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"The First Biennial Norman Cutler Conference on South Asian Literature"

May 4 & 5, 2007

The Norman Cutler Conference on South Asian Literature (COSAL) honors the life and work of the late Norman Cutler, former Professor of Tamil in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations.

The purposes of the conference are:

  • to create an expanded presence for South Asia in the fields of creative writing and comparative literature;
  • to create an international forum for contemporary South Asian literatures;
  • to encourage the interaction of scholars, translators, and U.S. readers generally, with South Asian writers.

The 2007 conference featured the work of the Tamil author “Salma” [R.A. Rokkiah, b. 1968], a Muslim woman who has recently catapulted into public controversy over her frank poetry on the female body.

Co-sponsored by the University of Chicago Committee on Southern Asian Studies, Division of the Humanities, Franke Institute for the Humanities, South Asia Language and Area Center, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and Center for Gender Studies.

Remembrance of Norman Cutler/Poetry Reading: Salma
Keynote Address: A.R. Venkatachalapathy, History and Literary Historiography, Madras Institute of Development Studies
Presentations: Bernard Bate, "Naaladiyar in the Bajaar: Protestant Textuality and the Tamil Public Sphere"
Lakshmi Holmström, "The Tiger in the Picture: A Reading of Salma's Novel Irandaam Jaamangalin Kadai"
David Shulman, "Beyond the Margin: On G. Nagarajan and Tomorrow is One More Day"
Prose Reading: Salma
Roundtable: All Participants