Farah Bakaari talks about Trace, a core concept in deconstruction, that denotes an absent presence, a mark of something that is no longer there. She talks about how in her own work she has used the concept of trace to write about legacies of colonialism and slave trade in the Atlantic and Indian oceans, for which there is no archive that is conventionally legible.
In the episode Farah mentions the work of Parisa Vaziri on Iranian cinema and music as an example of work that interrogates an historical trace. You can listen to Parisa discuss forthcoming book here.
Farah Bakaari is a doctoral student in the Department of Literatures in English at Cornell University. Her research focuses on twentieth-century African literature, in particular the politics of time in anti-colonial and postcolonial works of art. She also works in memory studies and trauma theory. She holds a BA in English and Political Science from Grinnell College.
Image: © 2021 Saronik Bosu
Music used in promotional material: ‘The Lost and Forgotten’ by Hellenica
Oishani Sengupta talks about the felt experiences of racism, especially as they are represented in Victorian literature and its contemporary readership, which is the subject of her research. The conversation ranges from the novels of H. Rider Haggard and Charles Dickens to the felt experience of caste, as analyzed in the work of scholars like Junaid Shaikh.
Oishani Sengupta (@oishani on Twitter) is a PhD candidate at the University of Rochester exploring histories of racial affect and visual print culture in the nineteenth century British empire. Also the project coordinator of the William Blake Archive, she looks closely at racist illustration practices and their central role in colonial politics.
Image: Cover of the first French edition of H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines
Music used in promotional material: ‘Last Sigh’ by Holy Pain
In our second crossover episode, Saronik talks to Maryyum Mehmood and Aditya Desai, the hosts of Diasporastan, a podcast for discussions on the South Asian diaspora, both as topic and lens through which to view the world. They talk about the podcast, and what the word ‘diaspora’ has meant to them in identitarian and generative capacities.
Maryyum is a socio-political analyst, cultural commentator and community cohesion expert. Along with her interfaith work, she teaches in the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham.
Aditya is a writer, teacher, and activist in Baltimore. His stories and essays have appeared in in B O D Y, Barrelhouse Magazine, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Margins, District Lit, The Kartika Review, The Aerogram, and others.
Image: The logo of Diasporastan, created by Nirja Desai (@kalakar on Instagram)
Music used in promotional material: ‘The Beginning or the End’ by Nicholas Mackin