Cornell University

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14th Annual Tagore Lecture: Sex, Sedition & Storytelling

Friday, April 12, 2024 at 4:30pm

Kahin Center
640 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Lecture by Aruni Kashyap (English and Creative Writing, University of Georgia)

Aruni Kashyap’s career as a writer, editor, translator, and academic has articulated the tension between the state and the individual, the public and the private, the fragility of democracy, and how storytelling is a politically charged engagement with society. Stories are at the heart of human rights work. By reading reports, fiction, poems, and essays about others, we are moved to take democratic action. This talk will discuss Kashyap’s journey as a writer from Assam and share how growing up under the duress of state violence has shaped the literature of his home state. By drawing on the works of internationally renowned and critically acclaimed writers such as Indira Goswami and much lesser-known writers, assassinated writers, and incarcerated writers, Kashyap will discuss how insurgency and state violence have shaped not only Assamese literature but also South Asian Literature and is re-shaping global perceptions about Indian Literature.

Aruni Kashyap is the author of His Father’s Disease: Stories and the novel The House With a Thousand Stories. Along with editing a collection of stories called How to Tell the Story of an Insurgency, he has also translated two novels from Assamese to English, published by Zubaan Books and Penguin Random House. Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Faculty Research Grants in the Humanities and Arts Program, Arts Lab Faculty Fellowship, and the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship for Creative Writing to the University of Edinburgh, his poetry collection, There is No Good Time for Bad News was nominated for the 58th Georgia Author of the Year Awards 2022, a finalist for the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize and Four Way Books Levis Award in Poetry. His short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Catapult, Bitch Media, The Boston Review, Electric Literature, The Oxford Anthology of Writings from Northeast, The Kenyon Review, The New York Times, The Guardian UK, and others.

The Rabindranath Tagore Lecture Series in Modern Indian Literature is made possible by a gift from the late Cornell Professor Emeritus Narahari Umanath Prabhu and his wife, Sumi Prabhu. Inspired by Rabindranath Tagore’s expansive imagination, unbounded by geopolitical boundaries, the series has regularly featured prominent writers from across South Asia and its diasporas.

Cosponsored by the Departments of Comparative Literature and Literatures in English.

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Asian Studies, South Asia Program, Comparative Literature, English


Asian studies, asianstudiescal, cashum, complit, engl



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