FLAME University


Learning from some of the best minds in education and in the industry
Prof. Kedar Kulkarni
Associate Professor – Literary & Cultural Studies
Email: kedar.kulkarni@flame.edu.in
PhD & MA, University of California, San Diego, USA
BA (High Honors), Brandeis University, USA

Kedar A. Kulkarni’s research has focused on literary transitions between early modern and colonial India, from orally-recited poetry to playwright-centred drama. To explain this process, he writes about discourses of worldliness and engages with contemporary debates in world literature studies, and charts the transformation of performance genres at a time when “literacy,” as we commonly understand it, was marginal to “literature.”

Kedar’s first book, World Literature and the Question of Genre in Colonial India: Poetry, Drama, and Print Culture, 1790-1890, won the American Comparative Literature Association’s Helen Tartar First Book Subvention grant and was published in May 2022. The book describes the way Marathi literary culture, entrenched in performative modes of production and reception, especially balladry and epic storytelling, saw the germination of a robust, script-centric dramatic culture, owing to colonial networks of literary exchange and the wide availability of print technology. Kedar showcases an upheaval in literary culture as a new class of literati emerged: anthologists, critics, theatre-makers, publishers, and translators, among many others. Reading through archives and ephemera, the book also demonstrates that literary cultures in colonized locales converged with and participated fully in key defining moments of world literature, but also diverged from them to create, simultaneously, unique literary modernity.

Kedar is also currently at work on two concurrent projects—one tentatively called Animal Imaginaries, a literary-cultural study of animals in South Asia, and another on women’s writing, especially poetry, in Marathi.

Born in Mumbai, Kedar A. Kulkarni was raised in three countries on three continents. Since completing his Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego, he has held postdoctoral positions at Yale University and the Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Most recently, he was a visiting fellow at Interweaving Performance Cultures, housed at the Free University of Berlin.



Edited Volumes:

  • Kulkarni, Kedar A. and Tobias Becker, Eds. "Special Issue: Beyond the Playhouse: Travelling Theatre in the Long Nineteenth Century" Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film. 44.1, 2017.

Selected Articles, Essays, and Chapters:

  • Kulkarni, Kedar A., “Introduction,” for the India section of Handbook of Performance Related Concepts in Non-European Languages. Ed. Erika Fisher-Lichte. London: Routledge, 2022.

  • Kulkarni, Kedar A. “Contesting the Povāḍā: History, form, and caste in performance” in Generating Knowledge in Performance. Erika Fisher-Lichte, Torsten Jost, Milos Kosic, eds. London: Routledge, 2022.

  • Kulkarni, Kedar A. “Performing Intimacy: Slavery and the Woman’s Voice in Eighteenth Century Marathi Lavani” South Asian History and Culture. 12.2-3, 2021. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19472498.2021.1878783

  • Kulkarni, Kedar A. “Theatre between the Raj and the Raja” Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film 44.1 (Winter 2017) 92-116. https://doi.org/10.1177/1748372717737487

  • Kulkarni, Kedar A. “The Popular Itinerant Theatre of Maharashtra, 1843-1880” Asian Theatre Journal, 32.1 (Spring 2015) 190-227. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/atj.2015.0008

For a (more) complete list, please click here.