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Reframing the Erotic: Literary Change in Hindi, 1900-1930
March 20, 2007 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
A talk by Valerie Ritter- Professor, University of Chicago.
In this paper, Professor Ritter addresses the question of how poetry in Hindi (now the national language of India) had to change once the classical erotic mode of srngara was deemed “obscene”. Reviewing ways in which cultural authenticity claims impinged upon literary depictions of women, she discusses criticism by Hindi authors of classically-styled erotic poetry and of women as poetic subjects. She also examines how later, in the 1920s, a justification for the erotic literary past emerges which claims that the erotic literary affect of srngara presents biological truths and actually informs the realist “scenes of nature” of modern literature.
Valerie Ritter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Her research has focused on late nineteenth and early twentieth century Hindi poetry and poetics, and their post-colonial