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October 13, 2022 @ 9:00 am - October 15, 2022 @ 5:30 pm
This three-day conference and accompanying film series have been organized to celebrate the birth centenary of the renowned Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray (1921-1992). Most critical evaluations of Ray, which tend to focus on his films while overlooking his considerable literary and design output, have consecrated him as a modernist master or a postcolonial auteur. Such discussions are often couched in terms of modernity and tradition, Orientalism and nativism, objectivity and irrationality, skepticism and enchantment, art cinema and popular cinema. Instead, we focus on wonder, an affect that cuts transversally across these polarities, as an analytical category that enables fresh perspectives from which to assess Ray’s contributions to Bengali culture, Indian modernity, and global cinema. We address his stature as the bestselling author of Bengali-language young adult fiction as well as one of the most revered graphic artists of modern India. While Ray has been widely hailed as an artist upholding a universal brand of humanism, the conference seeks to flesh out his singularity in terms of a vernacular modernism and a critical humanist orientation.
The conference is organized by Bhaskar Sarkar, Professor Film and Media Studies, and Bishnupriya Ghosh, Professor of English and Global Studies, on behalf of the Global-Popular Workshop, with generous support from the UC Humanities Research Institute; Center for South Asian Studies, UC Santa Cruz; and the Carsey-Wolf Center, Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, Department of Film and Media Studies, IHC’s South Asian Religions and Cultures Research Focus Group, and College of Letters and Science, UC Santa Barbara.
Image: Satyajit Ray’s poster for the film Devi, 1960