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Pers-Ind : "Perso-Indica" (ANR Project)

Friday 4 March 2016

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

La persanisation des savoirs indiens (XIIIe-XIXe siècles)
Projet Franco-Allemand en Sciences Humaines et Sociales


  • Fabrizio Speziale (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle/Mondes iranien et indien)
  • Eva Orthmann (Universität Bonn)

36 months (01 October 2014 – 30 september 2017)

Website of the Project :


Version Française



French staff

  • Fabrizio Speziale (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle/Mondes iranien et indien)
  • Françoise ‘Nalini’ Delvoye (Directeur d’études, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes/Mondes iranien et indien, Paris)
  • Jan Houben (Directeur d’études, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes/Mondes iranien et indien, Paris)
  • Carl W. Ernst (William R. Kenan, Jr., Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  • Michel Boivin (Directeur de recherche, CNRS – CEIAS, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales)
  • Corinne Lefèvre (Chargée de recherche, CNRS– CEIAS, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales)
  • Denis Hermann (Chargé de recherche, CNRS/Mondes iranien et indien)
  • Eloïse Brac de la Perrière (Maîtresse de conférences, Université Sorbonne Paris IV)
  • Thibaut D’Hubert (Assistant Professor, University of Chicago)
  • Audrey Truschke (Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, Cambridge - Stanford University, Stanford).
  • Naveen Kanalu (Doctorant, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis - Goethe-Universität, Francfort-sur-le-Main)

German Staff

  • Eva Ortmann (Universität Bonn)
  • Konrad Klaus (Professeur, Universität Bonn, Bonn)
  • Stefan Reichmuth (Professeur, Ruhr-Universität, Bochum)
  • Norbert Hintersteiner (Professor, Universität Münster, Münster)
  • Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma (Düsseldorf, Formerly Professor Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh)
  • Susanne Kurz (Chargée de recherche, Ruhr-Universität, Bochum)
  • Heike Franke (Bamberg)
  • Supriya Gandhi (Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia)
  • Anna Martin (Doctorante, Philipps-Universität, Marburg)


This project will examine the history of Persian texts on Indian culture and aims at offering a new epistemic vision of the history of contacts between Muslim culture and non-Muslim scholarly traditions. The research has been developed from the hypothesis that the production of Persian texts on Indian culture cannot be reduced to a minor or unrelated series of single efforts. Rather it constituted a process comparable to other major translation movements between different civilizations. Concurrently, the project aims at analysing two additional hypothesis. First, this trend of studies did not only constitute a process of translation, but also of transformation, appropriation and Persianisation of knowledge. Second, the appropriation process was a symmetric activity that allowed Indian scholars to acquire the forms of expression of the Persian culture. To test this hypothesis, the project proposes a new approach to the study of Persian sources by the creation of Perso-Indica, an online academic publication, based on an electronic survey of Persian sources on Indian learning written between the 13th and the 19th centuries. This approach will enable methods of quantitative analyses of Persian text corpora through the creation of tools for processing textual and prosopographic metadata that produce dynamic indexes of the main entities, contexts and forms of expression. As an encyclopaedia of the Persian literature on Indian culture, Perso-Indica intends to become the first major reference work for this field of studies. Its approach will not be merely descriptive, and Perso-Indica aims above all at offering critical analyses of these texts. We will especially pay attention to the methods of translation, ways of understanding the source knowledge, the transmission of the texts and the formation of a bilingual lexicon. These questions will also be dealt with in a book dedicated to the analysis of the translation process in the symmetric context of the Persianisation of Indian learning and the Indianisation of Persian culture.