Date: November 30
As a public event connected with the CTL Global Learning seminar, Professor Chris Schmidt (English) has organized a guest lecture open to the campus community. LaGuardia will host the journalist and author Gaiutra Bahadur on November 30th. Bahadur is an award-winning American journalist who writes frequently about migration, literature and gender. Her reporting, criticism and essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Dissent, History Today, Washington Post Book World, The Nation, Foreign Policy Magazine, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The (London) Observer and Ms., among other publications.
Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture is her first book. It was shortlisted for the 2014 Orwell Book Prize, the British award for political writing that is artful, and won the 2014 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Prize, awarded by scholars of the Caribbean to the best book about the Caribbean published in the previous three years. The book was also longlisted for the Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in 2014, and the fourth chapter, “Into Dark Waters,” was a finalist for Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies writing prize in 2015.
Gaiutra has been chosen as a MacDowell Colony Fellow for the Fall/Winter 2015 residency and was granted the Elizabeth Longford Award for Historical Biography by the Society of Authors in London in 2015, to pursue research on a new book. Her journalism has been supported with grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the Nation Institute. She was a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellow in 2013 and the winner of a grant from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund in 2013.
Schmidt said of the upcoming event, “Bahadur will be discussing and reading from her recent book Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture. Bahadur has been widely published as a journalist and foreign correspondent, but she approaches this story of an Indian woman’s indenture by the British with a historian’s rigor and a poet’s eye for detail. (The story Bahadur follows most closely is that of her own great-grandmother.) Besides being beautifully written, Coolie Woman is a searching investigation into diaspora, displacement, and the role of British colonialism in immigration to South and North America. It’s a story that is likely to resonate with our students and inspire a lot of interesting discussion.”