MAI Bulletin – April 2015

MAI Bulletin-April2015

From the MAI Acting Director’s Desk

Dear MAI scholars and researchers,

It is my great pleasure to be part of the MAI family as Acting Director while Koichi Iwabuchi is away on OSP. I come to Monash University from the University of Western Sydney, where I was a postdoctoral research fellow and lecturer with the Writing and Society Research Centre. I undertook my doctoral studies at the University of Alberta, Canada, after gaining an MPhil, MA and BA in English Literature at the University of Delhi, India. My specialisation is in literary, cultural and feminist studies. My current areas of interest include literatures of decolonisation, postcolonial and diaspora studies, translation theory and practice, studies in multiculturalism, minority-migration-memory, identity formation, global Englishes and publishing regimes, public intellectuals and spaces, indigeneity across borders, culinary cultures and Bombay cinema.

Most recently, I have facilitated three major projects in transnational and cross-cultural literary diplomacy between Australia and India: the Australia India Literatures International Forum in Sydney, which was adjudged a Finalist at the Australian Arts in Asia Awards 2013  (, a tri-national Autumn School in Literary Translation between Australia, India and the UK in Kolkata in 2013 and Literary Commons 2014-15, whereby 10 Indigenous Australian writers undertook tours of Indian literary festivals and had their work translated into regional Indian languages ( In 2015, we hope to bring out 10 Dalit Indian writers to Australia and foster dialogues in indigeneity across geographical and cultural borders.

Already in my first month here, I have met some of you and look forward to meeting the others and knowing more about your work. I am eager to participate in trans-Asia and interdisciplinary dialogues, particularly between the Arts, Business and the Sciences. To this end, I would like to draw your attention to the IITB-Monash Research Academy’s dual-badged doctoral programs for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the joint Arts-Engineering funding opportunities, since many of you are already working on these areas between Australia and Asia.

Now for MAI news: during the semester break, there were many well-attended events, including a highly successful international symposium on, Asia Literacy in Practice. More will be coming in the second semester. In August, Trans-Asia as Method seminar series will reconsider key concepts in the study of migration from trans-Asian perspectives. A special lecture organized by the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, and the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics examines how modernity had given rise to what can be called a “penis industry” in early twentieth-century Japan. Last but not least, this bulletin includes the announcement of the first MAI research day that will be held on 12th September. Please check the details in the bulletin and the MAI web page!

Dr. Mridula Nath Chakraborty (Acting Director)