6th Year PhD student, Aditya Bahl, has been selected as the 2022-2023 Baisley fellow, given in recognition of his dissertation work and publication record for the national and international press. The award is the result of the generosity of Susan J. Baisley, ’80. It was given for the first time in 2019-20 and has rotated between the English Department and Writing Seminars.
From his words on his dissertation project: “My PhD dissertation recovers an archive of small literary magazines that were published in Punjab (India) during the 1960s-70s. Circulating across a rural landscape shaped by the clash between the US-sponsored Green Revolution and the Mao-inspired Naxalite insurgency, these magazines were frequently banned and destroyed by the Indian state. Today, only fragments of these magazines survive, scattered across obscure rural locations and often still shrouded in mystery.
Combining ethnographic fieldwork, literary criticism, and archival study, my dissertation tracks how these magazines imagined a literary world-system that was grounded in the peripheral experiences of a rural peasantry. The magazines braided diverse threads of global literatures (from Roland Barthes to Bulgarian poets) with local literary and folk traditions (from the geet to the ghazal). Meanwhile, the Punjabi writers drifted through unexpected networks of friendships, writers’ unions, and exiles, spanning Moscow to London and alpine France to California.”