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IIT Madras to host a Symposium on Contemporary Tamil Women Writers and Poets

October 23,2017  

IIT Madras to host a Symposium on Contemporary Tamil Women Writers and Poets
Indian Institute of Technology Madras will host a Symposium - “Mapping the Ahampuram” – focusing on Contemporary Tamil Women Writers and Poets on 26th October 2017.......

Chennai, 23rd October 2017: Indian Institute of Technology Madras will host a Symposium - “Mapping the Ahampuram” – focusing on Contemporary Tamil Women Writers and Poets on 26th October 2017.

The symposium is an organic outcome of an exploratory project funded by IIT Madras for which the Department of Humanities interviewed contemporary Tamil Women Writers whose writings discuss the implication of ‘women’s place’ in social discourses.

Mangai (pseudonym for Dr. V. Padma), Renowned Theatre Activist, Academician, Writer and Director of “Pani Thee,” will be delivering the Keynote address.

Speaking about the Symposium, Prof. R. Swarnalatha and Prof. K.Srilata, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, and conference coordinators, said, “We want to focus on women writers whose personal histories have been erased and made invisible.  We want to look at issues that preoccupy these writers as women and as ‘translators’ of culture and history. We feel that there is a need for an alternative form of criticism that is personal and pedagogical, analytical and reflective at the same time.”

Further, Prof. R. Swarnalatha and Prof. K. Srilata said, “We have selected the genre of the personal interview to explore the author’s cultural backgrounds and relevant personal histories that are mostly not given adequate importance in ‘strictly’ academic criticism.”

The Event has 3 components:

1.    Panel Discussions

2.    A Translation Workshop, and

3.    A Translation Workshop

The panel discussions revolve around relevant topics like ‘What it means to be a woman writer today’ and ‘Writing the Body’. The Translation Workshop, conducted by Prof. R. Azhagarasan, Dept. of English, University of Madras, will involve participants drawn from various colleges in Chennai. The participants will be taught the fine art of translation and will also have an opportunity to read their translations along with the other participants.

The Symposium will conclude with the screening of the film ‘Shewrite’ (2005) which weaves together the narratives and work of four Tamil women poets: Ms. Salma, Ms. Kuttirevathi, Ms. Malathy Maitri and Ms. Sukirtharani.

The film will be anchored by the directors, Ms. Anjali Monteiro and Mr. K.P. Jayasankar, Professors at the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Both of them are involved in media production, teaching and research. Their documentary films, which have been screened across the world, have won 32 national and international awards.

The writers and poets taking in the Symposium include Ms.Bama, Ms. Kutti Revathi, Ms. R.Meenakshi,Ms. Salma, Ms.Malathy Maithri, Ms. Sukirtharani, Ms. Manushi Bharati, Ms. Ilampirai, Ms. Sakti Arulanandam, Ms. Brindha Sethu, Ms. Ilampirai and Ms. Kavin Malar. The Symposium is an endeavour to bring all these writers in conversation with each other. The creation of a repository of author interviews will be an invaluable source of information, validation and support to researchers in the field of gender studies and also to new writers seeking to refine their craft, add Prof. R. Swarnalatha and Prof.K. Srilata.