Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

1/1/2007 - 12/31/2007

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

Ramayanas Abroad: Adaptations of a South Asian Narrative in the Diaspora

FAIN: FB-52470-06

Paula Richman
Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH 44074-1057)

I request an NEH fellowship to explore adaptations of the Ramayana, one of India's two preeminent Hindu epics, in the South Asian diaspora, 1962-2002. The project focuses on non-literary media, examining a selection of recent plays and films. Two main questions impel the project: What can we learn about the resources of the Ramayana tradition when we examine enactments abroad? What do the adaptions reveal about the concerns and circumstances of South Asians settled abroad? I answer these questions by exploring how a set of directors, scriptwriters, film-makers, producers, and community groups have conceptualized, funded, and staged adaptations of Rama’s story in London, Durban, Toronto, Colombo, and Los Angeles.