Department of English, School of Humanities, University of Hyderabad (UoH) organized a lecture series on “Other Modernisms”, on October 19, 2016 which was convened by Professor K Narayana Chandran. The second lecture was on Modernisms in Malayalam Literature which gathered a lot of students from the campus who belonged to the state.


Professor Chandran pointed how modernism is understood differently across cultures. In the context Malayalam literature however modernism hasn’t been as coherent or steady as in different cultures. He elaborated further how Malayalam literature sees the world depicted in literature differently when compared to the English modern movement. “The narrative and artistic, experimental and interpretative potential of Malayalam literature has been structured and restructured over the time span of 5 decades,” read the abstract of his lecture.

This reconstruction has happened with the help of local talents and voices, said Chandran giving examples from various literary works in Malayalam. “They do not quite follow a steady pattern or appear to be consistent if one tries to link it to the western modernization. Malayalam literary works have adapted themselves to modernism,” was one of the arguments posed.

The lecture while noting that reading of these novels had changed, also put across the other argument that westernization was responsible for the modernisms. “Modernism is usually seen as an influence of western literature and intellectual influence. But this lecture leaned on how Malayalam literature, with local rooting, seems to have broken the barriers and moved into modernism with the help of creation by the local essence,” noted Chirag Chinappa a student of Comparative Literature after attending the lecture Many other student raised questions specific to modernism, predominantly asking about post modernism in Malayalam Literature towards the end.

With inputs from Kartheek Kumar and Arakkal Indulekha

By Donita Angela Jose
Department of Communication