Spring 2011 South Asia Seminar Series
Thu, March 24, 2011 • 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM • Meyerson Conference Room, WCH 4.118
R. Radhakrishnan, University of California-Irvine
"Universal Translation: Or, The Importance of Getting it Wrong"
Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan is professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, and is considered one of the leading postcolonial theorists and literary critics in the United States. He was born on October 28, 1949, in Sirkali, a village in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Radhakrishnan is also noted as a translator and poet of Tamil as well as a master of English and English literary criticism. He was initially educated in Madras and earned his PhD from SUNY Binghamton.
About the Series
At the end of the twentieth century, debates about South Asian literature still circulated around two main themes: the problematic "authenticity" of globally marketed Anglophone writing and the putative "provinciality" of writing in the bhasha (or vernacular) languages. But in the last decade, there have been a number of new trends which add new textures to this simplified problematic: the rise of an Anglophone reading public specific to the subcontinent with its own popularly recognized figures, the marketing of bhasha styles in popular western cultural forms, the growing popularity of south Asian writing from outside of India (especially Pakistan and Bangladesh), new opportunities for collaboration between artists in various languages in the subcontinent, the growth of vernacular literary traditions in electronic media, and the new global crisis in publishing which has also contracted certain reading publics. This seminar series will explore the changing social contexts in South Asia and the world that affected reading publics and their relationship to new trends in South Asian writing in many languages. Regular seminars occur on Thursdays at 3:30 pm, preceded by a reception at 3:00 pm, in the Meyerson Conference Room (WCH 4.118).