Towards a Digital Encyclopaedic Dictionary of South Asian Literatures: The French DELI Project
Wednesday, 25. Jul 12:30 – 13:30, Room 10, 105 Boulevard Raspail
The panel aims both at providing a general presentation of the collaborative French project of digital Encyclopaedic Dictionary of South Asian Literatures (acronym DELI), launched in 2015, and at highlighting the epistemological, methodological and technical questions raised by such an undertaking.
Since 2015, under the coordination of the convenors of the panel, a large group of around 70 French and international scholars have been working on the conception and redaction of an Encyclopaedic Dictionary of South Asian Literatures (French DELI: Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des Littératures de l’Inde) designed to be freely available on an online digital platform, besides the publication of a “companion book”.
The scope of the dictionary is quite wide as it intends to deal with all kinds of literature produced in the Indian subcontinent from the Vedic hymns onwards and to acquaint the general reader with literary cultures, authors, works, genres, notions and institutions of the area. However in addition to its sheer size, the conception and the preparation of this dictionary raise a number of important epistemological, methodological and practical questions. The foremost aim of this panel is to highlight and discuss these questions with the academic South Asianist community after an initial presentation by the convenors of the general framework and stage of advancement of the DELI project. The main questions we want to engage with are:
– the importance of interdisciplinarity in such a dictionary;
– the delimitation of “South Asian” literatures;
– the challenge of writing the literary history of a multilingual area;
– the difficulties in establishing the definite list of entries of the dictionary;
– the ways to use digital humanities to circulate reliable information on South Asian literatures for a wide audience.