Calcutta: City/Contemporaneity: Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Summer School

Calcutta: City/Contemporaneity: Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Summer School
Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, JUNE 2018.

Think modernism, political strife, street fighting, literature, theatre, and cinema – and think one Indian city. This Summer School is set in, and is about, one of the most emblematic of them all: Calcutta. Returning to the original name before it was changed in 2001, we refer to the colonial port city that was once capital of British India, and the city where, through the twentieth century, some of the most intense debates in history were played out: around colonialism, nationalism, partition, suffering, refugeehood, along side its intense articulation through literature, theatre and cinema.

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Calcutta: City/Contemporaneity is a two-week multidisciplinary Summer School hosted by the Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University that celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2018. It uses several converging spaces that make up the moving image across South Asia both physically and metaphorically meaningful. College Street, the local book publishing area, or “Tollywood”, the neighbourhood where film studios are located, or even Kalighat temple and crematorium area for instance, once principal sites of modern public life, become catalyst to move further into new spaces for the making and distribution of diverse kinds of cultural contents. On the way, we encounter architectural transformation, new genre of films, contemporary literary modes, public art, musical forms, Television, video and other media.

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The course features several major and contemporary debates that have informed the city’s intellectual traditions as much as they have defined the spaces of their action: its streets and public spaces, its coffee houses, bazaars, and its universities. Lectures on scholarship on the city, its political history, culture, and contemporary media practices, will take place alongside walks in actual spaces showing how Calcutta’s twentieth century unfolded, and where its key present-day struggles lie.

Tentative speakers: Partha Chatterjee, M. Madhava Prasad, Tejaswini Niranjana, Moinak Biswas, Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Tapati Guha-Thakurta, Firdous Azim, and other experts of the field, along with Moushumi Bhowmik (singer-composer-researcher), Suman Mukhopadhyay (Director), Q (Director) and other artists.

Coordinator: Madhuja Mukherjee, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University.

Departmental faculty: Moinak Biswas, Abhijit Roy, Anindya Sengupta, Manas Ghosh,
Subhajit Chatterjee, Shradhanjali Tamang, Madhuja Mukherjee.

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