September 20, 2020

Foss Presents Paper at International Conference on Romanticism

Figure talking about Kasiprasad Ghosh

Figure talking about Kasiprasad Ghosh

On Saturday, Sept. 27, Professor of English Chris Foss presented a paper at the annual meeting of the International Conference on Romanticism, held this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  His talk was entitled “The (Western?) Mirror and(/or?) the (Eastern?) Lamp: Romantic Reflection, Rejection, and Revision in Kasiprasad Ghosh’s The Sháïr and Other Poems.”  After begging forgiveness re: his embarrassing weakness for parentheses and question marks in titles, Foss argued that Ghosh’s Sháïr (1830), as the very first volume of English-language poems published by a Hindu writer, is an absolutely essential text to be accounted for within any full consideration of the international aspects of Romanticism in general and/or the question of Romantic reflections in particular.  Along the way, he teased out some of the various possibilities whereby one may position Ghosh as uncritically reflecting back the British orientalist version of Indian poetry, carefully revising and subtly transforming orientalist poetics into a new hybrid expression, and/or ultimately rejecting orientalism in favor of a distinctly transgressive and properly Indian poetics of resistance.  The theme of this year’s conference in the Land of Sky-Blue Waters (and, more particularly, in the Twin Cities) was, appropriately enough, “Romantic Reflections: Twins, Echoes, and Appropriations.”