Organized Panel Session
While historians and literary scholars have emphasized the content of Urdu literary texts, this panel argues that the material form of Urdu literary texts is essential to understanding content. This panel investigates twentieth-century Urdu periodicals to recover erasures: their transregional and multilingual qualities, visual style, and particular print technologies. Twentieth-century Urdu print culture traversed forms, languages, and genres. Jennifer Dubrow’s presentation reads Saadat Hasan Manto’s Siyah Hashiye as an example of a modernist little magazine, a well-established genre whose relationship to Manto has been overlooked. The form of the work encourages us to consider Manto’s Siyah Hashiye as an example of modernism, in contrast to traditional approaches that have read it as an example of realism. Anjali Nerlekar focuses on the exchanges between Urdu and Marathi poetry in one Marathi little magazine, comparing Marathi translations of Urdu poems with contemporary Marathi poetry in 1970s Marathi magazines. By focusing on the Marathi translations in this particular little magazine, Nerlekar challenges the boundaries between Marathi and Urdu literary traditions and provides a concrete example of this process of transregional collaborations. Megan Robb recounts the history of lithographic print production in the Urdu newspaper industry. Although scholars have argued that Urdu speakers were increasingly dependent on Arab and English models, Robb demonstrates how lithographic graphics continued to emphasize Persianate aesthetic models. Each of these presentations emphasizes the fluidity of twentieth-century Urdu literary culture, and underlines the multiplicity of overlapping Urdu literary publics.