SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

Censorship and Freedom of Speech in a Comparative Context: The Case of Contemporary Tamil Literature

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED
Professor S. Shankar (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa)

Date: 31 May 2017Time: 3:15 PM

Finishes: 31 May 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51 *note room change

Type of Event: Seminar

S. Shankar takes up the text and controversial context of Perumal Murugan’s novel Mathorubagan (English title One Part Woman). Late in 2014, Tamil writer Murugan was attacked for describing caste practices of ritual sex within a temple in his novel, driving him eventually to renounce writing. Shankar’s purpose is to uncover the vernacular conditions within which censorship becomes possible. Shankar sketches the challenges of contesting literary censorship using aesthetic terms fashioned within national and/or cosmopolitan contexts and considers ways in which such contestation might nevertheless be pursued within vernacular contexts. He ends by drawing conclusions relevant beyond the specific Tamil situation.

S. Shankar is a critic, novelist, and translator. His scholarly areas of interest are postcolonial literature (especially of Africa and South Asia), literature of immigration, film, and translation studies. He is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program. His most recent book is Flesh and Fish Blood: Postcolonialism, Translation, and the Vernacular (2012; U. of California P.; Orient Blackswan India).

S. Shankar has been invited to SOAS as a Visiting Fellow for 'Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies' project. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 670876).

Sponsor: Horizon 2020, European Research Council