The participants of the conference will present their current work and research in the field of the Sanskrit Epics and Purāṇas. There will be specialists in all genres of Ancient Indian epic texts, and the exchange of information on their research and results will be beneficient to future work in the field. The special theme of the conference 2020 will be “Literary genres in epic and Purāṇic literature: Indian and Western categories”. The Indian categories mantra and brāhmaṇa, itihāsa, ākhyāna and purāṇa applied to the Vedas, the Mahābhārata, the Rāmayaṇa and the Purāṇas do not simply correspond to Western categories such as myth, mythology, epic, heroic or hieratic poetry, but imply some special shades of meaning.
However, the Western categories may in some respects be quite useful in the theoretic discourse on Indian works, and in some cases the Indian categories may shed light on the nature of some Western works, from the Illiad, Odyssey or the Theogonia, to more recent works, which may not have been ideally categorized in their own tradition. Comparative study of the Indian and Western works and of different traditions of poetics may show that one understands any culture better in a broader framework, in comparison with other cultures, than remaining closed within its own cultural limits. This will be the challenging questions implied by the special theme of this conference.