The Endowment in Modern Indian Literature was established in May 1999 thanks to the generous support of Professor Emeritus Narahari Umanath Prabhu and his wife Mrs. Suman (Sumi) Prabhu. Professor and Mrs. Prabhu sought to honor Rabindranath Tagore, a celebrated literatus and musician, one of the great luminaries of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition, with their endowment, Professor and Mrs. Prabhu sought to “project a strongly positive image of South Asian literature." The Tagore Lecture Series will, in time, include writers associated with all parts of the South Asian region.
The Tagore Lecture is typically held in early autumn, organized by the Cornell University South Asia Program. This event is free and open to the public.
Ranjit Hoskote has long been drawn to the form of the concerto, both for its own beauty and elegance, and as a metaphor for his practice as a poet. For Hoskote, one of India’s most celebrated literary figures, the poet is a soloist and the outside world provides the orchestra. The relationship between soloist and orchestra can take a variety of modes: dialogue, contest, divergence, and collaboration.
In this year’s Tagore Modern Indian Literature Lecture, Hoskote addressed the tension between contemporary poetry and current cultural and political debates over India’s national identity in a globalized world. He also discussed some of the contexts in which he writes his own poetry, including diaspora, multilingualism, translation, ecological crisis, transcultural encounters, and the rise of illiberal demagoguery.
The lecture took place on September 23 at the A.D. White House. Link for the full lecture: http://www.cornell.edu/video/ranjit-hoskote-tagore-lecture-2016
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