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ILCAA Joint Research Project

Culture and Society in Early Modern South Asia: Cross-Linguistic Comparative Studies of Literary and Religious Texts



  • Early Modernity
  • Literature
  • Religions
  • Cross-cultural Contact


  • South Asia



About the Project

Project term: April, 2016–March, 2019

This project aims to reconsider the cultural history of South Asia from the 16th to the 18th century (recently called the “early modern” period), immediately preceding the British colonial period. By making comparisons and finding connections between literary and religious texts, such as courtly literature, heroic ballads, bhakti poems, and doctrinal/philosophical books, composed in different languages at different places in South Asia during the period, this project attempts to grasp the tendencies of literature and thought that characterized the early modern South Asian cultures. In addition, the project will arrive at a new understanding of the cultural networks that may have extended pan-regionally, crossing both political borders and the differences of religions and languages. The joint researchers will present papers on case studies of particular texts from a comparative perspective in meetings that will be held three times a year. These researchers are also expected to join the discussion on the social contexts and cultural networks behind the production and reception of those texts and to shed light on how different cultural strands are contained in one text. The results of this project will be published as an edited volume of essays contributed by the joint researchers.

Nobuhiro OTA, Project Coordinator (Associate Professor, ILCAA)



  • Nobuhiro OTA (ILCAA)


  • Nobuaki KONDO
  • Satoshi OGURA

Joint Researchers

  • Ayako NINOMIYA
  • Chihiro KOISO
  • Hiroko NAGASAKI
  • Hiroyuki MASHITA
  • Ikuko WADA
  • Katsuyuki IDA
  • Kazuyo SAKAKI
  • Kiyokazu OKITA
  • Masahiko MITA
  • Michihiro OGAWA
  • Taigen HASHIMOTO
  • Yoshifumi MIZUNO
  • Yuri ISHIDA



The 1st meeting Report (Japanese)(198KB)

  • Date/Time: 11 December 2016 (Sun.) 14:00–19:00
  • Venue: Hongo Satellite 8F
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Nobuhiro OTA (ILCAA)
    “Blurring Boundaries of Cultural / Literary Histories of Early Modern South Asia: A Perspective from Courtly Literature / Culture of the Mysore Kingdom”
    Kiyokazu OKITA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kyoto University)
    “Vaiṣṇava Perceptions of Muslim Authority in Early Modern South Asia: Based on Bengali Hagiographies of Caitanya”
    All members

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