On Wednesday 25th June, the Centre for New Writing will host an international symposium called ‘Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literature. Innovative and revolutionary literature by a body of writers formerly known as ‘Untouchables’ will be explored by writers and academics at the University. The event is hosted in partnership with the Centre for Postcolonial Studies at Nottingham Trent University and EMMA, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, France.The symposium follows a conference ‘Contemporary Approaches to the Analysis of Dalit Literature’ on 23-24 June 2014, held at Nottingham Trent University. It is part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Research Network Series, 2014-16.
This event reflects the Centre for New Writing’s interest in writing beyond Anglophone cultures. Dalit literature is innovative in both its focus and its form, so this session is particularly valuable for writers who are interested in expanding their repertoire of skills. The symposium features the writer Ajay Navaria, the scholar and activist K. Satyanarayana and the translator and scholar of Dalit Literature Laura Brueck. They will be in discussion with Corinne Fowler, Judith Misrahi-Barak and Nicole Thiara. The event offers a unique opportunity to hear Ajay Navaria read from his work for the first time in the UK. K. Satyanarayana will offer an introduction to the field of Dalit literature and talk about the significance of South Indian Dalit literature in particular. The Delhi-born Navaria has authored two collections of short stories. Besides winning many literary prizes and awards, he is Assistant Professor in the Department of Hindi, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi.
K. Satyanarayana is Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies, English and Foreign Languages University (EFL-U), Hyderabad. Active in the student movement during the 1990s, he was founder-general secretary of ‘Kula Nirmoolana Porata Samiti’ (Forum for Caste Annihilation). He also edited the little magazine Kulanirmoolana. His research interests are in the fields of Cultural studies, Dalit literature and Literary history. He is coeditor of two dossiers of South Indian Dalit Writing: No Alphabet in Sight (2011) and Steel Nibs Are Sprouting (2013).
Laura Brueck is Associate Professor of Hindi Literature at Northwestern University, USA. Her most recent book, Writing Resistance: The Rhetorical Imagination of Contemporary Dalit Literature (Columbia University Press, 2014), focuses on the literary politics of the contemporary Hindi Dalit literary sphere and the aesthetics of the Hindi Dalit short story. She has also published a collection of English translations of Ajay Navaria’s Hindi short stories titled Unclaimed Terrain: Stories by Ajay Navaria (Navayana, 2012).
The event takes place on Wednesday 25 June from 4 – 6pm at The Scholar, Percy Gee Students Union Building, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH. The symposium is free and all are welcome. The event is followed by a drink reception.