The architecture of imagination: building invisible libraries

6 March 2018, 6.00 PM - 6 March 2018, 7.00 PM

Public lecture, given by Danish Sheikh (organised by Library Services)

Coutts Lecture Theatre (Room 3.31), Wills Memorial Building

In 1972, Italo Calvino wrote Invisible cities, a love letter to the ways in which the cities we inhabit shape our humanity. 

Invisible libraries  takes a cue from Calvino to explore bibliophilia and the way it manifests itself via our love affair with libraries. Each story in the book details a different taxonomy of a library: in Linearis you must be faithful to a book till its completion,in Memorious the living become an oral record of literature, while in Abelard the condition of reading a book is to agree to enter into a state of forgetfulness. There are libraries imagined here that are categorized by smell, composed of marginalia, etched in ice and forged in nightmares. 

In this talk, Danish Sheikh will explore the journey that led to the writing of Invisible libraries, starting from his encounters with queerness and the intimate spaces of literature, to the process of writing a collaborative work of speculative fiction. Danish will also discuss some of the ideas the book itself explores, looking at the different ways in which our relationship with literature and the library manifests itself in our daily experiences.  

Danish Sheikh is an Assistant Professor at the Jindal Global Law School where he teaches courses on the intersections of gender, sexuality, literature and theatre. He is also a writer and playwright whose first book, Invisible libraries, was shortlisted for the Jan Michalski Award, 2017. Contempt, his latest production based on the Section 377 hearings before the Supreme Court of India that ultimately criminalised the intimate lives of queer persons in the country, will open the Arcola Theatre in London's Festival of Queer Plays from Across the World in March 2018.  

Contact information

Free and open to all, though registration is required via: Eventbrite

Danish Sheikh

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