Unrolling a Tradition
CAS’s Frank Korom lectures tonight about the Bengali Bardic tradition
Frank Korom, a College of Arts and Sciences associate professor of anthropology and religion, will talk about his research tonight, September 18, at the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies. The lecture, Orality, Literacy, and Innovation in a Bengali Bardic Tradition, will follow a reception at 6 p.m. in Room 202 of the center, at 147 Bay State Rd.
The presentation explores the changing worlds of the Patuas of West Bengal, an itinerant caste of scroll painters and singers who converted en masse from Hinduism to Islam in the 13th century. Originally working in a solely oral medium, they have gradually come to rely on other forms of media for inspiration because of a declining system of patronage in the age of mechanical reproduction. Using examples from their extensive repertoires, Korom wil examine the intersections of sacred and secular, oral and literate, in the context of a dynamic tension between tradition and modernity.+ Comments