Books & Films



Photo still of Zowa and Ariane, a French couple from Burning Down the Louvre (2023), a documentary film about race, tribalism, and intimacy in the United States and in France.
  • Burning Down the Louvre.  dir. Rita Banerjee and David Shields.  Documentary Film.  Forthcoming: 2023.


Rita Banerjee’s dissertation, The New Voyager: Theory and Practice of South Asian Literary Modernisms,investigates how literary modernisms in Bengali, Hindi, and Indian English functioned as much as a turning away and remixing of earlier literary traditions as a journey of engagement between the individual writer and his or her response to and attempts to re-create the modern world. This thesis explores how theories and practices of literary modernism developed in Bengali, Hindi, and Indian English in the early to mid-20th century, and explores the representations and debates surrounding literary modernisms in journals such as Kallol, Kavitā, and Krittibās in Bengali, the Nayī Kavitā journal and the Tār Saptak group in Hindi, and the Writers Workshop group in English. Theories of modernism and translation as proposed by South Asian literary critics such as Dipti Tripathi, Acharya Nand Dulare Bajpai, Buddhadeva Bose, and Bhola Nath Tiwari are contrasted to the manifestos of modernism found in journals such as Krittibās and against Agyeya’s defense of experimentalism (prayogvād) from the Tār Saptak anthology. The dissertation then goes on to discuss how literary modernisms in South Asia occupied a vital space between local and global traditions, formal and canonical concerns, and between social engagement and individual expression. In doing so, this thesis notes how the study of modernist practices and theory in Bengali, Hindi, and English provides insight into the pluralistic, multi-dimensional, and ever-evolving cultural sphere of modern South Asia beyond the suppositions of postcolonial binaries and monolingual paradigms.

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