KIIT School of Languages Organizes Special Lecture on Indian Classical Literature


The KIIT School of Languages organized a Special Lecture in Indian Classical Literature for students of its B.A. English (Hons.) course on 20 January 2021, over Google Meet. The invited speaker for the lecture was Dr. Subrata Sinha, Assistant Professor, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. His talk was titled “Quest for an Ideal Feminine: Reception of the Abhijñānaśākuntalam in 19th Century Bengal”.

In his lecture, he spoke at length about three stellar personalities from 19th century Bengal, viz. Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, and Michael Madhusudan Dutt, and their different interpretations of the character of the protagonist Shakuntala from Kalidasa’s Abhijñānaśākuntalam.

Alluding to examples from several texts, recensions and translations, he went on to discuss how the different literary and critical interpretations contributed towards the contemplation of an ideal feminine character, with references illustrating how the evolving interpretations helped in the acculturation of the said concept.

Dr. Subrata Sinha has previously worked at the Archive and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology, Gurgaon, and the School of Cultural Texts & Records, Jadavpur University, Kolkata. His monograph Adhunikatar Kavyatattva o Sudhindranath Dutta was published by the Jadavpur University Press in 2019. Other than literary studies, Dr. Sinha is also interested in translation and Indian Traditional Music.