Our project reflects our attempt to theorize how various social, literary, and religious practices involving the act of “commenting” intersect with the genre of “commentary” as a stable phenomenon.
Commentary sits at the intersection of many traditional disciplines—cosmopolitan and vernacular philologies, the histories of art and of religion, and intellectual history.
Our collaborators, specialists in each of these disciplines, interrogate practices of commenting and commentary from different textual, artistic, and sociohistorical angles, illuminating why and under what conditions certain reading and exegetical practices were so startlingly widespread and tenacious across cultural and temporal boundaries.
Central topics of inquiry will structure our work, with interdisciplinary Working Groups collaborating to conduct research on each of these topics, outlined below. Working Groups consist of junior and senior researchers, doctoral students, and advanced undergraduate students. Each working group also brings together multiple traditions, time periods, and disciplines in conversation shaped by its shared theme.
Explore some of our themes, below.
- Working Groups
Above image: RAS South Indian Sanskrit MS 10, Whish MS 10. fols. 5-6. Source: https://archive.org/details/raswhish10-10/page/n4/mode/1up
Background image: British Library. Egerton MS 872, fol. 199r. Pentateuch with the Hafṭarot, Five Scrolls, and Rashi’s commentary, 1341.Source: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Egerton_MS_872