Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

Public Lives, Private Memories: Travel and Vernacular Life Writing in Asia

Saturday, July 7
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Jacaranda I, First Floor

Engaging with the past and articulating identities in the present, life writing has often been rooted in indigenous narrative idioms and traditions. The aim of this panel is to bring a new focus on life writing that presents the trajectory of individual public lives in the modern vernacular and reveals the inextricable connections among the genre of autobiography, vibrant vernacular print cultures, identities, and travel. The panel will explore how and why public-political individuals in Punjab, Kashmir, Nepal, and China presented themselves and their lives in their own writings in the context of broader conceptions of regions, nations, and gendered identities. Probing the textual transactions of life narratives, the panel will underline how this helped in putting forth a particular persona and a vernacular archetype of selfhood that challenged received notions about the place and people. These localized life narratives of the self-became a means for negotiating identities and belonging, providing a bridge between the social and the political, the private and the public, the intimate and the national, and the past and the present. Covering individuals from different parts of Asia who traversed its many regional and national boundaries, the panel will creatively highlight how life narratives shape our social and political selves and our understanding of Asian histories and geographies.

Chitralekha Zutshi

College of William & Mary, United States

Presentation(s):

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Charu Gupta

Delhi University, India

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Pradip Kumar Datta

Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

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Pradip Kumar Datta

Jawaharlal Nehru University, India

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Pradip Kumar Datta

Chitralekha Zutshi

College of William & Mary, United States

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Chitralekha Zutshi

Charu Gupta

Delhi University, India

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Alaka Atreya Chudal

University of Vienna, Austria

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Jolan Yi

National Taiwan University, Taiwan

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