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University to host international conference
on Indian writer
April 6, 1998

The Asian American Studies Institute and Asian American Cultural Center will host an international conference in the fall on renowned Indian poet and philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore.

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), recipient of the 1913 Nobel Prize for Literature, promoted the creation of a new world culture founded on multiculturalism, diversity, and tolerance, and believed in working with others in pursuit of truth and knowledge.

"This conference will give visibility to the University and draw attention to the poetic wisdom of one of the world's greatest writers," says Roger Buckley, director of the Asian American Studies Institute. "I see this as part of the international renaissance of Tagore and his work."

Patrick Hogan, professor of English and comparative literature and coordinator of the conference program, says this is the right time to examine and appreciate Tagore's ideas.

"Tagore's reflections are related to some of the major social issues faced by several parts of the world today," he says. "He repeatedly emphasized internationalism and opposed insularism."

The conference keynote address, "Rabindranath Tagore at the end of the Millennium," will be delivered by Ashis Nandy, director of the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, India.

The programs scheduled for the conference include a major address on Tagore's letters by Krishna Dutta, editor and translator of Tagore's Glimpses of Bengal and selected short stories; a talk and discussion session by Dilip K. Sinha, professor and the vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharathi University founded by Tagore in 1901; and panel discussions on Tagore's ideas in areas including humanism, modernism, gender, religion, music, science, literature and visual arts, presented by scholars from the United States, Canada, India, and Europe.

Other highlights of the conference will include cultural programs featuring Tagore's songs and dances; a performance of Tagore's play, The Post Office; and a screening of film versions of several of Tagore's works by Satyajit Ray.

Proposals are invited for 20-minute conference presentations. Short abstracts, along with a brief biographical sketch, may be submitted by April 15, to Buckley at the Asian American Studies Institute, U-91.

Usha R. Palaniswami