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Satyajit Ray and the Sense of Wonder


Thursday, October 13, 2022 - Saturday, October 15, 2022

Satyajit Ray and the Sense of Wonder

This three-day conference and attendant film series have been organized to celebrate the birth centenary of the renowned Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray (1921-1992). Most critical evaluations of Ray, which tend to focus on his films while overlooking his considerable literary and design outputs, have consecrated him as a modernist master or a postcolonial auteur. Such discussions are often couched in terms of modernity and tradition, Orientalism and nativism, objectivity and irrationality, skepticism and enchantment, art cinema and popular cinema. Instead, we focus on wonder, an affect that cuts transversally across these polarities, as an analytical category that enables fresh perspectives from which to assess Ray’s contributions to Bengali culture, Indian modernity, and global cinema. We address his stature as the bestselling author of Bengali-language young adult fiction, as well as one of the most revered graphic artists of modern India. While Ray has been widely hailed as an artist upholding a universal brand of humanism, the conference seeks to flesh out his singularity in terms of a vernacular modernism and a critical humanist orientation.

The Conference is organized by Bhaskar Sarkar (Film and Media Studies) and Bishnupriya Ghosh (English and Global Studies) on behalf of the Global-Popular Workshop.

With generous support from the the UC Humanities Research Institute; Center for South Asian Studies, UC Santa Cruz; Carsey-Wolf Center, Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies, Department of Film and Media Studies, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center’s South Asia Research Focus Group, and the College of Letters and Sciences, UC Santa Barbara.

Special thanks to:Anjali Arondek, Dana Welch, David Theo Goldberg, Emily Zinn, Kelsey Moore, Laila Shereen Sakr, Matt Ryan, National Film Archives of India, especially Bhabesh Pratap Singh and Leenali Khairnar, Patrice Petro, Paul Amar, Paula Firth, Pinaki De, Riddhi Goswami, Sandip Ray, Sukanya Ghosh, Trinankur Banerjee


Thursday, October 13, 2022
Saturday, October 15, 2022
Event Category:


Bhaskar Sarkar


Annenberg Conference Room
4315 Social Science and Media Studies Building
UC Santa Barbara, California 93106
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