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The Centre has hosted a number of exciting events since its launch in 2009:

Simon Brodbeck was invited to talk on 'In Our Time’ (hosted by Melvyn Bragg) on BBC Radio 4. The topic was the Upanishads, which are pithy philosophical dialogues which have been influential from the pre-common era to the present day.


The Master Madam

The Master Madam

William Johnson has had his recent translation of a Sanskrit farce, ‘The Master-Madam’ adapted for the stage in India.


Conference on Early Mahāyāna Buddhism: 7th–8th July 2012

Speakers at the UKABS conference


The UK Association for Buddhist Studies Special Conference in Memory of Sara Boin-Webb was hosted by CHRA and took place at St Michael’s College, Llandaff, Cardiff. The conference featured nine international speakers (pictured) and some lively discussion with around 50 attendees. The papers will be published in a collected volume to be edited by Professor Paul Harrison, the academic convener of the event. For further details see


Sir-William-Jones Public Lecture: 7th June 2012

Charles Allen: “The Lost Emperor: Ashoka, Orientalism and Indian Nationalism”

We are delighted that Charles Allen agreed to give the second William Jones Lecture. Charles Allen is a narrative historian specialising in 19th century British India. He is the author of a number of acclaimed titles including ‘The Buddha and the Sahibs’ (2003), ‘God’s Terrorists’ (2007) and ‘Kipling Sahib’ (2008). In recent years his research has focussed largely on the 3rd century BCE Indian Emperor Aśoka and his “rediscovery” by 19th century orientalists. His latest book ‘Ashoka: The Search for India’s Lost Emperor’ has just been published, and it was on this subject that he based his talk for us.

Xuanzang Conference: 1st-3rd June 2012

This conference on “Xuanzang and the "Record of the Western Regions" - Constructed Myth and Historical Reality” took place at St. Michael's College, Llandaff, Cardiff, and was supported by a grant from the British Academy. There were 15 speakers over a period of 3 days.

The Master Madam

Performance of The Master-Madam: 29th-30th March 2012

Will Johnson’s new translation of the oldest Sanskrit comedy The Master Madam (Bhagavadajjukam) was performed at the Eastmoors Community Learning Centre in Splott at the end of March 2012. This constituted the play’s European premiere, and brought together professional actors, designers, musicians, the translator, students, and young people from the locality. Approximately 120 people in total attended the two free performances, which were followed by Q & A sessions with those involved. Judging by the audience’s comments and the questionnaires returned, the performances were a considerable success, and there is an appetite for further events of this kind.

Will Johnson was interviewed about the performance by:  BBC Wales 

Dhammapada Day: 14th September 2010

CHRA was honoured to host the launch of Valerie Roebuck’s translation of the Dhammapada (Penguin Classics, 2010). As well as a reading from the text, there was a short symposium consisting of four papers about different aspects of this fascinating work:

  • Speakers from the Dhammapada Day event, September 2010.Dr. Valerie Roebuck: ‘Translating the Dhammapada: Problems and Pleasures’
  • Dr. Elizabeth Harris (Liverpool Hope University): ‘Daniel Gogerly, Nineteenth Century Missionary Translator of the Dhammapada’
  • Dr. Mahinda Deegalle (Bath Spa University): ‘The Dhammapada in the Lives of Sri Lankan Buddhists’
  • Dr. Naomi Appleton (Cardiff University): ‘The Stories of the Verses: The Role of the Dhammapada-commentary’

Genealogy Workshop: 26th-29th May 2010

CHRA hosted an international workshop entitled The History of Genealogy: The Genealogy of History: Family and the Construction of the Significant Past in Early South Asia. This workshop was convened by James Hegarty and Simon Brodbeck as part of their AHRC-funded research project. The speakers were a wonderful mix of scholars from all around the world. Four CHRA members read papers:

Simon Brodbeck: ‘Ilā and the Yādavas: somavamśa and putrikā in the Sanskrit ‘epics’’

Max Deeg: ‘Secular Buddhist Lineages: Śākya and Other Royal Descendencies in Local Buddhist Legitimation Strategies’

James Hegarty: ‘Some thoughts on Etymology, Genealogy and Approaches to the Past in the Nirukta, the Brihaddevatā and the Sanskrit Mahābhārata

Naomi Appleton: ‘Was that me? Multi-birth Personal Genealogies in Early Buddhist and Jain Texts’

Group photograph from the Genealogy Workshop in May 2010.Poster from the William Jones lecture.

William Jones lecture: 24th May 2010

The first of the Centre’s biennial Sir William Jones Lectures was held in May 2010. It began with a talk by Dr. Michael J. Franklin (Swansea University) about the namesake of the series: ‘“And the Celt knew the Indian”: Sir William Jones (1746-94)’. Attention then turned to another notable Jones, the translator of the Mahavastu, with the lecture by Prof. Jonathan Silk (Leiden University): ‘Keeping up with the Joneses: From William Jones to John James Jones’. 


Public lecture and performance event: 23rd November 2009

As part of their AHRC-funded History of Genealogy project, Simon Brodbeck and James Hegarty held a public event entitled ‘Approaching the Past the South Asian way: Family and History in Sanskrit Literature’. As well as a talk about the project there was a performance by India Dance Wales.


James Hegarty, Patrick Olivelle and Max Deeg at the CHRA launch.

Launch: 11th June 2009

The Centre was formally launched with a gathering of members and guests and brief talks from the Director (Max Deeg) and Development Officer (James Hegarty), as well as CHRA’s International Mentor, Prof. Patrick Olivelle from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition there was a musical performance by Sita Deeg, who also designed the Centre logo.


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