KIPLING IN INDIA: INDIA IN KIPLING
Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla,
(26-28 April 2016)
in association with the Kipling Society, United Kingdom
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born and brought up in India till the age of five speaking an Indian language, and after schooling in England, returned to India in to work here as a journalist for The Civil and Military Gazette, Lahore, from 1882 to 1887, and then The Pioneer, Allahabad (“the leading paper in India,” as Kipling described it) from 1887 to 1889. He left India in March 1889 to return just once briefly in 1891.
His father, J. Lockwood Kipling, had come out to India in 1865 as a teacher of art and crafts in Bombay/Mumbai at what later became the J.J. School of Art. He moved in 1875 to Lahore as the curator of the museum, and published in 1891 a book titled Beast and Man in India; he returned to England in 1893. Rudyard’s only sibling, Alice (Trix), married Capt. Jack Fleming of the Survey of India, published two novels of her own, The Heart of a Maid (1891) and A Pinchbeck Goddess (1897), and lived on in India with her husband while coping with a mental illness. She and Rudyard had earlier both contributed poems to a volume titled Echoes (1883).
When Rudyard Kipling left India in 1889, he was already the author of eight books of poetry and fiction set in India, including Departmental Ditties and Plain Tales from the Hills. Later, while living in the UK and the USA, he published several more works set in India, including a co-authored novel The Naulahka (1892), the two Jungle Books (1894, 1895), and finally, his masterpiece Kim (1901).
Beyond these bare facts, the larger significance of Kipling’s formative and vital connection with India as a person and a writer has been summed up thus by one of his recent biographers:
India was where Rudyard Kipling was happiest, where he learned his craft, where he rediscovered himself through his writing and came of age as a Writer. India made him, charged his imagination, and after he left India in March 1889 at the age of twenty-three he was most completely himself as an artist when re-inhabiting the two Indian worlds he had left behind. He lived thereafter on borrowed time, a state of higher creativity he was unable to maintain once he had exhausted his Indian memories with the writing of his masterwork Kim. (Charles Allen, Kipling Sahib, 2007)
There is, thus, much to examine, explore and revaluate in Kipling’s connection with India and his writings about India, in terms of locale, culture and language, the themes he chose to write on, and the historical and political context then and now.
Those submitting proposals for papers may wish to address any of the following areas or indeed any other areas of relevance to the theme of the conference:
-- The Kiplings in India: biographical explorations
-- in Bombay (now Mumbai)
-- in Lahore (now in Pakistan)
-- in Simla (now Shimla), especially!
-- in Allahabad
-- Rudyard Kipling’s writings set in India
-- Short Stories and Sketches
-- Journalism and Travelogue
-- Works by other members of the Kipling family
-- by Lockwood Kipling
-- by “Trix” (Mrs Alice Fleming)
-- Collaborative Productions
-- Kipling’s Indian Publishers
-- The Indian Reception of Kipling’s Works
-- Early “Anglo-Indian” Reception
-- Later Critical Responses
-- Translations and Adaptations into Indian Languages
-- Kipling’s Imperialism
-- Kipling’s Orientalism
-- Kipling and the Indian “vernaculars”
-- Kipling and Soldiers in India
-- Kipling on Film
-- Kipling and other British Writers on India: Forster, Thompson, Scott etc.
-- Kipling and Indian Literature
-- Kipling after India: England, USA, South Africa
-- Kipling’s Reputation Then and Now
A limited number of participants will be invited for the conference. Those interested in participating should send an abstract (500-700 words) of the proposed paper to following Email ID's:
A limited number of participants will be invited for the Seminar. Those interested in participating should send an abstract (500-700 words) of the proposed paper along with their C.V. to:
The last date for submission of abstract (500-700 words) is 31 October, 2015. The date for short listing of participants is 15 November, 2015. The Institute intends to send Invitation letters to selected participants by 20 November, 2015. It is the policy of the Institute to publish the proceedings of the seminars it organizes. Hence, all invited participants will be expected to submit complete papers to the Academic Resource Officer, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla – 171005 by 18 April, 2016.
IIAS, Shimla, will be glad to extend its hospitality during the Seminar period and is willing to reimburse, if required, rail or air travel expenses from the place of current residence in India, or the port of arrival in India, and back.
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