Dr. Shantana Saikia lecture on Sattra Institutions of Assam (09.05)

Seminar of Oriental Studies invites: on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018, 6:15 PM in the room 307 of the UT main building (Ülikooli 18) a lecture by visiting scholar SHANTANA SAIKIA (Bahona College, India): 

Your God or Mine? Vishnu or Brahmaputra?  A Folkloristic Reading of the Sattra Institutions of Assam (India)

The lecture introduces the 16th century monotheistic religious institutions of Assam called sattras. Associated with the name of the vaishnavite patron saint of Assam, Srimanta Sankardev (1449-1568), sattras refer to both a physical space as well as the cloistered group of devotees who chant the name of Vishnu as the only way to salvation, and recognising no other god. However, a closer inspection throws light on interesting layers of beliefs associated with ‘lesser deities’ that help them to mediate their worldly transactions. The lecture will focus on the positioning of folk genres prevalent within the dominant classical discourse and their dialogic relation. 

The lecture is in English.

All who may be interested are welcome.

Contact: Märt Läänemets mart.laanemets@ut.ee; Ülo Valk ulo.valk@ut.ee

Dr Shantana Saikia is Associate Professor of English at Bahona College, Dibrugarh university in Jorhat, Assam. She has written her doctoral thesis on folklore in sattras (monastic religious institutions) of Assam and has published on the oral literature of sattras.