Thibaut d'Hubert teaches Bengali at the University of Chicago and works on Middle Bengali poetry and Indo-Persian literature. His approach brings together textual criticism, literary hermeneutics, the study of traditional modes of philology, and the performance of poetry in religious and secular settings. He studied Bengali and Persian at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO, Paris), where he obtained his MA. He was also trained in Sanskrit at the department of Indian Studies, Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle. He obtained his PhD and Habilitation à diriger des recherches (HDR) from the fourth section (Historical and Philological Sciences) of the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) in Paris. He was a fellow of the Zukunftsphilologie program (Berlin) during the academic year 2013-14. He is the author of In the Shade of the Golden Palace: Alaol and Middle Bengali Poetics in Arakan (2018) and co-editor (along with Alexandre Papas) of Jāmi in Regional Contexts: The Reception of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Jāmī’s Works in the Islamicate World, C. 9th/15th-14th/20th (2019). His most recent book is titled Meaningful Rituals: Persian, Arabic and Bengali in the Nūrnāma Tradition of Eastern Bengal (Delhi: Primus Books, 2022). Meaningful Rituals explores a corpus of narrative texts that relate the creation of the world by God through his prophet Muḥammad in his pre-eternal form as a luminous entity. The book contains the text and annotated translations of several Persian and Bengali versions—including one Bengali version edited from a manuscript written in Arabic script—of the Nūrnāma written between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. With Saymon Zakaria he is currently working on the critical edition and translation of Ālāol’s Middle Bengali epic romance adapted from an anonymous Persian narrative about the Egyptian prince Sayf al-Mulūk and the fairy princess Badīʿ al-Jamāl.
Subject Area: Persian Language and Literature, Persian Language Program