‘Transcultural Utopian Imagination and the Future: Tagore, Gandhi, and Indo-British Entanglements in the Early 1930s’
Dr. Barnita Bagchi teaches and researches Comparative Literature at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands. She has been awarded a British Academy Visiting Fellowship to pursue a research project at the Ruskin Library and Research Centre for Culture, landscape, and the Environment, between late August and late October 2018.
Dr. Bagchi will work at Lancaster University with colleagues such as Sandra Kemp (Ruskin Centre), Carlos Lopez-Galviz (Institute for Social Futures), and Lynne Pearce (English Literature and Creative Writing, as well as the Centre for Mobilities Research). A colloquium drawing upon colleagues from all collaborating departments and centres, as well invited guests, will take place in Lancaster this October.
Dr. Bagchi's project investigates mobilities in transcultural utopian imagination in early 20th century India and Britain. Writings by South Asian, Indian, transcultural writer and community-builder Rabindranath Tagore, 1861-1941, and his entanglements and exchanges with British social dreaming in 1930-32 are at the centre. Tagore’s colleagues and associates M.K. Gandhi and C.F. Andrews, fellow-utopians, as well as John Ruskin, who influenced Gandhi, also figure prominently.
Dr. Bagchi will focus on 1930-1932, when Tagore and Gandhi both visited Britain. Dr. Bagchi’s research and publications are on utopian and dystopian writing and practice, women's writing in modern South Asia and Britain, and histories of education in transnational and transcultural contexts. She also directs the Utrecht Utopia Network: utrechtutopianetwork.nl.