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Frances Pritchett fp7 at COLUMBIA.EDU
Wed Mar 26 14:19:29 UTC 2003

Dear Christian,

How about a paper on the ghazals of Ghalib as shaped by a poetics of oral
performance, and thus implicitly distorted by modern printed

If this doesn't suit your interests don't hesitate to let me know, it's
just a thought and might not be the direction you want to go in for the

I still hate "the vernaculars," it sounds so patronizing. Why not "the
regional languages" or something of the sort?

see you soon I hope,

On Tue, 25 Mar 2003, Christian Lee Novetzke wrote:

> Hello Friends,
> I am assembling a panel for Madison and wanted to canvas for interest from
> you all.  If you are interested in the proposal abstract below, please
> respond to me directly at cln at
> Thank you.
> Christian
> The Printed Word: Orality and Performance in the Genealogy of Print in India
> This panel will explore the particular condition of handwritten and printed
> works in India in the vernaculars, and also in English, as reflective of an
> oral and performance epistemological core. Papers presented will engage the
> idea that at the heart of much printed work in India from the nineteenth to
> the twentieth centuries, orality and performance have given shape to the
> printed word. Rather than develop the kinds of literary work that many
> scholars consider the epitome of modern printing--such as the novel--the
> greatest efflorescence of printed materials in India has taken the shape of
> genealogical successors of oral/performance legacies, such as the myriad
> "folk" genres of performance, Parsi and other kinds of theatre, courtly and
> country lyrical forms, heroic ballads, oral epics, and so on. In asserting
> this oral essence to printed expressive forms, the panel will explicitly
> engage modernist conceits regarding what sorts of cultural forms are
> plausible in societies with a strong oral/performative ethos, thus invoking
> debates about the possibilities of historiographical thinking and the
> contours of modern public culture still faithful to "pre-modern" cultural
> forms of communication.
> Christian Lee Novetzke
> Assistant Professor of South Asia Studies
> University of Pennsylvania, 820 Williams Hall
> 36th and Spruce Streets
> Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305, USA
> Email: cln at      Website:
> Tel: (215) 898-7475                  Fax: (215) 573-2138

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