Cosmopolitan Encounters: Sanskrit and Persian at the Mughal Court


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


South Asian Studies


This dissertation reconstructs the history of interactions between Sanskrit and Persian literary cultures at the Mughal court from 1570-1650 C.E. During this period, the Mughal Empire supported Sanskrit textual production and produced Persian translations of Sanskrit literature. Likewise, Sanskrit intellectuals became influential members of the Mughal court and developed a new historical memory of the Persianate world in Sanskrit. These cross-cultural interactions are central moments when northern India’s two cosmopolitan cultures negotiated their aesthetic, social, and political dynamics. This dissertation provides the first detailed account of these engagements and attempts to understand their meaning for the development of literary cultures and the production and reproduction of political power.