TAPSA: Translation and Philology at the Mughal Court: The Impressive Failure of Khāliqdād’s Panchatantra

April 20, 2023; 5pm

Foster Hall 103

Ayelet Kotler, PhD Student I Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations 

This paper explores a 1590s Persian retranslation of the Panchatantra, commissioned by the Mughal emperor Akbar. It argues that retranslations, and particularly failed or incomplete ones, are where literary traditions and translation norms are most clearly negotiated and contested. Studying transgression in Mughal translations is a useful methodology for revealing tensions between different contemporaneous perspectives on what it takes to fully Persianize a text.