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Willson Center Distinguished Lecturer: Bhakti Shringarpure's "Publishing at a Crossroads: Notes on the "D" word"

Thursday, November 2, 2023 - 4:30pm
Park Hall 265

We live in an unprecedented time for publishing with everyone reading more than ever whether it's physical books or on phones and computers. The coming of the Internet, the leaps in the ebooks and audiobooks industry along with the sheer amount of online content available has invigorated the worlds of reading, writing, editing and publishing. Book prizes and book festivals have also grown exponentially. Yet the many publishing exposés and scandals in recent years have also revealed the ways in which corporatization and profit imperatives squash progressive, independent presses, gatekeeping practices remain rampant and the problem of diversity looms larger than ever. Indeed, the last few centuries of European colonialism have eroded structures of knowledge through violent interventions in publishing and education. Today, we have inherited these colonial structures which continue to impact the politics of languages, translation, publishing infrastructures and costs, distribution, review circuits, and access to books all over the world. While calls to diversify publishing and decolonize our bookshelves get louder, we need to take a deeper and longer historical view in order to imagine radical publishing futures. In this talk, Dr. Shringarpure will provide commentary on contemporary publishing culture, and how it silences radical and marginalized voices and share why she started the Radical Books Collective to support progressive, pathbreaking literary writers. 


Bio : Dr. Bhakti Shringarpure is a leading postcolonial literature scholar who has been working at the intersection of academia and public humanities for the past ten years. Dr. Shringarpure’s work engages questions of decolonization, race, gender, and violence through a focus on literary and cultural production from the Global South and their circuits of dissemination. She is currently an Associate Professor jointly appointed in the Department of English and the institute of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut. She is also faculty for Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies and the Indigeneity, Race, Ethnicity & Politics (IREP) program. 

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