Special Roundtable 4: The Politics of Languages in Academics: Oxford University Press Roundtable

Friday, July 6
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Juniper, New Building

Sponsored By: Oxford University Press

The goal of this conversational style session is to explore how languages play powerful roles in determining the legitimacy of knowledge production. Beginning with the dominance of English in our institutional spaces, the speakers will delve into understanding the emergence of Hindi and other Indian languages as alternatives in discourse development. Given our changing socio-political and economic context, the discussants will analyse whether Indian languages could play an important role in representing diversity or establish new hierarchies by trumping the old ones. Will academic spaces become more inclusive or remain exclusionary towards those marginalized, with cursory emphasis on languages?

The discussants belong to diverse yet related industries with an expertise to traverse between various languages. Between them they cover perspectives from academia, literature, publishing, and science.

Oxford University Press

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Rakshanda Jalil

Rakshanda Jalil is a writer, critic, and literary historian. She has published over 15 books and written over 50 academic papers and essays. Her recent books include Liking Progress, Loving Change: Literary History of the Progressive Writers’ Movement in Urdu (2014); a biography of Urdu feminist writer Dr Rashid Jahan, A Rebel and her Cause (2014); a translation of 15 short stories by Intizar Husain entitled The Death of Sheherzad (2014); and The Sea Lies Ahead (2015), a translation of Intizar Husain's seminal novel on Karachi and also An Uncivil Woman: Writings on Ismat Chughtai (OUP, 2017). She runs an organization called Hindustani Awaaz, devoted to the popularization of Hindi–Urdu literature and culture

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Urvashi Butalia

Urvashi Butalia is a publisher and writer. Co-founder of Kali for Women, India’s first feminist publisher, and now director of Zubaan, she is also author of the award-winning oral history of Partition, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India.

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Arunava Sinha

Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and nonfiction into English. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), he also won the Muse India translation award (2013) for Buddhadeva Bose’s When The Time Is Right.

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Gauhar Raza

Gauhar Raza is an Indian scientist by profession, and a leading Urdu poet, social activist and documentary filmmaker working to popularize the understanding of science among general public. Known for his films like Jung-e-Azadi, on the India's First War of Independence and Inqilab on Bhagat Singh. He was also the honorary director of Jahangirabad Media Institute.

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