The 19th century: discontinuities, sites and events in Indian literature 
Heiko Frese (Heidelberg University)
David Shulman (Hebrew University)
Start time:
25 July, 2012 at 14:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This interdisciplinary panel aims at locating historical and literary fissures, thresholds, but also continuities and syntheses in processes of South Indian literary production in the 19th century. Contributions should focus on contents and contexts of vernacular literary work(s) and discourses.

Long Abstract

The nineteenth century saw profound innovations in all the literatures of southern India, in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam. Normally, these changes are keyed to the introduction of Western genres, such as the modern novel and the short story, although antecedents to these genres exist from medieval times in all these literatures. What, then, constitutes a "modern" sensibility expressed in the nineteenth-century literary forms? Is there only one dominant modernity or, as Narayana Rao has suggested, might we speak both of an organic or indigenous modernity and a "colonial" one, the latter considerably impoverished in relation to the former? How can we begin to think about the deeper ways of reading the great nineteenth century poets such as Minaksisundaram Pillai in Tamil or Gurujada Appa Ravu in Telugu? What can we learn from a comparative perspective that takes into account each of the literatures just mentioned?

Accepted papers: