Ghost in the Tamarind reading; Censorship and Freedom of Speech (Shankar), SOAS

​​Ghost in the Ta​marind book ​reading by S. Shankar, ​​Wednesday 24th May, 15.15 – 17.00, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS​​

Who can you love? What do you owe to love and what to the world at large? In his forthcoming novel Ghost in the Tamarind, S. Shankar explores these and other questions against the background of anti-caste movements in India. His reading from the novel highlights the challenges of writing in English about communities that do not primarily function in English. The reading will be followed by a Q&A.

​​Censorship and Freedom of Speech in a Comparative Context: The Case of Contemporary Tamil Literature​Wednesday 31st May, 15.15 – 17.00, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS​

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.

About S. Shankar

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).

All events are free and open to all. No registration required.