Fairfield University professor to discuss Indian photography at Fairfield University Bookstore


Image: Gita RajanGita Rajan, professor of English at Fairfield University, will deliver "A Lens with a View: The Raj Seen Through Indian Photography" on Thursday, May 8 at 1:30 p.m. at the Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road, Fairfield. This event is free and open to the public. It is part of the University's Learning for a Lifetime Program.

From E.M. Forster's A Passage to India to Yann Martel's Life of Pi, stories of the British raj in India have been of enduring fascination for people around the world. For many, India conjures up visions of an exotic, unfamiliar world that is both palpable and seductive.

"What is perhaps less known is India's long tradition of photography, a technological leap launched as early as the end of the 19th century to capture the rays of the sun setting on the British Empire," said Dr. Rajan.

In her discussion, she will look at some of the most evocative images and explore how Indian photographers - particularly the most famous, Raja Deen Dayal - used their cameras as a tool to challenge imperialism and, in turn, mapped a new kind of modernity in the Indian subcontinent.

Dr. Rajan has researched Dayal's work and an essay she wrote about him appears in Power and Resistance: The Delhi Coronation Durbars. She is also the author of Trasnational Feminism and Global Advocacy in South Asia and New Cosmopolitanisms: South Asians in the U.S.

In addition to her teaching and scholarly writing, Dr. Rajan serves on the steering committee of the Connecticut Council of Vital Voices Global Partnership and she served as an invited juror for the National Endowment for the Humanities for the nationwide Faculty Research Fellowship Competition. She is the principal investigator for a U.S.-Indian Jesuit university research consortium examining familial attitudes towards the girl child in two major Indian cities.

Dr. Rajan holds a B.A. from Banaras Hindu University (India), a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

For more information on this event, contact Elizabeth Hastings, ehastings@fairfield.edu or (203) 254-4000, ext. 2688.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 16, 2014

Vol. 45, No. 245