ICCR Chair of Indian Studies – Public Lecture on India 2017
Consulate General of India in Melbourne
Event Date: 19/05/2017
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Chair of Indian Studies Public Lecture on India 2017
by Professor Vanashree
Theatre traditions in India survive and gather new strength and legitimacy because they register our passionate struggle with the urge to speak out in the interest of social justice and truth......
Girish Karnad is one such playwright who believes that, as the repertory of its people, theatre has to be unequivocally the art of public life, having a public origin and public effect.
Through the worlds of his plays, Yayati, Hayavadana, Tale-Danda, The Fire and the Rain, Bali, Tughlaq, Wedding Album, Karnad allows us to enter into comprehensive dimensions of Indian experiential realities. In doing so, he invites us into the spectrum of many Indias: sexual, spiritual, intellectual, religious, moral, secular, and political, that created space in our history for frequent revolutionary ruptures drawing their core energy from the myth of freedom. As products of new theoretical, textual, material and cultural conditions reinforced by the experience of democracy, cultural autonomy and the sense of a new nationhood, they pushed into the public domain the issues which afflicted our society and called for rethinking.
Karnad’s plays have made their presence felt in the last several decades for their highly radical content. As a playwright, his maturity of vision comes to the fore as a more consummate corollary to the theatre practices in India in Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Bengali.
Karnad infuses a new energy in modern Indian drama in ensuring that it is not only meant to be the site of entertainment but also of the radical revolution of thought. Drawing upon a range of aesthetic conventions, both folk and classical, this presentation will demonstrate how Karnad’s performance methods pronounce commitment to sustaining the power of dramatic art as social energy. Delivered into the dialogues and visuals with the intent to produce and organize collective physical and mental experiences, Karnad makes the very act of theatre going a celebratory solidarity energizing the spirit of Indian democracy.
When: Friday 19 May, 2017
Time: 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Where: Consulate General of India, 344 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
Cost: Free – Please register as registration is required for catering purposes
Professor Vanashree is currently on deputation as the ICCR Chair in Indian Studies at the Centre for Theatre and Performance in the Faculty of Arts, Monash University.
She is a Professor at the Department of English, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. She has also been the former chair of the department.
As a Fulbright Teaching Fellow, she taught at the Department of English, George Washington University. She worked as a UGC Research Associate at Jawaharlal Nehru University (1994-1998) and was also a Senior Fellow at Indo-American Center for Studies. Vanashree is the author and editor of several books, including Why Fiction Matters, Twentieth Century American Fiction: T.S. Eliot’s Children, Antony and Cleopatra, Poetics and Culture: Three Plays of Girish Karnad, Feminine Consciousness in The Fiction of Katherine Anne Porter, among others.
She has been the editor of Research and Criticism, the departmental journal of English, BHU. Her research papers, translated works and book reviews are published in national and international journals in India and USA and have been cited in several interdisciplinary academic researches.