Sankrit Lives! The Ongoing Life Story of India's Classical Language by Urmila Patil, Ph.D

Department: Religious Studies

Date and Time: November 5, 2014 | 4:00 PM-6:00 PM

Event Location: Humanities Gateway 1010

Event Details

The journey through time of Sanskrit, India’s classical language, began roughly five thousand years ago and continues to the present. Starting with the earliest poetry in the foundational Hindu scriptures, the Vedas, the life story of this language weaves in the history of the many ritualistic, meditative, scientific, and aesthetical modes that emerged subsequently. Sanskrit has continued to summon various political and social meanings even since its historic encounter with modernity. The story that Urmila Patil will tell is one of the transformations and dramatic challenges that the language encountered, and how it was understood by various actors along the way. The talk concludes by considering how Sanskrit has diversified itself today and questions the perception that it is a dead language.

Dr. Urmila Patil, currently teaching Sanskrit at Loyola Marymount University, earned a BA and an MA in Sanskrit at the University of Mumbai, where she not only began a student periodical in Sanskrit but acted in Sanskrit dramas. She continued her education at the University of Texas, writing a doctoral dissertation that combined linguistic study with Indian history. She joins UCI’s Program in Religious Studies starting in the winter quarter with a survey of Asian religions and continuing in the spring quarter with a to be announced upper division course in Hinduism.