By Garret Field
Thursday 2016 September 15 - Monore Hall - 3:15 pm
University of Virginia
The Lecture Length: 53 minutes
Questions and answers Length: 27 minutes
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[Summary] "Scholarship about Sri Lanka's 1956 "social revolution" and its aftermath tends to focus on the realm of politics. Missing is attention to creative responses that individuals crafted in relation to these events. This talk attempts to fill this lacuna through the lens of Sinhala song and poetry created between 1958 and 1964. It focuses on the stylistic volte-face of the Sinhala poet Mahagama Sekara. I divide my presentation into two parts. Part I, "Illusions," investigates song and poetry that Sekera published between 1958 and 1963. Part II, "Disillusions," turns to Sekera's 180-degree stylistic shift. One reason Sekera's switch from illusions to disillusions is significant for South Asian Studies is that it provides evidence that there was a voice of dissent within the Sinhalese intelligentsia at the moment in which Sinhala linguistic nationalism became the state's dangerously divisive language policy."
Created on September 20, 2016 by Philip McEldowney