Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Abstract 2010 Prabhat Kumar

Prabhat Kumar
Heidelberg Universität

Situating Cartoon in the Hindi Literary Sphere
Browsing of the volumes of Hindi Periodicals published in late 19th and early half of the 20th century gives an impression that amidst visual illustrations cartoon becomes a regular feature from the year 1920. Soon they spill over from the periodicals into the forms of independent illustrated booklets and small posters. In this paper I examine whether cartoon can be located within the visual regimen of the Hindi literary sphere? What is the general chronological and thematic trajectory of illustration? What kind of visual discourse informed the production of illustrated periodicals? Can cartoon be called visual satire or satirical visual as per the literal translation of its Hindi term vyang-chitra? What kind of intertextuality could be seen between the literary and the visual texts? Who were these cartoonists? If they were artists, how did they view and reflect on their work? How to approach their categorization, such as political/social, in order to understand thousands of cartoons on a variety of issues:  from the everyday life under colonialism to high politics of nationalism?

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