Upcoming Events

Thursday, November 30, 2017, 3-5 pm, UTSG, JHB 319
Gudrun Bühnemann (UWisconsin Madison),
Numata Reading Group: Excerpts from Śākyamuni’s Return Journey to Lumbinī (lumbinīyātrā): A Study of a Popular Theme in Newar Buddhist Art and Literature

Gudrun Bühnemann is a Professor of Sanskrit and Indic Religions in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has published extensively on Tantric iconography and ritual. Her recent books include Buddhist Iconography and Ritual in Paintings and Line Drawings from Nepal (Lumbini International Research Institute, 2008), The Life of the Buddha: Buddhist and Śaiva Iconography and Visual Narratives in Artists’ Sketchbooks from Nepal (Lumbini International Research Institute, 2012) and Śākyamuni’s Return Journey to Lumbinī (lumbinīyātrā): A Study of a Popular Theme in Newar Buddhist Art and Literature (Lumbini International Research Institute, 2015). More information can be found on her website, http://lca.wisc.edu/~gbuhnema/

Centre for South Asian Studies Lecture
Co-sponsored by the Department for the Study of Religion and the Department of English
Christopher Ondaatje Lecture on South Asian Art, History and Culture 2017/18
Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 5-7pm, 208N North House Munk School of Global Affairs, 1 Devonshire Place
Hans Harder (Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg)
Magic Realism in South Asian Vernaculars: a global literary trend as an asset of the global South?


While social realism dominated the scene in South Asian prose for much of the 20th century, we have been witnessing the constant rise of a new mode of writing in the last forty years or so. Blending realism with supernatural elements, Magic Realism was mostly received as world literature from South America (Márquez, Borges, etc.). Ever since Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children (1980), Magic Realism has become a strong presence in South Asian literatures, both English and vernacular. The paper will sketch the recent genealogy of Magic Realism from South Asia and outline, through a number of examples from Hindi, Bengali and Urdu literatures, how strategies of this literary mode are deployed in South Asia. It will also look at how some Bengali authors and critics position this production. Has Magic Realism, as some critics argue, always been a part of South Asian literary heritage? Is it an invention and cultural property of the global South? What do such patterns of appropriation mean for our thinking about world literature?

Hans Harder is Professor of Modern South Asian Languages and Literatures (Modern Indology) at the Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg. He is the author of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay’s Śrīmadbhagabadgītā: Translation and Analysis. Delhi: Manohar, 2001 and Saint Veneration in Contemporary Bangladesh: The Maijbhandaris of Chittagong. London: Routledge, 2011. He is co-editor (with Barbara Mittler) of Asian Punches: A Transcultural Affair. Heidelberg: Springer, 2013.