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Speed, Script, & Surveillance: Bureaucratic Power and Writing in MarathiĀ in the Early 20th Century

Monday, January 28, 2019, 04:30pm - 06:00pm


marathi script

A talk by Dr. Prachi Deshpande

Fellow in History, Centre for Studies in Social Science, Calcutta

 January 28, 4:30pm


The arrival of print in the early nineteenth century triggered the standardization of Marathi, bringing about significant changes in its grammar, the scripts used to write it, and practices of reading and writing. In this talk, Dr. Deshpande examines the wider world of handwriting that was being transformed by the arrival of print--the handwritten 'underbelly' of the history of print that unfolded in offices, courts, and sites of police surveillance, away from the usual literary or educational materials  we associate with linguistic discourse. It is critical to tracing ideas about literacy, legibility and efficiency that deeply informed the overall trajectory of Marathi linguistic modernization, and perhaps, that of other languages in the subcontinent as well.

Location: Academic Building, Room 6010, 15 Seminary Place