Expressions of the Modern: The Khayal, Improvisation, and the 20th-century Indian song
An Online Weekend Course
19th, 20th and 26th March, 2022
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Amit Chaudhuri is the author of seven novels, the latest of which is Friend of My Youth. He is also a poet, essayist, short story writer, and musician. His works of non-fiction include Finding the Raga, published in the UK, US, and India last year. His third book of poems, Ramanujan, came out last year in the UK. Among the awards he has received are the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, the Government of India’s Sahitya Akademi Award, and the inaugural Infosys Prize in the Humanities. As a musician, he has performed on BBC television and radio, at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, and was awarded the Sangeet Samman by the West Bengal government in 2018. He is Professor of Creative Writing and Director of the Centre for the Creative and Critical at Ashoka University, and was Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia from 2006-2021. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and an honorary fellow of the Modern Language Association of America and of Balliol College, Oxford. He edits literaryactivism.com.
About The Course
Amit Chaudhuri will be speaking about the khayal as a form of modernist and non-representational expression. He will explore, among other things, how it gives us a way of thinking about music’s relationship to the world that is strikingly different from European music. Chaudhuri will also share his thoughts on the emergence of the popular song (and the film song) in Indian modernity, the multiplicity of source material it reworks, and its unique refashioning of “Indian” and “Western” idioms, including classical music and rock and roll. The talks will include listening to selections of music as well as annotated expositions by Chaudhuri.