Daud Ali is Associate Professor and Chair of the South Asian Studies Department, University of Pennsylvania. Using epigraphical and literary sources, with a critical perspective on the historiography and innovative theoretical approaches, he has published about cultural, social and political history of South Asia. His research interests encompass medieval court society and culture, political practices, conceptions of landscapes and gardens, sexuality, pedagogy in colonial India, usages of history.
His publications, besides many articles and book chapters as well as several edited books, include two ground-breaking books: Querying the Medieval: The History of Practice in South Asia (with Ronald Inden et Jonathan Walters, Oxford University Press, 2000) and Courtly Culture and Political Life in Early Medieval India (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
Bhoja Paramāra and Hindu Kingship in Medieval India
The first lecture will introduce the eleventh-century Paramāra king Bhoja and set out the problem of how the historical figure of Bhoja was transformed into a legendary figure and how this transformation may be used to understand the changing relations between kingship, literature and history in second millennium CE. It will then focus on the reputation of king Bhoja in his own times and how, with the sacking of the city of Dhārā by the Calukyas of Gujarat, Bhoja was absorbed into story telling traditions that cast him as a latter day Vikramāditya.
- 7 June 2017 - 10:00-12:00 - EHESS (room 8) - 105, boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris
The Spread and Appropriation of Courtly Technologies in Medieval India
This essay will explore how modes of royal and courtly power were replicated and appropriated by political subordinates and corporate groups in moments of political recession and collapse. Examining late and post-Chola times (13th-15th centuries) in the Kaveri Delta, the paper argues that political technologies of the ‘state’ were used by local actors to form pacts and agreements to constitute local forms of power.
- 9 June 2017 - 09:45 - Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac - 37, quai Branly 75007 Paris
Whither Medieval India: Problems and Possibilities in the Study of Medieval Indian History
This lecture will review developments within the field of medieval history. It will assess major changes in the discipline over the last three decades, as an earlier model driven historiography has given way to newer ‘revisionist’ work that has recalibrated the epochal divisions of precolonial history, created new archives, and explored material and textual sources in new ways. It will assess the gains and limitations of these developments and suggest avenues for future historiographical development.
- 13 June 2017 - 13:30-16:30 - EHESS (room 751) - 54, boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris
Bhoja Paramāra and Literary Culture in Medieval India
This lecture will explore the role of Bhoja in the transformation of literary culture in India from the 13th century. It will argue that Bhoja becomes particularly associated with a comparatively new imagination in Sanskrit literary circles with a scholastic interest in poetic virtuosity and the biographization of the Sanskrit literary tradition. This is epitomized by stories of Bhoja’s court as a literary salon of fantastic proportions, attended by the very best poets of Sanskrit literature, that begin as early as the 13th century and culminates in the 16th century.
- 15 June 2017 - 10:30-12:30 - EHESS (room AS108) - 54, boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris