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The visiting research fellows during 2023/24 will be Dr Asha Kuthari Chaudhuri and Dr Miles Tendi 

Dr Asha Kuthari Chaudhuri  (Lent 2024)




Dr Asha Kuthari Chaudhuri is Professor and former Chair, Department of English at Gauhati University, and specializes in Drama, Theatre and Film Studies. She is currently the Director, Centre for Performing Arts and Culture, Gauhati University. Her PhD (GU, 2003) was on the American dramatist, Edward Albee. Among her publications are: Mahesh Dattani, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press (Foundation Books), 2005 and Ideas of the Stage: Selections from Drama Theory, Ghy: GUPD, 2010. Apart from various articles/chapters in peer reviewed journals/books, two of her most recent publications have appeared in the December 2022 & June 2023 issues of Critical Stages/Scènes critiques, the Journal of the International Association Theatre Critics.

She completed a Major Research Project funded by the UGC entitled The Marwaris in Assam: Identity and Integration (2011-14) and is hoping to do a book on the area.

On a Fulbright Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award for the year 2015-16, she worked on research cum lecture project called Theaters, Spectacles, Audiences: Indian and American Cultures of Viewership, at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York. She was also Segal Fellow at the Graduate Centre at New York in 2015. She curated the first two editions of the Guwahati Theatre Festival in 2016 and 2017 and is dramaturge for prominent local theatre groups in Assam and a member of the core committee of NÃT: Theatre Archives of Assam. She leads a translation project of the collected works of Arun Sarma, the noted Assamese dramatist.

On the Smuts fellowship, she is working on a book-length history of Indian Drama in English. The very first ‘modern’ Indian play, The Persecuted was written in 1831 by Krishna Mohun Banerjea in Calcutta (now Kolkata) setting off an entirely unique phenomenon of ‘doing’ theatre in an alien language: a peculiar marker of the times and the traffic between the UK and India, seen through prisms of culture and the arts as manifested in India, under colonization. To trace the genesis of dramatic literature in English is to contextualize the introduction of English education, the proliferation of the English language within various user-groups in the 19th century, and the advent of visiting theatre groups from England at the time and how all of this affected the social and cultural milieu of the period.