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Printing Religion in South Asia


We are delighted to announce our symposium “Printing Religion in South Asia” that will take place on October 18, 2023, at the 51st Annual Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin–Madison. We cordially invite you all to attend our symposium. Please find our final program and flyers as attachments, and share our announcement with your home institutions and colleagues.

Our symposium features eight early- to mid-career scholars specializing in South Asian religious and material cultures.


Annanya Bohidar | Hindu Śāstra, Sexual Science or Pornography? A Study of Printed Sex Books in the Tamil Public Sphere (1900–1940s)

Rushnae Kabir | Witnessing Love in the Milād Ritual: Devotion, Orality, and Emotion in the Milādnāma

Alexandra Kaloyanides | The Power of the Book in Nineteenth-Century Burma

Sharmeen Mehri | New Ways of Reading: Printing the Khordeh Avesta in Colonial India

Shobna Nijhawan | At the Margins of the Hindi Periodical: Marketing Religious Publications

Pranav Prakash | Unorthodox Printing: A Brief History of Maithili Chapbooks in Colonial South Asia

Megan Eaton Robb | The Imperial Constellation of Newspapers

Rick Weiss | Early Tamil Hindu Print Culture: Revolutionary or Meerely Reproductive?


John Cort | Panel 1: The Impact of Print

Jamal Jones | Panel 2: The Craft of Print

Daniel Morgan | Panel 3: The Community of Print

Yasmin Saikia | Panel 4: The Power of Print

This symposium is part of our Book Cultures of South Asia collaboration that we founded in 2019 at the annual meeting of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography, Rare Book School, University of Virginia. We have since been building a network of scholars whose research makes valuable contributions to subdisciplines like the history of the book, critical bibliography and the study of material cultures from the vantage point of South Asian history and religions. As we continue to promote the study of material, textual and visual cultures in the field of South Asian Studies, we hope to benefit from your thoughtful engagement, support and encouragement.


Megan Eaton Robb and Pranav Prakash