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Preview: Amardeep Singh

Amardeep Singh

Amardeep Singh, Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University.

Updated: 2010-02-05T12:27:15.960-05:00


Changing Blog Host:


Hi folks, As you've already seen, I've not been blogging actively much over the last few months. It's a mix of being busy and also not feeling the pull in the same way I once did. Blogger, the service I've used to publish this blog from the beginning, has recently announced that they're discontinuing FTP support for Blogger in the next few weeks. That means I won't be able to have this blog

SALA Conference Program 2009


For the past few years I've been posting the program of the annual South Asian Literary Association conference here. I won't be at the conference this year, but there are some really interesting features on the program, so I thought I would post the program all the same. People who are in Philadelphia on 12/26 and 12/27 might want to stop by.As a hint, the events not to miss are at the end -- the

From "Pinocchio" to "Astro-Boy": Fairy Tales and Sci-Fi


In the spring I'm co-teaching a course with a scholar visiting from Japan, "The Edges of the Human: Bodies, Animals, and Machines in Speculative Fiction Films and Literature." The course will be about evenly divided between Japanese science fiction films and books, and British and American science fiction and fantasy. It's an introductory course, meant for non-English major undergraduates. I

Nose-Piercing, Utah, and a Big Oops (Not Mine) [Updated]


On Thursday, I spoke to an AP reporter about a story in Utah last week, expressing some views about a girl in middle school in Utah who got suspended from her school for violating dress code, after getting her nose pierced. She and her family said she did it to get in touch with her Indian cultural identity -- she had the piercing done on Diwali just a couple of weeks ago. The school, however,

New and Forthcoming Publications


I was happy to see that an essay I wrote for the journal Symploke recently became available via Project Muse: “Anonymity, Authorship, and Blogger Ethics.” [If anyone who doesn't have access to Project Muse would like me to send you a copy, please let me know by email; I would be happy to send it to you.]This was something I actually wrote more than two years ago, not long after a series of panels

Fall Teaching: "Global English" and "Converts and Rebels"


This post is partly inspired by Tim Burke's recent post, asking why more web-oriented academics don't post drafts of their syllabi on their blogs or websites. I'm teaching two undergraduate-oriented classes this fall. One is called "Global English," and it's a senior "capstone" course, while the other is a more general, upper-level course called "Converts and Rebels: Debating Religion in Modern

"I Wanna Be Like You": The Jungle Book, Revisited


Being a parent gives you a chance to go back over the children's stories you grew up with and even, in some cases, learn about new ones. The following post consists of somewhat scattered thoughts on "The Jungle Book," including a 1967 Disney animated film version, as well as Kipling's original book.I did not grow up with Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book" -- either adaptations or the original

Guest Post by Narayan: More on Madras, Elihu Yale, Hiram Bingham


I have been blogging lightly this month, mainly at Sepia Mutiny, while trying to finish a draft of my monograph on Mira Nair. My friend Narayan contacted me after a post a few weeks ago regarding Vinay Lal's "The Other Indians," and I suggested he consider writing up a guest post. The following is that post.Guest Post by narayanI, Eli & HiMadraspatnam / Medras / Chennai Phonetics and

"Victory Becomes the Defeat of the Good": Ram Narayan Kumar


I recently learned of the death of Ram Narayan Kumar, an Indian human rights activist, in Nepal. Kumar, who died of natural causes, is well known in the Sikh community as the staunchest non-Sikh advocate of human rights in Punjab. What drove Mr. Kumar, as far as I can tell, was a pure, principled belief in human rights and democracy, not self-interest or any sense of loyalty to the Sikh community

Vinay Lal, "The Other Indians"


We finally have a pedagogically useful introductory book on the history of the South Asian American community, Vinay Lal’s The Other Indians: A Political and Cultural History of South Asians in America (see an earlier post on Vinay Lal by Abhi here). Lal’s book covers some of the same topics as Prashad's The Karma of Brown Folk but is much more heavily factual and closely researched -– it’s a

A Little on Gauhar Jaan


I was doing some research this morning on an unrelated topic, when I randomly came across the name Gauhar Jaan, one of the great recording artists in India from the first years of the 20th century. Gauhar Jaan is thought to have sung on the very first recording of a song ever made in India, in 1902. Here is what she sang: Get this widget | Track details | eSnips Social DNA It's a

"Intellectually Black and Socially South Asian": Michael Muhammad Knight


Michael Muhammad Knight, who had a pretty rough childhood in upstate New York, converted to Islam as a teenager. He came from an Irish Catholic background, but partly under the influence of Malcolm X and black nationalist Islam, and partly simply as a result of his own idiosyncratic spiritual leanings, he took the Shahadah at age 16, and changed his name to Mikail Muhammad. He traveled to

The Sort of Book You Actually Want to Write: “Big Sid’s Vincati”


A friend of mine from graduate school, Matthew Biberman, whom I knew primarily as an ambitious and driven Milton scholar, has written a memoir about not Milton but motorcycles. The book is called Big Sid’s Vincati: The Story of a Father, a Son, and the Motorcycle of a Lifetime. His book, which has not had a lot of publicity yet in the general media, has come out at the same time as a second

Shameless Literary Tourism in Dublin: Bloomsday 2009


It’s rather striking how much of a commodity James Joyce is in Dublin; there’s nothing comparable to it in any American city. You hear mentions of Bloomsday activites on Dublin radio stations, and see events described in some of the newspapers. There are two Joyce museums in the city, a proper statue to Joyce on one of the biggest commercial streets in the city, and plaques on the ground and on

'I Hope You Feel Better Soon': Hello From Ireland


We've been in Ireland for a little holiday. Some of it is a little bit of long overdue literary tourism around Dublin (about which I might have more to say in a few days), but we also spent several days in some of the beautiful western counties, doing some cycling and hiking, and checking out live music in village pubs. For the most part, it's pretty homogeneous -- sizeable South Asian, eastern

Review: "Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance"


Global Bollywood is an academic anthology, but it contains several essays that might be of interest to lay readers who are fans of Hindi films and filmi music. There are, admittedly, a couple of somewhat jargony essays in the collection, but they can be avoided for readers allergic to that sort of thing. Accessible essays that take on specific subjects, and present new and helpful information

Review: Amit Varma's "My Friend Sancho"


The mighty Bombay blogger Amit Varma's first novel, My Friend Sancho, is a quick and entertaining summer read, which also manages to make some serious points along the way. It does not aspire to be "serious" literature, but it is certainly several significant notches above One Night @ the Call Center. Indeed, I would not even put the two books in the same blog post, except Manish planted the damn

Mimicry and Hybridity in Plain English


This essay is a sequel of sorts to an earlier blog post essay I wrote a few years ago, introducing Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism for students as well as general readers. I do not know if this post will prove to be as useful, in part because these concepts are considerably more difficult to explain. At any rate, I would appreciate any feedback, further examples, or criticisms. * * *When

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: A Few Reflections


As many readers may be aware, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick passed away last weekend. Her friend Cathy Davidson has a tribute, and Duke University Press has noted it as well on its internal blog. I'm sure there will be much more to come from Eve's friends, colleagues, and students in the months to come.I knew Eve in person for about two years, but I have remained, in one way or another, in constant

Two "Lucky" Films


Since my son was born two and a half years ago, I have pretty much given up on staying current on Indian cinema. It's difficult to get out to the movies, and our local Indian store really doesn't seem to have a very good collection of stuff. I saw more Indian movies on the plane from Mumbai to Newark in January than I probably did in all of 2008. On a recent day-trip to New York, we picked up two

Wajiha Ahmed: A Second Take on Pakistan's "Long March" Protests


In addition to regular comments to blog posts, I often get emails from readers expressing all manner of opinions. This week, following my recent post at Sepia Mutiny on the protests in Pakistan, I received a note from a graduate student in Boston named Wajiha Ahmed that was intelligent enough to provoke me to spend a little time replying. Wajiha had also, a few days earlier, published an Op-Ed in

Saxophone Desi Style: Rudresh Mahanthappa, Kadri Gopalnath


The saxophone in the opening credits to this Tamil Film ("Duet") is by Kadri Gopalnath; it's unlike any other commercial film opening credits music you've ever heard. Gopalnath has been in the news quite a bit over the past few weeks, following his collaboration with Indian American jazz-maestro Rudresh Mahanthappa, who has a new album out called Apti. I haven't "Itunesed" Mahanthappa's album yet

The Peace That Almost Was In Kashmir


In this week's print issue of the New Yorker, there's a long, satisfying piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll on India and Pakistan's attempts to resolve the status of Kashmir over the past few years. The big surprise is just how close the two countries were to permanently resolving the seemingly insoluble problem. The agreement, which was in its final stages in the spring of

MLK in India: His Address on All India Radio


Martin Luther King, Jr. visited India in 1959, an event which is described in detail at the King Encyclopedia. King, as is well known, modeled his approach to civil rights in the United States on Gandhi's successful mass non-violence/civil disobedience campaign for Indian independence. On NPR last week, there was a story about how All India Radio has recently discovered in its archives the

"Imagining South Asia" Special Issue Now Available


A long time ago, Prof. Kavita Daiya and I started working on a special issue of the journal South Asian Review, with the topic "Imagining South Asia." After several delays, the issue is finally out. Hopefully the cover should give you some idea of what we were after in the issue:The source of the image is here. Here is the table of contents:Fakrul Alam: "Imagining South Asian Writing in English