Vidya Kesavan

Contact: vk78@kent.ac.uk

A question has always arisen in my mind whenever I read Shakespeare's plays: How was Shakespeare able to write us? How could he have been so 'modern' that he almost seems like 'our contemporary' despite having lived four centuries ago? My hypothesis is that Shakespeare and his contemporaries invented 'modernity' – that they in effect invented us, the way we think, the way we speak and the way we conceive of the world.

I am particularly interested in the role of technology in the ideological construction of modernity (and vice versa). I will be working under Bruno Latour's framework of modernity and investigating the creation of what he calls “The Great Divide” in early modern Europe. I will examine how this process manifests in texts by Shakespeare and other early modern writers (both literary and scientific). 

I will also explore Shakespeare's significance to the present day by applying Jacques Derrida's “nuclear criticism” to some of his works and by studying recent adaptations of Shakespeare that deal with our 'nuclear' technological paradigm. Many of these are intercultural adaptations that focus on technology and 'modernisation' in a non-Western context.

TEEME attracted me because of its exciting interdisciplinary scope. I'm looking forward to working (and playing) with my coursemates for our mutual intellectual growth.

I graduated with an MA in English Literature from English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, in 2008. I then worked as a language teacher for four years. I have also written several novels, and I hope to publish one soon.