The Bhāgavata Purāṇa conference was held in January 2017 in Chennai, India. Kenneth Valpey and Ravi Gupta were instrumental in organising this three-day event, which was hosted by University of Madras (courtesy of Prof. M. Mishra, a former Shivdasani Fellow of the Centre) and the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation (courtesy of Dr. Nanditha Krishna).
Some twenty-five scholars gave presentations, including scholars from India and USA, as well as one scholar each from Australia and Japan. In addition to opening and closing discussions, the conference included ten panels, organised by theme, reflecting the multi-dimensional character of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa:
* A Vision for Bhāgavata Studies,
* Art History
* Transmission and Transformation
* Textual History
* Caitanya’s Bhāgavata
* The Tenth Book
This conference was a significant step forward for the Bhāgavata Purāṇa Research Project. Especially significant was the creation of new research groups with specific projects within the larger project. One such research group, based in USA, is focusing on cataloguing all known specifically Bhāgavata visual art; and a second research group, based in Mumbai, is examining Bhāgavata-related Marathi literature.
From the conference, articles are being collated for a dedicated issue of the Journal of Hindu Studies. We are also working on a documentary film on the Bhāgavata Purāṇa that will include interviews with scholars, conducted during the conference