[Reader-list] Invitation to a Book Discussion on Writing the First Person at CSDS

Praveen Rai praveenrai at csds.in
Fri Mar 10 01:25:31 CST 2017

*Centre for the Study of Developing Societies*

*Ecologies of Democracy Book Discussion Series*

invites you to a discussion on

*Writing the First Person*

*Literature, History and Autobiography in Modern Kerala*
by Udaya Kumar

Discussants: *V. Sanil & Mohinder Singh*

*Prathama Banerjee* will Chair

Monday, 20 March 2017, 5 pm

CSDS Seminar

29 Rajpur Road, Delhi
011 23942199

Please join us for tea at 4.30 pm
jaya at csds.in

Reading through a variety of late 19th and early 20th century
texts–anti-caste writings, spiritual meditations, social reform tracts,
monologic poetry and early novels–Udaya Kumar asks how and why self-writing
becomes crucial to modernity in Kerala. Udaya complicates the question of
identity – caste, community, nation – by showing that we ‘inhabit’ our
identities by fashioning a relationship, not just with the other, but with
the self.  He also discusses how languages of self-reflexivity emerge
historically, making particular ideas and concepts thinkable in a
particular language.  Above all, he questions the binaries like self/other,
public/private, individual/community etc, by showing how self-writing works
not via pure introspection, but through ‘gestures of extrospection’,
whereby the inner world comes to be ‘inscribed on the surface of things, as
produced through actions and utterances in a field of mutual exposure and
unevenly shared visibility’. The book *Writing the First Person *compels us
to rethink philosophy, history and aesthetics by engaging with the
intellectual and expressive potentials of a vernacular thought-world.

*Udaya Kumar* is Professor at Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru
University, New Delhi.

*V. Sanil* is Professor of Philosophy at Indian Institute of Technology,
New Delhi.

*Mohinder Singh* is Assistant Professor at Centre for Comparative Politics
and Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

*Prathama Banerjee* is Associate Professor at Centre for the Study of
Developing Societies, Delhi.

Praveen Rai
Academic Secretary
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies
29, Rajpur Road
Delhi - 110054
Phone: 91-11-23942199

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