Anirudh Karnick

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PhD Candidate

I am a dual PhD candidate in Comparative Literature and South Asia Studies. In my ongoing dissertation, I study the transformation in the conception of poetry and aesthetics in the last two centuries, as literary historiography and practice are reorganized along linguistic lines. I do this specifically via a study of the substantial corpus of critical-theoretical and literary-historical literature on Hindi poetry from the late 19th to the mid-20th C. in North India. The transition from 'conventional' to lyric/modern poetry in the textualized high poetic traditions of the so-called Old World is a productive site for comparison across geographical regions. I am interested in similar processes -- the transformation of poetic practices, the reorganization of literary historiography, and the standardization of languages -- in modern South Asia, in particular, but also in Asia and Europe more generally.

I am also writing the first critical biography of Krishna Baldev Vaid (1927-2020), one of Hindi’s foremost modernist writers; the biography will be in Hindi and be published in the Raza Pustak Mala as part of its Biographies of the Masters series. I translate regularly -- at present, I am translating book-length interviews conducted by Udayan Vajpeyi with Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (Upanyāskār kā Safarnāmā [A Novelist's Odyssey]) and Krishna Baldev Vaid (Pravās aur Pravās [Exile and Exile]).

Research Interests

19th and 20th C. literature (especially in Hindi, English), The afterlives of European modernism, Translation, Vernacular aesthetic theory, Literary historiography, Intellectual history.


South Asia Studies (Joint PhD)