Gender in Global Medieval Mysticism Conference Program

Ashoka University, March 19-21, 2019

Thursday, March 19

17:00-19:00Room check-in/Registration
18:30-19:30Ulka Mayur, Cast Off All Shame
Dr. Reddy’s Auditorium
19:30-20:30Dinner for conference presenters

Friday, March 20

8:00-8:45Breakfast at conference accommodation for participants
9:30-10:00Welcoming Remarks
Lecture Theatre – AC02-109 (LT)
10:00-10:15Tea break
10:15-11:45Visions of the Goddess: Gender and Mysticism in South Asia
Lecture Theatre – AC02-109

Mrinal Kaul, Manipal Centre for Humanities, India, “Goddess as ‘Cognitive Power’ in the Philosophical Hermeneutics of Abhinavagupta”

Corinna Lhoir, Universität Hamburg, Germany, “The Ultimate Mystical Experience: Thoughts and Visions on Death in Tantric Buddhist, Haṭha Yogic and Jain Yogic Sources”

Galina Rousseva-Sokolova, O.P. Jindal Global University, India, “Imagined femininity in sant mysticism”
12:00-13:30Comparativism and History in the Study of Mysticism
Lecture Theatre – AC02-109 (LT)
Chair: Alexandra Verini

Jana Matthews, Rollins College, USA, “Vietnam’s Joan of Arc” and France’s Lady Triệu: Medieval Mysticism and the Historical Heroine

Sayali Palekar, Ashoka University, India, “Analysing Abandon, Abandoning History: A Comparative Study of German Mysticism and the Bhakti Tradition”

Sara Ritchey, University of Tennessee, USA, “The Archive of Mysticism in Thirteenth-Century Liège: A Recuperative Methodology”
13:30-14:30Lunch for conference presenters

14:30-16:00Transgressions at the Borders
Lecture Theatre – AC02-109 (LT)
Chair: Jonathan Gil Harris

Jonathan Gil Harris, Ashoka University, India, “Silk Road Mysticism: The Jewish Sufis of Kashan and Bukhara”

Sharmistha Chatterjee, Visva-Bharati University, India“Blurring boundaries: The Mystic and the Mysticism in Medieval Bishnupur”

Janardan Ghosh, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, India, “The Spiritual Performance of Gender: Sri Ramakrishna’s Rāgānugā Bhakti Sādhana as a Case Study”
Crafting and Performing the Mystical Self
AC02-005 (LR)
Chair: Liz McAvoy

Nancy Martin, Chapman University, USA, “Speaking and Crafting Lives with a Medieval Hindu Devotional Saint: Mirabai Then and Now”

Nitya Pawar, Ashoka University, India, “Signature and Construction of the Self in Bhakti Poetry”

David Rollo, University of Southern California, USA“Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich and Divine Revelation”
16:00-16:15Tea Break
17:15-19:15 Lal Ded
Lecture Theatre – AC02-109 (LT)
Chair: Abir Bazaz

Abir Bazaz, Ashoka University, India, “Nangai natsun: Gender and politics in the vākhs of Lal Ded”

Dean Accardi, Connecticut College, USA, “Gender and the (Dis-)Embodied Other: Mystical Rank and Political Power in Early Modern Kashmir” (online presentation)

Ailin Jain, Ashoka University, India, “Labours of Love: Morality and Mysticism in the Poetry of Lal Ded”

Sonam Kachru and Jane Mikkelson, University of Virginia, USA (online presentation), “Persons and Pronouns: Gender and Subjectivity in Lalla”
Mystical Afterlives
AC02-005 (LR)

Chair: Alexandra Verini

G. Antony Arul Valan, Ashoka University, India, “Ghoul or Grandma: Ambivalences in K. B. Sundarambal’s Performance as Medieval Mystics”

Arnab Chakraborty, Ashoka University, India, “The Fin de Siècle Decadent Symbolist and the Medieval Mystic: A Comparative Study in the Esoteric and Exoteric Itinerary”

Pallavi, Tezpur University, India, “Visual Representation of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) and Her Female Agency Through a Feminist Lens”
19:30-20:30Dinner for conference presenters
20:45-22:00Louise Nelstrop, University of Oxford, UK, Complete Surrender + Bhakti concert by Ashoka Indian Choir

Saturday, March 21

Breakfast at conference accommodation for participants
8:45-10:15Mystical Selves, Mystical Narratives
Lecture Theatre – AC02-109 (LT)

Ayon Maharaj, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute, India, “Can a Mystical Experience Be Self-Authenticating?: Revisiting Saint Angela of Foligno, Saint Teresa of Ávila, and Sri Ramakrishna in the Light of a Contemporary Philosophical Debate”

Laura Saetveit Miles, University of Bergen, Norway, “Narrating the Mystical Experience in Time: A Comparison of Richard Methley, Julian of Norwich, and Birgitta of Sweden”

Anshu Malhotra, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, “The Material Body, the Universal Self and Gender in Advaitin Nurang Devi’s Poetry in Mid-Nineteenth Century Punjab” (online presentation)
Public and Private in Women’s Mysticism 
AC02-005 (LR)
Jazmin Graves, American Institute of Indian Studies, USA, “Playing in the Presence of the Saints: Women’s Mediation of Spiritual Authority in the Sidi (African-Indian) Sufi Tradition of Gujarat and Mumbai”

Jessica Barr, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA, “Gender, Status, and Exemplary Mysticism in Three Lives by Goswin of Bossut”

Katherine Zieman, University of Bergen, Norway, “Public Scandal and Mystical Marriage: Margery Kempe and Mīrābaī”

10:15-10:30Tea Break
10:30-12:30Resistance to Dominant Narratives 
Lecture Theatre – AC02-109 (LT)
Chair: Rita Kothari

Kathryn Vulic, Western Washington University, USA, “Julian of Norwich’s Radical Theory of Worship”

Alexandra Verini, Ashoka University, India, “Women’s Mystical Friendships: Margery Kempe and Mirabai”

Elizabeth Kinne and Sneharika Roy, The American University of Paris, France, “Ventriloquism and Pious Infidelity in Premodern European and South Asian Devotional”
Gender and Mysticism in the Indian Ocean World
AC02-005 (LR)
Chair: Sa’diyya Shaikh

Safwan Amir, Krea University, India, and Omar Abdel-Ghaffar, Harvard University, USA, “Travel and Travail of Syeda Nafisa: Mysticism and Feminine Spheres in the Medieval Indian Ocean World”

Muhammed Niyas Ashraf, Free University, Berlin, Germany, “The Jewel of Prophet Muhammad and Saintly Veneration of Sayyidat Nisā’: Image of Fāṭima in the Colonial Malabar, South-West Indian Ocean”

Manasicha Akepiyapornchai, Cornell University, USA, “Surrendering to God in Tamil”
12:30-13:30Lunch for conference presenters
13:45-15:15Speech, Silence, and Song
Lecture Theatre – AC02-109 (LT)
Chair: Subhasree Chakravarty

Anna Dasgupta, Ambedkar University, India, “Language Possessed: A Comparative Analysis of Mallika Sengupta’s ‘Khanaa’s Song’ and Malathi Maithri’s ‘Demon Language'”

Subhasree Chakravarty, Ashoka University, India, “Tongue Untied: Women and Forbidden Speech in Classical and Medieval India”

Juliana Dresvina, University of Oxford, England, “Invisible Mystics of Medieval Russia: A Gendered Perspective” (online presentation)
15:30-17:00Mystical Communities
Lecture Theatre – AC02-109 (LT)
Chair: Aparna Chaudhuri 

Renata Modráková, National Library of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic, “Emanatio Sanguinis de Pede Sancte Crucis. Jesus Christ’s Mystic in Benedictine Nunneries on Eastern European Borders”

Rashi Agrawal and Shraddha Upadhyay, Ashoka University, India, “Seeds of Mysticism: Planting Community in Conflict”

Godelinde Perk, University of Oxford, England, “Manipulating Christ, Moving Others: Holy Materiality and Community in the Devotio Moderna Sister-books and Julian of Norwich’ A Revelation of Love” (online presentation)
17:00-17:30 Conclusions, followed by tea

The conference is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Governing Intimacies Project at Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa.