Sahityapost, 15 December
Renowned writer, critic and professor, Dr. Arun Gupto appeared as the speaker for the month of Mangsir at the monthly faculty talk, organized by the Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University at Kirtipur on Friday. In an hour-long speech, Prof. Gupto discussed cricket and the latent colonial implications of cricket-craze in the non-Western world, especially countries that play cricket. Tracing the historical development of cricket in England and its gradual spread elsewhere, Prof. Gupto unearthed the parallel expanse of the English language and the transfer of colonial temperament therewith. He also viewed revisions, interventions and innovations in cricket by players outside English as resistive tools, analogous to mediations like hybridization and mimicry in language and other cultural manifestations to ‘write back’ at the Empire. Prof. Gupto drew parallels among the stories of Vikramaditya and Betaal, the fable of tortoise and leopard and Lee Falk’s famous ‘Phantom’ cartoon series that dramatize the concurrent forces of dissent and conformity, as evident in Plato’s idea of pharmacon. He underscored the possibility of a ‘fantasic other’ resulting from a hybridized conditionality that can act as a tool to negotiate with the vestige of the Empire at the cultural level.
Prof. Gupto is working on a book Cricket, Colonialism and the English Department and his delivery was based on the tentative content of the same. Earlier, Prof. Gupto has published internationally lauded books like Goddesses of Kathmandu Valley: Grace, Rage, Knowledge (Routledge, 2016), Literary Theory and Criticism: Recent Writings from South Asia (Routledge, 2022) and Sanskriti Chintan (Indigo Ink, 2023), besides others.
The event, chaired by CDE Chief, Prof. Dr. Jib Lal Sapkota, was attended by the faculty members of the department, PhD and MPhil scholars, and MA students. Speaking as the session chair, Prof. Sapkota lauded Prof. Gupto for his intellectual acumen, and consistent academic achievements.
Novelist Pashupati Timalsina gifted his novel ‘Bidhawa Basana’ and a few other publications to the department at the end of the talk.
The event was coordinated by CDE faculty Dr. Bal Bahadur Thapa.