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Published on Apr 18, 2018
A presentation by Allison Busch, Associate Professor of Hindi Literature in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University at "Court, Sampradāya and Beyond: A Workshop on Hindi Literary Traditions from the 16th to 19th Centuries," held on Friday, April 13, 2018 at UC Berkeley. This workshop brought together research on a range of literary traditions from the 16th to 19th centuries in an attempt to rethink standard narratives on periodization, genre and context.
Abstract: Brajbhasha sources are widely recognized as important for understanding early modern religious values, but they are also a valuable resource for accessing visions of kingship as well as local perspectives on Mughal politics. Exemplary here are the Brajbhasha literary records relating to Raja Chatrasal Bundela (1649-1731), the charismatic rebel king from Bundelkhand. In the presentation I give special emphasis to the works of Lal Kavi, a leading figure from Chatrasal’s court at Panna. His acclaimed Chatraprakāś (Chatrasal’s Brilliance, c. 1710) is a complex literary biography that, while marked with bhakti hues that shade into hagiography, also exposes the fissures in Mughal political legitimacy that were already being expressed in the early eighteenth century.