IAS Fellow at Stephenson College, January-March 2024
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Dr Avishek Parui is Associate Professor in English at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras and an Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. A Charles Wallace Grant awardee, he did his PhD in English Studies at Durham University (2010-14) under the supervision of Professor Patricia Waugh, on imperial masculinities and nervous conditions as depicted in selected works of fiction, from Joseph Conrad to Ian McEwan. Following his PhD and in an academic career spanning nine years, Dr Parui has authored two books, Postmodern Literatures (Orient Blackswan, 2018) and Culture and the Literary: Matter, Metaphor, Memory (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022) and is currently contracted with Brill to edit the Handbook for Indian Memory Studies. He has published over twenty research articles in major journals and is currently editing a special issue titled Memory, Materiality, and Forgetting for the Journal of Postcolonial Writing. He has supervised two PhD projects and currently supervises eight PhD scholars working on various facets of memory studies, cognitive studies, cultural studies, affect theory, and migration and embodiment. Dr Parui is the Principal Investigator and Faculty Coordinator of the Centre for Memory Studies (CMS) at IIT Madras, an interdisciplinary research centre which examines memory using multidirectional models, drawing on disciplines such as psychology, affect studies, machine studies, and digital humanities. The CMS conducts regular workshops and exhibitions examining the interfaces of cultural models of memory and AR/VR technology.
Through his work at the CMS at IIT Madras, Dr Parui has facilitated MoUs with University of St Andrews, UK, in 2021, Massey University New Zealand in 2022, and Durham University UK in 2023, by identifying and planning collaborations and convergences with researchers from the said institutions. Following the MoU with University of St Andrews, Dr Parui was the joint recipient of the British Council Going Global Grant in 2022 along with researchers from St. Andrews. Dr Parui is member of the advisory board for the International Memory Studies Association (MSA) and the founding chairperson of the Indian Network for Memory Studies (INMS), the only national network on memory studies in Asia under the aegis of the MSA. The INMS conducts annual international conferences at IIT Madras on issues such as memory and digitality, memory and ecology, and memory and the politics of commemoration. In 2022, Dr Parui was awarded the Global Fellowship from the University of St Andrews for his work in memory studies, to visit the institution for the period April-May 2023. For his IAS Fellowship at Durham University for the period January-March 2024, Dr Parui will collaborate with Professor Alexander Easton on a project to study the memory of COVID-19 and its impact on social behaviour and interactions in public spaces. This corresponds to Dr Parui's previously published research article on examining the pandemic as a crisis chronotope (with the case study of New Delhi) and will be carried out in a manner which can potentially produce a special volume of a journal and shape the ideas of a major international research project. Along with his academic engagements, Dr Parui is also a published writer of short fiction trained and certified by the British Council.