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INSIGHTS Virtual Lectures: Oral History Lecture: After displacement: journeys of the mind and memory communities by Professor Indira Chowdhury

Professor Indira Chowdhury, Centre for Public History, Srishti-Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore

Date/Time: Thursday 29 October 2020, 17:30 - 18:15

Oral History Lecture

Hosted by Dr Martin Farr, with introduction from Professor Graham Smith

The Partition of India in 1947 caused displacement for millions of people, accompanied by the disintegration of families, communities, and their sense of place. Oral history enables us to examine how a remembered past confronts the glorified stories of nation-building that a new state was anxious to instil in all its citizens. This encounter between memory and history reveals the entangled dynamics between two kinds of journey – the journey that creates citizens and the inner journeys undertaken when remembering the vanished landscape of the past.


Indira Chowdhury is Founder-Director of the Centre for Public History at the Srishti-Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. Formerly professor of English at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, she is also the founder of Archival Resources for Contemporary History (ARCH), Bengaluru, now known as ARCH@Srishti. A PhD in history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, her book, The Frail Hero and Virile History (Delhi, OUP, 1998) won the Tagore prize in 2001. She was awarded the New India Fellowship to work on the manuscript of her recently published book titled Growing the Tree of Science: Homi Bhabha and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (OUP: 2016). Interested in a number of fields she has translated novels from Bengali to English, compiled the Supplement of Indian English words in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (1996) and also created Archival books that bring archival material to the public. She researched and directed a book project on Asia’s oldest museum entitled The Lives of Objects: Stories from the Indian Museum (2017). Indira is a founding member of the Oral History Association of India. She was President of the Oral History Association of India (2013-2016) and President of the International Oral History Association (2014-2016).

Live Q&A:

The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A with the speaker. You can submit a question in advance by sending an email to or during the event using YouTube Live Chat or via Twitter @InsightsNCL.

This event will be hosted on YouTube, registration is not required.