Expressions of the Modern: The Khayal, Improvisation, and the 20th-century Indian song

An Online Weekend Course


Amit Chaudhuri

Course Dates

19th, 20th and 26th March, 2022


INR 4,000


5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Course Faculty

Amit Chaudhuri

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

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.

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    Course Objectives

    Experience New Learning & Mental Models on Important Topics

    Gain Exposure to Diverse Readings, Research and Resources

    Learn to Engage in Critical Debate & Discussion

    Expand your Perspective across Disciplinary Boundaries

    Develop Analytical & Critical Thinking Faculties

    Madhavi Menon

    Professor of English, Ashoka University

    Director, Centre for Studies in Gender & Sexuality

    Director of the PhD Programme in English

    Ph.D. Tufts University

    Madhavi Menon is an eminent theorist and scholar of gender, sexuality, politics, and identity. 

    She joined Ashoka University in 2013 as one of its founding faculty members. She went on to establish the university’s Centre for Gender & Sexuality Studies (CSGS), which is the first of its kind in India. Previously, she was a professor at Ithaca College and American University

    Most prominently known for her work on queer theory and Shakespeare, she has also edited the collection Shakesqueer and written three books on Shakespeare and sexuality. She is also most recently the author of Infinite Varieties: A History of Desire in India and Law of Desire: Rulings on Sex & Sexuality in India. 

    In addition to being Director of CSGS, she is the Director of the Ph.D. programme in English and Professor of English at Ashoka University.