Significant Lives: biography, autobiography, gender, and women's history in South Asia

Supriya Chaudhuri, Significant Lives

How can life-stories from the Global South enhance our understanding of southern histories, cultures, and lives? In this colloquium, co-convened by Katherine Collins and Ramon Sarró, we explored the ethical challenges researchers have encountered in writing Southern lives, as well as the question of how to write a biography in a postcolonial or decolonial context. We considered how various theories of the self, of storytelling, and ways of understanding history can be brought to bear on these important questions, to provoke a discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of working with individual lives as a way to study the Global South. We would like to thank TORCH and the Andrew W Mellon funded Humanities & Identities programme for supporting this event.

View a copy of the event programme here

Supriya Chaudhuri is Professor Emerita in the Department of English, Jadavpur University, India. She has held visiting appointments at the University of Cambridge and the University of Paris-Sorbonne, and lectured at many universities in India and abroad. Her areas of scholarly interest are Renaissance studies, philosophy and critical theory, Indian cultural history, urban studies, sport, travel, translation and modernism. Recent publications include Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World (2018); Reconsidering English Studies in Indian Higher Education (2015); Sport, Literature, Society: Cultural Historical Studies (2013); and chapters in A Companion to Virginia Woolf (2016), Celebrating Shakespeare: Commemoration and Cultural Memory (2015), and A History of the English Novel in India (2015). She has led on many internationally funded research projects, continues to advise on research and higher education policy, and is active in debates on the humanities, gender and intellectual liberty in India.