Other links:

Other links:

The Centre for the Creative and the Critical (CCC)

The Centre’s purpose is to provide a forum in which to raise and address questions to do with both creative practice and critical argument. The convergence of creativity with thought has a history that’s central to literature and the arts. Some of the most influential criticism across cultures was written by writers and artists, and creativity itself was a powerful form of thinking. Today, this lineage is generally ignored – by literature departments, creative writing workshops, publishers, and the media. It was to address this vacuum that Amit Chaudhuri, Professor of Creative Writing at Ashoka University from 2020 and, from 2006-2021, Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia, conceptualised the first symposium in ‘Literary Activism’ in December 2014 in Calcutta, in partnership with the University of East Anglia and Presidency and Jadavpur Universities. This was called an ‘important symposium’ by the Times Literary Supplement, and six more symposia have since taken place, with institutional partnerships in different parts of the world, including The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH), St Hugh’s College, Oxford, and the Columbia Institute of Ideas and Imagination, Paris. Ashoka University, since 2018, has been the lead partner and host of the annual international symposia. It also supports the website edited by Professor Chaudhuri, literaryactivism.com.

In bringing together novelists, poets, translators, artists, scholars, filmmakers, journalists and publishers with different traditions and histories from all over the world, the Centre will foster intercultural and ‘extra-disciplinary’ discussions about creative practice in ways that have become impossible in more professionalised settings, such as the academic conference, or in more market-driven ones, such as the literary festival. The highly-regarded symposia and website will continue to be an important part of the Centre’s activities. So will new courses, talks, and events.

As Professor Amit Chaudhuri, the Director of the Centre for the Creative and the Critical, has said, ‘the Centre is meant to create a space for thinking about creative practice and critical concepts in a way that is no longer addressed by institutional and academic writing or by the language adopted by publishers, festivals, or the media. In other words, it arises from a genuine desire to depart from the way literature and creativity are discussed in the academy and in the public sphere.’ The Vice Chancellor, Professor Malabika Sarkar, points out: ‘We believe that it will emerge as an intellectual epicentre of contemporary, literary, artistic and academic discourse that nurtures intercultural and extra-disciplinary discussions around creative practices.’

Upcoming courses, events, and publications

‘Is There A Modern Literature?’

A thirteen-week online course, beginning on 20th January 2022, taught by Professor Amit Chaudhuri for the English department, Ashoka University, is being offered by the Centre, in partnership with the The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH), to students at Oxford and other universities across the world. Ashoka students who have signed up for the seminar will be graded for their work. All other students (including students from Ashoka) who have signed up through TORCH will sit in on the class and contribute to discussions.

Details can be found here: https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/event/is-there-a-modern-indian-literature-0

Symposium: ‘On Not Mentioning the Modern’, 25th and 26th February 2022, online.

The mission statement of this symposium will appear soon on the literaryactivism.com. Speakers include the poet and critic Kaiser Haq (University of Dhaka); critic and short story writer Yi-Ping Li (Johns Hopkins University); art historian Partha Mitter (Professor Emeritus, Sussex); critic Hussein Omar (University College, Dublin); critic and translator Jatin Nayak (University of Sambalpur); literary, music, and art critic Robert O’Meally (Columbia University); critic Marjorie Perloff (Professor Emeritus, Stanford); critic and literary historian Haun Saussy (University of Chicago); critic and translator Laetitia Zecchini (Fellow, CNRS, Paris); and Amit Chaudhuri.

Symposium papers: ‘Against Storytelling’

The talks given at the two symposiums on this theme in Delhi in 2018 and in Paris in 2019 will be uploaded on literaryactivism.com in the near future.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka