The School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies (SLLCS) of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) (New Delhi) held, between 9 and 11 March 2006, a major seminar/workshop of national and international scope, centred on the proposed creation of a programme in Cultural Studies, of an interdisciplinary nature, in the School. The SLLCS already teaches courses in 17 different language areas (European and Asian); the new programme is intended to complement and not in any way replace the existing programmes. The subjects discussed included: Theoretical issues; Translation studies; Comparative literature; Classical cultural forms; Theatre and performance studies; Folklore; Film Studies; New media and popular culture studies; Photography, video and visual culture Studies; and the curriculum and modalities of the new programme. The seminar was attended by prominent academics and researchers from all over India.
The participants included two who had come for the purpose from outside India. My friend Dr Antonia Navarro Tejero, of the University of Córdoba – who has taught in the past at JNU – offered, under the heading ‘Culture Studies Today – Theoretical Issues’, a paper on ‘Education and Globalisation: Reflections on Intercultural Studies’. I spoke myself, under the rubric ‘Translation Studies as Contributive to Intercultural Studies’, on ‘Beyond the Domestic and the Foreign: Translation as Dialogue’.
Antonia and I also took part in the event ‘Writers’ Meet’, organised by Professor Shyama Prasad Ganguly (Chair, Centre of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Latin American Studies) and Professor Makarand Paranjape (Chair, Centre of English Studies), held at the SLLCS on 7 and 8 March. On the 7th, I gave a lecture on ‘Problems of translating Indian Writing in English into Spanish, with reference to "A Married Woman" by Manju Kapur’, referring to the Spanish translation, ‘Una mujer casada’, by Dora Sales Salvador (details are elsewhere here on my blog). The round table of which my paper was a part included the participation of Antonia and – this was an honour indeed! – Manju Kapur herself. The next day, I delivered a talk on ‘Indian Writing in English: Some Language Issues and Translation Problems’. Both days also included the participation of the writer Kiran Nagarkar.
Both the big seminar and the ‘Writers’ Meet’ were extremely successful: Antonia and myself were more than satisfied, as were our JNU hosts. Certainly, these events have made their contribution to a closer approximation between the intellectual milieux of India and Europe, at this crucial moment of economic and cultural expansion of the host country.
I should add that over those days I had the great pleasure of meeting, in person and at length, Manju Kapur, as well as Githa Hariharan and Kiran Nagarkar, and I extend my deepest thanks to these three writers for opening a window on their daily reality and creative process. I also most profoundly thank Professor Shyama Prasad Ganguly and Antonia Navarro Tejero for having made this unforgettable trip possible.
Note added 3 September 2009:
My paper from "Writers’ Meet", ‘Indian Writing in English: Some Language Issues and Translation Problems’, has been published in No 9 (second series), Spring 2008, of JSL,
the Journal of the School of Language, Literature and
Cultural Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, pp 29-40 (see blog entry for 14 July 2008).
It is available on-line at:
The Manju Kapur paper has also been published:
HISPANIC HORIZON (JNU), No 27, 2009, pp. 80-107. For more details, see this blog, entry for 3 September 2009. It is available on-line at:
** PHOTOS FROM WRITERS’ MEET, 7 March 2006: Manju Kapur; Audience; Antonia, Manju and Chris. The AUDIENCE photo includes (last 4 on right): Eva González (Instituto Cervantes), Kiran Nagarkar, Prof. Paranjape and Prof. Ganguly.