Assistant religion professor Sohini Pillai will represent Kalamazoo College at 9 a.m. EST on Sunday in a YouTube talk titled “The Multiplicity of the Mahabharata Tradition” which she will present via Karwaan: The Heritage Exploration Initiative.
The initiative is an independent, student-led initiative based in India, which aims to rekindle the love for India’s heritage and history and to inspire young minds. Throughout the pandemic, he has organized online scholarly lectures on the history, culture, art, literature, cinema and religion of India.
Ancient Sanskrit Mahabharata (circa 300 BCE to 300 AD the 100 Kauravas. Pillai stated that the Mahabharata was presented in the form of poems, dramas, ballads, novels, short stories, comics, TV shows, features feature films, fantasy children’s series, podcasts, YouTube videos, social media posts and more.
Pillai’s talk on Sunday will illustrate the rich multiplicity of the Mahabharata tradition through close examination of 12 renderings of a single episode of the Mahabharata that was created over a period of at least 2,000 years. It will focus on the most disturbing and popular scenes of the Mahabharata lore, the attempted undress of Draupadi, the common wife of the Pandavas, and the heroine of the epic.
In May 2021, Pillai co-edited a volume with Nell Shapiro Hawley of Harvard University titled Many Mahabharatas, which was published by State University of New York Press. The first 20 pages of the introduction she co-wrote are available on the SUNY website. Some of the Mahabharatas she will discuss on Sunday will be highlighted in her current book project which is tentatively titled Krishna at Court: Devotion, Patronage, and Mahabharata in Premodern South Asia.
The conference will be available free to the public on the Karwaan Initiative YouTube channel.