24 Apr When a Text Is a Song: Kabir Oral-Musical Traditions in North India
Linda Hess (Religious Studies, Stanford University)
Monday, April 24, 2017 /4:00 PM
Kabir, the iconoclastic fifteenth-century poet-saint of North India, composed his poetry orally. His poems, transmitted through song, spread quickly and were soon preserved in manuscripts and other media. Drawing on extensive ethnographic and textual research, Hess’s lecture will seek to illuminate how oral transmission, performance traditions, musical styles, and social contexts shape the interpretation of Kabir’s poetry in the oral-performative traditions through which his poems remain vibrantly alive in North India today.
Linda Hess, Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at Stanford University, is a leading scholar of Kabir. She is the author of The Bijak of Kabir (2002); Singing Emptiness: Kumar Gandharva Performs the Poetry of Kabir (2009); and Bodies of Song: Kabir Oral Traditions and Performative Worlds in North India (2015).
Sponsored by the IHC’s South Asian Religions and Cultures Research Focus Group.