Avishek Parui is Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the founding chairperson of the Indian Network for Memory Studies (INMS).
1. Culture, Commodity, and Colonial Identity
2. Culture, Memory, and History
3. Culture, Consumption, and Technology
4. Race, Medicine, Matter, and Metaphor
Avishek Parui puts literary and cultural theory firmly and compellingly on the agenda of interdisciplinary memory studies.
In Avishek Parui’s splendid book, literature plays the role of a double agent: On the one hand, literature lionizes the general values of mainstream culture; but on the other hand, it constantly ironizes the very status quo of culture. The book is a gem, erudite, but also far reaching. It tackles hot issues like colonialism, the current COVID crisis, but also the eternal question: who are we as narrative beings.
Through an examination of the complex interplay of matter, metaphor, and memory in a diverse array of carefully selected case studies, Culture and the Literary provides a wide-ranging and theoretically sophisticated reflection on the ways in which literature navigates dominant cultural codes and narratives, reflecting, consolidating, or subverting them. Drawing on memory studies, material engagement theory, and affect studies, this daring and dazzling book makes a powerful and eloquent case for the value of close reading of literary texts for a deeper understanding of culture.
4/6/22, Center for Memory Studies (Indian Institute of Technology Madras): Author Avishek Parui led a book launch and discussion.