Events Calendar
Feb 8
17:00 - 18:30
Indo-Argentine Modernist Networks: Tagore, Victoria Ocampo, and South-South Solidarity
Centre for Modern European Literature Seminar
Dr Patricia Novillo-Corvalán (Department of Comparative Literature)

Abstract: This paper explores the cross-cultural relations between countries located in the (so-called) global south, focussing on India and Argentina through the nexus between the Bengali author, artist, and educationalist Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) and the Argentine writer, publisher, and feminist Victoria Ocampo (1890-1979). Originally coined in what has been recognised as the first Asian-African conference held in Bandung (Indonesia) in 1955, the geopolitical phrase global south, I suggest, is of extreme relevance to the recent transnational 'turn' in literary studies that has problematised Western-centric paradigms by foregrounding less-studied geographical areas across the globe. Although the Tagore-Ocampo meeting predates the Bandung conference, I argue that the fruitful cultural relations that ensued from their encounter in Buenos Aires in November 1924, offer a pertinent example of south-south solidarity that proposes a decentred spatial paradigm for global interconnectedness formulated from late-colonial and neo-colonial locations formerly excluded from canonical narratives of modernism. I suggest that the 'contact zones' they generated – in a broader use of Pratt's phrase – offer a transnational framework that arises from, and focusses on, the so-called 'peripheries': India and Argentina. By reading Tagore and Ocampo as part of a comparative horizon that is attendant to the aesthetic possibilities their encounter yields, as well as by positioning it in relation to the outward-looking, multidirectional cultural models of literature they proposed: vishva-sahitya (Tagore) and Sur (Ocampo) – while remaining aware of the fraught, complex relationship their countries sustained with imperial Britain – I seek to situate them as decisive figures that can significantly enrich and enlarge our understanding of modernist practices in the global south.

Dr Patricia Novillo-Corvalán is a Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at the University of Kent. Her research interests focus on the relationship between Latin America and European modernisms, the global South, translation broadly understood as a transfer of knowledge and migration of ideas, people, and cultural artefacts, and she has written extensively on cross-cultural encounters between writers worldwide. She is the author of Borges and Joyce: An Infinite Conversation (Legenda. 2011) and Transnational Networks of Literary Exchange (Routledge, 2017).

Location

SECL Staff Room,
Cornwallis North West,
University of Kent,
Canterbury,
Kent,
CT2 7NF
United Kingdom
Map

Details

Open to all,

Contact: Dr Mathilde Poizat-Amar
E: M.Poizat-Amar@kent.ac.uk

 

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