Teaching Epics in Diverse Contexts (Brian Pennington and Amy Allocco 2020)


Ambedkar, B.R. “Appendix: Rama and Krishna,” in Riddle in Hinduism. 1995.

Beck, Brenda. Hidden Paradigms: A South Indian Folk Epic Viewed Through Many Lenses. Toronto: University of Toronto Press (forthcoming 2021).

Bulcke, Kamil. Rām Kathā Utppatti Aur Vikās. (The Ram Story: Origin And Development.)

De Clercq, Eva. 2009. “The Jaina Harivaṃśa and Mahābhārata Tradition– A Preliminary Survey.” In Parallels and Comparisons: Proceedings of the Fourth Dubrovnik International Conference on the Sanskrit Epics and Puranas, edited by Petteri Koskikallio, 399–421. Zagreb: Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

—–,  tr., Svayambhudeva’s The Life of Padma / Paumacariu (Harvard Murty Series), vol. 1 (translation of a Jain version of the Rama narrative).

Flueckiger, Joyce Burkhalter, & Sears, Laurie. Boundaries of the Text: Epic Performances in South and Southeast Asia. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Center for South & Southeast Asian Studies, 1991.

—–. “Standing in Cement: Ravana on the Chattisgarhi Plains” in South Asian Folklore in Transition, edited by Frank Korom, 58-74. Routledge: 2018.

Gandhi, Supriya. 2014. “Retelling the Rāma Story in Persian Verse: Masīḥ Pānīpatī’s Mas̱navī-yi Rām va Sītā.” In No Tapping Around Philology: A Festschrift in Honor of Wheeler McIntosh Thackston Jr.’s 70th Birthday, edited by Alireza Korangy and Daniel J. Sheffield, 309–24. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Keshavmurthy, Prashant. 2018. “Translating Rāma as a Proto-Muḥammadan Prophet: Masīḥ’s Mas̱navī-i Rām va Sītā.” Numen 65 (1): 1–27.

Morgenstein Fuerst, Ilyse R. “A Muslim Bhagavadgītā: ‘Abd Al-Rahman Chishti’s Interpretative Translation and Its Implications,” Journal of South Asian Religious History Vol. 1 (2015)

Narayanan, Vasudha. “Who is the Strong-Armed Monkey who Churns the Ocean of Milk?” UDAYA: Journal of Khmer Studies, 11, 3-28 (2014).

—–. “The Hero at Play: Depictions of the Govardhana-Līlā story in Khmer art.” Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Vol. 23, no. 2, 131-147 (2015).

Pathmanesan Sanmugeswaran, Krishantha Fedricks, and Justin W. Henry. “Reclaiming Ravana in Sri Lanka: Ravana’s Sinhala Buddhist Apotheosis and Tamil Responses.” In Journal of South Asian Studies (2019), 796-812.

Pauwels, Heidi. The Goddess as Role Model: Sita and Radha in Scripture and on the Screen.

Plau, Adrian . “‘Listen to the Story’: Narrative and Song in Ramcand Balak’s Sitacarit, a Jain Ramayana in Braj Bhasa,” Sikh Formations 2019.

Rajagopal, Arvind. “From Mandir to Mahamari: Watching Ramayana in Turbulent Times.” https://scroll.in/article/957801/from-mandir-to-mahamari-watching-the-ramayan-in-turbulent-times

Rambelli, Franco. “Re-positioning the Gods: ‘Medieval Shintō’ and the Origins of Non-Buddhist Discourses on the Kami,” Cahiers d’Extrême-Asie  Année 16 (2006): 305-325.

Richman, Paula. “Why Can’t a Shudra Perform Asceticism?”” in The Ramayana Revisited. (Bowdoin E-book).

Saunders, Jennifer B. Imagining Religious Communities: Transnational Hindus and their Narrative Performances, ch. 6 (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Thapar, Romila.  Śakuntalā: Texts, Readings, Histories.  London: Anthem, 2000.

Truschke, Audrey. 2020. “A Padshah like Manu: Political Advice for Akbar in the Persian Mahābhārata.” Philological Encounters 5 (2): 112–33.

Wadley, Susan. Raja Nal and the Goddess: The North Indian Epic Dhola in Performance. Indiana University Press, 2004.

—–. Damayanti and Nala: The Many Lives of a Story. DC Press, 2010.



Bandyopadhyay, Sibaji and Sankha Banerjee. Vyasa: The Beginning (A Graphic Novel)

Devakaruni, Chitra Banerjee. Palace of Illusions  (novel that reimagines the Mahabharata story from Draupadi’s point of view).

Devakaruni, Chitra Banerjee. Rama-katha from Sita’s perspective Jagat Singh Ramayana at the British Library, Mewar, Rajasthan 17th Century.  https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/ramayana  (specifically, http://www.bl.uk/turning-the-pages/?id=a394c2a0-ee97-11dc-95ff-0800200c9a66&type=book)

Menen, Aubrey. The Ramayana. Praeger, 1972.

Nair, Karthika Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata. Harper Collins, India, 2015 (poetic retelling of the Mahabharata from the perspectives of various characters).

Vyam, Subhash. Bhimayana: incidents in the life of Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (graphic novel with Gond illustrations that offers an alternative epic narrative that still keeps within the cultural framework of the Ramayana).



A list of many multimedia sources not included here, including films and podcasts, is on Raj Balkaran’s resource page here: https://rajbalkaran.com/resources. Others:

Fuerst, Ilyse Morgenstein and Megan Goodwin. “What is Religious Nationalism? Why Should We Care?”https://keepingit101.com/smartgrrlsummer2 (podcast).

The Legend of Bagger Vance, dir. Robert Redford (2000).

The Legend of Prince Rama, dir. Yugo Sako, 1992. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjsjk-r7AlQ

The Little Princess (1995 childrens’ movie; short clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x94B9xs9YqI).

Mahabharat, dir. Amaan Khan, 2013. (2-hour animated Hindi-language Mahabharat)

Mahabharat, dir. Babubhai Mistry, 1965

The Mahabharata, dir. Peter Brooks (1989),  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhqkRGISQr8

The Mahabharata, dir. Vijayendra Mohanty, 2015. (53 five-minute episodes; animated Mahabharata available for free on YouTube)

“Rama and the Ramayana: Crash Course World Mythology #27,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsuqbPda5uo

Ramayana: The Epic, dir. Ketan Mehta, 2010.

Shadow Puppet of Bhima: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/1ZYzVW9uRPOlGE4Vo1h05g

“Short stories from Mahabharat, Animated Stories for Children,” (animated retellings for children in 25-minute episodes devoted to individual characters, available on YouTube).

Sita Sings the Blues, dir. Nina Paley, 2008.

“Tholu Bommalaata: Dance of the Shadow Puppets,” https://sarmaya.in/spotlight/tholu-bommalaata/.



Posted on

October 8, 2020