shirshendu chakravarti


The English Literary Society of Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW) organised a talk by Dr. Shirshendu Chakrabarti on 8th September,2016. The talk was based on the topic, “The Eighteenth Century City : The Insanity and the Insane”. It was chaired by the college principal, Dr. Babli Moitra Saraf, who is also a senior member of the English Department.

Dr. Saraf, while welcoming Dr. Chakrabarti introduced the audience to his credentials. Dr. Chakrabarti has been teaching in the English Department of St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi; for over 40 years, and is a globally known figure in the English Literature sphere. He has authored a book on Tagore called ‘Towards an Ethics and Aesthetics of the Future: Rabindranath Tagore 1930-41’. He has also written various scholarly articles on 18th century, and has now devoted himself to the study of Tagore.

The talk started by discussing the major aspects in which the city grew and attained modernity. He then talked about the reality of the 18th century, that is, the ‘Polarisation of the Polite and the Popular’. Under popular literature, he elaborated on the separation of ‘Sanity and Insanity, and how this idea of separation finds its space in the 18th century city. During the course of the talk, Dr. Chakrabarti made various references to London and the Shakespearean City. He further elaborated on the Shakespearean City and its social aspects. The talk moved further down in the discussion of squalor and crime in the 18th century city.

Towards the end, a question and answer session was held, in which the literature enthusiasts of the college and guest attendees delved into a deeper discussion of the subject. The gathering and members of the IPCW LitSoc then expressed their gratitude by a standing ovation and round of applause.

Image Credits: Prof. Kanav Gupta from IPCW

Priyal Mahtta