Suri is the author of the widely read trilogy of novels, The Death of Vishnu, The Age of Shiva, and The City of Devi, all set in Mumbai, India. At once prophetic, comic and provocative, the trilogy operates at the intersection of nationalist politics, caste, religion, sexuality, gender, and urban space. In his lecture, Suri will read from the third novel in the series, The City of Devi, and discuss broader issues around LGBTQ rights, and the relationship between sexuality and urban life in contemporary India. The recent decision by the Indian Supreme Court to reinstate a colonial-era law (Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code) that criminalizes homosexual sex has added urgency to this event. Rajat Dutta (Trikone – Bay Area and Funding377NoGoingBack) and Harsha Mallajosyula (Trikone --Bay Area and South Asians in Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley), will respond to Suri’s presentation and discuss strategies to overturn the ruling.
A follow-up discussion with Manil Suri, with presentations by Lesley Lokko (Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, South Africa) and Shari Stone-Mediatore (Professor of Philosophy, Ohio Wesleyan University), will take place on February 13, from 10am-1pm at the CAL Design Lab, on the 4th floor of Wurster Hall. The event, entitled From this to that: Translating difference from fiction to design, will feature presentations by Lokko and Stone-Mediator. The speakers will use Suri’s book and case studies to explore how fiction writing can inform design, through creative processes of translation across disciplines.
This lecture is sponsored by the Arcus Endowment, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley; Center for South Asian Studies, UC Berkeley; South Asians in Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley; and Trikone –Bay Area.