Thibaut d'Hubert

Thibaut d'HubertAssistant Professor
Office: Foster Hall 211
Phone: (773) 702 1333

Thibaut d’Hubert’s research focuses on premodern Bengali literature. He studied Bengali and Persian at the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO, Paris), from which he obtained his M.A. He was also trained in Sanskrit at the department of Indian Studies, Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle. He completed his Ph.D. at the fourth section (Historical and Philological Sciences) of the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) in Paris in 2010. His dissertation analyzed the poetics of the works of Ālāol (fl. 1651-71), a prolific author who translated poetry from Hindavi (/Avadhi) and Persian into Bengali. Thibaut is also an associate researcher of the UMR 7528 Mondes iranien et indien (Paris) and he was a fellow of the Zukunftsphilologie program (Berlin) during the academic year 2013-14.

Thibaut’s main field of research is the literary history of Bengal. His interests include Indic and Perso-Arabic poetics, Middle Bengali philology, scribal practices, traditional South Asian hermeneutics, literary multilingualism, and the history of translation. Alongside critical editions of various premodern Bengali, Sanskrit, and Persian texts, he is currently working on a book project about Ālāol and Bengali poetics, titled In the shade of the Golden Palace: Ālāol (fl.1651-1671), a Bengali Poet between Worlds. With Alexandre Papas (CNRS/CETOBAC, Paris), he organized a multidisciplinary project on the reception of the works of the Persian polymath of Herat, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Jāmī (1414-1492) (see links below).

Thibaut’s next project will look at the spread of Persian literacy in Bengal’s society during the late Mughal period and the formation of the literary idiom called dobhāṣī (also known as Musulmani Bengali) in the mid-eighteenth century in western Bengal. A related project, which Thibaut undertook within the framework of the online encyclopedia Perso-Indica and of the Zukunftsphilologie program, is titled “The Celtic Fringe and Early Orientalism in Bengal, ca. 1770–1790: Editing and analyzing the Indo-Persian texts of the Staatsbibliothek’s John Murray Collection.” It examines one of the largest private collections of Persian texts that had been brought back to Europe from Bengal in the final decade of the eighteenth century.

Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Oriental Languages, Civilizations and Societies, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris
  • M.A., Bengali, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris
  • B.A., Sanskrit, Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle

Field Specialties

Bengali language and literature, poetics, history of translation, Indo-Persian culture, Sufism, cultural interactions between South and Southeast Asia.

Publications Include:

NB: Some of the following publications are availble on

Articles and Contributions to Edited Volumes

  • “Persian at the Court or in the Village? The Elusive presence of Persian in Bengal.” In The Frontiers of Persian Learning, edited by Nile Green. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, (forthcoming 2018).
  • “Foundational Mahabbat-nāmas: The Reception of Jāmī’s Yūsuf u Zulaikhā in Bengal (ca. 16th-19th).” In Jāmī in Regional Contexts: The Reception of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Jāmī’s Works in the Islamicate World, ca. 9th/15th-14th/20th. Edited by Thibaut d’Hubert and Alexandre Papas. Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1 The Near and Middle East. Leiden: Brill, (forthcoming 2018).
  • "Chézy et l’étude du sanskrit à partir de manuscrits en caractères bengalis," in Antoine-Léonard Chézy et les débuts des études indiennes en Europe (1800-1850), edited by Jérôme Petit et Pascale Rabault-Feuerhahn, Paris: Geuthner ; Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, (forthcoming 2017).
  • “Living in Marvelous Lands: Islamic Cosmography and a Bengali Version of the Adventures of Saif al-Mulūk.” In The Persianate World: Towards a Conceptual Framework, edited by Abbas Amanat and Assef Ashraf. Leiden: Brill, (forthcoming 2017).
  • “The Lord of the Elephant: Interpreting the Islamicate epigraphic, numismatic and literary material from the Mrauk U period of Arakan (ca. 1430−1784).” Journal of Burma Studies 19, no. 2 (2015): 341–70.
  • “Patterns of Composition in the Seventeenth-Century Bengali Literature of Arakan.” In Tellings and Texts: Music, Literature and Performance Cultures in North India, edited by Francesca Orsini and Katherin Brown, 423-43. Cambridge: Open Books Publishers, 2015.
  •   “Arākān aur janūb-i mashriqī Bangā la-desh mẽ musulamānõ kī tahdhīb aur zabān .” Translated by Timsal Masud. Maʿārif 194 (2014): 265–88. 

  • “‘Bhāṅgiẏā kahile tāhe āche bahuras’: Madhyayuger kavi Ālāoler anuvād-paddhati.” Vabnagar1 (April 2014): 59–76.
  • “La diffusion et l’usage des manuscrits bengalis dans l’est du Bengale, xviie-xxe siècles.” Edited by Maria Szuppe and Nalini Balbir. Eurasian Studies, Special Issue: Lecteurs et copistes dans les traditions manuscrites iraniennes, indiennes et centrasiatiques ; Scribes and Readers in Iranian, Indian and Central Asian manuscript traditions 12 (2014): 325–60.
  • “Pirates, Poets, and Merchants: Bengali Language and Literature in Seventeenth-Century Mrauk-U.” In Culture and Circulation: Literature in Motion in Early Modern India, edited by Thomas de Bruijn and Allison Busch, 47-74. Brill’s Indological Library 46. Leiden: Brill, 2014.
  • “Bengal, Poetry of.” In The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, edited by Roland Greene, 4th ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.
  • with Jacques P. Leider. “Traders and Poets at the Mrauk U Court: On Commerce and Cultural Links in Seventeenth-Century Arakan.” In Pelagic Passageways: Dynamic Flows in the Northern Bay of Bengal World before the Appearance of Nation States, edited by Rila Mukherjee, 345–79. New Delhi: Primus Books, 2011.
  • “Bengali Literature”; “ʿAbd al-Ḥakīm”; “Ālāol/ʿAlāwal”; “Ḥayāt Maḥmūd”; “Sylhet Nagari”; “Sayyid Sulṭān”Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Edited by Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas and Everett Rowson. Leiden: Brill, 2010-2015.
  • with Paul Wormser. “Représentations du monde dans le golfe du Bengale au xviie siècle: Ālāol et Rānīrī.” Archipel 76 (2008): 15–35.
  • “Le prince devenu esclave: l’histoire de Harishchandra dans le Râmâyana bengali.” Synergies 2 (2007): 217–30.
  • “La réception d’un succès littéraire persan dans les campagnes du Bengale: une traduction de Jāmī par le poète Ābdul Hākim.” Bulletin d’Études Indiennes24–25 (2007 2006): 121–38.


  • In the Shade of the Golden Palace: Ālāol (fl.1651-1671) and Middle Bengali Poetics in Arakan and Eastern South Asia. South Asia Research Series. New York: Oxford University Press, (scheduled for April 2018).
  • Meaningful Rituals: Persian, Arabic and Bengali in the Nūrnāma Tradition of Eastern Bengal. Delhi: Primus Books, (forthcoming).


  • with Alexandre Papas, eds. Jāmī in Regional Contexts: The Reception of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Jāmī’s Works in the Islamicate World, C. 9th/15th-14th/20th. Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1 The Near and Middle East.. Leiden: Brill, (forthcoming).

Critical editions and translations

  • with Saymon Zakaria, eds. Ālāoler Saẏphulmuluk Badiujjāmāl (critical edition in Bengali and Arabic scripts). (Work in progress)

Related links:

Past Bangla related events at U of C: