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Uppsala Literature panel on Moden Asian Culture

September 30, 2013 - 15:00-16:30

The Literature panel Modern Asian Culture Unknown – Uncovering South Asian Life will be held on monday 30 September 2013.

The panel is organized by the Forum for South Asian Studies at Uppsala University in collaboration with the Daghammarskjöld Program-Voksenåsen, Oslo, Litteraturcentrum Uppsala, Studiefrämjandet i Uppsala län and Networkers SouthNorth and will feature the following speakers:  Nirmalendu Goon (Bangladesh), Ruby Rahman (Bangladesh), Muhammad Samad (Bangladesh), John Y. Jones (Norway) and Anisur Rahman (Bangladesh).

Moderator:  Dr. Ferdinando Sardella, Director, Forum for South Asian Studies, Uppsala University.

Venue: Venue: Thunebergsvägen 3H, Engelska parken, Uppsala University. Lecture hall: house 7, sal 0043 (on the floor under the restaurant Matikum, see map below).

About the speakers:

Born in 1945, Nirmalendu Goon is one of the most popular poets in Bangladesh, known by many for his accessible verse in an age where Bangla poetry has become increasingly complex. Goon was one of the few people who openly protested Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s assassination in 1975 in a period when even mentioning Mujib was considered dangerous. His first book of poetry was published in 1970. Since then he has published forty-five collections of poetry and twenty collections of prose. Part of the generation of poets of 1960s, Goon’s poetry contains stinging criticism of the nouveau riche and a touching description of the contrasting fate of the masses.

Muhammad Samad was born in 1956 in a remote village in the Jamalpur District of Bangladesh. Dr. Muhammad Samad is Professor of Dhaka University. An eminent social scientist Dr. Samad has taught twice as a visiting Professor at the Winona State University, Minnesota, USA. He has worked as a Fellow of Katherine A. Kendall Institute of International Social Work Education, USA in 2009. Currently he is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Information Technology and Sciences (UITS), Dhaka, Bangladesh. The first collection of poems, Ekjan Rajnaitik Netar Menifesto (Manifesto of a Political Leader), was published in 1983 and won him the Bangladesh Trivuj Literary Award for young poets. He has subsequently published several works of poetry and received a number of awards for his contribution to Bengali poetry and literature which has made him widely known and celebrated. Among the awards are Jasimuddin Literary Award, Jibanananda Das Award and the Sukanta Literary Award. Samad has served as General Secretary of the National Poetry Council of Bangladesh from 1997 to 2001.

She was born in 1946 in Dhaka, then in East Bengal, the third daughter in a middle-class, urban, literary family. She was much influenced in childhood by her grandfather, who composed and performed songs; and by her mother, who was a devoted reader of the work of Rabindranath Tagore, and who wrote poetry and sang Rabindrasangeet (the songs of Tagore). Several of her sisters also wrote, sang and performed—two sisters are popular singers in Bangladesh; another sister is a well-known journalist.
She studied at Dhaka University, receiving a B.A. with Honours in English, Psychology, and Bengali; and an M.A. in English. After her marriage, she lived with her husband and their two children in Lalmatia, a middle-class neighborhood of central Dhaka, near the university. For over thirty years she taught English at the Government Commercial College in Dhaka, and she has served on the Bangladesh national review board for textbooks and educational curricula.

He heads the Dag Hammarskjöld Program in Oslo, actively involved in South Asian questions internationally. He holds PhD on American Jews literature from Oslo University. He has published many essays at different international journals including UN publication and edits journals and books. He was one of a two-member delegation who submitted the proposal for Nobel Peace Prize for Bradley Manning this year. He has also edited the publication I Raise My Head Beyond This World featuring poems by visiting Bengali poets marking the 100 years of the Nobel Prize awarded to the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore in 1913.

Author and journalist Anisur Rahman was born in Bangladesh in 1978. He writes in both Bengali and English, and debuted in 2003 with the poetry collection Empty Glass. Due to several years of political reprisals in Bangladesh, he currently lives in Uppsala, Sweden, where he also was a guest writer 2009-2011. 2011 he received a scholarship from Natur & Kultur. Sex årstider [Six Seasons] is Anisur Rahman’s first collection of poems in Swedish. Apart from a few poems from his earlier books, the book contains newly written poems from the past few years. As a playwright Rahman has done work for the Swedish Radio in 2012.


Uppsala Literature panel on Moden Asian Culture


September 30, 2013