Mapping Channels between Ganges and Rhine:
German - Indian Cross-Cultural Relations

An international, interdisciplinary Conference

University of Toronto, May 25-26, 2006




Presenters and Abstracts

Practical Information


Pages last updated:
June 1, 2006


Cross-cultural relations between the Indian subcontinent and the German-speaking countries have a long, diverse history and have manifested themselves in literature, linguistics, the performing arts, religion, philosophy, history, and many other fields. They have also long been regarded as expressions of a special relationship : ever since the Middle Ages, “India” – not just as a geographical location, but also a philosophical, spiritual concept – has held a unique position in the German imagination. On the flipside, there is considerable Indian interest in German culture, including wide recognition of several German authors, philosophers, and Indologists. Concepts and names that mark some of the channels of exchange and communication between the two cultures include Balthasar Sprenger, Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg, Kalidasa’s Sakuntala, Herder, the Schlegel brothers, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Heine, Nietzsche, “Moksha” Müller, Hermann Hesse, Rabindranath Tagore, the ideology of the “Aryan,” Subhash Chandra Bose and his affiliation with Hitler, Gandhi, Annemarie Schimmel, Günter Grass, and many others. In recent years, Orientalist Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Intercultural German Studies, and Transnational Studies have given new impetus and directions to the interest in Indo-German relations. The aim of this conference was to achieve an overview over the current state and trends of research in this field.

Conference sponsored by:
JIGES: Joint Initiative in German and European Studies Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto CCGES: Canadian Centre for German and European Studies, York University
Department of German, University of Toronto Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, York University Department of South Asia Studies, University of Toronto
Diaspora and Transnational Studies Centre, University of Toronto