Supervised by Dr. Baidik Bhattacharya, Professor Udaya Kumar, and Professor V. Sanil, the Spring 2019 workshop will be conducted on 13-16 March 2019 at Kirori Mal College. The workshop aims to engage with the question, ‘What is subjectivity?’ ‘Subjective,’ is often used for describing an individual’s private experience or opinions as different from ‘objective,’ measurable or verifiable facts. Sometimes the word ‘subject’ is applied to those who perform actions; but the word is equally used for those who experience situations, emotions, or feelings. The aim of this workshop is to get a clearer sense of the varied uses of words clustered around the idea of ‘subjectivity’ and explore what questions we can ask with them, and what new perspectives or approaches they give rise to. To grasp the concept of the subject, it is useful to see how it is related to and different from other concepts in its neighbourhood—such as ‘person,’ ‘self,’ and ‘agent.’
Dr. Baidik Bhattacharya trained in English literary studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University (M.A. and M.Phil.) and Oxford University (D.Phil.). He taught in the English departments of Newcastle University (2006-10) and Delhi University (2010-2018) prior to joining the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
Bhattacharya works at the crossroads of literary studies, social sciences, and philosophy. His first book, Postcolonial Writing in the Era of World Literature: Texts, Territories, Globalizations (Routledge, 2018), explores the debates surrounding two dynamic fields – postcolonial studies and world literature. Bhattacharya is the co-editor of two volumes: Baidik Bhattacharya and Sambudha Sen (eds.) Novel Formations: The Indian Beginnings of a European Genre(Permanent Black, 2018); Baidik Bhattacharya and Neelam Srivastava (eds.) The Postcolonial Gramsci(Routledge, 2012).
Professor Udaya Kumar is currently at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. He did his Masters from the University of Kerala, his M.Phil. from JNU, and D.Phil. in English Literature from St. John’s College, Oxford. His work has spanned from seminal contributions to Joyce studies to examination of the public sphere and, more recently, exploration of literature, history and autobiography in modern Kerala. His books include The Joycean Labyrinth: Repetition, Time and Tradition in Ulysses (Oxford, 1991) and Writing the First Person: Literature, History and Autobiography in Modern Kerala (Permanent Black, 2016). His current book project is titled History, Identity and Spatiality: New Idioms of Vernacular Social Thought in Early Twentieth Century Kerala.
V. Sanil is Professor of Philosophy at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. Professor Sanil received a degree in Engineering and a postgraduate diploma in Journalism and then moved on to get a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur. He was a Charles Wallace Fellow at the Department of Philosophy, University of Liverpool, UK, and Directeur d’études Associés at Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris. His research interests lie in Continental philosophy, including philosophical aesthetics and philosophy of technology. He works on art and technology in Classical India, Asian cinema and Indian theatre. Besides publishing in English, Professor Sanil writes in Malayalam on 19th- and 20th-century social movements and culture.