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SAC presents: Walter Hakala

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Walter Hakala on 'You Campaign in Poetry. You Govern in Prose': A Tale of Two Dictionaries

Walter Hakala, Assistant Professor, Department of English, University at Buffalo

Chiranji Lal, the author of an important 19th-century Urdu dictionary, possessed impeccable credentials: he was from Delhi, had apprenticed with British scholars, and had identified a large readership eager to use dictionaries to learn this language of government. Today, however, Chiranji’s useful dictionary has been all but forgotten while the contemporaneous Farhang-i Asafiyah of Sayyid Ahmad Dihlavi is celebrated. In the midst of the increasingly communalized linguistic environment of late-nineteenth-century northern India, Hindu lexicographers like Chiranji could no longer fit neatly into the emerging Urdu literary culture. 

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Sponsored by the South Asia Center at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

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