Books that Changed Humanity: “Govardhanram Tripathi’s Saraswatichandra”

Image from PSF Collection / Alamy Stock Photo

Published in serialised form between 1887 and 1901, Govardhanram Tripathi’s four-volume text was written during a transformative period in colonial India when new systems and social structures were being put in place. A canonical text in modern Indian literature, Saraswatichandra captured public imagination and engendered a discursive space for critical debates on ethics, politics and social affairs in its own time and ours.

Dr Meera Ashar is a historian of ideas at the School of Culture, History and Language at the Australian National University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of history, political theory and literary studies. Her work questions categories and conceptual frameworks with which we seek to make sense of human societies past and present. In critically investigating the genealogy of the terms with which human and social sciences make sense of the world, she engages in a study of colonialism, postcolonialism, decolonization and nationalism. Meera is currently the Director of the South Asia Research Institute (SARI). She has previously worked as an Assistant Professor at the City University of Hong Kong and was the LM Singhvi Fellow at the Centre of South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge. Meera reads and writes in several South Asian languages and in a couple of European ones.

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Date & time

Fri 28 May 2021, 5.30–6.45pm




Dr Meera Ashar


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