The Curato Lecture Series focuses on bringing out cutting edge scholarship in the social sciences and the humanities in a manner that is accessible and interesting to a general audience. Lectures will be an hour long, with half an hour for questions and interaction with the audience, and will be open to the public, and will be held in Mumbai.
The inaugural Curato lecture, titled Embodiment and Religion: The Cultural Memory of the Tantra, will be delivered by Prof. Arjun Chaudhuri on December 1, 2018. Arjun Chaudhuri is an assistant professor of English literature and Creative writing at Gurucharan College in Silchar. He has a PhD in cultural memory studies and is the recipient of the Kavyanandan award (Suranandan Bharati, Kolkata) and the Nazrul Sammanana (KNIU, Churuliya) for his translation work from Bengali and Sanskrit to English.
The lecture will focus on two specific areas of cultural configuration – embodiment as representative of the mythical past in the contemporary, and on religion as a networked configuration that evolves simultaneously with phased changes in materiality and in strategies of contemporary embodiment. A cyclical process without doubt, this correlation between the mentioned areas (or loci, locus) of cultural formation is something that has escaped the attention of ideologues in contemporary popular/populist cultures as well as in critical spaces that are relatable to the former.
But in the wake of everyday whataboutery (something that passes off as analytical discourse in new media these days) it is pertinent that a method of reading extreme pasts that are influential in the present is quite a necessity. The lecture will bring to the fore the advances Dr. Chaudhuri has made in this direction on basis of particular practice and research. Cases studies from the esoteric spaces of the Tantrika schools existent all around south Asia (especially in Northeast India and Bangladesh) will be cited in the course of the lecture.