2023 Fall DSR Newsletter: In the Works

Great plans are in the making!

The 2024 Annual DSR Alumni & Friends Lecture: Wednesday, February 28, 2024 • 4:00-6:30 pm

DSR Alumni and Friends lecture. Slave Trade, Witchcraft, Art: Material and Spiritual Histories of the Afro-Atlantic

With special guest lecturer Cécile Fromont, Professor of History of Art, Yale University.

In the first half of the eighteenth century, the Inquisition of Lisbon and the civil authorities of Saint Domingue each arrested and detained an African amulet maker. At the center of the two affairs were the empowered bundles the two men composed, turning mostly European esoteric material into empowered objects of Afro-Atlantic agency in the hopes to gain control over their lived circumstances. This lecture considers how these empowered objects bear witness in their composition, use, and afterlives in the archives to the multivalent connections that the slave trade engendered between Europeans and Africans along the two continents’ coasts, and beyond, in the Americas. They enjoin us to think anew about the spiritual and material histories of the Atlantic world as shared domains between Europeans and Africans, and to consider the entangled trajectories of slave trade, witchcraft, and art.

The lecture will be offered in-person and via Zoom. An invitation with all the details will be sent to you by email in January 2024. In the meantime, marking your calendar is highly recommended – this is not to be missed!

The DSR is hosting the 2024 EIR Regional Conference: May 2-4

In cooperation with the DSR Graduate Students Association, we are delighted to be hosting this gathering that will consider "Sea Change: Religion, Cosmology, Environment." Keynote speakers tba!

Understanding that we live in a time of climate crisis, the call is out for papers and panels that broadly engage the theme across regions, traditions, histories, theories, and methods. Some of the questions suggested for consideration:

  • How do religious modes of understanding the world shape responses to what is possible in the face of natural disasters?
  • What are ways that religious traditions have understood the shaping forces of the natural world?
  • How has resource extraction been shaped by religious cosmologies?
  • What do studies of visual, sensory, or material culture bring to our understanding of religion, cosmology, and environment?

The Toronto Newar Summer School • May 27-June 8, 2024

Group of Newar Summer School students

The Toronto Newar Summer School, organized by Christoph Emmrich in collaboration with the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies, offers the opportunity to learn to speak the idiom of the Kathmandu Valley, to access the vast Buddhist and Hindu literature preserved in classical Newar, and to delve into the texts of a thriving contemporary Himalayan society.

Four instructors lead modules in conversational Newar, classical literary Newar, and modern literary Newar. Academic lectures round off the program. → More 

Did you know that the DSR turns 50 in 2025?

We are working on this golden opportunity to celebrate all things DSR! We will update you on developments in the next issue of our newsletter. One of our plans is to create an online memory board where you will be invited to post recollections and comments -– and we are hoping that you will have some photos of your time with us. So, depending on your vintage and/or photo storage method, check your digital collection or that shoebox in the closet for pictures to share. Our alumni are such an important part of our story!


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