Spring 2011 South Asia Seminar Series
Thu, April 21, 2011 • 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM • Meyerson Conference Room, WCH 4.118
Gautam Premnath, University of California-Berkeley
"The Difficult Art of Diasporic Authorship"
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).
About the Speaker
Gautam Premnath is Assistant Professor of English at UC Berkeley. He has published and taught widely in the fields of Anglophone postcolonial literature (especially from South Asia and the Caribbean), twentieth-century British literature, and literary and cultural theory. His talk is drawn from his forthcoming book “Mobile Republics: Itineraries of Postcolonial Authorship between India and the Caribbean.”