Hindi Internationalism: Lecture by Francesca Orsini

22nd B. N. Ganguli Memorial Lecture by Francesca Orsini on ‘Hindi Internationalism: Literature and the Cold War’ on 24 February 2021 via Zoom. It was chaired by Ravikant.


B. N. Ganguli Memorial Lectures are held in memory of the distinguished economist Professor B. N. Ganguli, former Chairman, CSDS Board of Governors. Earlier speakers in the series include Dipesh Chakrabarty, Claudio Lomnitz, Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Sari Nusseibeh, Leela Gandhi and Lila Abu-Lughod.

This year’s lecture will be delivered by Francesca Orsini.

The decades of the 1950s to 1970s are remembered as the golden age of magazines, in Hindi as in other languages. They were also the decades of decolonization and the Cold War. Much of the scholarship on Cold War literature has focused on book and magazine programmes run by the USSR and the USA and, more recently, China. This lecture instead takes Hindi magazines, and particularly the short story magazines aimed at general readers, as its lens. Did magazines like Kahani or Sarika reflect the struggles of decolonization and the Cold War? How did their main literary currency, the story, mediate competing Cold War internationalisms? Can we consider these privately owned, commercially run magazines a form of non-state international relations?

Francesca Orsini is Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature at SOAS, University of London, a Fellow of the British Academy, and the author of The Hindi Public Sphere (2002) and Print and Pleasure (2009). She is completing a book on the multilingual literary history of Awadh from the 15c to the early-20c, and leading an ERC research project on ‘Multilingual locals and significant geographies: for a new approach to world literature’, from the perspective of three regions: North India, the Maghreb, and the Horn of Africa.

Ravikant is Associate Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021, 4 pm,  Zoom http://bit.ly/3tWTYU9