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Tagore conference will draw scholars
from around the world
September 14, 1998

An international, interdisciplinary conference, "Home and the World: Rabindranath Tagore at the End of the Millennium," will take place at the Storrs campus Sept 18 through 20.

Writers, scientists, educators, performers and community members will come together to present papers, engage in discussion, and enjoy music, dance and drama, in a broad exchange of ideas and culture. The event will be held to recognize Rabindranath Tagore's contribution to 20th-century literature, social thought, science and art. The conference is organized by the Asian American Studies Institute and the Asian American Cultural Center.

Featured presenters include Nobel Laureate and physicist Brian Josephson of Cambridge University; Krishna Dutta, co-author of biographies on Tagore; Andrew Robinson, literary editor of The Times Higher Education Suppplement, London; D.K. Sinha, vice chancellor of Shantiniketan University (founded by Tagore); Sharmila Roy of the Institute of Oriental Languages at the Sorbonne, Paris; and Ashis Nandy, director of the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi.

Between winning the Nobel Prize for his poetry in 1913 and his death in 1941, Tagore was received by kings and presidents, publicly discussed with Albert Einstein the nature of the world, and mixed with the West's literary elite, including W.B. Yeats and Ezra Pound..

"Although Tagore is not as widely remembered in the United States today as is Mahatma Gandhi, his ideas are enjoying a mild revival among North American scholars as they re-examine ways of moving beyond narrowly defined nationalism, and artists as they tap into and interpret his music for western compositions," says Roger Buckley, professor of history and director of the Asian American Studies Institute.

Scholars from 37 countries will present papers. There will be master classes on Tagore's music and paintings, a screening of Satyajit Ray's films based on Tagore's stories and a documentary on his life. There will be three performances at Jorgensen Auditorium, beginning with vocalist Sharmila Roy and tabla player Nazare Jamil on September 18 at 8 p.m.; classical Indian dance by Nataraj on September 19 at.

8 p.m.; and a dramatization of Tagore's "The Post Office" by Taranga, a Boston-based theater group on September 20 at 2 p.m.

Most of the conference sessions will take place at the Bishop Center. For registration information, call the Asian American Studies Institute at (860) 486-4751 or the Asian American Cultural Center at (860) 486-0830. Copies of the conference program are available at the Cultural Center.