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Trinity Academics and Alumni Contribute to the Fifth Mumbai International Literary Festival

Posted on 31 October 2014

Mumbai LitFest

Leading academics and literary figures from Trinity College Dublin will take part in the Fifth Mumbai International Literary Festival, in Mumbai, India this November.

Trinity Professors Brian Singleton and Nicolas Johnson, along with Trinity graduate and Man Booker Prize, Anne Enright, will represent Trinity’s prestigious literary history, while recognising the university’s current world-leading expertise in the areas of literature, drama and performance.

Trinity’s involvement in the festival is part of the university’s ever-growing relationship with India, and comes at the start of a wider engagement mission throughout the country in November.      

The festival is an internationally-renowned gathering of writers, actors, dramatists, speakers and literary figures from across the globe. The annual festival attracts upwards of 500 delegates and will reach an audience of over 20,000 people from India and beyond. It takes place in Mumbai’s famous Prithvi Theatre and India’s National Centre for the Preforming Arts, the country’s premier cultural institution.     

Acclaimed author and Trinity alumna Anne Enright’s most recent achievements include winning the 2007 Man Booker Prize for her novel The Gathering and the 2013 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for The Forgotten Waltz. She will join international multi award-winning authors Akhil Sharma, Sathnam Sanghera and Anita Nair for a panel session on the theme of Mined the family: Do only unhappy families make good stories? Enright graduated from Trinity with a degree in English and Philosophy and has since gone on to become one of Ireland’s preeminent contemporary authors, being made a Fellow of the Royal Society for Literature.

Professor Brian Singleton, the Samuel Beckett Chair of Drama and Theatre at Trinity and Academic Director of The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art, will deliver a major workshop at the festival on the theme of the ‘Global Stage’. Professor Singleton has published extensively in the fields of orientalism and interculturalism in performance, as well as on contemporary Irish and European theatre, including his most recent monograph, Masculinities and the Contemporary Irish Theatre.

One of Ireland’s greatest literary figures and Trinity graduate, Samuel Beckett, will be discussed during the festival at an event entitled Abstract Machines: The Televisual Beckett, led by Dr Nicolas Johnson, Assistant Professor of Drama at Trinity. This will include a screening of Beckett’s late television plays and will be followed by a lecture and discussion. This will allow attendees a unique opportunity to hear a current Trinity professor and widely published Beckett expert discuss one of Trinity’s most influential alumni on a global stage.

The Mumbai International Literary Festival comes at an exciting time for Trinity, as the University recently became the owner of an extensive collection of Samuel Beckett letters. It now holds the largest collection of Beckett letters of any research library in the world. It is a fitting home for the correspondence of one of Trinity College Dublin’s most famous alumni, who graduated as a gold medallist in 1927, joining other former students from the university’s prestigious literary past including Johnathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker.

In addition to the festival, Trinity College Dublin faculty and staff will participate in a range of engagements in India during the month of November, including a science and innovation workshop in Bangalore in collaboration with Mallya Aditi International School, education fairs and a convocation speech by Trinity’s President, Dr. Patrick Prendergast, at Thapar University.