Department of English Organizing a " BOOK TALK "

East of Delhi explores the history of the multilingual literary culture of northern India, and particularly of Purab/Awadh. It takes a longue durée approach, from the beginnings of recorded vernacular literature in the late fourteenth century to its codification into separate, monolingual histories of Hindi and Urdu in the early twentieth century, which syphoned off literature from folklore. The book traces the languages and literary forms that circulated in and out of the region and in and across several communities of taste—courtly, devotional, and popular. In conversation with approaches of world literature, East of Delhi proposes a way of doing world literature that is attentive to texture and layers as well as circulation, to complexity and exclusions as well as canonization and reach, and to tastes and practices as well as normative ideas about literature.  

Francesca Orsini is a literary historian of northern India, interested in bringing a multilingual perspective to Indian literary history and to world literature. She is Professor emerita of Hindi and South Asian Literature at SOAS, University of London, a Fellow of the British Academy, the author of The Hindi Public Sphere (2002) and Print and Pleasure (2009), and the editor of, among others, Love in South Asia: A Cultural History (2006) and Before the Divide: Hindi and Urdu Literary Cultures (2010) and, most recently, Hinglish Live (2022, with Ravikant), and The Form of Ideology and the Ideology of Form (2022, with Neelam Srivastava and Laetitia Zecchini). Her most recent monograph is East of Delhi: Multilingual literary culture and world literature (2023). She co-edits with Debjani Ganguly the series Cambridge Studies in World Literatures and Cultures, and with Whitney Cox the forthcoming Cambridge History of Indian Literature.