Receptions of Indian Antiquity in Romantic Literature

deadline for submissions: 
July 10, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
PAMLA 2023
contact email: 


Cultural understandings of the East, specifically of India, in British Romanticism have opened up numerous lines of inquiry in Romantic and eighteenth-century studies. This panel strives to explore the reception of South Asian antiquity in Romantic literature. Doing so is important to augmenting our global understanding of the relation between past and present as British people acquired a new sense of the past through colonial encounters in India. Given the Anglo-French conflict in India, the imposition of British rule in Bengal, the founding of institutions such as the Royal Asiatic Society, and the discovery of Asiatic antiquity by figures like William Jones and Charles Wilkins in Britain and Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Frederick Schlegel, this period is vital to our understanding of human modernity as well as antiquity. We might also ask if there is a way of amending some of the injurious perspectives that evolved over the course of the nineteenth century viz. Indian civilization as the British Empire expanded its foothold, though not without appreciation for many areas of genuine exchange and learning among the philosophical traditions of Britain, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent that simultaneously occurred. 

This panel is particularly interested in how Anglophone writers translated and interpreted foundational texts in the Hindu tradition, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads, as well as Sanskrit literary works such as Kalidasa's Shakuntala. We are especially interested in papers that reflect on the underlying spiritual message and worldview of these texts and how it impacted literary creativity on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Note: to submit a proposal, you'll need to create a PAMLA account. Papers may be proposed through the following link:

All proposals are due on May 31. If you have any questions, you can reach the presiding officer for the session, Dr. Divya Nair, at

For more details about PAMLA 2023 please see here: