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War, Violence and Distorted Identity: Reading Tahmima Anam

Ms Ankita Dubey is a Doctoral scholar at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi with nearly six years of teaching experience. She is presently working as an Assistant Professor at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi. Her research interest lies in Post-colonial fiction, South Asian Literature, Violence Studies, and trauma and memory in Historical Fiction. Her current research work investigates the representation in the contemporary novels of the diverse South Asian countries as forming one body politic of identities evolving out of religious and ethnic violence. It also seeks to critically assess the South Asian condition of the oppressed identities embedded in the cultures of violence, conflict and resistance. She has taught courses in “Advanced Communication Skills” and “Academic Writing” at Linguistic Empowerment Cell (LEC) of JNU. Apart from this, she was also engaged as a Guest Faculty under ITEC-MEA English Language Training Programme where she taught and trained foreign diplomats/professionals. As a Research Assistant, she has worked on the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, sponsored project on drafting a new “Language Policy” and on the Academy of Korean Studies’ project on “Emerging Korea and Korean Studies in India and South Asia”. She has presented papers at various national and international conferences.

Dr. Fathima M has recently received her PhD from the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, USA in 2017-18. She was also a visiting PhD scholar at the University of Tubingen, Germany in 2017.

War, Violence and Distorted Identity: Reading Tahmima Anam

Abstract
The objective of this lecture is to analyze how Tahmima Anam’s novel The Good Muslim reinvents or re-tells the violent history of the Bangladesh Liberation War and its aftermath by constituting time in a verbal structure where time is unhinged from its supposed neutrality to rupture the present inflected with the majoritarian idea of the national imaginary. It also seeks to ask as to what extent the temporality of this historical incident constructs/deconstructs different identities and their relation to the dominant regimes of temporality? Narrating the traumas of the war, the rage of military coups and counter coups a decade after the war upto the year 1992 when Bangladesh re-establishes its parliamentary democracy, Anam tries to excavate the nation’s past in the temporal memorization of her characters. These competing forces of the secular and the sacred defining the project of nation-building find a crude expression in this novel as it envisages the new-born nation of Bangladesh constantly arguing against itself.

Time: Feb 27, 2022 06:00 PM Istanbul

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