Sapientia Erdélyi Magyar Tudományegyetem – Csíkszeredai Kar –

Főoldal / Hírek /

Middle Bengali Retreat cum Workshop in Transylvania, 2017

The Faculty of Economics, Socio-Human Sciences and Engineering, Department of Human Sciences at Sapientia — Hungarian University of Transylvania, Miercurea Ciuc/Csíkszereda in collaboration with AIBS (American Institute of Bangladesh Studies) and the University of Chicago, is organising for the second time a Middle Bengali Retreat and Workshop between Thursday 3 Aug. and Sunday 13 Aug. 2017.


The aim of the retreat is to bring together scholars and advanced students of Middle Bengali in a relatively informal way, to discuss or simply to enjoy reading together texts on which a specialist is working. In this way, not only the audience would benefit from the leaders’ expertise but important feedback will also be provided for panel leaders from a qualified audience. Participants are normally academics and graduate students; however, undergraduates with a firm commitment are also encouraged to attend.

Academic content

The format will be similar to the other Intensive Retreats (for Sanskrit see e.g. including outings and reading texts outdoors within beautiful scenery. Each day, three ninety-minute reading sessions will be conducted by outstanding specialists. One text will be read through several sessions.

This year, the readings will cover a wide range of Middle Bengali texts and a variety of genres (narrative, lyric, didactic) and periods (from the Bengali Sultanate to late Mughal times). After a general introduction on Middle Bengali grammar, prosody and literary genres, we will read texts such as Rūprām’s Dharmamaṅgal, narratives on the lives of Sufi saints, Brajabuli lyrics by Vidyapati and other poets, Vaiṣṇava hagiographies and plays, etc… Session leaders who confirmed their participation are Tony Stewart (Vanderbilt University), Rebecca Manring (University of Indiana, Bloomington), Thibaut d’Hubert (University of Chicago), and Ishan Chakrabarti (University of Chicago). The list of session leaders and the detailed program will be made available by the end of March 2017.


Arrival: evening Wednesday 2 Aug

Reading sessions start on Thursday 3 Aug

Last session: afternoon Saturday, 12 Aug.

Trip to Saint Anne’s lake: Sunday 6 Aug

Optional: Trip to the Saxon Town of Braşov (Brassó/Kronstadt) 13 Aug.


Daily programme:
8 Breakfast
9 Session A
10.30 tea/coffee
11 Session B
13 lunch
14 Session C (outing to the hills where we read the texts)
19 dinner

Practical information

Accommodation, meals and most of the readings will be at the The Faculty of Economics, Socio-Human Sciences and Engineering — Hungarian University of Transylvania in Miercurea Ciuc. Participants are normally lodged at the university’s hostel in the same building. The accommodation is simple, but clean and friendly. There are kitchenettes on each floor. There is no washing machine, but laundry service is available in town. The university is in the town centre next to a park. The participation fee includes accommodation at the hostel with full board.

People requiring accommodation with extra facilities, can make their own arrangement in nearby hotels. The organiser will be happy to advise you on this.

The participation fee will be about 400 Euros per person, 300 for students in shared accommodation (both to be confirmed).


Miercurea Ciuc/Csíkszereda ( is situated in the Eastern part of Transylvania 100 kms north of the town of Braşov (Kronstadt/Brassó). Trains from Bucharest take five or six hours. This is the most popular way to reach. The town is at 12-hour train journey from Budapest.


If you intend to apply, please write to Ishan Chakrabarti.

Deadline for applications 02 May 2017.


With practical queries please contact Mr Béla-János Bács (

Questions regarding the academic content should be addressed to Ishan Chakrabarti:



Zsuzsa Ajtony (Sapientia – Hungarian University of Transylvania)

Béla-János Bács (administrative support)

Imre Bangha (University of Oxford)

Ishan Chakrabarti (University of Chicago)

Thibault d’Hubert (University of Chicago)


2019. május