Enrichment Lecture (E-Series) Women's Writing: The Short Story by Prof. Radha Chakravarty

The final in the series of Enrichment Lecture was organized by the Department of English on 30 May 2020. The Speaker was Dr. Radha Chakravarty, Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies at Ambedkar University, Delhi. Dr. Chakravarty - also a writer, critic and translator - spoke on “Women Writers of South Asia”, with special reference to the genre of the Short Story.


She began by emphasizing the importance of a comparatist reading, especially in the field of South Asian women’s writing which – among other things – is issue-based even as the writers focus on shifting, mutable and diverse realities; cross-border solidarities; recognizing commonalities; and, representing the rich linguistic and cultural traffic between such countries as India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. She also touched upon the trouble-torn nations among these to drive home the point about other demographic and communitarian issues relevant to each one of them and the layered articulation of their individual reality.


The Talk also went into the disciplines of Translation and Genre Studies as also World Literature. The Speaker threw light on the emerging areas of collaborative translations and the significance of affirming the local particularities in such works. She briefly read from the translated works of a few South Asian women poets to make her point about culture-specific narratives; the reader of the receiving culture; and, the overturning of certain hetero-normative binaries, thus highlighting the fact of feminism in translation.


Finally, the Speaker dwelt on the publishing initiatives that are geared towards bringing South Asian women’s writing to the fore and - thereby - making it available to a wide international reading public as well. The Talk ended with a round of Q&A which saw the students and the faculty members engage a little more on the future roadmaps for comparatist reading and the interventionist intent of the writer/ translator, in an attempt to trace the re-worlding of South Asia.