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Mahindra Humanities Center partners with Jaipur Literature Festival

partnershipMahindra Humanities Center has partnered with the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival as venue sponsor for the Durbar Hall, and will be bringing some of the leading global academics and crime writers to the literary festival.

Based at Harvard University in the US, Mahindra Humanities Center is a crossroad for interdisciplinary discussions among Harvard faculty and encourages a wider public discourse about the humanities in contemporary life. Their support of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival further establishes their commitment to this dialogue between different academic disciplines in society. Their sponsorship will ensure the presence of a wealth of talent at the event including leading Harvard academic Prof. Homi K. Bhabha, Director of the Center.

During the Festival, which runs from the 17 to 21 January 2014, the Mahindra Humanities Center Durbar Hall will host a series of sessions on Crime and Punishment, beginning with The Bangla Whodunnit, a celebration of Bangla crime writing featuring Gautam Chakrabarti in conversation with Rupleena Bose introduced by Homi K. Bhabha.

Other Crime and Punishment events taking place at the venue include How Not To Make Money: The Price you Pay featuring two debut crime novelists, Raj Kundra and Somnath Batabyal, who will look at the art of crime writing with Kishwar Desai.

Kishwar Desai will also be in conversation with one of Norway’s leading detective fiction writers, Jørn Lier Horst, a former Senior Investigating Officer, whose debut novel, Key Witness, is based on a true murder.

Also taking place at the Festival will be the launch of the Crime Writers’ Association, featuring Kishwar Desai, Jørn Lier Horst and Samantha Weinburg. The trio will join other crime writers to celebrate the beginning of a collaborative body for crime and detective fiction writers.

In a powerful session titled Prisons of the Mind, four writers, Rani Shankar Dass, Preeta Bhargava, Vartika Nanda, Margaret Mascarenhas, will discuss the therapeutic role of creativity within the flawed Indian penal system and the nature of retributive justice with special reference to women prisoners.

Finally, providing inspiration for the series, Homi K. Bhabha will discuss Dostoevsky’s classic text, Crime and Punishment, and the nature of accountability, culpability and morality, with a dramatic rendering/enactment by Mahesh Dattani.

Prof. Homi K. Bhabha, Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center said, “The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival is the pre-eminent Asian venue for those interested in the Arts and Humanities on a global scale, and the MHC at Harvard is delighted to share in the intellectual excitement of introducing exceptional talents in the fields of literature, art, politics, music, cinema. This year we will present innovative interpretations of the theme of ‘Crime and Punishment’ as it connects literary and moral concepts with contemporary problems of corruption, violence and the evasion of civic responsibility. These issues will come alive to the audience who will be invited to participate in one of the most crucial problems that faces our nation and the world today.”

 Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group added, “One of the main endeavours of the Mahindra Humanities Center is to foster collaborations and promote the exchange of ideas and the sharing of scholarly and artistic work. The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival provides us with an ideal platform to achieve this goal as it has been creating ground breaking efforts to popularise literature and the humanities. I am sure this exciting new collaboration will provide new insights into ‘Crime and Punishment’ and will provoke both discussion and debate.”

Sanjoy K. Roy, Producer of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival commented, “We are thrilled to welcome Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center as a partner for the seventh ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival. Their support will allow us to keep the Festival free and open to all, whilst Prof Bhabha’s participation in a series on Crime and Punishment will, I am sure, challenge the understanding of these two concepts in contemporary India. We are looking forward to a long partnership with Mahindra Humanities Center and are thankful for their support.”

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