Documenting Hindi and Urdu Inscriptions in South Asia

Image of ancient Asian inscription.

This project invites students with a working familiarity of either the Arabic or Devanagari scripts to help collect records of Hindi-Urdu (H-U) inscriptions through collating references and requesting articles and other notices describing them.

Project description

Hindi-Urdu (H-U) was just one among the many vernacular languages that emerged in South Asia during the medieval period in a linguistic system dominated by Sanskrit and Persian. Beyond the courts, H-U functioned as a language of skilled trades, education, and commerce. Some catalogues document inscriptions in H-U preserved across the Indian subcontinent. This project seeks to collect records of as many H-U inscriptions as possible by collating references in these catalogues of Indian epigraphy and requesting through Delivery+ (UB's interlibrary loan system) articles and other notices describing them. This epigraphic approach will permit a more rigorous analysis of H-U’s varied linguistic forms and range of communicative functions than prior scholarly efforts that have relied solely upon literary texts preserved in ink on paper.

Students interested in assisting with this project do not need prior experience using Hindi or Urdu, but do need to possess working familiarity with either the Arabic or Devanagari scripts. Prof. Hakala enthusiastically supports students who seek to present their research at conferences, travel to South Asia, and/or author or co-author journal articles on this or related topics. Interested students may schedule a meeting to discuss this or other projects with Prof. Hakala by visiting http://hakala.youcanbook.me.

Project outcome

The specific outcomes of this project will be identified by the faculty mentor at the beginning of your collaboration. 

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Variable
Start time Fall, Spring, Summer
Level of collaboration Variable
Benefits Academic Credit, Volunteer, Work Study, Salary/Stipend
Who is eligible Familiarity with Delivery+ (UB's interlibrary loan system), working knowledge of the Arabic and/or Devanagari scripts
Support Funding is available after the completion of the preparation badge. See below.
Critical Language and Boren Scholarships

Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Critical Language Scholarship and the Boren Scholarship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.

Project mentor

Walter Hakala

Associate Professor

Asian Studies

315 Clemens Hall

Phone: (716) 645-3419

Email: walterha@buffalo.edu

Preparation

To engage with this project, you will work through a series of Project-Based Collaboration digital badges to guide your experience. These badges will:

  1. Guide you in setting your goals and intentions as well as gaining additional context,
  2. Enhance your collaboration with your mentor/partner,
  3. Support your reflection and help you integrate your learning with your academic and professional goals.

All students who wish to participate in a project on the Project Portal must first complete the Project Preparation Digital Badge. First, contact the project mentor to discuss availability and after you’ve received approval, you can start the Project Preparation Digital Badge.

Preparation guidance

The specific preparation activities for this project are being finalized by the project mentor. Once they are finalized, this section will be updated. In the meantime, please reach out to the project mentor to confirm what specific preparation activities you should complete for the Project Preparation Digital Badge.