Monash academic speaks at ‘the greatest literary show on earth’

Dr Mridula Chakraborty speaks at Zee Jaipur Literary Festival
Dr Mridula Chakraborty speaks at Zee Jaipur Literary Festival

Billed as the ‘greatest literary show on earth’ the Zee Jaipur Literary Festival (JLF) welcomed more than 350,000 visitors in 2017.

Those numbers look set to grow in 2018 as thousands of enthusiasts moved through the Diggi Palace gates to experience the festival.

The event showcases a range of voices from India and abroad. This year, one of those voices was Monash Arts academic Dr. Mridula Chakraborty.

Dr. Chakraborty, is the Deputy Director of the Monash Asia Institute. Trained in classical English literary canon at Delhi University, India her research interests include postcolonial literatures, literatures of the Indian subcontinent in English and in translation, translation theory and practice, studies in nationalism, feminisms and diasporas, public intellectuals, identity politics, culinary cultures, global Englishes and Bombay cinema.

Most recently, her work has been in public diplomacy between Australia and India through programs such as Literary Commons: Writing Australia-India in the Asian century with Dalit, Indigenous and Multilingual Tongues.

Participating in a panel session entitled ‘Language, Identity and Translation,’ Dr Chakraborty spoke alongside Australia’s Anna Cecilia Moulton (CEO of the Indigenous publishing house, Magabala Books) and Tara June Winch (Indigenous Australian author of Swallow the Air and After the Carnage) and with Annie Montaut (France), Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones (Wales) and Han Yujoo (South Korea) in conversation with Sudeep Sen (India).

The wide-ranging discussion examined issues of theory and practice and the politics and power at play in translation work.

“Nomenclature is fraught territory,” said Dr. Chakraborty, in response to discussion regarding the responsibility the translator assumes in their work.

“Conceptual language-specific terms are the hardest to translate and contextualise and require deep inter-cultural competencies”,” she continued, referencing the intricacies of translating indigenous languages and the nuances a translator must navigate to preserve the integrity of the original text.

The JLF program stretches across five days and features an eclectic schedule of 200 sessions spanning a diverse range of topics, trends, ideas and genres. Themes include fiction, poetry, nonfiction, gender, environment, science, history, liberal arts, journalism, economics, travel and cinema.

To learn more visit

Study at Monash