Central University of Odisha Organises International Meet On Indian Literature

Bhubaneswar: An international conference on “Imagining and Translating the ‘Other’: Engaging with Contemporary Indian Literature” was organised by the Department of English, Central University of Odisha, Koraput, from March 20 to 22.

The conference was inaugurated by Vice-Chancellor of CUO, Prof Chakradhar Tripathi. Prof N Nagaraju, Vice-Chancellor of GM University, Sambalpur; writer Chandrahas Choudhury and Prof Alessandro Vescovi of the State University of Milan, Italy were present.

Speaking at the inaugural function, Prof Himansu S Mohapatra emphasised the engagement with the ‘other’ in Indian literature and drew an analogy with the human-animal encounter in the recent Oscar-winning Indian film “The Elephant Whisperers” to explain what it means to encounter the exiled ‘other’.

The inaugural ceremony saw the release of four books, CUO Newsletter, Book of Abstracts and two books of translation – Following My Heart (by Himansu S Mohapatra & Paul St Pierre) and Niranjana (by Sanjeet Kumar Das). Convener-cum-head Sanjeet Kumar Das gave the welcome address and Prof Himansu S Mohapatra, director, introduced the guests and the topic.

Senior professors Prof Guru Charan Behera, Prof Dipti Ranjan Pattanik (both from BHU), Prof Asim Ranjan Parhi (Head, English, Utkal University), Prof Mary Mohanty and Tanutrushna Panigrahi (Utkal University) were present.

The second day of the conference began with a plenary lecture titled “Watch Out, Di: New Vistas in Indian Fiction Today” by Chandrahas Choudhury, which served as a mirror of the whole panorama of new trends in creative writing and translation in Indian literature.

The second day’s proceedings were capped by a cultural extravaganza, put up by the students. The package included poetry recitation, one full length play (Nirajana by Bijay Mishra) and a solo play, songs and dance performances.

The third day saw two plenary lectures, the first one by Prof Alessandro Vescovi, titled “From Toru Dutt to Amitav Ghosh: Two Instances of Translating India for the Word”, and, the second by Prof Harish Trivedi, former professor of English, University of Delhi, titled “Othering Ourselves: The Paradox of (Self-) Translation”.

The conference concluded with a summing up by Prof Himansu Mohapatra and responses from Chandrahas Choudhury, Prof Alessandro Vescovi and a selection of outstation participants (Manisha Mishra, Head, English, RD Women’s University, Munira Salim, Head, English, Stewart Science College, Tyagraj Thakur, senior faculty of English, Silicon University of Technology, Siddharth Mohapatra, senior faculty of English, Trident, Bhubaneswar, Nalinikanta Parhi, lecturer in English, Nilgiri College and senior journalist Sandeep Mishra. The vote of thanks was offered by Sanjeet Kumar Das.

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