Upcoming Events

Supriya Chaudhuri | Modernism, Realism and Catastrophe

  5 - 6:30 p.m.
  308A Doe Library

Supriya Chaudhuri
Atreyee Gupta

The South Asia Art Initiative at UC Berkeley invites you to a talk by Professor Emerita in the Department of English, Jadavpur University, India, Professor Supriya Chaudhuri.

DATE: Monday, October 17, 2022
TIME: 5pm Berkeley
VENUE: 308A Doe Library

This event will also be live streamed on the Institute's FB page: ISASatUCBerkeley

In an interview, the South African artist William Kentridge commented that though the aesthetic currents of modernism had always been fed from the colonies, “the purity of modernism gets a fantastic taint and impurity when it’s made in the third world, where you can’t escape the pressures around, even if you try to.” The problematic journey of Indian modernism, and its realist inflection – or infection – through the middle decades of the past century has drawn sustained commentary. This presentation will examine the tension from the perspective of both literature and art, focusing on examples from Bengal in the 1940s and 1950s, to argue that we need to widen the scope of modernism in order to accommodate an aesthetics of crisis that deliberately bends and reconstitutes formal categories.

Supriya Chaudhuri is Professor Emerita in the Department of English, Jadavpur University, India, and has been Head of Department, Co-ordinator, Centre of Advanced Study, and Director, School of Languages and Linguistics. She was educated at Presidency College, Calcutta, and the University of Oxford. She has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Paris-Sorbonne, and Virginia and lectured at many universities in India and abroad. Her areas of scholarly interest are Renaissance and early modern studies, critical theory, Indian cultural history, translation, urban studies, sport, film and modernism.

Recent publications include Religion and the City in India (edited, Routledge, 2022) and Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World (co-edited, Routledge, 2018), as well as articles in Thesis 11, Postcolonial Studies and Literature Compass, and chapters in The Form of Ideology and the Ideology of Form: Cold War, Decolonization and Third World Print Cultures (Open Book Publishers, 2022); Machiavelli Then and Now: History, Politics, Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2022); Recycling Virginia Woolf in Contemporary Art and Literature (Routledge, 2022); Asian Interventions in Global Shakespeare (Routledge, 2021); Keywords for India: A Conceptual Lexicon for the 21st century (Bloomsbury, 2020); The Cambridge Companion to Rabindranath Tagore (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and The Cambridge History of Travel Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2019). She is active in debates on the humanities, gender and intellectual liberty in India.

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The event is FREE and OPEN to the public.