A Talk on Interrogating Banarasi Das’s Ardhakathanaka: Perspectives on State, Power and Authorityby Professor Anindita Mukhopadhyay

A Talk on Interrogating Banarasi Das’s Ardhakathanaka: Perspectives on State, Power and Authorityby Professor Anindita Mukhopadhyay

About the Talk
The talk first locates Banarasi Das within a 17th-century political context. It then lays out a skeptical and radical consciousness in Ardhakathanaka, an astounding autobiographical text of the period and spins the argument of the claims of a “modernity” which is supposedly unique to the colonial period.
The talk then raises the question of the understanding of location within the text, which has at least three distinct levels – physical geographical, social/familial, and statist. The presentation pulls together these three senses of location within Banarasi Das’s text and foregrounds the elements of a pre-colonial subjectivity that has some elements of continuity with our present intellectual search for a centered self but also has some elements that have partially lost validity in this quest.

About the speaker
Anindita Mukhopadhyay specialises in modern Indian history. Her research interests encompass the themes of cultural identities, intellectual and legal histories, state, governance and power, the impact of colonial domination through knowledge/power nexus, and the political domains of texts and translations. In 2015, she was awarded a fellowship at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. She has won the Sarat Puroshkar for Best Translation of Saratchandra’s Short Stories. Her publications include, Behind the Mask: the Cultural Identity of the Legal Subject in Colonial Bengal: 1776-1911 (Oxford University Press, 2006), Translation of Rabindranath Tagore, Sesher Kobita -the last poem into English (Delhi, Rupa Publications, 2006), Innocence and Reality, translation of Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s short stories, with annotations and an Introduction, Rupa, Delhi, 2018, and Children’s Games, Adults’ Gambits: From Vidyasagar to Satyajit Ray, Orient Blackswan, 2019.

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A Talk on Interrogating Banarasi Das’s Ardhakathanaka: Perspectives on State, Power and Authorityby Professor Anindita Mukhopadhyay

Event Start Date:

19-03-2024

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