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Sunday November 22, 2020 9:00 am

The annual edition of JLF Houston is back this year in a digital avatar with a stellar line-up of speakers. As the world goes through extraordinary and unprecedented times, Teamwork Arts, the producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival, has continued to create platforms for enriching conversations, free flowing ideas and dialogue, transcending physical and social boundaries. Scheduled between November 21-22, 2020, JLF Houston Online is presented in association with the Consulate General of India, Houston; Asia Society Texas Center; and Inprint.

To join the sessions register here. Registration is free an open to the public. To learn more about the festival including Day 2, click here.

Akbar: The Great Mughal 

9 – 9:45 am CST | 8:30 – 9:15 pm IST

Ira Mukhoty in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy

Akbar was the most admired of all the Mughals and one of only two Indian rulers to be widely known as “The Great” but before Ira Mukhoty’s writings, he has been without a modern biography. Here, Mukhoty talks to Sanjoy K. Roy about her groundbreaking study that led to her latest book, Akbar: The Great Mughal.

Each of Us Writers: Diaspora and Displacement: 

10 – 10:45 am CST | 9:30 – 10:15 pm IST

Jenny Bhatt and Mimi Lok in conversation with Neelanjana Banerjee
Presented by Indiaspora

Identities morph and change with borders and geographies. How do diasporic writers address displacement-driven themes of rootlessness, marginalization, fragmentation, alienation, isolation, nostalgia, assimilation, acculturation, adaptation, multiculturalism, and more in their fiction? How do they choose whose stories to tell? How do they navigate their own quests to belong, given their cultural loyalties? As diasporic writers in the US, Jenny Bhatt and Mimi Lok will speak to Neelanjana Banerjee on how displacement, whether physical or cultural or both, has shaped their storytelling and their own identities as writers.

The End of October 

11 – 11:45 am CST | 10:30 – 11:15 pm IST

Lawrence Wright in conversation with Omar El Akkad

The End of October by celebrated journalist and writer Lawrence Wright is an eerily timed novel on the catastrophic impact of a mysterious virus that ravages the world. Wright is also the author of books such as God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. In a conversation with writer Omar El Akkad, he discusses a world which seems no stranger than our reality and the history of viral diseases and its impact on global institutions.

I Can’t Breathe 

12 – 12:45 pm CT | 11:30 pm – 12:15 am IST

Homi K. Bhabha in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy

A crucial session exploring the deep rooted changes sending waves through the social fabric of the United States of America and the after effects felt across the world. In the midst of a global pandemic, this year has seen massive Black Lives Matter protests coming to the forefront right before a national election. This socio-cultural and political upheaval has led to the questioning of a plethora of issues ranging from the present gun laws to the existing health care situation of minority communities in the country. Scholar and critical theorist Homi K. Bhabha is the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. His work explores postcolonial theory, cultural change, and power. His books include Nation and Narration and The Location of Culture. In a conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, he discusses a wide range of inter-connected issues that arise from human unpreparedness and the steps forward to a more inclusive world.