Sharmila Sreekumar, Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Science, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Mumbai, India, and Fulbright Fellow at the Center for the History of Print Culture
Monday March 8, 2010, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
4207 Helen C. White Hall, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The paper attempts to reconstruct the biography of the first public library of a region that is today in Kerala, India. It tracks the story of the library from1877-1902 primarily through its Minutes’ Book. The turn of the century proves to be eventful not only for this library but also for the princely state of Travancore in which it is located. The “public” emerges as a critical zone where social struggles, governmental policies and people’s aspirations collide and negotiate. As the concept of the “public” grows in salience, its meanings become increasingly contested. Meanwhile, intriguing turns of events make the library a converging point for a broad range of socioeconomic and institutional changes. And “going public” becomes not one event but an ongoing encounter.
For the past six years, Sharmila Sreekumar has been teaching Literature at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, where her work has fallen mainly in the area of autobiography studies and women's studies in the socio-cultural landscape of Kerala, India. Her current research seeks to explore libraries in Kerala.
Christine Pawley, Director
Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America
University of Wisconsin-Madison
School of Library and Information Studies
Room 4234 Helen C. White Hall
600 N. Park Street
Madison, WI 53706
Phone: (608) 263-2945
Fax: (608) 263-4849
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