Guest Speaker Amitava Kumar, noted writer and critic. Septeember 2017.

Kumar to Speak at Hartwick College on Immigrant Identity in America

September 12, 2017

Writer and critic Amitava Kumar, a professor of English on the Helen D. Lockwood Chair at Vassar College, will present a lecture entitled “The Man Without a Nation,” on Wednesday, September 13 at 7:30 p.m. in Eaton Lounge, Bresee Hall, on the College campus.

A journalist and native of India, Kumar is an expert on the cultural and demographic impacts of globalization. He will discuss issues around immigrant identity in contemporary America as he presents selections from his upcoming work Immigrant Montana: A Novel, a fictional piece on a man’s journey to find love as told through a variety of literary styles.

Kumar has authored several nonfiction works and a novel. In 2016, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship (General Nonfiction) as well as a Ford Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists.

“The issues of immigration and of the global movement of peoples make headlines on virtually a daily basis, and are at the root of some of our most pressing political controversies these days,” said Cora A. Babcock Associate Professor of English Robert Seguin. “A visit from someone like Professor Kumar, who’s thought long and hard about these matters, couldn’t be more timely.”

Kumar’s non-fiction and poetry has been published in The New York Times, Granta, NPR, The Nation, New, Harper’s, Bookforum, The Guardian, Kenyon Review, Vanity Fair, Guernica, New Statesman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Toronto Review, Colorlines, Biblio, Outlook, Frontline, India Today, The Hindu, Himal, The Friday Times, The Times of India, and a variety of other outlets.

He is the script-writer and narrator of the prize-winning documentary film, Pure Chutney (1997). In 2013, Amitava Kumar collaborated with Teju Cole on an ekphrastic project entitled “Who’s Got the Address?”

He has been awarded writing residences by Yaddo, the Norman Mailer Writing Center, Writers Omi at Ledig House, and the Lannan Foundation. He has also been a Barach Fellow at the Wesleyan Writers Festival; received awards from the South Asian Journalists Association for three consecutive years; and been the recipient of research fellowships from the NEH, Yale University, SUNY-Stony Brook, Dartmouth College, and University of California-Riverside.

Kumar holds a doctoral degree from the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota, a master’s degrees from Syracuse University, and a master’s and bachelor’s degree from the University of Delhi, India.

The lecture is presented by the College’s Babcock Lectureship and the Race and Ethnic Studies Program.

For more information on Kumar, visit his website.

For more information on the College’s Babcock Lectureship and the Race and Ethnic Studies Program, contact Seguin at (607) 431-4871 or