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About Aruna Asaf Ali Chair

"Aruna Asaf Ali Chair" is an endowed Chair instituted by the Ministry of Culture and established at Cluster Innovation Centre by the University of Delhi, with the broad objective of commemorating the "First War of Independence, 1857" and promoting national integration amongst the students.

Aruna Asaf Ali Chair 2014-15 : Dr. Sukrita Paul Kumar

For the year 2014-15, the University of Delhi has selected the noted poet, critic and academic Dr. Sukrita Paul Kumar to hold the Aruna Asaf Ali Chair.

About Dr. Sukrita Paul Kumar

Sukrita Paul Kumar is currently at Cluster Innovation Centre on deputation from Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi. She has been serving as Coordinator, B.Tech Humanities and Fellow, Institute of Life Long Learning since June 2012. A recipient of many international fellowships and residencies, she has lectured and given readings of her poems in many institutions and universities in India and abroad.

Sukrita Paul Kumar's major research project with the UGC led to the publication of her widely read book Narrating Partition. Her books, The New Story and Conversations on Modernism, published by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (Shimla) led to a deeper understanding of "Modernism" in post-Partition Hindi and Urdu literature. Her edited/co-edited books include Speaking for Herself: An Anthology of Asian Women's Writings (Penguin), Ismat, Her Life, Her Times (Katha), Interpreting Homes in South Asian Literature (Pearson). As Director of a UNESCO project on "The Culture of Peace", she edited Mapping Memories, a volume of Urdu short stories from India and Pakistan. She has two books of translations, Stories of Joginder Paul and the novel Sleepwalkers. She is the chief editor of the book on Cultural Diversity in India published by Macmillan India.

She has published several collections of poems in English including Untitled, Without Margins, Folds of Silence and Oscillations. Her two bilingual collections are Poems Come Home (Translations by Gulzar, published by HarperCollins, New Delhi) and Rowing Together (Translations by Savita Singh, published by Rajkamal Delhi). She was the Guest Editor of Crossing Over (University of Hawaii, USA). A number of Sukrita's poems have emerged from her experience of working with homeless people, Tsunami victims and street children. She held an exhibition of her paintings at AIFACS, Delhi.

Honours and Grants

  • Invited by the US State Department for the prestigious International Writing Programme, University of Iowa and awarded an Honorary Fellowship.
  • Awarded Translation Grant from University of California at Irvine, USA.
  • Offered Tagore Fellowship by Ministry of Culture, Government of India in 2012.
  • Offered ICCR Chair at University of Washington, Georgetown (USA), 2013.
  • Former Fellow of Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla
  • Invited Poet in Residence in China at the University of Hongkong.
  • Keynote Speaker at an International Conference held in La Coruna, Spain, on Dynamics of Cultural Diversity in different countries.
  • Plenary Speaker at the International Durrell Centre at Corfu, Greece, at a Conference on Partitions and Borders.
  • Awarded UGC Major Research Project on Cultural Reorientations after Partition as represented in literature.
  • Awarded Sahitya Akademi Grant for a book project on Oral Women's Narratives of Chamba.
  • Awarded a grant for an Indo-Canadian Project on Oral Traditions with University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Awarded Charles Wallace Grant for research in University of London.
  • Awarded Shastri Indo-Canadian Research Fellowship to visit six Canadian Universities.
  • Invited to deliver lectures at many Universities and Institutions in India and abroad, such as Cornell University, University of Heidelberg at Germany, Indian Institute of Advanced Study (Shimla), University of New York at Stonybrook, Cambridge University, SOAS at London, University of Hawaii (USA), University of California at Irvine and many others.

Books by Sukrita Paul Kumar

Books Authored (Critical):

Narrating Partition
Texts, Interpretations, Ideas
Indialog Publications, New Delhi, 2004
The New Story
A study of Literary Modernism in Urdu and Hindi Short Fiction
Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, and Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1990
Conversations on Modernism
Dialogues with Writers, Critics and Philosophers
Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, with Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1990
Man, Woman and Androgyny
A study of the Novels of Theodore Dreiser, Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway
Indus Publishing Co., New Delhi, 1989

Books of Poems in English:

Authorspress, New Delhi, 2014
Seven Leaves, One Autumn
Rajkamal Publications, New Delhi, 2011
Poems Come Home (Bilingual, Gulzar)
HarperCollins, New Delhi, 2011
Rowing Together
Rajkamal Publications, New Delhi, 2008
Without Margins
Bibliophile South Asia, New Delhi, 2005.
Folds of Silence
Kokil, New Delhi, 1996
Writers' Workshop, Calcutta, 1988
Ashajanak Publishers, New Delhi, 1974

Books Edited:

The Dying Sun : Stories by Joginder Paul
Edited by Sukrita Paul Kumar
HarperCollins, Delhi, 2013
Chamba Achamba
Co-edited with Malashri Lal
Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 2012
Speaking for Myself
Co-edited with Malashri Lal
Penguin India, New Delhi, 2009
Crossing Over
Co-edited with Frank Stewart
University of Hawaii, Hawaii, 2009
Intrepreting Home in South Asia
Co-edited with Malashri Lal
Pearson Longman's, Delhi, 2007
Cultural Diversity, Linguistic Plurality and Literary Traditions of India
Chief Editor: Sukrita Paul Kumar
Macmillan India, Delhi, 2006
Textbook prescribed by Delhi University as Concurrent Course for B.A.Honours.
Women's Studies in India: Contours of Change
Collection of Essays
edited by Sukrita Paul Kumar and Malashri Lal
IIAS, Shimla, 2002.
Ismat, Her Life Her Times
Critical Essays and Autobiographical Pieces on Ismat Chughtai
edited by Sukrita Paul Kumar and Sadique
ALT (Approaching Literature through Translation) Series, Katha, New Delhi, 2000.
Mapping Memories
Urdu Stories from India and Pakistan (translated into English)
edited by Sukrita Paul Kumar and Muhammad Ali Siddiqui
Katha, New Delhi, 1998
The same collection of stories in the original Urdu was published as Bazdeed by Katha, New Delhi, 1998.
Modern Hindi and Urdu Short Stories (translated into English)
selected and edited by Sukrita Paul Kumar
Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, 1993

Books Translated

Stories of Joginder Paul
Translation of Urdu stories into English,
National Book Trust, New Delhi, 2003.
Sleepwalkers: Joginder Paul
A novel translated by Sunil Trivedi and Sukrita Paul Kumar
Katha, New Delhi, 2001