April, 2015

Artistic Genius: Western and Indian Perspectives – A talk by Sudhir Kakar

 

Date: Wednesday, 22 April, 2015
Time: 4.30 PM to 6.30 PM ( High tea begins at 4 PM)
Venue: Multipupose Hall, Ashoka University
RSVP: Atrayee Sengupta (atrayee.sengupta@ashoka.edu.in)

The talk will compare western theories of artistic creativity with those of hindu tradition. The focus of western theories has been the creative person. Psychoanalysis continued this tradition by emphasising the biographical roots of creativity, tracing its source to the creative person’s emotional conflicts and highlighting the therapeutic function of creativity. Indian foundational texts on creativity, on the other hand, do not concentrate on the personality of the creative artist that needs to be transcended for the creativity to flower.

Creativity arises from his or her participation in a transcendent-spiritual unconscious. The lecture will also look at an anthropological study of traditional painters and the views of Rabindranath Tagore, perhaps the greatest creative genius produced by India in the last two hundred years, to discuss the contemporary relevance of the traditional Indian view of creativity.

About the speaker:

Sudhir-Kakar Sudhir Kakar is India’s leading psychoanalyst, in addition to being a novelist, and a scholar in the fields of Cultural Psychology and the Psychology of Religion. He has been affiliated with IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Delhi, Harvard University, Centre for Study of World Religions at Harvard, the Universities of Chicago, McGill, Melbourne, Hawaii and Vienna.

Kakar’s many honours include the Bhabha, Nehru and ICSSR National Fellowships, Fellowships of the Institutes of Advanced Study, Princeton, Berlin and the Centre for Advanced Study of Humanities, University of Cologne, the Kardiner Award of Columbia University, Boyer Prize for Psychological Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association, Germany’s Goethe Medal, Rockefeller Residency, McArthur Fellowship, and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Kakar is the author / editor of twenty two books of non-fiction and five of fiction. His latest books are Young Tagore: The makings of a genius (Penguin-Viking, 2013) and the novel The Devil Take Love, to be published by Penguin in July 2015. His books have been translated into twenty-two languages around the world.

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