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Melina Munz

English Department

PhD student (02/2017-12/2020)

in sub-project G4
Leisure in Contemporary Indian Literature

Dissertation project

The dissertation project focused in exchange with the project on Urdu and Bengali literature (s. Farha Noor) on representations of unproductive leisure in the contemporary Indian novel in English. The central thesis of the dissertation is that this purposeless experiential mode plays a crucial role in recent Anglophone Indian fiction and that it subversively comments on the history of colonialism and on global, productivity-oriented mechanisms of acceleration. The described global significance of temporality is rooted in an Indian context, for the readings in this dissertation are linked to a nostalgia for Indian cultural modernity. Both the novels' nostalgic longing for instances of alternative temporality and for certain cultural practices can be associated with an older cultural modernity that is remembered from a present moment of alienation and loss. The entangled discourses of Indian modernity, temporality and nostalgia can only come into focus, the project argues, by analysing the purposeless leisure experiences at the heart of the analysed novels.
The dissertation was handed in in August 2020 with the title The Promise of Purposelessness. Alternative Temporalities and Experiences of Otium in Contemporary Indian Fiction in English.

Publications relevant to the project

Search for publications in the CRC's bibliography