Renowned Indian novelist set to teach, lecture at Northwestern


Source: Creative Commons

Amitav Ghosh will visit Northwestern for two weeks to teach undergraduate and graduate students and to deliver two lectures. He has written several novels and is working on the third in his “Ibis Trilogy.”

Tyler Pager, Assistant Campus Editor

A renowned Indian novelist will be visiting Northwestern for two weeks to share insights on writing, transnational issues and diasporic themes.

Amitav Ghosh will teach both undergraduate and graduate students and give two public lectures over the course of his visit. Ghosh, an award-winning author, has written seven novels and he is currently working on the third book in his trilogy, the “Ibis Trilogy.”

Communication studies Prof. Dilip Gaonkar serves as the director of the Center for Global Culture and Communication, one of the main programs sponsoring Ghosh’s visit. Gaonkar said Ghosh’s stories about globalization in the 19th and 20th centuries are important for understanding modern transnational movements.

“He gives us a very deep historical understanding of transnational movements,” he said. “Everyone wants to know what globalization is and he gives us a very interesting historical perspective on that. It should be of great interest to anyone who is excited or puzzled by the way the world is rapidly changing today.”

Ghosh said he has been invited to NU in the past, but this was the first time he was able to visit. He lives half the year in India and the other half in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

“I’ve heard so much about Northwestern and there’s such an interesting group of scholars here,” he said. “This was something I was really looking forward to.”

Even though he just arrived, Ghosh said he has already learned from the NU community.

“Just last night I had dinner with some of the faculty members and I felt like I learned a lot,” he said. “One learns so much from professors, from graduate students and equally from undergraduates.”

His first workshop with undergraduate students took place on Tuesday and his next one will be on April 22. Ghosh said he is looking forward to conversing with students about his books.

“We are going to talk about my books and how they relate to the broader themes of their study, such as creative writing and in part to other issues, including history and culture,” he said.

English Prof. Rebecca Johnson said Ghosh presents a unique opportunity for NU students and faculty.

“Amitav Ghosh is an incredible resource for students and faculty both as a writer and a thinker,” she said. “He’s a deeply historical thinker who is asking important questions about the way the world is connected and has been connected for many years and centuries. It’s fantastic that he is here on campus.”

Ghosh’s first lecture will be held on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Art Institute of Chicago. His second lecture will take place April 24 at 6 p.m. in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum.

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