Norman Cutler Conference on South Asian Literature

Christian K. Wedemeyer wedemeyer at UCHICAGO.EDU
Thu Mar 29 15:09:41 EDT 2007

The Norman Cutler Conference on South Asian Literature
May 4-5, 2007
Featuring Tamil author Salma [R.A. Rokkiah]

The Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at
the University of Chicago is pleased to announce the first
biennial Norman Cutler Conference on South Asian Literature
(COSAL), which in 2007 will feature the Tamil author "Salma"
[R.A. Rokkiah, b. 1968], a Muslim woman who has recently
catapulted into public controversy over her frank poetry on
the female body. The 2007 COSAL will also include a
presentation by the eminent Tamil cultural historian and
literary scholar A.R. Venkatachalapathy, Professor at the
Madras Institute of Development Studies in Chennai.
Additionally, the conference will host Lakshmi Holmström,
recently of the University of East Anglia, a renowned
translator of Tamil fiction who is currently finishing a
translation of Salma's first novel, Late Night Story. COSAL
will also feature the screening of a new documentary film on
Salma and three other female Tamil poets, SheWrite (dir.
Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar, India 2005). Lectures and
panel discussions on contemporary Tamil literature will also
feature Paula Richman of Oberlin College (Religion), and
Chicago SALC faculty Tamil specialists Sascha Ebeling, James
Lindholm, and David Shulman. SALC faculty members Valerie
Ritter and Yigal Bronner will also contribute to the proceedings.

The Norman Cutler Conference on South Asian Literature (COSAL)
honors the life and work of the late Norman Cutler (1949 -
2002), former Professor of Tamil in the Department. The
purposes of the conference are:

*to create an expanded presence for South Asia in the fields
of creative writing and comparative literature;
*to create an international forum for contemporary South Asian
*to encourage the interaction of scholars, translators, and
U.S. readers generally, with South Asian writers.

This biennial event will feature different South Asian authors
on each occasion of the Conference, who hail from various
regions, write in various languages, and come from a diversity
of communities.

The 2007 COSAL is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago
Committee on Southern Asian Studies, South Asia Center, Franke
Institute for the Humanities, Department of South Asian
Languages and Civilizations, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Center, and South Asian Students Association.

The conference program and description of the Norman Cutler
COSAL generally will be posted at the conference website Please contact Valerie Ritter at
ritter at with any questions.

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