Dr. Sowmya Dechamma C.C., Associate Professor at the Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad (UoH) has been awarded the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship for the year 2019-2020. She will be hosted by the Department of Comparative Literature, Queens College, The City University of New York where she will teach a course on “Modern Indian Literary Cultures” and work on her research project “Understanding the Modern: Of Oralities and Languages”.
Dr. Sowmya Dechamma’s Fulbright proposal aims to look at how and in what ways issues concerning languages spill-over and charge other spheres of our lives. By foregrounding minority languages (specifically Kodava language) and its relationships with major languages (Kannada and English), the project seeks to understand the nature of modern for speakers of minority languages. Emerging from this concern around the modern is the course she plans to teach — “Modern Indian Literary Cultures”. Her research and teaching aim to investigate the notions of modern that emerge through these texts; the manner in which they are connected to ideas of community and of region, nation; Ways in which texts engage with the constant presence of oralities in their own cultures; and what acts of writing tell us about the cultures written about.