Dr Andrea Acri, in his talk "Spread of Sanskritic Buddhism by Sea" will discuss the the spread, in two 'waves', of Sanskritic, especially Tantric, Buddhism across maritime Asia during the medieval period. He will show how the sponsorship by royal elites of itinerant Buddhist monks led to the adoption of forms of Mahāyāna Buddhist Tantra in the region.
Dr Rila Mukherjee in her talk "The Maritime World(s) of East Coast India" will focus the disparate nature of maritime circulations from the coastlines of Bengal, Odisha and Andhra, examining the lesser-known networks that were operating in these regions.
Dr Andrea Acri (PhD Leiden University) is Assistant Professor/Senior Lecturer in Tantric Studies at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, PSL University), and Adjunct Researcher at the École française d’extrême-Orient (EFEO) in Paris. Prior to joining the EPHE in 2016 he has held various research and teaching positions in India, Singapore, Australia, and the Netherlands. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and the Journal of Yoga Studies. His main research and teaching interests are Śaiva and Buddhist Tantric traditions in South and Southeast Asia, Yoga studies, Sanskrit and Old Javanese philology, and Balinese Hinduism. His publications include the monographs Dharma Pātañjala and Dari Siwaisme Jawa ke Agama Hindu Bali, as well as various edited volumes and peer-reviewed articles in international academic journals.
Dr Rila Mukherjee (PhD, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 1985), author of India in the Indian Ocean World, retired from the University of Hyderabad as Professor in History in October 2022. Apart from English and French, she is fluent in Bengali, Hindi, Portuguese and Spanish. Since 2015 she has been Chief Editor of the Brill journal Asian Review of World Histories. Visiting Professor in Paris, Aix en Provence, Shanghai, Kolkata, Santiniketan and Uppsala, Visiting Scholar in Tokyo, Berlin, and Madrid, and project reviewer for the European Science Foundation, the Slovenian Research Agency and the Danish Humanities Research Council, Mukherjee partnered the European Science Foundation project on Dynamic Cooperative Networks [DynCoopNet]; the ANR project L’Ocean Indien et la Mediterranee: Deux Mondes en Miroir (2009-13); the Murdoch University project on History and Natural Hazards (2016-2019).
Mukherjee’s recent edited publications include Order/Disorder in Asia, Indian Ocean Histories: The Many Worlds of Michael Naylor Pearson, From Mountain Fastness to Coastal Kingdoms: Hard Money and ‘Cashless’ Economies in the Medieval Bay of Bengal World, and Cross-Cultural Networking in the eastern Indian Ocean Realm. She is currently under contract with Springer Global Publishing to work on a book on global history, provisionally titled Europe in the World 1350 to 1650.