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Exploring the Syrian Christian and the Muslim Archives in South India: What has been done and what should be done?

Istvan Perczel
Wednesday, March 24, 2021, 12:40 pm – 1:30 pm

Starting with the year 2000, István Perczel launched a project for the exploration, digitization, processing, and preservation of Syrian Christian manuscript archives in India. The lecture will present the multireligious setting in Kerala, the complex tasks of the fieldwork, some members of the team, as well as some of the most interesting findings. The final part of the lecture will present the need for carrying out similar work on the local Muslim archives, which contain invaluable material about trans-Arabian Sea contacts, South Indian Islam, and intercommunal relations. The exploration of community archives in India, while being a necessary step for preserving an endangered heritage, also opens new perspectives on Indian history.

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This presentation is a part of a recent series of events – the CEMS Research Seminar –  informal, lunchtime gatherings at which CEMS members present their current or recent research in a friendly, low-stakes environment. The presentations will be brief (15-20mins) and ample time will be left for discussion. The idea is to become more familiar with one another’s research and encourage conversations within CEMS. In this way, we hope to strengthen the internal community and benefit from the excellent scholarship in which our colleagues are engaged.