Johannes L. Kurz

The Imperial Library of the Northern Song
A Complete Translation of the Lintai gushi (canben) 麟台故事 (殘本) by Cheng Ju 程俱 (1078-1144)

The present text is a translation of the Lintai gushi by Cheng Ju, a book that deals with the imperial book collections under the Northern Song. The library collections of the early Northern Song were created from scratch, only to be partially destroyed again in the disastrous fire of 1015 and during the shift of the capital from Kaifeng to Hangzhou. Cheng Ju’s Lintai gushi is the oldest surviving source of information on the Northern Song (960‒1126) imperial libraries. The Lintai gushi bears witness to the various activities undertaken to rebuild comprehensive book collections and thus to fill the gap in the history of imperial Song libraries.

Jamila Adeli

Kunst, Markt, Kommunikation
Die zeitgenössische Kunstwelt in Indien im Wandel (2000-2018)

Media and Cultural Studies, Vol. 2

Contemporary visual art has long since ceased to take place only in Western art centres. In particular, "emerging art markets" such as India or China, with their aspiring middle and upper classes, have increasingly attracted the attention of the global art field since the beginning of the 2000s. However, these art markets do not simply fit into the Western art establishment, but differentiate themselves into (trans)local art fields. This book traces how (trans)local art institutions, knowledge spaces and resources have evolved in India between 2000 and 2018 and suggests that the transformation of the contemporary art world in India can be understood as a decided process of localisation. Based on the India Art Fair, the Kochi-Muziris-Biennale and the positioning and practices of local art actors in Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi, a new self-understanding of the art-interested Indian society becomes visible, which increasingly leads to emancipation from Western art centres.


Ulrike Niklas, Heinz Werner Wessler, Peter Wyzlic, Stefan Zimmer (Eds.)

»Das alles hier«
Festschrift für Konrad Klaus zum 65. Geburtstag

»Das Weltall, die Gesamtheit des in der Welt Vorhandenen, wird in den Brāhmaṇas gewöhnlich mit dem Ausdruck idaṃ sarvam ›das alles hier‹ bezeichnet…«, reads Konrad Klaus' doctoral thesis Die altindische Kosmologie (1986). The completion of his 65th year – at the same time the completion of two decades as a university professor in Bonn – is a welcome occasion for us to honour Konrad Klaus with this Festschrift. »Das alles hier« may gladly also be interpreted in terms of the honoree's life's work to date: A rich academic work with multiple activities in teaching, research and science management with a large number of brilliant publications on philological and cultural-historical issues as visible signs. Konrad Klaus has a worthy place in the scholarly tradition of Indology, which began in Germany with the establishment of the first chair dedicated to Indian philology at the newly founded University of Bonn in 1818. It would be mistaken to think that the 200th anniversary in 2018 was a kind of early funeral. The transition to South Asian Studies with a renewed profile is part of the life's work of Konrad Klaus, who, although himself a classical Indologist, fully supported and benevolently accompanied this reorientation.

Kathrin Holz

The Bhadrakarātrī-sūtra
Apotropaic Scriptures in Early Indian Buddhism

Monographs on Indian Archaeology, Art and Philology, Vol. 27

This book examines the Bhadrakarātrī-sūtra, an important representative of early Buddhist rakṣā literature, and thereby contributes to the investigation of this literary genre. This work ultimately presents an edition, partial reconstruction, and translation of the two extant Sanskrit manuscripts found in Central Asia, as well as a critical edition and translation of the Tibetan version of this text. Special focus is also given to the Chinese and Tibetan variants of the mantras. Moreover, it highlights specific rakṣā elements, formal features, and linguistic and semantic patterns of the Bhadrakarātrī-sūtra. These are crucial for the understanding of the peculiarities of its language, as well as its textual development and classification among rakṣā literature.

Liang Chen

Begräbnistexte im sozialen Wandel der Han-Zeit
Eine typologische Untersuchung der Jenseitsvorstellungen

During the Han period (202 BC - 220 AD), funerary texts were added to tombs in China. These were intended to serve as a means of communication between this world and the hereafter. This work systematically analyses funerary texts from about 180 tombs and thus shows the development of the concept of the afterlife in connection with social change in the Han period. Special attention is paid to the form and material composition of the texts, their physical and symbolic position in the tomb, as well as the layout of the funerary texts and the seals used in them. Statistical analysis of the geographical and temporal occurrence of the funerary texts will also identify centres of distribution and reveal regional interactions. In addition, the connection between the outbreak of epidemics and the distribution of the funerary texts in the Eastern Han period is examined. With the help of detailed textual analyses, the question of whether tomb-protecting texts are to be regarded as products of folk belief or Daoism is then pursued.


Arian Hopf

Translating Islam, Translating Religion
Conceptions of Religion and Islam in the Aligarh Movement

Religion is commonly perceived as an unequivocally defined concept. However, a historic perspective raises questions about this understanding and reveals religion as a concept that developed only in a process of negotiation with other religions. In particular, the 19th century is of special interest in this regard, as the colonial encounter intensifies tremendously in South Asia. The religions of South Asia are scrutinised, categorised, and compared to Christianity by Europeans, which leads to the development of religion as abstractum. Missionary and orientalist critique, as well as modern science, pose to be an entirely new confrontation for the Muslims of South Asia. This book aims to analyse Muslim responses to this confrontation, which imply a translation of Islam as a religion as well as an adaption of the concept of religion itself. The Aligarh Movement is of particular interest in this regard, as it intensively engages in these debates, trying to integrate a re-interpretation of Islam in these discourses.

Felix Otter

A Course in Reading Classical Newari
Selections from the Vetālapañcaviṃśati

A Course in Reading Classical Newari is intended for all who wish to acquire a basic knowledge of this acutely understudied language. The first part of the book provides an introduction to the phonology, morphology, and syntax of Classical Newari on the basis of the literary language of the late 17th century. Part two consists of twelve annotated reading passages that have been taken from various manuscripts of the as yet unedited Newari version of one of the most popular texts of the South Asian narrative tradition, the Vetālapañcaviṃśati. Appended to the book are a key to the exercises, translations of the reading passages, an index of verb forms, and a glossary.

Alexander Follmann, Judith Müller, Gregor C. Falk (Eds.)

Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien
10. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 24./25. Januar 2020, Freiburg

Geographien Südasiens, Vol. 12

Extended Abstracts der 10. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 24./25. Januar 2020 in Freiburg.

Fabienne Wallenwein

Tackling Urban Monotony
Cultural Heritage Conservation in China’s Historically and Culturally Famous Cities

With the threat and emergence of monotonous cityscapes in a rapidly urbanizing China, the pressure to preserve local characteristics has taken centre stage. Central and local governments at the beginning of the 1980s responded by prioritizing 24 cities with historical value and cultural relics. Drawing on international standards and experiences of early Chinese architects such as Liang Sicheng, the concept of “Historically and Culturally Famous Cities” begins to take shape. The study delineates three revitalized residential areas in the Jiangnan region, two of them characterized by splendid private gardens, Ming and Qing period mansions of historical figures, ceremonial archways, historic wells and trees. Strictly adhering to international conservation guidelines, the development of the Pingjiang Historic and Cultural Block in Suzhou came about in the conservation of its central road. As a pilot site for UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape management approach, Tongli Ancient Water Town explores its own ‘Tongli model’ for an integration of its residential and scenic areas. Contrastingly, the transformation of factory buildings and lilong architecture into a creative crucible in Tianzifang, Shanghai, is remarkable for its bottom-up approach. Based on these three areas which now serve as exemplars for integrated conservation and development, the study argues and demonstrates how “Historically and Culturally Famous Cities” developed from their initial concept into a multi-layered conservation system.

Johanna Hahn

Mythos und Moloch
Die Metropole in der modernen Hindi-Literatur (ca.1970-2010)

This work examines Hindi-language urban literature in the period between 1970 and the present. Using popular myths such as the "elusive city" (māyāvī śahar), characters such as the flâneur and places such as the tea stall, it shows how regional language narratives form an interface between global and national discourses and local worlds of experience. Hindi urban literature opens up a critical discursive space for social self-questioning in modern India. On the one hand, it stabilises notions of identity; on the other, it offers space for alternative imaginings of authentic coexistence in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and other major north Indian cities. Surprisingly, both conservative and (neo)Marxist alternatives are oriented towards the same idea of the idealised Indian nation. Especially utopian narratives and works dealing with citizenship bridge the gap between the national unity ideal of the founding years of the Indian republic and the postcolonial critique of the 1980s and 1990s with the question of the "own". Urban literature in Hindi thus enriches intellectual and political debates through regional language readings of the past and present.

Robert J. Zydenbos

A Manual of Modern Kannada

Kannada (also known as Canarese) is one among the few great living Indian literary languages that have officially been recognized as classical languages by the Government of India on account of their historical importance and literary richness. Today it is spoken by roughly 65 million people, is the sole official language of the south Indian state of Karnataka, and is recognized as one of the leading modern literary languages of India. This manual was specially written for the teaching of this Dravidian language in an academic setting but is also suitable for private self-learning.

Sebastian Sons

Arbeitsmigration nach Saudi-Arabien und ihre Wahrnehmung in Pakistan
Akteur*innen und Strategien der öffentlichen Sichtbarmachung

Media and Cultural Studies, Vol. 1

Labour migration to Saudi Arabia is considered a system-legitimising and commonplace phenomenon in Pakistan for economic, political, and cultural reasons: the Kingdom acts as an influential external actor in Pakistan at the (security) political, economic, and cultural levels. It is also the most important recipient country of Pakistani migrants. For these reasons, critical issues related to migration are rarely addressed in the Pakistani public sphere and are instead taboo. In recent years, however, new Pakistani public actors from civil society, media, and international organisations have begun to challenge this taboo. They want to make the precarious working and living conditions of migrants, structural violence, and the systemic exploitation within the migration process visible in the media. In this way, the new public actors contribute to a change in the media in Pakistan that challenges existing narratives and taboos on migration. Based on extensive empirical data, the book analyses the media practices and strategies used by these actors to expand limited public spaces on migration in Pakistan.

Gotelind MÜLLER, Nikolay SAMOYLOV (Eds.)

Chinese Perceptions of Russia and the West
Changes, Continuities, and Contingencies during the Twentieth Century

This book aims at investigating changes and continuities in Chinese perceptions of Russia and the West during the 20th century, paying heed to the fact that the respective ascriptions and “frontlines” were historically contingent: who and what represented “Russia“ or “the West“ at a given time and at a given place? Was “Russia“ part of “the West“, or not? And if it was, in which regard? Which factors – foreign or indigenous – led to changes in Chinese perceptions and representations and why? With such questions in mind, this book was taking shape, growing out of a German-Russian project funded by the DFG-RFBR. The German-Russian research team from Heidelberg University and St. Petersburg State University worked on exploring the topic together with colleagues from mainland China and Taiwan, concentrating on three major areas: 1. The field of socialization via a look into normative descriptions of Russia and “the West“ in Chinese school textbooks which define images of the “other/s“ from childhood on; 2. The field of literature and Chinese fictional representations of Russia and “the West“ consumed by a Chinese reading public; 3. The field of visual and material manifestations which define images of the “other/s“ in their own medial way and make them accessible also to a public far from purely discursive levels and to those who do not actively look for them.

Carmen Brandt, Hans Harder (Eds.)

Wege durchs Labyrinth
Festschrift zu Ehren von Rahul Peter Das

Wege durchs Labyrinth ist eine Festschrift zu Ehren von Professor Dr. Rahul Peter Das. Sie enthält deutsch- und englischsprachige Beiträge von Kollegen und Kolleginnen, Schülern und Schülerinnen sowie Weggefährten von Professor Das. Die hier versammelten Aufsätze bilden verschiedene thematische Schwerpunkte ab, die auch Professor Das in seinem umfangreichen wissenschaftlichen Oeuvre bearbeitet hat. Dazu gehören Sanskrit-Studien, historische Sprachwissenschaft, Texteditionen in neuindoarischen Sprachen, Soziolinguistik, südasiatische Religionsgeschichte, bengalische und Hindi-Literatur, Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Indologie/Südasienstudien sowie auch Tamilistik. Einige der Beiträge knüpfen direkt an Rahul Peter Das' Werk oder bestimmte Schriften an, während die Gesamtheit der Aufsätze seine verschiedenen Forschungsinteressen und unterschiedlichen methodischen Ansätze widerspiegeln.

Beitragende zu dieser Festschrift sind Carmen Brandt, Renata Czekalska, Ines Fornell, Eli Franco, Ratul Ghosh, Olav Hackstein, Hans Harder, Martin Kämpchen, Klaus Karttunen, Makoto Kitada, Frank J. Korom, Agnieszka Kuczkiewicz-Fras, Halina Marlewicz, Ulrike Niklas, Tatiana Oranskaia, Felix Otter, Adapa Satyanarayana, Britta Schulze-Thulin, Sabine Franziska Strich, Heinz Werner Wessler und Benjamin Zachariah.

Danuta Stasik (Ed.)

The Rāmāyaṇa Narratives in Indian Literature and Arts

The Rāmāyaṇa tradition is well known for an inexhaustible variety of forms and narrative structures transmitted by different media. Oral–Written–Performed examines selected textual, oral, visual and performing forms in which the Rāma story has functioned in Indian literature and arts. It also investigates the techniques that transform the Rāmāyaṇa narratives. The volume addresses the question how narratives become vehicles for literary conventions and ideologies expressive of diverse sectarian concerns, or cultural values. It is an excellent companion to earlier publications on the Rāmāyaṇa tradition and indispensable reading for students of South Asian literature, arts and religion.

Judith Müller, Juliane Dame, Carsten Butsch (Eds.)

Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien
9. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 25./26. Januar 2019, Heidelberg

Geographien Südasiens, Vol. 11

Extended abstracts der 9. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 25./26. Januar 2019 in Heidelberg.

Ulrich Unger

Grammatik des Klassischen Chinesisch

Reinhard Emmerich (Ed.)

The Grammar of Classical Chinese, which until now was only partially distributed among the author’s friends and students, has now been published as a whole. Initially created as nine volumes, written roughly between 1980 and 2000, the grammar was digitally revised and merged into one edition. Its subject, Classical Chinese, is defined by Unger as the language of the 5th to the 3rd century BCE, the final period of Old Chinese and the actual age of formation of Chinese culture. Unger’s working method was to extract the relevant grammatical categories from the language itself. As the most comprehensive Western language description of the Classical Language to date, it shall serve as a reference work among both experts and advanced students, who aim to gain a deeper understanding of Classical Chinese.


Maya Burger, Nadia Cattoni (Eds.)

Early Modern India
Literatures and Images, Texts and Languages

This book presents recent scholarly research on one of the most important literary and historical periods of the Early Modern era from a wide range of approaches and perspectives. It contains a selection of contributions presented at the 12th International Conference on Early Modern Literatures of North India which provide fresh and new material as well as innovative methods to approach it.
The organizing principle of the volume lies in its exploration of the links between a multiplicity of languages (Indian vernaculars, Persian, Sanskrit), of media (texts, paintings, images) and of traditions (Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Muslim). The role of the Persian language and the importance of the translations from Sanskrit into Persian are discussed in light of the translational turn. The relations between various yogic traditions, especially of Nath origin, from Kabir and other sampradayas, are reconsidered.

Carsten Butsch, Alexander Follmann, Judith Müller (Eds.)

Aktuelle Forschungsbeiträge zu Südasien
8. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 19./20. Januar 2018, Köln

Geographien Südasiens, Vol. 10

Extended abstracts der 8. Jahrestagung des AK Südasien, 19./20. Januar 2018 in Köln.

Andrei Dörre, Stefan Schütte (Eds.)

Potentials and Challenges for Development in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan

Berlin Geographical Papers, Vol. 48

After gaining independence in 1991, Kyrgyzstan experienced fundamental transformations of the political system, the economy and the sociocultural sphere. These transformations had various immediate impacts on the people’s daily life in terms of income generation, the provision with food and consumer goods, the management and use of locally available natural resources, as well as the availability of reliable social services, including health and education. Questions related to national belonging and religious identity represent another fundamental challenge of the post-Soviet era, requiring the search for new answers. Against this background, the student project focused on three thematic clusters including ten subprojects: I) ‘Economy: markets, trade, and agriculture’; II) ‘Connections and relations: rural-urban nexuses’; and III) ‘Culture and society: religion and identity’. The studies were conducted in close cooperation with the Naryn State University named after S. Naamatov located in Naryn Town, the administrative centre of Naryn Oblast’. Ten groups of up to three Kyrgyz and German students addressed specific issues through case study approaches applied in selected rural and urban settings of the province. The scope of the individual subprojects encompassed issues like the car trade and public transport system in Naryn Town, the bazaar economy of the city, trade and value chains of milk and other animal products, the management and utilisation of pastures and irrigation water, challenges related to drinking water supply, small-scale gold mining, endogenous development potentials, and the representation of national identity in the study region. This report includes a selection of the manifold results gained by the Kyrgyz-German student group, and presents six case studies addressing diverse topics