WORDS ON WATER
India & Israel in Conversation
Haifa: 17 May @ Haifa University, 9.30am-3pm
For info: www.haifa.ac.il
Jerusalem: 18 May @ Konrad Adenauer Auditorium, Mishkenot Sha’ananim, 10am-2pm
For info: www.mishkenot.org.il
Words on Water, the Literary Festival of Indian & Israeli Writers, attempts to mainstream the ideas of contemporary India & Indian writing in English for an Israeli audience. Of all the practiced arts writers capture the essence of societies and put into words what many of us just sense but have not been able to articulate.'
Book readings, book signings, ‘meet-the-author’ opportunities, as well as talks and discussions between Israeli & Indian writers will bring together two diverse yet similar cultures.
Haifa Programme (Free Entry)
9:30-10:00: Greetings: Sanjoy Roy
Opening remarks: Prof. Reuven Snir, Dean of the Humanities, University of Haifa
10:00-10:45: Readings by the Indian authors
10:45-11:45: Social History & Issues Concerning Modern Democracies - Esther David in conversation with Mahmoud Yazbak & Ornit Shani
11:45-12:45: The Long Shadows of the Short Story - Navtej Sarna in conversation with Ayelet Ben-Yishai
14:00-15:00: Oral Epic Traditions & Questions of Narrative & Social Memory - Arshia Sattar in conversation with Maya Tevet Dayan & Arik Moran
15:00-16:00: Relevance of Myth & Mythology Today - Devdutt Pattanaik in conversation with Vered Lev Kenaan
Mishkenot Sha’ananim Programme (Free Entry)
Winners of the Mifal Ha’Payis Sapir Prize for Literature will talk with Indian Authors
10:30-10:45: Readings by the Indian authors
10:45-11:30: Arshia Sattar & Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik in conversation with Dr. Yohanan Grinshpon
12:30-13:00: Esther David in conversation with Alona Frankel
13:00-14:00: Navtej Sarna in conversation with Yoram Kaniuk
ARIK MORAN is a Lecturer at the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Haifa. He obtained his DPhil from Oxford, where he wrote a thesis on the reinterpretation of Rajput identity among West Himalayan elites. His work combines archival and textual research with oral epic traditions and concerns questions of narrative and social memory.
ARSHIA SATTAR has worked with the Indian epics and story traditions of the sub-continent for the last 25 years. Her abridged translations from Sanskrit of the Valmiki Ramayana and the Kathasaritsagara have been published by Penguin in their Classics series. Lost Loves: Exploring Rama's Anguish is a collection of essays on the Ramayana where she considers Rama and Sita as literary figures rather than as religious symbols. She has co-edited The Best of Quest an anthology of political, social and literary writing from the 1960s and 1970s in India.
ALONA FRANKEL was born in Poland and spent her childhood years under German occupation, in the Lvov Ghetto during the Second World War and in 1949 immigrated to Israel. She studied art and illustrated children’s books. Her first book Once Upon a Potty was published in 1975. Her books include: The Family of Tiny White Elephants, Prudence’s Good Night Book, Prudence’s Book of Food, There Is No One Like Mother, The Ship and The Island, I Want My Mother!, What Should I Be, Naftali’s Grandma Cooked Some Porridge and many more. Her first adult book A Girl is autobiographical and was awarded the Sapir Prize. Teen Years and A Woman complete her adult trilogy.
AYELET BEN-YISHAI is a Lecturer of English Literature at the University of Haifa, where she specializes in Victorian and postcolonial literature. Her book, Common Precedents: the Presentness of the Past in Victorian Law and Fiction, is forthcoming from Oxford UP. She is currently at work on a project on the persistence of realism in the Indian novel in English.
Dr. DEVDUTT PATTANAIK is a mythologist, leadership coach and the Chief Belief Officer of the Future Group. Trained in medicine, he worked for 14 years in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry and had a brief stint with Ernst and Young as Business Advisor. He has written and lectures extensively on the relevance of myth and mythology in modern management. His column Management Mythos in Corporate Dossier of Economic Times has been a reader's favorite. He calls this Business Sutra that places great value on the role of personal belief and cultural assumptions in business. His best seller books include Jaya: an illustrated retelling of the Mahabharata, and 7 Secrets of Hindu Calendar Art.
DORIT RABINYAN was born in Kfar-Saba in 1972 to a Persian-Jewish family and published her first novel at the age of 22. In addition to her two novels, Persian Brides and Our Weddings, Rabinyan wrote a children’s book and a television script for Israel commercial television, Shuli’s Fiance, which won the Israeli Academy Award for the best drama of 1997. She has been awarded the Yitzhak Vinner Prize (1996), The Jewish Wingate Quarterly Award (1999), the Prime Minister`s Prize (2000) and the Literary Acum Award (2008). She lives in Tel-Aviv.
ESTHER DAVID is author of The Walled City, By The Sabarmati, Book Of Esther, Book Of Rachel, My Father’s Zoo, Shalom India Housing Society, The Man With Enormous Wings, and has co-authored a book on India’s Jewish Heritage, Ritual, Art and Life Cycle, edited by Shalva Weil. Book of Rachel, which won her the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2010, was translated in French and awarded the Prix Eugene Brazier. Trained as an artist, she often illustrates her novels.
MAHMOUD YAZBAK is a Professor of Palestinian History, Head of the Department of Middle Eastern History at the University of Haifa. He served as the chair of ADALAH (2008-2011), and headed MESAI (Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Association in Israel, 2008-2011). Mahmoud publishes frequently on social history and issues concerning the modern Palestinian history.
MAYA TEVET DAYAN is a writer, a scholar and a lecturer at Tel Aviv University. Her PhD dissertation is a study on inspiration, creativity and goddess Sarasvatī in the great Sanskrit poem, Naisadhīyacaritam. She published articles about creative-imagination in the illustrations to the Naisadhīyacarita and in the revolutionary murals at the Tyāgarājaswāmy Temple, Tiruvārūr. Her First Novel, A Thousand Years to Wait, tells an Israeli love story, interwoven with Hindu mythology.
NAVTEJ SARNA is currently India’s ambassador to Israel. He is author of the novels The Exile and We Weren't Lovers Like That, as well as non-fiction titles The Book of Nanak, and a translation of Zafarnama. A collection of his short stories is due for publication in 2012. He is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and several Indian journals. His literary column, ‘Second Thoughts’ in The Hindu is now in its sixth year.
ORNIT SHANI is a Senior Lecturer and the Head of the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Haifa. Her current research focuses on the modern history of democracy and citizenship in India. She is the author of Communalism, Caste and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
VERED LEV KENAAN (Ph. D. in Classics and Comparative Literature, Yale University, 1995) is a senior lecturer at the department of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of Haifa. Her research focuses on Greek and Roman mythology, gender and textuality. Her recent book Pandora’s Senses: The Feminine Character of the Ancient Text (Wisconsin University Press 2008) offers a radical revision of the Greek Myth of the first Woman. She is currently writing a book on dreams and the experience of the unconscious in ancient literature.
YOHANAN GRINSHPON was born in Kibbutz Yagur, 1948. He graduated the Hebrew University and submitted his PhD in Indian philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. His subject was the role and meaning of meditation and the supra-normal experiences in classical yoga. He is the author of books on Yoga (Silence Unheard), on the Upanishads (Crisis and Knowledge; The Upanishadic Experience and Story-Telling) and on the great Hindu philosopher Shankaracarya (The Secret Sankara). He is also the author of a book on Gandhi and an introduction to Hinduism. Currently he is a senior lecturer at the Hebrew University.
YORAM KANIUK is an Israeli writer, painter and journalist. He studied painting at the Bezalel Academy and in Paris and lived in the United States for some years. His books have won numerous literary awards; including the President’s Prize and the 2010 Sapir Prize for 1948 - a memoir of his experiences as a youth during the War of Independence. His books have been translated into many languages and Adam Resurrected has been made into a film. Yoram’s books include: King of Jerusalem, Rockinghorse, The Last Jew, Confessions of a Good Arab, The Second Book of David, Between Life and Death, to name a few. His books for children and youth include: The House Where the Cockroaches Live to a Ripe Old Age, The Magnanimous Thief, and Wasserman.