Dr. Leela Prasad, Department of Religious Studies, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States delivered a Distinguished Lecture on the topic ”The Audacity of Genre: Enchanting History in Colonial India” on 5th January 2016 at the University of Hyderabad. She addressed the gathering consisting of students, faculty and staff on the untold story of Medara Venkataswami, a prolific Hyderabadi scholar–folklorist, historian, and essayist—showing how India remained intrepidly enchanted during the late colonial period.


Dr. Prasad stated, “Writing exclusively in the English language, M. Venkataswami drew on his family’s oral treasures and social relationships to vivify Indian pasts using precisely those literary and linguistic genres that an imperial reading public and literati believed it had exclusive mastery over”. His creative experimentation opens up the larger question of whether history and the political self can be imagined without enchantment, she added.


Prof. Panchanan Mohanty, Dean-School of Humanities presided. Dr. Kirtana Tangavelu, Director, Study in India Programme (SIP) introduced the speaker while Ms. Bhavani, Visiting Faculty, SIP proposed the vote of thanks.