Benjamin Conisbee Baer
BA Nottingham Trent University (1993); MA in Critical Theory, University of Nottingham (1995); PhD Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University (2006). Ben Baer’s research and writing are focused on several interrelated areas of Comparative Literature: questions of modernity, Enlightenment, and representation in the non-West, especially South Asia but in a comparative framework with other colonial zones and situations. His writings on these topics have concentrated on figurations of indigeneity, language and creolization, subaltern studies, and the relations between the politics and poetics of “voice” in representations of the didactic mission of political vanguards. He also works on the history and theory of Marxism, with a particular interest in non-Western Marxisms; and on interdisciplinary aspects of visual culture as they may be related to Comparative Literature. Works in progress include the book manuscript *Modernity's Mouths: Indigenous Vanguards and Transnational Modernism in the Interwar World* and a collection of essays on the trajectory of Marxism outside Europe. A translation from the Bengali of Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay’s *Hansuli Banker Upakatha* (The Tale of Hansuli Turn, 1946-51), which is one of the key novels of mid-twentieth century Indian literature, was published by Columbia University Press in spring 2011.
Ben Baer is an executive member of Princeton’s Program in South Asian Studies.
The Tale of Hansuli Turn by Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay. Translated and introduced by Ben Conisbee Baer. Columbia University Press, 2011.
‘Forest Interface.’ Book chapter in Pradip Basu (ed.) Discourses on Naxalite Movement (1967-2009): Insights into Radical Left Politics (Kolkata: Setu Prakashani), 2010.
‘Creole Glossary: Tarashankar Bandyopadhyay’s Hansuli Banker Upakatha,’ PMLA, vol. 25 no. 3, May 2010
‘Edward Said Remembered on 9/11/2004: An Interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’ in Adel Iskandar and Hakem Rustom (eds.), Edward Said: Emancipation and Representation (University of California Press, 2010)
‘Shit Writing: Mulk Raj Anand’s Untouchable, the Image of Gandhi, and the All India Progressive Writers’ Association,’ Modernism/Modernity 16:3, September 2009
‘Redoing Marxism at Gigi Café: A Conversation between Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Ben Conisbee Baer,’ Rethinking Marxism, vol. 20:4, October 2008
‘Arthāt Tārāshankar’ (in Bengali), Gangeo Patra, No. 20, April, 2008
‘Terodacktil Apocalypse: Writing Catastrophe in Mahasweta Devi’s Pterodactyl, Puran Sahay, and Pirtha,’ Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences 4, September 2007. Revised version forthcoming as a book chapter in Nick Heffernan and David Wragg (eds.), Culture, Environment, and Eco-Politics: History/Theory/Practice (Cambridge: CSP)
‘Modernization, Modernity, Rurality,’ Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences 3, August 2006
1. The Tale of Hansuli Turn