Bios

Professor Anisuzzaman (Keynote Speaker)

Born in Kolkata in 1937, Professor Anisuzzaman had a distinguished academic career at the University of Dhaka from where he obtained his BA (with honours in Bengali, 1956), MA (1957) and PhD (1962) degrees. He was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago (1964-65) and a Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellow at the University of London (1974-75). From 1978 to 1983 he was associated with research projects of the United Nations University. He was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Paris (1994), North Carolina State University (1995) and University of Calcutta (2010), and a Visiting Professor at the Visva-Bharati (2008-09, 2011). Having taught at the Universities of Dhaka (1959-69, 1985-2003, 2005-08) and Chittagong (1969-85), he is currently a Professor Emeritus at the University of Dhaka.
Anisuzzaman’s publications include Muslim-manas O Bangla Sahitya (Dhaka, 1964), Swaruper Sandhane (Dhaka, 1976), Purono Bangla Gadya (Dhaka, 1984), Bangali Nari: Sahitye O Samaje (Dhaka, 2000), and Kal Nirabadhi (Dhaka, 2003); Factory Correspondence and other Bengali Documents in the India Office Library and Records (London, 1981), Creativity, Reality and Identity (Dhaka, 1993), Cultural Pluralism (Kolkata, 1993) and Identity, Religion and Recent History (Kolkata, 1994). Notable among his edited works are Rabindranath (Dhaka, 1968), Bangla Sahityer Itihas, vols. I & II (with others, Dhaka, 1987 & 2008), and Culture and Thought (with Anouar Abdel-Malek, London, 1983).
He has received many honours including the Nilkanta Sarkar Gold Medal from the University of Dhaka, Dawood Prize for literature from the Pakistan Writers’ Guild, Bangla Academy award for research, and Ekushe Padak, bestowed by the State for his contribution to education. He has also received Ananda Puraskar from the Ananda Group of Publications, Kolkata, an honorary D. Lit. by the Rabindra-Bharati University, Kolkata, Sarojini Basu Medal by the University of Calcutta and Pandit Iswarchandra Vidyasagar Gold Plaque from the Asiatic Society, Kolkata.
Anisuzzaman was a member of the Planning Commission to the Government of Bangladesh during the Bangladesh liberation war and a member of the National Education Commission set up by the government after liberation. He was responsible for the Bengali language part of the Constitution of Bangladesh adopted in 1972. He served as Chairman of the Trustee Board of the Nazrul Institute and President of the Bangla Academy.

Professor France Bhattacharya

France Bhattacharya, holder of a doctorat d’état in Indian Studies, is emeritus professor, Inalco, member of the Centre for the study on India and South Asia, CEIAS, and was till recently director of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme programme for India and South Asia. She works on Bengali pre-colonial literature mainly from a perspective of religious and social history. She published in 2007 La victoire de Manasâ, a translation and commentary of Vipradâsa Manasâvijaya (15th century) (Pondicherry: Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient and Institut français de Pondichéry).
She works also on the reception of Western thought and values in 19th century colonial Bengal and has published Les intellectuels bengalis et l’impérialisme britannique (Bengali Intellectuals and British Imperialism) (Paris, Collège de France, Publications de l’Institut de civilisation indienne, fasc. 78, 2010), a study of Rammohun Roy, Bhudev Mukherji and Bankim Chandra Chatterji.
She has translated several Bengali novels into French such as: Le monastère de la félicité (Ânandamath) (Paris, Le serpent à plumes, 2003) and Celle qui portait des crânes en boucles d’oreilles (Kapâlkundalâ) by Bankim Chandra Chatterji (Paris, « Connaissance de l’Orient », Gallimard, 2005), Quatre chapitres (Châr adhyây) and Chârulatâ (Nasta nîr) by Rabindranath Tagore (Paris, Zulma, 2004 and 2009), La complainte du sentier (Pather Pâncâlî) by Bibhuti Bhushan Banerji, (Paris, Gallimard, 1969), as well as several fictions by her late husband Lokenath Bhattacharya, and his prose poems Ghar. Her forthcoming book is Echanges, a translation into French of Tagore’s Yogayoga.

Professor Kunal Chakrabarti

Kunal Chakrabarti is professor of ancient Indian history at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He specializes in the study of the social history of religion in pre-modern India. His publications include Religious Process: The Puranas and the Making of a Regional Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2001).

Professor Supriya Chaudhuri

Supriya Chaudhuri is Professor and Coordinator of the Centre for Advanced Study in English at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Her academic specializations include Renaissance and early modern literature, critical theory, fiction, cultural history, cinema and translation. She has translated extensively from Rabindranath Tagore for the Oxford Tagore Translations series, and her translation of Jogajog/Relationships (OUP, 2005) was listed among TLS Books of the Year. She has published articles on the Bengali novel, Tagore, and Satyajit Ray.

James Conlon

Internationally recognized as one of today’s leading conductors, James Conlon has cultivated a vast symphonic, operatic and choral repertoire, and has developed enduring relationships with many of the world's most prestigious symphony orchestras and opera houses. Since his New York Philharmonic debut in 1974, he has appeared as guest conductor with virtually every major North American and European orchestra and has been a frequent guest conductor at the Metropolitan Opera for over thirty years. He is Music Director of Los Angeles Opera, Music Director of the Ravinia Festival, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director of the Cincinnati May Festival, where he has provided the artistic leadership for more May Festivals than any other Music Director in the Festival’s 138-year history and holds a place among the longest-tenured Music Directors of any major classical music institution in North America.  Mr. Conlon served as Principal Conductor of the Paris National Opera (1995-2004); General Music Director of the City of Cologne, Germany (1989-2002); and Music Director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic (1983-1991).
In an effort to raise public consciousness to the significance of works of composers whose lives and compositions were suppressed by the Nazi regime, Mr. Conlon has devoted himself to extensive programming of this music in North America and Europe, and through his “Breaking the Silence” series at the Ravinia Festival and his “Recovered Voices” series at LA Opera. For championing the works of these composers, he received the Crystal Globe Award from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Zemlinsky Prize for his efforts in bringing the composer’s music to international attention. He is also Founder and Artistic Advisor of the Orel Foundation, an organization dedicated to giving attention to these composers and the performance of their works.
Renowned for his interpretations of Wagner’s repertoire in Europe, since his tenure began at L.A. Opera in 2006, Mr. Conlon has sought to establish a Wagnerian tradition in Los Angeles. Over a span of five years, he has led seven Wagner works, including his first Ring Cycle in the United States.  A month-long citywide Ring Festival, with the collaboration of 125 cultural institutions, accompanied the performances of the Ring at LA Opera in June 2010.  This series will continue into and beyond the Wagner bicentennial in 2013.
Mr. Conlon recently began a three-year homage to Benjamin Britten, set to culminate in 2013 for the 100th anniversary of Britten’s birth. A long-time devotee of Britten’s music, he will conduct six different Britten operas in the U.S. and Europe in the coming seasons, including performances at LA Opera of Turn of the Screw, Albert Herring and a third opera in the anniversary year. The tribute includes symphonic and choral works including the violin concerto with the NDR Sinfonie Orchester in Hamburg and the Orchestre National de France in Paris, and he will collaborate with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on a program including Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem.
Mr. Conlon has recorded extensively for the EMI, Sony Classical, Erato, Capriccio, and Telarc labels for which he has received numerous citations. He has appeared in several television series on PBS and his Metropolitan Opera performances have been featured on DVDs released by Decca. Most recently, a double-bill of Zemlinsky’s The Dwarf and Ullmann’s The Broken Jug, and Braunfel’s The Birds, both part of his Recovered Voices series at LA Opera, were released on DVD by the ArtHaus label. He is the recipient of two Grammy Awards – Best Classical Recording and Best Opera Album – for conducting LA Opera’s production of Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, released on DVD by EuroArts.
Mr. Conlon was named an Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 1996, and in 2004 was promoted to Commander.  In 2002, James Conlon received France’s highest distinction from the President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac—the Légion d’Honneur.

Professor Lars-Christian Koch

Lars-Christian Koch is Head of Department of Ethnomusicology and Berlin Phonogram Archive at the Museum of Ethnology in Berlin (Germany) and Professor for Ethnomusicology at the University of Cologne and Honorary Professor for Ethnomusicology at the University of the Arts in Berlin.
He has conducted field work in Gujarat, Calcutta, Santiniketan and Kolkata (India), as well as in Seoul (South Korea). His research focuses on the theory and practise of North-Indian Raga-Music, organology with special focus on instrument manufacturing, Buddhist music, aesthetics of music in intercultural perspective, music and medicine, media and ethnomusicology, popular music and urban culture, historical recordings, and music archaeology. Currently he is working together with Philip V. Bohlman and Sebastian Klotz on the project, Music as a Medium of Urban Transformation: Towards a comparative musicology of the metropolis

Professor Martha Nussbaum (Opening Speaker)

Martha Nussbaum received her BA from NYU and her MA and PhD from Harvard. She has taught at Harvard, Brown, and Oxford Universities. From 1986 to 1993, Ms. Nussbaum was a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research, Helsinki, a part of the United Nations University. She has chaired the Committee on International Cooperation and the Committee on the Status of Women of the American Philosophical Association, and currently chairs its new Committee for Public Philosophy. She has been a member of the Association’s National Board. In 1999-2000 she was one of the three Presidents of the Association, delivering the Presidential Address in the Central Division. Ms. Nussbaum has been a member of the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies. She received the Brandeis Creative Arts Award in Non-Fiction for 1990, and the PEN Spielvogel-Diamondstein Award for the best collection of essays in 1991; Cultivating Humanity won the Ness Book Award of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in 1998, and the Grawemeyer Award in Education in 2002. Sex and Social Justice won the book award of the North American Society for Social Philosophy in 2000. Hiding From Humanity won the Association of American University Publishers Professional and Scholarly Book Award for Law in 2004. She has received honorary degrees from thirty-seven colleges and universities in the U. S., Canada, Asia, and Europe, including Grinnell College, Williams College, The College of William and Mary, The University of St. Andrews (Scotland), the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), the University of Toronto, the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), the New School University, the University of Haifa, Ohio State University, and Georgetown University. She received the Grawemeyer Award in Education in 2002, the Barnard College Medal of Distinction in 2003, the Radcliffe Alumnae Recognition Award in 2007, and the Centennial Medal of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University in 2010. She is an Academician in the Academy of Finland. In 2009 she won the A.SK award from the German Social Science Research Council for (WZB) for her contributions to “social system reform,” and the American Philosophical Society’s Henry M. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence.
Professor Nussbaum is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the Philosophy Department, Law School, and Divinity School. She is an Associate in the Classics Department and the Political Science Department, a Member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, and a Board Member of the Human Rights Program. She is the founder and Coordinator of the Center for Comparative Constitutionalism.
Her publications include Aristotle’s De Motu Animalium (1978), The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy (1986, updated edition 2000), Love’s Knowledge (1990), The Therapy of Desire (1994), Poetic Justice (1996), For Love of Country (1996), Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education (1997), Sex and Social Justice (1998), Women and Human Development (2000), Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions (2001), Hiding From Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law (2004), Frontiers of Justice: Disability, Nationality, Species Membership (2006), The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India’s Future (2007), Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality (2008), From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law (2010), and Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (2010). Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach will be published in 2011. She has also edited fourteen books. Her Supreme Court Foreword, “Constitutions and Capabilities,” appeared in 2007 and will ultimately become a book to be published by Harvard.

Professor Udaya Kumar

Udaya Kumar is currently Professor of English at the University of Delhi and formerly Professor of Cultural Studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. He is the author of The Joycean Labyrinth: Repetition, Time and Tradition in ‘Ulysses’ (Oxford: Clarendon, 1991) and several papers on Malayalam literature and on contemporary literary and cultural theory. His research interests include the shaping of modern literary cultures in Kerala, autobiographical writing, and cultural histories of the body. He is currently completing a book on modes of self-articulation in Malayalam writing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.Paper Title: Conditions of Reception: Rabindranath Tagore in Kerala

Dr. Leonard Lewisohn

Leonard Lewisohn is the author of Beyond Faith and Infidelity: The Sufi Poetry and Teachings of Mahmud Shabistari (London: Curzon Press 1995), and The Wisdom of Sufism (Oxford: Oneworld 2001). He is the editor of The Heritage of Sufism (Oxford: Oneworld Publications 1999), vol. 1: The Legacy of Medieval Persian Sufism, vol. 2: Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi Classical Persian Sufism from its Origins to Rumi, vol. 3 (with David Morgan): Late Classical Persianate Sufism: the Safavid and Mughal Period covering a millennium of Islamic history.
He is also editor (with Christopher Shackle) of The Art of Spiritual Flight: Farid al-Din Attar and the Persian Sufi Tradition (London: I.B. Tauris and the Institute of Ismaili Studies, forthcoming 2006) His articles have appeared in the Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd Ed., The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd Ed., The Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd Ed., Encyclopedia Iranica, Iran Nameh, Iranian Studies, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Bulletin of the School of Oriental & African Studies, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, British Association for the Study of Religion Bulletin, African Affairs, and Temenos.
He was Research Associate in Esotericism in Islam at the Department of Academic Research and Publications of the Institute of Ismaili Studies (London) from 1999-2005. Since 2004 he has been Lecturer in Persian and Iran Heritage Foundation Fellow in Classical Persian and Sufi Literature at the The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, at the University of Exeter in England.

Professor William Radice

William Radice was born in 1951 and has pursued a double career as a poet and as a scholar and translator of Bengali. Well known for his translations of the poems and stories of Tagore, he has also published nine books of his own poems. He has been a lecturer in Bengali at SOAS, University of London since 1988, and from 1999 to 2002 was Head of the Departments of South and South East Asia. His literary work in recent years has included opera libretti, and his many books include Myths and Legends of India, Teach Yourself Bengali and A Hundred Letters from England. In November 2010 Penguin India published The Poem of the Killing of Meghnad, his translation of Michael Madhusudan Dutt’s Meghnadbadh kabya. In May 2011 they published his new translation of Tagore’s Gitanjali. He has lectured widely in Europe, North America and South Asia, and has been given prizes and honours in both India and Bangladesh. More information at www.williamradice.com

Dr. Yin Xi’nan

Dr. Yin Xi’nan was born in Chongqing, China in 1966. He studied Sanskrit in Sardar Patel University of India as a visiting scholar from 2004 to 2005. He got his Ph. D degree in comparative literature in Sichuan University of China in 2006. He did his post-doctoral research work at the Centre for Oriental Literary Studies of Peking University, Beijing, China, from 2008 to 2010. Now he is working as Associate Professor at   Institute of South Asian Studies of Sichuan University of China and he is currently planning to be at the Department of East Asian Studies of Delhi University as a visiting scholar for a research project entitled “Chinese Literature in India since 1900”. He is interested in Rabindranath Tagore, Sanskrit poetics, Sino-Indian Cultural Relations, etc. He has published the following books: Rabindranath Tagore: From the Perspective of World Civilization(2003), The  Discovery  of Rabindranath  Tagore(2005), India in English Literature(2008), Indian  Images of China(2010), Comparative  Studies in Sanskrit Alankara Sastra and Western Poetics(2010), A History of Comparative Literature in India(2011) and Outside of India:  A Study of  Indian Diasporic Writers(2011). His next book will be A History of Indian Literary theory and Critiques (2013).

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