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About Pattrika
This biannual newsletter is conceived to give a glimpse of the many and varied projects conducted by the French research centres in India.Click here for previous issues
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Focus

Dawn at the Satyanathasvamin temple in Kancheepuram

At the instigation of Ute Hüsken and Jonas Buchholz, both from the University of Heidelberg, efforts are underway to prepare a reading workshop about Temple Networks in South India within the framework of the project “Temple Networks in Early Modern South India”, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Although this might not seem a central theme of research for the Pondicherry Centre of the EFEO, there are in fact numerous points of overlap with other projects underway, for the topic naturally requires a consideration of the many literary works that purport to describe sacred sites, such as the Tiricirāmalai-Antāti, a hundred-verse Tamil poem cut into the rock of Trichy in the ninth or tenth century, which is currently being analsyed and translated by Indra Manuel in the context of the DHARMA project (ERC Grant N°809994). Also focussing on Trichy, particularly on its sacred water-bodies, is R. Sathyanarayan’s edition, in collaboration with Marzenna Czerniak-Drożdżowicz (Jagiellonian University, Cracow), of the Sanskrit Māhātmya praising the site of Shrirangam, which they have been preparing in the framework of their project "Cultural ecosystem of textual traditions from pre-modern South India", a project financed by the National Science Centre, Poland (UMO -2018/29/B/HS2/01182). Then there is the Taṇikaippurāṇam, in praise of the site of Tiruttani. This is a vast and extremely elaborate compendium composed in Tamil verse in the eighteenth century by Kacciyappa Muṉivar, part of which K. Nachimuthu is analysing and translating in the framework of the Śivadharma project (ERC Grant N°803624). These various activities at the EFEO dovetail with the interests of the Heidelberg team, who are scrutinising the sacred topography of the city of Kancheepuram, using its many pre-modern Māhātmyas (hagiotopographies) composed in Sanskrit and Tamil.

Contact: Dominic{dot}Goodall{at}efeo-pondicherry{dot}org



The Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), in collaboration with ICAS:MP, the CNRS 80 and the French Institute in India (IFI) presented the first retrospective on the legacies of campus-based politics in contemporary India. Memories of Change, curated by Jean-Thomas Martelli, is part of the broader framework of the Intermediary Actors of Politics in India (IAPI) research project, sponsored by the Fonds d'Alembert of the Institut Français, aiming at examining the role of political mediators in the conduct of Indian democracy.

Memories of Change, consisted in the analysis of two novel archival repositories (The PaRChA project [+70 000 items] and The Long Emergency database [+10 000 items]) including mostly pamphlets, posters, leaflets, manifestos, reports, letters and press releases, as well as series of oral history interviews covering Indian student political participation from the 1970s till date.

Seven thematic foci were curated in order to showcase vivid fragments of Indian history over the past half-century in an exhibition that took place at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. They include student politics during the Indian emergency, as well as questions around Gender, Caste, Liberalization, Hindu Nationalism, Positive discrimination and Dissent.

The exhibition, that mobilized a team of archivists and designers for half-a-year, intended to emulate the experience of a university hostel room, through introducing archival gems on red-bricked wall, ultimately unfolding the pamphleteer memories of educated youth.

Memories of Change also hosted a roundtable at IHC and a Two-day workshop at the Institute of Economic Growth (University of Delhi), where the exhibition was relocated November-end. It aims at resettling in the upcoming months in various Indian cities such as Kolkata, Hyderabad and New Delhi.

The curatorial note and relevant archival content can be accessed here




Participants of the 5th SSWSP

The Social Sciences Winter School in Pondicherry (SSWSP) is a multi-year programme of intensive and multidisciplinary training workshops addressing theoretical and methodological issues in social science research. Started in 2014, this initiative originated from an Indo-French cooperation in social sciences between the French Institute of Pondicherry (IFP) and the Pondicherry University with 3 main objectives: to build up research capacity-building; strengthen Indo-French cooperation in research in India, and consolidate a community of young Indian scholars.

The fifth edition of the SSWSP took place at the French Institute of Pondicherry from December 2nd to 6th 2019 in collaboration with the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS). The major theme of this edition was to address societal challenges at the intersection between Heritage, Communities and Sustainability. 64 PhD students and young researchers from different disciplines and universities across India participated in the event. The objective was to expose the participants to research frontiers in social sciences, with a focus on memory, preservation and modes of expression of the people, and the possibility of creating a "living archives". Every year, the SSWSP has provided each participant with the opportunity to transfer knowledge, share experiences and research ideas.

Click here for more details.