Hosted by the only university in the world, apart from Nepal’s Tribhuvan Patan Campus, which offers undergraduate and graduate students to pursue studies in Newar language, literature, and culture, the proposed “Nepali and Newar Language and Literature Workshop” will be a unique and unprecedented event in which students will receive a Buddhism-focussed training in the two key languages for studying the only surviving South Asian Buddhist tradition. The workshop aims at providing the linguistic qualifications for conducting ethnographic and textual work on Newar Buddhism in an environment that combines academically rigorous instruction by a native speaker with guidance in sources and methodologies crucial for Buddhist Studies. A particularly important skill for the study of Newar Buddhism is to be able to engage with the largely untapped and growing corpus of contemporary secondary literature in Newar.
Participants will meet over a period of three weeks for five hours a day on six days of the week and a total 90 hours. The morning sessions (three hours with a break, conducted by Laxminath Shrestha) will be dedicated to conversational Nepali, while the afternoon sessions (three hours with a break, conducted jointly by Laxminath Shrestha and Christoph Emmrich) will cover conversational Newar and literary Newar in directed readings of select Buddhist literature, covering literary prose and poetry and academic and non-academic secondary literature on Buddhism in Newar, as well as of a module dealing with grammar. The instructor has plenty of experience in combining several levels of language competency in one workshop. Levels of competency in Nepali and Newar will be assessed at the beginning of the workshop and groups and schedules will be planned accordingly.
Laxminath Shrestha is a widely acclaimed and beloved Nepali language teacher who is regarded as one of the best worldwide, having served as a teacher of several generations of Nepal Studies scholars, including Siegfried Lienhard, Bernhard Kölver, Leonard van der Kuijp, Axel Michaels, Alexander von Rospatt, and Christoph Emmrich. Laxminath has been conducting Nepali courses worldwide in institutions such as the Universidade de Lisboa, the Universität Wien, the Philipps-Universität Marburg, as well as the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and has already taught Nepali individually to several DSR graduate students on their visits to Nepal.
Laxminath Shrestha (independent language coach, Kathmandu)
Christoph Emmrich (DSR faculty)