertise in Australia embraces a vast range of Sanskrit genres, including Vedas, Epics, Puranas, Katha, Poetry, Buddhist works, Upanishads, 18th century Vedanta texts, Panini grammar, spoken Sanskrit and chanting, but we have little contact with one another and little contact with other specialists in the field. Since this expertise is both academic and nonacademic, a festival was devised as an opportunity for all scholars, students and lovers of Sanskrit to gather and share their enthusiasm for the subject. The aim was to bring together established and emerging scholars, including postgraduate students; to learn about one another’s research and interests; to strengthen the sense of community; to enhance links between those interested in Sanskrit; to enable fruitful exchange and synergy. More than sixty participants came from as far afield as Perth, Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne to join Canberra-based scholars for three days of Sanskrit-based interaction at the First National Australian Sanskrit Conference/Festival in 2007. The atmosphere created was truly memorable.


This year the eminent Sanskrit and Pali scholar, Professor Patrick Olivelle, will be visiting Australian Catholic University as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue (APCID) during July 2010. Through the generosity of Australian Catholic University, Professor Olivelle will be the keynote speaker at the Second Australian Sanskrit Conference. His topic is Asoka’s Inscriptions as Text and Ideology.


Looking forward to seeing you and hearing about your work. In case you feel that your Sanskrit skills are not sufficient for this event, I’m sure those who attended the last Festival/Conference in 2007 will agree with me that a love of Sanskrit/Indian culture is sufficient.
Note: There is no conference fee, except for a small charge for tea/coffee/lunch and dinner.
Organisers: Jennifer Cover (Sydney); Anita Ray (Melbourne); McComas Taylor (Canberra)
Participants at the 2007 National Australian Sanskrit Conference