Tuesday, October 24, 2017

For a Nation Without a Narrative: How was Modernism in India? a lecture by Pithamber R. Polsani

About the talk
Twenty-five years back Geeta Kapur asked the question “When was Modernism in India?” and in response, located the Indian modernism in disjunction with the West, in a fractured temporality.  Perhaps it’s time to revisit this question again not with the view of positioning it accurately in time and space, but instead to critically examine the very notion of modern and by extension the idea of contemporary within the context of art in India.  In an age of “post” of everything—post-modernism, post-history, post-capital, post-labour and even post-human—it may seem anachronistic to ask the question of modernism and modernity.  However, the question remains relevant because we are yet to overcome the metaphysics of modernity. Therefore, my contention is that as long as we have one ear to the West and operate in its shadow we will miss the call to genuinely think other possibilities that were opened in the past and that may unravel in the future.

About the Speaker
Pithamber traversed diverse disciplines: philosophy, education, technology, management, literature, semiotics, media, psychoanalysis, art and Spanish language. These explorations have given him the capability to synthesize insights from multiple domains and connect hitherto unconnected things in a unique way to arrive at solutions to conceptual and practical problems. Prior to joining Srishti as faculty, Pithamber led learning Academies for Royal Bank of Scotland & Nokia Siemens Networks, and at Satyam Computer Services established a Virtual University. Before joining the corporate sector Pithamber taught at the University of Arizona, Bates College & Delhi University. Pithamber received his PhD (1997) from Purdue University, West Lafayette and MPhil & MA from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Some of Pithamber’s publications include, “The Image in a Fatal Kiss: Dalí, Lacan and the Paranoiac Representation”, “Like A Lizard That Junks its Tail in Distress: Homer Simpson is no Antigone”, “Use and Abuse of Learning Objects,” “Riding the Satellite to the Millennium.  At Srishti, Pithamber is a Faculty and the Dean of the School of Advanced Studies and Research.

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