CHAT Homepage

Rethinking the Theory of the Novel

Distinguished Faculty Lectures Series

Priya Joshi, English

Rethinking the Theory of the Novel

Thursday, April 4
12:30–1:50 pm, CHAT Lounge

Priya Joshi is Associate Professor in the Temple University English department and Founding Director of the New India Forum. Prior to joining Temple in 2005, Joshi was Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where she taught since 1995.

What theory of the novel might emerge when it is based on anti-literary forms? How might attention to the anti-literary revise the history of the novel as it is presently conceived?

This talk addresses these linked questions by examining the recent explosion of commercially successful English novels in India. Writers such as Chetan Bhagat illuminate a new purpose and presence of the twenty-first century novel that unabashedly enters that most popular of zones (the Bollywood film) where it participates and shapes dialogues about nation and citizen, modernity and social purpose in realms far removed from print, literacy, and even the novel. That in the end may be the future of the novel in the twenty-first century: inhabiting a zone in which it actively coexists with other forms and media, rather than obliterating or being obliterated by them. A literary history of such coexistence remains to be written.