(Cancellation) “I Used to be Human Once”: Disability in Contemporary Indian Writing

We regret to inform you that the captioned talk is cancelled. Dr. Mallot was scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong over the weekend. He has had to cancel his ticket because of the approaching super typhoon.



“I Used to be Human Once”: Disability in Contemporary Indian Writing

Date: 19 September 2018 (Wednesday)

Time: 12:30 – 14:00

Venue: B3-P-04, Tai Po Campus, The Education University of Hong Kong






How does disability studies impact postcolonial discourse? How do postcolonial writers address differently-abled subjects? This talk seeks to illuminate and interrogate the intersections – fruitful and fraught – between these fields, covering a wide range of texts but paying particular attention to Mahesh Dattani’s Tara (a play about conjoined twins) and Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People (a novel about the 1984 Bhopal disaster).  As South Asian disability rights advocates struggle to achieve more legal rights and more practical modes of accessibility, writers have repeatedly turned to differently-abled protagonists, with mixed intentions and varied results.  At the center of this hotly debated discourse lies a central, uncomfortable question:  what does it mean to be “normal”?  What, in some cases, does it mean to be “human”?



J. Edward Mallot is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial Studies at Arizona State University. His book Memory, Nationalism, and Narrative in Contemporary South Asia was published by Palgrave Macmillan. He has published on a wide range of postcolonial and transnational authors, including Amitav Ghosh, Shauna Singh Baldwin, Michael Ondaatje, Romesh Gunesekera, Kamila Shamsie, Nathaniel Mackey, and Karen Tei Yamashita, among others.


All are welcome and no registration is required. Please send any enquiries to Mr. Manni Cheung at 2948 7360 or via email cheungml@eduhk.hk.

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