Radha Blinderman Receives Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship for Academic Year 2019-2020

May 14, 2019

In support of her project entitled “What Makes ‘Sectarian Grammars’ Different: A Comparative Study of Jīva Gosvāmin’s Harināmāmŗtavyākaraņa,” Radha Blinderman has received a 2019-2020 Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship to conduct research in India, France, and Switzerland.

With an interest in placing Jīva Gosvāmin’s work in the historical context of what Sheldon Pollock terms “the period of innovation” (1550-1750 c. AD), Radha’s project explores why religious affiliation was increasingly important for grammarians during this period and why religious traditions increasingly sought validation via grammar. Radha says of her research, “Sanskrit grammar is one of the most well-researched topics in the field of South Asian Studies, and yet the phenomenon of ‘sectarian grammar’ has hitherto received very little attention. The links between language and religion have vast social implications, and the history of ‘sectarian grammars’ offers a window to understanding caste struggles, reinvention of hierarchies, and modeling of religious communities through language.” For more information on fellowships, visit GSAS’ Summer, Research, and Travel Fellowships page, and congratulations to Radha for receiving this honor!