Department of English, Jadavpur University

Home » Research » Envisioning the Indian City

Envisioning the Indian City

Envisioning the Indian City (ETIC)


Envisioning the Indian City: Spaces of Encounter

UGC-UKIERI Project, University of Liverpool and Jadavpur University

International Workshop, 9-11 January 2014

(HL Roy Memorial Hall, Institute of Chemical Engineers, Jadavpur University: Entry by University Gate No. 3)

DAY I: Thursday, January 9, 2014

9.30 am: Registration

10.00 — 10.15 am: Welcome to Participants and Introduction to Workshop and ETIC Project by Professor Supriya Chaudhuri, Jadavpur University

10.15 – 11.00 am: Plenary Session I: Chair, Professor Monideep Chatterjee

Professor Sukanta Chaudhuri (JadavpurUniversity/ All Souls’ College, Oxford): “Post-Independence Kolkata: Vision and Reality”

11.00 – 11.15 am: COFFEE

11.15 am – 1.15 pm:

Dr Partho Datta (ZakirHusainEveningCollege, University of Delhi): “Patrick Geddes and the Metropolis: The Barrabazar Report (1919)”

Shri Arunendu Bandyopadhyay (Designer and Engineer): “Two Great Minds: Tagore and Geddes on Ecology and Environment”

Sujaan Mukherjee (ETIC Project Fellow): “Ordering Bazars: Two Case Studies in Context”

1.15 – 2.15 pm: LUNCH

2.15 – 3.45 pm:

Dr Keya Dasgupta (CSSS Calcutta): “Alternative Cartographies: Neighbourhoods, Identities and their Maps in Colonial Calcutta”

Professor Nilanjana Gupta, Dr Nandini Saha, Angana Mukherjee, Titash Bhattacharya  (JadavpurUniversity): “Salt Lake City: Caught between two worlds”

3.45  – 4 pm: TEA

4.00 – 6.00 pm: Screening of Film, Sthaaniya Sambaad/ Spring in the Colony, preceded by video-interview with director, Moinak Biswas

DAY II: Friday, January 10, 2014


10.00 – 11.30 am: Plenary Session II

Professor Kiran Joshi (Chandigarh College of Architecture, retd): “Envisioning Chandigarh”

Professor Iain Jackson (School of Architecture, University of Liverpool): “Fry and Drew’s contribution to Chandigarh: health and education”

11.30 – 11.45 am: COFFEE

11.45 am – 12.30 pm

Professor Nandini Das (School of English, University of Liverpool): “Goa, 1583”

12.30 – 1.15 pm: ETIC Steering Group Meeting (closed session)

1.15 – 2.15 pm: LUNCH

2.15 – 3.45 pm :

Professor Ian Magedera (School of Histories, Languages and Cultures: French, University of Liverpool): “Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu and Cultural Flows”

Shri Ajit Koujalgi (INTACH Pondicherry): “City as Tourism Asset – the Pondicherry example”

3.45  – 4.00 pm TEA

4.00 – 5.00 pm:

Swati Bhattacharya (Research Scholar, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Development): “Spaces of Encounter in Pondicherry”

Pramantha Mohun Tagore (Postgraduate Student, JadavpurUniversity): “Culture and Heritage in North Calcutta”

DAY III: Saturday, January 11, 2014

10.00 – 11.00 am: Plenary Session III

Professor Swati Chattopadhyay (University of California, Santa Barbara): TBA

11.00 – 11.15 am: COFFEE

11.15 am – 1.15 pm:

Professor Swapan Chakravorty (JadavpurUniversity): TBA

Dr Nilanjana Deb (JadavpurUniversity): “Death and the City: Cremation Grounds and the Kolkata Riverfront”

Cleo Roberts (PhD Researcher, University of Liverpool): “Imaginative Geographies: exporting the Ganges”

1.15 – 2.15 pm LUNCH

2.15  – 3.45 pm

Dr Abhijit Gupta (Director, JadavpurUniversity Press): “Under the Banyan Tree: Print and Place in Colonial Calcutta”

Anurag Mazumdar (Assistant Editor, Economic and Political Weekly):  “Mapping spaces in transition: From Boipara to Barnaparichay in College Street, Kolkata”

Somak Mukherjee (NAAC Fellow, JadavpurUniversity): “Riding on the Edge: Discipline, Order and the Popular Imagination of Space in the Calcutta Metro”

3.45 – 4.00 pm TEA

4.00 – 5.00 pm: Panel Discussion: ‘Heritage, Conservation and the Living City’

Chair, Professor Tapati Guha-Thakurta (Director, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta): Discussants, Shri Partha Ranjan Das, Shri Manish Chakraborti, Conservation Architects


UGC-UKIERI Thematic Partnership between CAS, Jadavpur University India and the University of Liverpool, UK (2013-15: approx 60,000 GBP): The ETIC project seeks to further our understanding of the crucial role played by Indian cities in negotiating contact between India and Europe, and the UK in particular. Its four main objectives are: (1) to examine how and why cities functioned as the focus of cross-cultural exchanges both in colonial and post-colonial India; (2) to compile case-studies exploring marks left by such exchanges on the socio-cultural and imaginative identities of particular cities; (3) to analyse their impact on the physical fabric of the cities; and (4) to create a conceptual map of how such exchanges vary both synchronically and diachronically. Across a wide range of disciplines, the city has long provided a critical site for studying the major social, cultural and intellectual developments in any historical era. The proposed UGC-UKIERI project (ETIC) will be the first concerted attempt to understand the crucial role played by Indian cities in negotiating contact between India and the world, and Europe in particular.

The ETIC team comprises a wide-ranging group of scholars and institutions from India and the UK. Their collective work will focus initially on four Indian city-sites, in Goa,[A1]  Kolkata, Pondicherry/Auroville and Chandigarh, which have acted as ‘spaces of encounter’ and crucibles of cultural exchange throughout history.  ETIC’s overall aim is to develop a methodological, theoretical and example-led approach to the study of the Indian city. The main innovations of the project are as follows:

(1)   It will produce a more extensive coverage than earlier studies, focussing on 4 sites which ensure multidisciplinary, regional and historical inputs.

(2)   It will combine frontline, ‘on-site’ research with a pooling of expertise and access to archival material in both countries. ETIC emphasises the importance of primary research, and the work undertaken by the team will further our understanding of the shared wealth of resources about the Indian cities held in both partner countries.

(3)   It will place geographically and culturally specific research on the Indian city on the wider international map of research into the idea of the city in general.

The ETIC team will address these tasks through a set of interlinked strands of activities. These include case studies (data collection and analysis), a series of seminars and symposia (analysis and network-building), training workshops (network-building, post-graduate and early career training, and capacity building) and public events (future directions; inclusion; impact).

Following the announcement of our success in winning this award, Dr Nandini Das, P.I. from the University of Liverpool, visited CAS Jadavpur over 19-26 March 2013, and the plan of work (Research Group Seminars, Steering Group Meetings, Faculty Visits, Workshops/Symposia, and preparation of a sourcebook) was decided over three days of intensive meetings, with members of the Steeting Group (video-conferenced with Liverpool), the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, the advisors to the Project (Professor Sukanta Chaudhuri, Professor Monideep Chatterjee, and Professor Swapan Chakravorty) and interested researchers. The first RGS will be held at Jadavpur in April, and Professor Supriya Chaudhuri will make a return visit to Liverpool in May 2013. The RA at the Jadavpur end will be appointed as soon as funds are received from the UGC. Liverpool has succeeded in combining their RA with a funded PhD position.

 [A1]Have slightly changed wording here since it may be objected that Goa is not a city in the present-day application of the name. There are ‘cities’ in Goa today, eg Panjim.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: