Kolkata Talks

The Fulbright Association conference schedule is live! Both of the talks I submitted were accepted, and I’ll be in attendance on behalf of Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design. One talk is a formal 60-minute lecture entitled “Calcutta 1908: Apocalypse Now.”

On the lighter side, the other is a 10-minute talk for a storytelling session entitled “Strange Love or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Lizard Roommates” about my adventures living in a flat in Kolkata.

The abstract for the first talk:

In this unavoidably incendiary romp, Stanley uses news coverage and advertisements from Calcutta newspapers to give an account of daily life for Indians under a heavily militarized police state in the capital of British India. After pro-Independence plays and their songs were banned, and newspaper editors and activist public speakers imprisoned, Indians’ boycott of British goods grew in popularity until–the last straw–the legalization of public floggings of Indian minors. The situation reached its boiling point in 1908 with the bombings of white officials. The Raj responded with increased martial law and intentionally inflaming Hindu-Muslim disunity while keeping the people of England in the dark about what was being done in their name half a world away.

RRR is historically significant – and not because it smashed box office records

I’m grateful to have been offered an opportunity to write about the international Indian hit film RRR for Contingent Magazine, whose mission statement is “history is for everyone.” They purposely waited until 15th August (India time), India’s Independence Day, to publish the article as their lead story today.  What does RRR have to do with my Kolkata theatre research as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar?  You’ll see. And be sure to read those footnotes.

The article begins below:

Sure, George Washington was a good war strategist, but could he pick up a motorcycle by one wheel and swing it around in battle? Or how about if Martin Luther King Jr. had busted Malcolm X out of prison by carrying him on his shoulders and dodging gunfire while hopping across rooftops, and together they took out J. Edgar Hoover? These events could not, and never did happen, but would be pretty cool to see in a big-budget historical fantasy action flick.

Cont’d at https://contingentmagazine.org

Ambassadors Storm DC

In Washington, DC with fellow Fulbright Scholar Alumni Ambassadors Prof. Guenet Abraham from University of Maryland, Prof. Priya Menon from Troy University, and Prof. Vanessa Mari from Nevada State College.

Fellow Fulbright Scholar Alumni Ambassador Prof. Vanessa Mari is on TikTok. She grabbed a few of us at our recent meeting in DC to ask impromptu questions about applying for a Fulbright Award. My question was, How did you approach the application? Here’s my answer (and transcript). If you’re thinking of applying, check out Vanessa’s other awesome TikTok vids.

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“Hi, I’m Jeffrey Stanley. I’m an adjunct faculty at NYU Tisch School of
the Arts and at Drexel University. I was a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in
2018-19, researching early 20th century Bengali film and theatre and
their impact on India’s nascent Independence Movement.

My tip for YOU regarding the application: take it seriously, tell a
story about YOURSELF, take some time with it. It’s not a quick form
you’re going to fill out and then your bio is going to ride you through
the application process. You are telling about YOURSELF. They have your
bio, they have your CV. What else do you want them to know about why
this trip is important to you, and why your work will be important to
the world afterward.”