A postcolonial perspective on the events of 9/11 will be the topic of a lecture by Amitava Kumar, professor of English and the Helen D. Lockwood Chair at Vassar College, Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room of Nicholson Library at Linfield College.
Kumar will present “Literature of 9/11: A Syllabus Starts with the Lives of Our Students.” He is a postcolonial scholar with a range of published work including fiction, non-fiction, literary theory, journalism, memoir and political theory. His creative writing pieces address issues of postcolonialism, globalization, terrorism and multiculturalism.
Kumar is the author of several works of literary non-fiction, including “Passport Photos,” “Bombay-London-New York” and “Husband of a Fanatic.” His latest book, “A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb,” offers a meditation on cultural and human repercussions of the global war on terror according to the New York Times. His novel “Home Products” was short-listed for India’s premier literary award and republished in the U.S. as “Nobody Does the Right Thing.”
Kumar was born in Ara, Bihar, India, and grew up in the nearby town of Patna. He received a master’s degree in linguistics from Delhi University and a master’s degree in English literature from Syracuse University. He holds a Ph.D. in cultural studies and comparative literature from the University of Minnesota. Kumar serves on the editorial board of several publications and co-edits the web-journal Politics and Culture. He is also the script-writer and narrator of the prize-winning documentary films “Pure Chutney” and “Dirty Laundry.”
Kumar’s lecture is free and open to the public. The event is co-sponsored by the Ken and Donna Ericksen Endowed English Department Fund, Nicholson Library and the departments of English, Sociology/Anthropology, Political Science, Theatre/Communication Arts, and Mass Communication, as well as the programs in International Relations and Gender Studies.
Kenneth Ericksen, professor emeritus of English at Linfield, created the endowment in memory of his wife, Donna, a Linfield alumna, who taught reading, writing and English in the Hillsboro School District for 25 years. The endowment allows the English Department to bring distinguished literary scholars to campus for several days to work with faculty and students and to present a public lecture. For more information, call 503-883-2210.