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Dr. Gautam Chakrabarti

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@Gautam Chakrabarti

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Dr. Gautam Chakrabarti

HG 077

Jan. 2020— Akademischer Mitarbeiter (Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer), Faculty of Social & Cultural Sciences, Stiftung Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), GERMANY.
Nov.2016—Apr. 2019 Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter (Postdoctoral Researcher), with the Sub-Project “Learning ‘the Moscow Rules’: Theatre Artists from Postcolonial India in the Eastern Bloc, 1950-80,” in the ERC-Project "Developing Theatre" (PI: Prof. Dr. Christopher Balme), Art/Theatre Studies Dept., Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, GERMANY.
Feb.—Mar. 2017 Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher in the ERC-Project “Apartheid—The Global Itinerary” (PI: Prof. Louise Bethlehem), Faculty of Humanities, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ISRAEL (HUJI).
Oct. 2016 Stipendiat (Stipendiary) assisting PD Dr. Markus Messling, Deputy Director, Centre Marc Bloch, Deutsch-französisches Forschungszentrum für Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften (German-French Research Centre for Humanities & Social Sciences), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HUzB), GERMANY.
Mar.—Jul. 2016 Global Humanities Junior Research and Teaching Fellow (Outgoing), representing the DAAD-funded Thematic Network 'Principles of Cultural Dynamics' (Freie Universität Berlin) at the Department of English, HUJI.
Nov. 2014—Oct. 2015 HONORS (2014-2) postdoctoral fellowship from the Dahlem Research School (DRS), Freie Universität Berlin (FUB), for a project titled “'Non-Committal Involvements': Literary Detectives and Cold Warriors across Eurasia”. Scientific Advisor: Prof. Dr. Joachim Küpper.
Oct. 2011—Sep. 2014 Dr.-phil.-dissertation, titled Familiarising the Exotic: Introducing European Drama in Early Modern India (funded by a stipend from the ERC-Project “DramaNet”, FUB); both the written dissertation and the oral defence were graded 'Summa cum Laude' (the highest grade). 1st Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Joachim Küpper; 2nd Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Andrew James Johnston.
June 2010—Jan. 2011 DAAD-STIBET-Research-Assistantship stipend for research-project, titled “Non-Committal Involvements: Greene, Le Carré and Deighton as Cold Warriors”, with Prof. Dr. Dr. Russell B. West-Pavlov, FUB.
Sep. 2005—Apr. 2010 Predoctoral research (part-time) at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, INDIA, while lecturing full-time at the University of Delhi.
Aug. 2002—May 2005 Master of Philosophy (M. Phil.) in English Studies with dissertation, titled Waiting for the Gringo ‘Maestro’: Graham Greene’s Relationship with India, at JNU.
N.B.: Previously, Bachelor of Arts (B. A., Honours) and Master of Arts (M. A.) in English Literature, Jadavpur University, Calcutta; awarded the National Merit Scholarship for ranking 5th, with First Class, in the University Examinations for B.A.
Languages  English, Hindi, Bengali, Chittagonian (native/fluent); German (good); Urdu (average); Russian (basic).

Refereed Journal Articles:

  • “From Indira Gandhi to the Marshal in White: the First BITEF as a site of Cold-War ‘Cultural Solidarity’,” Itinerario: Journal of Imperial and Global Interactions, Special Issue, ed. Christopher Balme and Gautam Chakrabarti, in preparation (Cambridge: Cambridge Core/U P, 2021).
  • “The ‘Cultural Cold War’: Towards a Historiography of its Afro-Asian and Latin American Contexts,” Confronti, Contemporanea XXIII:3, Special Issue, ed. Stefano Pisu (Bologna: Il Mulino, July-September 2020), 458-63.
  • From Moscow with Love: Soviet Cultural Politics across India in the Cold War,” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, 20:02, Special Issue, ed. Louise Bethlehem, Lindelwa Dalamba & al. (Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Taylor & Francis, 2019), 239-57.
  • “'The Empire Floats Back': Ariane Mnouchkine, her L'Indiade and the Nātyaśāstra,” Cracow Indological Studies XX:1, ed. Elisa Ganser and Ewa Dębicka-Borek (Kraków: Księgarnia Akademicka, 2018), 31-68.
  • “Fowl-Cutlets and Mutton Singāḍā-s: Intercultural Food and Cuisine/s in Bengali Detective-Fiction,” A World of Nourishment. Reflections on Food in Indian Culture, Consonanze I, ed. Cinzia Pieruccini and Paola M. Rossi (Milan: Ledizioni/U of Milan, 2016), 305-17.
  • “'Pure and Mixed' in East India: Gerasim Lebedev's Intercultural Enthusiasms,” Cracow Indological Studies XVII, ed. Tatiana Dubyanskaya (Kraków: Księgarnia Akademicka, 2015), 115-32.
  •  “The 'Bhadralok' as Truth-Seeker: Towards a Social History of the Bengali Detective,” Cracow Indological Studies XIV:1, Dṛśya, Visual and Performing Arts, ed. Lidia Sudyka (Kraków: Księgarnia Akademicka, 2012), 255-68.

Book Chapters: 

  • “Hei-Ren-Hei-Hu: Be/Longing and E/Migration in the Work of a Chinese Dissident,” Migrating Minds, ed. Nicoletta Pireddu, Christina Kkona and Didier Coste (Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, forthcoming, 2021).
  • “A Month Is Not Enough: Early Soviet Perceptions of Indian People’s Theatre,” Performing the Cold War, ed. Christopher Balme and Gautam Chakrabarti, in the Series Routledge Studies in Cultures of the Global Cold War, ed. Monica Popescu, Katherine Zien & al. (Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, forthcoming, 2021).
  • “Towards an Alternative Cosmopolitan Circulation: Asian Literary-Cultural Theories,” Location of Theory, ed. Annete Werberger, Eric Martin and Gautam Chakrabarti (Berlin: Frank & Timme, forthcoming, 2021).
  • “'In-Between' Religiosity: European Kāli-bhakti in Early Colonial Calcutta,” Translocal Lives and Religion: Connec tions between Asia and Europe in the Late Modern World, ed. Philippe Bornet (Sheffield: Equinox, 2021), 35-55.
  • “Ramblings: A Walk in Progress (Or the Minutes of The International Society of The Imaginary Perambulator),” with Matthew Cheeseman, Susanne Österlund-Pötzsch, Simon Poole, Dani Schrire, Daniella Seltzer and Matti Tainio, Challenges and Solutions in Ethnographic Research: Ethnography with a Twist, ed. Tuuli Lähdesmäki & al. (Abingdon-on-Thames, New York, NY: Routledge, 2020), 36-52.
  • “'Sail[ing] on the Pathless Deep:' Michael Madhusudan Datta’s Dramatic Entanglements,” History and Drama: The Pan-European Tradition, ed. Joachim Küpper, Jan Mosch and Elena Penskaya (Berlin, Boston, MA: De Gruyter, 2018), 129-46.
  • “'Eating the Yaban's Rice': Socio-Cultural Transactions on the Mid-Colonial Bengali Stage,” Theatre Cultures within Globalising Empires: Looking at Early Modern England and Spain, ed. Joachim Küpper & al (Berlin, Boston, MA: De Gruyter, 2018), 205-29.
  • “Enigmatic Subversions of the Subjective: the Russian Picaresque from Chulkov’s The Mocker to Gogol’s Dead Souls,” Das Enigma des Pikaresken/ The Enigma of the Picaresque, ed. Jens Elze (Series: Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift Beiheft 87, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2018), 111-31.
  • “'Śabda' as 'Sanskriti': Socio-Cultural Categories in the Arthaśāstra,” Śabda: Text and Interpretation in Indian Thought, ed. Makarand Paranjape and S. K. Sareen (Delhi: Mantra Books, 2004), 252-57.

Co-Edited Books and Journal Special Issues:

  • Balme, Christopher, and Gautam Chakrabarti, ed., Theorising the Cultural Cold War across Eurasia and Africa: Ideology, Activism, Diplomacy and Soft Power, Itinerario: Journal of Imperial and Global Interactions, Special Issue (Cambridge: Cambridge Core/U P, in preparation, 2023).
  • Balme, Christopher, and Gautam Chakrabarti, ed., Performing the Cold War in the Postcolonial World: Theatre, Film, Literature and Things, in the Series Routledge Studies in Cultures of the Global Cold War, ed. Monica Popescu, Katherine Zien & al. (Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, forthcoming, 2021).


Academic Events (to be) organized:

  • Feb. 18, 2021: International Panel Discussion, titled “‘Europe/s’ across Afro-Asian Contexts: Translocal Cosmopolitanism/s in the Cold War,” Online (Zoom), supported by the Institute for European Studies (IFES), Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder). 
  • Feb. 07, 2020:Interdisciplinary Workshop, titled “Location of Theory,” supported by the Hochschulrektorenkonferenz and the Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder). 
  • Oct. 22-24, 2019: International Conference, titled “The ‘Cultural Cold War’: Towards a Theorisation of its Afro-Asian Contexts”, supported by the Center for Advanced Studies LMU, the Munich Centre for Global History, and the ERC-Project “Developing Theatre,” Centre for Global Theatre History, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. 
  • Sept. 29-30, 2017: International Workshop, titled “Between ‘East’ and ‘West’: Indian Theatre Artists and the Cold War”, on behalf of the ERC-Project “Developing Theatre,” Centre for Global Theatre History, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. India International Centre, New Delhi, INDIA.

Selected Invited Talks And Conference-Presentations:


  • “From Indira Gandhi to the Marshal in White: The First BITEF as a Site of Cold-War 'Cultural Solidarity',” 2020 ASEEES (Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies) Virtual Convention (November 5-8, 14-15), University of Pittsburgh, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, November 6.
  • “Congress for Cultural Freedom in India during the Cold War,” LSE IDEAS Webinar-Series “US Think Tanks and Foundations in World Politics” (Spring-Summer 2020), City, University of London, UNITED KINGDOM, May 26.

  • “The ‘Cultural Cold War’ across Eurasia and Cosmopolitan Solidarity/ies,” UNESCO Chair for Cultural Policy and Management, University of Arts in Belgrade, SERBIA, March 3.


  • “‘Pouring Water on Śiva’: Walking with Chants through Indic Sacred Geography,” International “Ethnography with a Twist” Conference (February 12-14), University of Jyväskylä, FINLAND, February 13.
  • “Of Encounters and Mistakes: Cold-War Berlin in the British and Soviet Literary-Cultural Imaginaire,” Department of Literature (British & American Studies), Universität Konstanz, GERMANY, January 14.


  • “‘Causation... in the Other Direction’: Buddhist and Other Indic Discourses of (Co)Dependent Origination,” Global Humanities Campus 2016 (July 23-August 4), Freie Universität Berlin, GERMANY, July 26.
  • “A Month in India: Boris Babochkin’s Theatrical Passage to the Subcontinent,” World Congress of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR, July 9-13), University of Arts, Belgrade, SERBIA, July 10.
  • “Literature and Culture in the Cold War,” EFL Unit, Department of English, and Teaching Enhancement Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, ISRAEL, May 28.


  • “A New 'Tandav': Indian Angry Heroes in the Theatre and Bollywood,” Indian Cultural Centre, Consulate General of India, São Paulo, BRAZIL, July 17.
  • “‘An Ideology for Russia’s Future’?: Eurasianism and Cultural Politics in the Post-/Cold-War Baltic ‘Polyphony’,” 12th International Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe, themed “The Baltic States at 99: Past, Present and Future” (June 19-21), University of Latvia, Riga, LATVIA, June 20.
  • “'From Moscow with Love': Soviet Interventions in the Theatre of India’s Post/Colonial Modernity,” Workshop “Cultural Solidarities: Colonial Modernity, Anti-Apartheid and World-Making Networks,” (April 3-6) Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER), University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA, April 4.
  • “Learning ‘the Moscow Rules’: Soviet Cultural Politics across India and Southern Africa in the Cold War,” ERC-Project “Apartheid—The Global Itinerary,” The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ISRAEL, February 28.


  • "The Cultural Dynamics of Difference: Towards a Histoire croisée of Asian Literary Theory," Fifth International DramaNet-Conference (in collaboration with the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow) on "History and Drama" (October 26-27), Freie Universität Berlin, October 27.
  • “Cold War/Partition: West-East Dichotomies in Germanophile Bengali Popular Fiction,” 51. Deutscher Historikertag (51st Biennial Meeting of German Historians, September 20-23), Hamburg, GERMANY, September 22.
  • “'Refugee from Nazi Germany': Alex Aronson, his 'Western Eyes' and Rabindranath Tagore,” Seminar (led by Prof. Yfaat Weiss), The Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, June 13.


  • “Transcultural Dreams: Ariane Mnouchkine's Fusions in L'Indiade,” “a.r.t.e.s. forum” (Graduate School for the Humanities Cologne) Conference, Universität zu Köln, GERMANY, June 26.



  • “Familiarising the Exotic: European Kāli-bhakti in Early Modern Calcutta,” XXth AILC-ICLA Congress on “Comparative Literature as a Critical Approach,” (July 18-24) University of Paris-Sorbonne (IV), FRANCE, July 20.


  • “'Back to the Future’: towards a Rehabilitation of Sustainable Indic Socio-Cultural Paradigms,” (on the occasion of the "India Science Day") Botanisches Museum, Freie Universität Berlin, June 11.
  • “'Nostalgia for World Culture': Presentation on Ruta Schats-Mariasch,” International Workshop on “Fields of Belonging. Interpreting Jewish Literatures,” (June 6-7)  Freie Universität Berlin, June 6.
  • “From the Early Modern to Modernity: Blurring Borderlines between
 'Global' India and 'Provincialised' Europe,” Department of Indology, Institute of Oriental Studies, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, POLAND, March 29.


  • “'Culture Every Shore': the 'Improving' Hubris of Soviet Imperialism in the Baltic States,” 9th International “Conference on Baltic Studies in Europe,” (June 12-15) Södertörn University, Stockholm, SWEDEN, June 14.


  • “Sacralised Squirrels: Ambient Nature-Images in Ambai’s Oeuvre,” “Pandanus ’09: International Seminar on Nature in Literature, Art, Myth and Ritual in Memoriam Kamil V. Zvelebil,” Institute of South and Central Asia, Philosophical Faculty, Charles University in Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC, June 6.
  • “Lumpaid for the Blei: the Socio-Political Resonances of a Religio-Cultural ‘Tribal’ Discourse,” international symposium on “Stories about India and Indian Stories: Expressive Culture and the European Understanding,” Domus Dorpatensis, University of Tartu, ESTONIA, May 16.


  • “Revisiting The Golden Boat: Reading the Bengali Classics,” Department of Indian Philology, Faculty of Oriental Studies, St Petersburg State University, RUSSIA, December 9.
  • “Diasporae of the Mind: Selected Works of Naipaul and Rushdie,” Faculty of Foreign Languages and Area Studies, Moscow State University, RUSSIA, May 28.
  • “'Old Wine in New Bottles': Modernity and Mass-Culture in Russia and India,” International Conference on “Narrating Nations: Dialogue of Cultures” at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, INDIA, March 5.


  • “Balancing Fine Minds: Six Different Indian Writers in English,” Department of Indian Philology, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Moscow State University, June 27.
  • “‘Culture Every Shore’: the Civilising Influence of Strong Women in Indian English Literature,” National Seminar “Changing Status of Women: India and Canada,” (March 19-20) SBSC, University of Delhi, March 19.

Forschungsschwerpunkte/ Research Interests

  • "Maverick Cosmopolitanism/s", Weltliteratur, “world literary knowledges” and global literary-cultural history
  • The “Cultural Cold War”
  • Literary-cultural history of post/colonial – especially late-18th- and 19th-century – South Asia
  • Detective and espionage fiction, especially Anglo-European and Indian
  • Comparative cultural history of religions.

Weitere Forschungsinteressen/ Further Research Interests 

  • Jewish literary-cultural histories
  • Baltic Studies
  • Russian and Soviet Studies
  • Environmental Humanities.
Oct. 2010—

Lehrbeauftragter (Assistant Lecturer):

  • In the Seminar für Südasienstudien (South Asian Studies), Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften (Asian & African Studies, Oct. 2016 – Mar. 2017), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HuzB)
  • In the Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät (Social & Cultural Studies, since May 2019), Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder) or E-UV
  • In the Institut für Deutsche und Niederländische Philologie (German & Dutch, since Oct. 2014), the Peter-Szondi-Institut für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft (Comparative Literature, Oct. 2012 – Sep. 2016) and the Institut für Englische Philologie (English, Oct. 2010 – Sep. 2012), Freie Universität Berlin (FUB)
  • In the Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik (English & American Studies), Universität Potsdam (UniP Oct. 2011 – Mar. 2013) 

Courses taught:

July 2003—May 2010 Lecturer/Assistant Professor in English (initially Ad Hoc and Guest, then Permanent/Tenured, since Nov. 2005) in various colleges and non-collegiate institutes in the University of Delhi, INDIA.
Oct. 2008—Jan. 2009 Visiting Lecturer in English, Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities, St Petersburg, the St Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts and the St Petersburg State University, RUSSIA.
Jan. 17-24, 2006 Guest Lecturer in the Department of English, University of Turku, FINLAND
Nov. 2001—Apr. 2002 Guest Lecturer in English, BKC College, University of Calcutta, INDIA