Skip to Content

“Imagistic Reason in Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players)”

Thursday, April 28, 2016

4:00 p.m. Knight Library Browsing Room

Keya Ganguly will give a public lecture entitled “Imagistic Reason in Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khilari (The Chess Players)”

Ganguly is Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is author of States of Exception: Everyday Life and Postcolonial Identity (2001) and Cinema, Emergence, and the Films of Satyajit Ray (2010). Her current project is titled The Utopics of Revolutionary Violence.

gangulyThe Enlightenment is one of the casualties of a postcolonialism that opposes “system thinking.” But the traffic in ideas reveals that principles of the European Enlightenment were immensely influential upon twentieth-century anticolonial interventions in art, philosophy, and politics. In turn, they have shaped key traditions of Western thought that emphasize the role of critique in the search for historical truth. This lecture will explore how the idea of “imagistic reason” helps us conceptualize the visual image as a critique of reason rather than its lure. To this end, we will focus on Satyajit Ray’s cinematic meditation on the status of reason—and, moreover, a systematic notion of reason premised on Enlightenment conceptions of precedent, argument, and persuasion.