Lectures and seminars


Dr Joseph O’Connell presenting his talk “Tracing Vaishnava Strains in Tagore”
At Revisiting Tagore, May 2011, University of London
Photo, courtesy and © Monish Sengupta


Lectures and seminars form an integral part of The Centre’s work. These seminars deal with diverse topics such as Tagore and his contributions to Indian culture – its literary, musical and historical heritage as well as the roles and contributions of many other intellectual stalwarts in these areas.

Tagore – Yeats Memorial Lectures were organised jointly with The Nehru Centre (the Cultural wing of the Indian High Commission) and held at The Nehru Centre.

The speakers were writers, poets and scholars such as the late Dr E P Thompson (UK), Dr Joachime Osterheld (Germany), Dr Kathleen Raine (UK), Prof Tapan Raychoudhuri (UK), the late Nirad C Chaudhuri (UK), Lord  Bikhu Parekh (UK), Prof Victor Ibvulis (Latvia), Prof Clinton Sealy (USA) and Dr  William Radice (UK). In October 2000 a two day International Symposium “Rabindranath Tagore: A Creative Unity” was held at the Senate House, University of London.  The speakers were from Bangladesh, the USA, Canada, Latvia, Spain, Estonia, Russia, Netherlands and of course India and the UK.

In October 2001 a one – day seminar “Tagore in British Schools” was held at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).  The event was chaired by Dr William Radice – a noted Tagore enthusiast and translator.  In May 2011, the year of Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary, yet another International Seminar over two days “Revisiting Rabindranath” was held at the Senate Hall, University of London.  Again there was an array of international speakers from Hungary, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Poland and India and the UK.  This event was chaired by Prof Bashabi Fraser of Napier University, Edinburgh.

In 2011, a special commemorative volume was produced by the Centre – “A Timeless Mind”: this was launched the High Commissioner of India, His Excellency Nalin Suri who was chief guest on that occasion.

This was in conjunction with our impressive international conference Revisiting Rabindranath, a three-day international conference celebrating the work and life of Rabindranath Tagore. Held within the halls of  University of London in May 2011, it was part of the UK-wide 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of India’s greatest artist were events were held up and down the country. This conference focused on the impact that Tagore has had from the very first time he presented his works in the West, to his relevance and standing throughout the world today. Key scholars and academics, from the UK and abroad came to speak and, through a range of themes and topics, presented their thoughts and comments on the great man himself.

In addition to these larger events the Centre hosts regular lectures in its premises on Sundays. For example in 2012 and 2013 the talks have ranged from “Rabindranath’s engagement with The Upanisad”  by Kalyan Sircar, “Hidden Treasures: Bengali Children’s Literature” by Dr Sibani Raychaudhuri,   “Michael Madhusudan Dutta” by  Dr Amal Chaudhuri , “Swami Vivekananda and Great Minds of India: Tagore, Aurobindo and Gandhi” by Prof Indranath Chaudhuri,  “Bangalir Daladali”   (Bengalees’ Squabbles) by  Prof Tapan Raychaudhuri , “Tagore`s Painting” by  Md Mijarul Quayes, the High Commisioner of Bangladesh,  to name but a few.