Roland Barthes: Today, Here | Humanities & Social Sciences

Roland Barthes: Today, Here

"Roland Barthes: Today, Here" organized by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT-Delhi in collaboration with The Institut Francais en Inde
The venue and lunch are restricted to 100 persons, and will be made available on a first come-first serve basis. (Registered attendees: please note that NO ACCOMMODATION or DINNER can be provided)

Day 1: 10 December, 2015

9.30 am: Coffee & Tea

9.45 am: Introduction
Angelie Multani, IIT-Delhi
Ravinder Kaur, Head, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT-Delhi)
François Vandeville, Director, Institut Français en Inde

10 am: Dead Writing: Barthes and Posterity
Supriya Chaudhuri, Jadavpur University; Respondent: Deepak Mehta, Shiv Nadar University

11.15 am: Barthes in the Digital Era
Alexandre Gefen, CNRS-CELLF, Paris-Sorbonne; Respondent: Rukmini Bhaya Nair, IIT Delhi

12.30 pm: Lunch

1.30 pm: Memory, Mimesis and Self-Reflective Storytelling: Reading Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes
Avishek Parui, IIT Guwahati; Respondent: Divya Dwivedi, IIT Delhi

2.45 pm: Volatile Scales, Whispering Bodies: Tracing the ‘Grain’ in Asha Bhosle’s Voice
Shikha Jhingan, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Respondent: Sanam Khanna, Kamla Nehru College

4 pm: Coffee & Tea

4.15 pm: Lacan, Four Discourses and ‘A’ Lover’s Discourse: Between Barthes and Badiou
Anup Kumar Dhar, Ambedkar University; Respondent: Nikhil Yadav, IIT Delhi

Day 2: 11 December, 2015

9.45 am: Coffee & Tea
10 am: Languages at War: Roland Barthes on Signs, Culture(s) and Politics
Philippe Roger, CNRS-EHESS; Respondent: Alok Rai, (Retd.) University of Delhi

11.15 am: "Remember, Body": Homoerotic Textual Intercourse between Roland Barthes' Incidents and the Poetry of Constantine Cavafy
Niladri Chatterjee, University of Kalyani; Respondent: Sandhya Devesan Nambiar, Jesus and Mary College

12.30 pm: Lunch

1.30 pm: From Comic Book to Chitrakar Performance: A Case of Intermedial Inscription
Roma Chatterji, University of Delhi; Respondent: Simona Sawhney, IIT-Delhi

2.45 pm: Coffee & Tea

3-4.30 pm: Round Table
Chair: Patricia Uberoi, Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi

Myths Beyond Borders? On Teaching Barthes in Delhi
Maya Joshi, Lady Shri Ram College

Roland Barthes and the Cinematographic Experience: The Enjoyment of the Amateur Spectator
Gabriela Trujillo, L'Ecole de Louvre

The Republic of Signs: Becoming Animals in Contemporary India
Satish Poduval, EFL University


11 December 2015, 6.00 pm

Living in Language: Roland Barthes and the Adventure of Modernity

with Supriya Chaudhuri, Alok Rai, Alexandre Gefen
CHAIR: Leila Choukroune, Director, CHS

Centre de Sciences Humaines de New Delhi, (CSH)
2 APJ Abdul Kalam Road, New Delhi 110011 India


November 2015 marks a hundred years since the birth of the thinker Roland Barthes, and provides an opportunity for us to recall Susan Sontag’s claim: “Of all the intellectual notables who have emerged since World War II in France, Roland Barthes is the one whose work I am most certain will endure." His writings cannot be neatly slotted in genres and academic disciplines because their genealogy is a testimony to Barthes' persistence in puncturing the sedimental, the ideological, the banal. The movement of his work constantly exceeds the terrain of the concepts he marked and circulated—writing, culture, intertextuality, tissue, scriptor, detail, to mention only a few. It contributed in inaugural ways to new forms of historical analysis, the semiology of popular culture, to structuralism, aesthetics, photography studies, culture studies, analyses of fashion, the theory of autobiography. However, unmistakable in the tumult of what is called post-structuralism, his 'voice' lingers as his trace in the very shifts that marked his intellectual itinerary: from écrivant/écrivain to ouvrage/texte to lisible/scriptable to Plaisir/jouissance to studium/punctum.

We envisage a two day workshop with scholars in different fields presenting their thoughts on Roland Barthes and his works. As evident in works like The Empire of Signs, one cannot see his relevance as limited to any one historical context, and hence, one of the foci of the workshop is to explore the ways in which scholars and students in India engage with Barthes in their own research.

To see the schedule and to register, please visit:

Organising Committee
Angelie Multani (Literature)
Divya Diwivedi (Philosophy, Literature)
Farhana Ibrahim (Sociology)
Simona Sawhney (Literature)

Supported by:
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

Institut Francais en Inde

Indian Council of Social Science Research-Northern Regional Centre