Dans le cadre du séminaire "Les Empires, et après…" organisé par la MSH-Montpellier, en collaboration avec EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone) :
"Becoming Indian: The Composition of the 'Indian' in National and Trans-national Spaces"
Organized by the MSH-Montpellier (Program "Les Empires, et Après") in collaboration with EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone, Montpellier 3)
A lecture and seminar by Pr Tejaswini Niranjana, Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, India.
Thursday April 21, 2011 - 4pm to 7pm – Montpellier 3 campus – route de Mende, Room C020
The lecture will take up themes from my recent book, Mobilizing India, which looks at how the claim to being Indian is made in national as well as trans-national spaces. My project explored the possibility of contrasting the formation of the "Indian" in the subaltern diaspora with the hegemonic construction of "Indians" in India, focusing on the indentured migration to the Caribbean in the 19th and early 20th centuries. What difference might it make to how we in India think about our past - and perhaps how we think about our present as well - to reflect on that which binds India to a west that is not the West?
The special challenge of comparative research when the two contexts are historically linked would be not to show how the cultural-political formations in each are ‘similar’ or ‘different’, but to find out how each situation is actually marked by the other. My attempt in the Caribbean project was to seek out the links between representations of ‘Indianness’ in India and those in Trinidad, and to argue, sometimes explicitly and sometimes by indirection, that who the ‘Indian’ is in Trinidad is likely to have implications for assertions of cultural identity in India.
My Trinidad work focuses on popular music as a key site for the playing out of this question about the ‘Indian’. As the book was nearing completion, I took an Indian rock-pop singer to Jamaica and Trinidad to collaborate with local musicians. That journey is documented in Jahaji Music: India in the Caribbean, from which I will show excerpts. The film is directed by Surabhi Sharma and conceptualised by me.
Tejaswini NIRANJANA (b.1958) is Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore, India. She has an MA in English and Aesthetics (1981) from the University of Bombay, an MPhil in Linguistics (1982) from the University of Pune, and a PhD (1988) from the University of California at Los Angeles. She taught for ten years in the English Department of the University of Hyderabad before moving to Bangalore to help set up the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS) in 1998. CSCS offers an innovative PhD in Cultural Studies, the first of its kind in India, assembled and taught by Tejaswini Niranjana and her colleagues. For her research work, Tejaswini has been awarded the Homi Bhabha Fellowship, the Sephis Fellowship, the Prince Claus Fund award (twice), the Rockefeller Fellowship, and the Sawyer Fellowship. She has spent three months as a Visiting Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2007). Her publications include the recent Mobilizing India: Women, Music and Migration between India and Trinidad (Durham, 2006) and Siting Translation: History, Post-structuralism and the Colonial Context (Berkeley, 1992). She has co-edited Interrogating Modernity: Culture and Colonialism in India (Kolkata, 1993). In addition to her academic work, Tejaswini heads the Higher Education Cell at CSCS, with the mandate of creating, fundraising for, and implementing programmes for the positive transformation of the higher education sector in India.