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Chai Why? The Making of the Indian “National Drink”

February 10 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Feb 10th 7:00 pm Keene Faculty Center

Lecture by Professor Philip Lutgendorf,  University of Iowa; President, American Institute of Indian Studies.

A lecture in honor of Professor Austin B. Creel, former chair of the Religion Department, University of Florida.

Chai Why? The Making of the Indian “National Drink”

This illustrated talk details the promotion and spread of tea-drinking in 20th century India. Drawing on both archival and field research, it focuses on the mass popularization of “chai” through innovations in marketing and manufacturing, as well as changes in eating habits and social networks, and gives special emphasis to the role played by advertising and large and small-scale commerce in transmitting the “tea habit” to Indians, both before and after Independence in 1947.

Bio: Philip Lutgendorf is Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies and has taught in the University of Iowa’s Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literature since 1985. His book on the performance of the Hindi Ramayana, The Life of a Text (1991) won the A. K. Coomaraswamy Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship for research on the popular Hindu deity Hanuman, which appeared as Hanuman’s Tale, The Messages of a Divine Monkey (2007). His interests include epic performance traditions, folklore and popular culture, and mass media. He maintains a website devoted to Hindi popular cinema, a.k.a. “Bollywood” (http://www.uiowa.edu/indiancinema/ ). His research on the cultural history of “chai” was supported by a Fulbright-Hays Senior Overseas Research Fellowship (2010-11). He is presently translating the Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas, in seven dual-language volumes, for the Murty Classical Library of India (http://www.murtylibrary.com/volumes.php ). He has served, since 2010, as President of the American Institute of Indian Studies (http://www.indiastudies.org/ ).


February 10
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Dauer Hall Keene Faculty Center.
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