On Saturday 26th September the RAS, in association with the Bagri Foundation, were pleased to host a Special Study Day, “Updating Hodgson”. The gathered participants were encouraged to view an exhibition of Hodgson material from the RAS Collections.
David Waterhouse opened the proceedings with a brief overview of Hodgson’s biography before handing over to Dr Mark Watson of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. He gave a enlightening talk about the early pioneers of Nepali botanical research and Hodgson’s limited role within that field.
David Lowther from the University of Newcastle then spoke on Hodgson’s important role in Himalayan zoology, followed by Professor David Gellnar on Hodgson as an ethnographer of Newar Buddhism. The lectures were concluded by Professor Surya Subedi, O.B.E. who, whilst speaking on the current changing political and constitutional landscape in Nepal, also enlightened us on Hodgson’s role in the recording of Nepal’s administrative frameworks.
However this was not the end of the proceedings. After a drinks reception Charles Allen launched his new book “The Prisoner of Kathmandu: Brian Hodgson in Nepal 1820-1843” by giving a lively talk about some of the many insights concerning Hodgson that he has gleaned during his research.
We are grateful to all the speakers for giving of their time to share the current knowledge concerning Brian Houghton Hodgson’s life and work. We are now preparing for the first of the 2015-2016 Lecture Series. On Thursday 8th October, Professor Janice Stargardt of the University of Cambridge will lecture on “The Adoption of Buddhism in Burma (Myanmar)”. Professor Stargardt is the Principal Convenor for the international Research Group, Relics and Relic Worship in the Early Buddhism of India and Burma, so we look forward to hearing her speak on the subject. We would welcome all to attend this lecture on the 8th, commencing at 6pm.
And on October 9th and 10th, the RAS plays host to the Muslim South Asia Conference 2015. Full details of the conference can be found on their website and we look forward to participating in this event. Their keynote address will be by Professor Michel Boivin, Centre for the Study of India and South Asia, CEIAS Paris, also on Thursday 8th October but held in SOAS MAIN BUILDING L67.