I somehow doubt any of…

I somehow doubt any of you can help me with this one, but it can't hurt to ask, right?

I'm looking to get in touch with a professor (any professor) in Sri Lanka, who could potentially invite me out to give a reading or a talk. If I can find someone willing, then I can apply to have the department cover half of my airfare, which would obviously be a big help, because it's expensive to fly to Sri Lanka! I would really like to go, either in late summer or preferably, the fall, as I'm doing revisions on the dissertation manuscript -- it would be incredibly helpful, I think. I'd like to go for a good chunk of time, too -- as much as a month or two months. If you know anyone appropriate, or know anyone who knows anyone, please let me know. Thanks!

I'll also be looking into straight travel fellowships, but the big one (whose name I'm blanking on right now) is for a full year, which is much longer than I want to go. A semester-length is about my limit, I think.

10 thoughts on “I somehow doubt any of…”

  1. I’m afraid it needs to be an academic, and I don’t think he is one, is he?

    Although if I do get to Sri Lanka, I’m certainly going to do my best to see if I can wangle an opportunity to meet him, somehow. He’s one of my heroes. He wrote some stories that just thinking about chokes me up — even though I last read them decades ago. Hmm…maybe after I finish the Crowley, I’ll re-read some Clarke.

  2. I’ll see what I can do – some friends of mine are part of Tamil.net (one friend of mine I think founded it, or at least is one of the organizers) – might be a good place for you to ask on, and potentially a useful resource for you in general.

    What would you likely read or talk about? Do you have an academic bio that you use to introduce yourself?

  3. Mary Anne, — I am waiting to append a Dr. before your name 😉

    I have some relatives and friends there. Perhaps you could get in touch with some diaspora intellectuals, Chelvanayagam, Selvadurai et al. — they are all very much into e-lit..

    if i mail ya in a week, will it be too late

  4. Mary Anne,

    Perhaps you could look for invitations in South India as well–Chennai (Madras) or Bangalore or Trivandrum… Colombo is neither too far nor too expensive from one of these places : ).

  5. I go back and forth about the Fulbright, Meena — it’s for a full year, and I just don’t think I want to go for that long. Also, it wouldn’t be for next year, but the following year, which isn’t helpful for the dissertation. But then I think how nice it would be to have that financial support if I wanted to write a novel, and I start thinking about a novel set in Sri Lanka, and how much I’d have to learn, and a year doesn’t seem too long at all. But I’d miss everyone here, and I’d want to fly back often to visit, or make people come out and visit me. It’s puzzling, is what it is. I’m still thinking about it.

    As for the intellectuals you mentioned, I don’t know Chelvanayagam; more? And by Selvadurai, do you mean Shyam Selvadurai? Somehow I thought he was in Canada. Is he an academic as well as a novelist?

    Maya, I’d be perfectly happy to go somewhere other than Colombo to give the talk/reading — that’s just my preferred base of operations. If I can’t find something in Sri Lanka, I’ll start looking in southern India.

  6. Well Mary Anne, my ma and dad are both acads you know (say like Sameeksha and Aravind ;)) and so I guess if i pester them enough i could get more info.

    Yeah Fulbrights are horribly long, I agree with you there. And being one of the most well-known scholarships, I bet it is pretty diff. to get, although i m sure, you would get it if you tried.. Besides there is the soaring feeling of saying to ppl. u r a Fulbright student. Sounds almost like Plath you know…

    see, i m in Madras and here we have a org., some kind of MoU between India and Sri Lanka and so Professors (including other faculty) from here can go to SL, for four-8 weeks as Visiting Prof. and handle a course there, teach the latest trends, they get a full prof’s salary, stay, etc. and its what is called sabbatical, etc. But unfortunately it is limited only to technology, or technical subjects. However, if you can is it possible for you to probe if a similar scholarship etc. exists between US and south asian countries in general…

    next Chelvanagayam means prof. anton chelvanayagam (am not sure of the spelling) but he is a noted SL author and importantly critic. perhaps i will have to get into touch with more of my diaspora friends and let you know more. if i remember rightly he is based in the US.

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