#FACON23!

The Fulbright Association Conference schedule is live! I’m honored to be jetting to Denver later this month to rep my alma mater NYU Tisch School of the Arts where I also teach part-time, and grateful to have received a Tisch Adjunct Professional Development Grant to attend. I’ll be giving a 60-minute talk entitled “Happy Accidents: How a Mistakenly Published Play Forced Reforms in British India”.

My abstract: In 1860s India, Bengali playwright Dinabandhu Mitra wrote the play Nil Darpan (Indigo Mirror), an exposé of violent abuses committed against malnourished Indian farm workers by powerful British indigo dealers. With help from a Christian missionary the play was translated into English and shared with the office of Bengal’s Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Peter Grant. Grant approved a few copies to be printed to share with colleagues; instead, hundreds were mistakenly printed and distributed to Parliament members in England, outraging and embarrassing the British Raj. But would the amusing debacle help bring positive change and food security to Indian laborers? These events are well-known but have often been mythologized and misrepresented. Stanley will provide his own findings from Indian, UK and US newspapers of the day.

Rise, Roar, Revolt

I’m so happy to share that my article “Calcutta 1908: Apocalypse Now” has been published in the latest issue of the peer-reviewed scholarly journal Democratic Communiqué as the featured critical commentary.

Can theatre and film help spark an armed revolt? I believe they can, and that they did, specifically Indian theatre artists and India’s first silent filmmakers, in the capital of British India in 1908, in response to the Partition of Bengal and the systemic sentencing of children to public floggings.

My article is, in my view, a timely exposé of crimes and human rights abuses committed by the British Empire that have largely gone unreported in the West, but which are increasingly coming to light in the news and in pop culture of late. I’m not condoning or condemning revolutionary violence. We all have our positions on that, usually on a case-by-case basis, and that’s okay. I’m eager to shine a light on this history.

I’m really excited to share this slice of my research as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in India. It is, I daresay, in-depth, yet it is only one part of a much larger story I’ve written.   

Democratic Communiqué focuses on “cultural artifacts, media and imperialism, media’s relatedness to social movements,  and the power of media to convey varying versions of the same event simultaneously.”  It’s housed on the ScholarWorks server at Umass Amherst

You can find it at the link below. I hope you’ll check it out. 

Continued at https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1196&context=democratic-communique

#FACON22 Clicks

What an amazing weekend at the annual Fulbright Association Conference representing Drexel University Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. I heard so many enlightening, troubling, thrilling, infuriating, and always educational talks, not the least of which was the keynote address by Ukranian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova

Here are a few clicks from my own two talks.

Calcutta 1908: Apocalypse Now, a 50-minute talk with 10-minute Q&A:

And on the lighter side, a 10-minute account in the storytelling session about my horror at discovering my Kolkata flat was inhabited by numerous lizards, entitled Strange Love or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Lizard Roommates:

Enough nerd ribbons to snap a nerd Christmas tree