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Past Festival

OCTOBER 7-9, 2016
Sunday October 9, 2016. 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Session 2B
Family Dynamics
Haris A. Durrani, Sriram Balasubramanian, in conversation Veena Talwar Oldenburg
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Discussion about the uneasy relationship between generations in the same household, life in the context of family: complications, aberrations and resolutions.

Haris A. Durrani

Haris A. Durrani Haris A. Durrani is an author, engineer, and academic. His debut, Technologies of the Self, won the Driftless Novella Contest. Durrani is winner of the McSweeney's Student Short Story Contest, and his stories and nonfiction have appeared in Analog, Lightspeed, The New York Review of Science Fiction, Skin Deep’s “Imagining 2043,” Catapult, and Media Diversified. He is a J.D. candidate at Columbia Law School and holds an M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. in Applied Physics and a Minor in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. His work explores personal narratives at the nexus of law, technology, and community in Latino and post-9/11 contexts. Buffalo Almanack describes his fiction as “stories about colonialism, neoliberalism, conspiracy bullshit, and a Trumped-out America at the gates of hell.” Durrani Co-Founded The Muslim Protagonist literary symposium at Columbia. @hdernity
Technologies of the Self
Technologies of the Self In this timely and instantly notable fiction debut, Haris Durrani immerses readers in the life of a young American Muslim struggling to understand himself in the context of his family, classmates, and contemporary urban life.
Engineering student Jihad, or “Joe” as he introduces himself in the confusing intersections of post-9/11 New York City, finds himself on a personal quest of possibly a spiritual nature, even if he isn’t sure that’s what it is - after all, it’s hard enough to keep halal in his Dominican-Pakistani-Muslim Washington Heights household.
He’s surprised to find himself in the stories his Uncle Tomás tells of his own youth, stories in which Tomás fights both the devil and the weaknesses of the flesh - often at the same time. Culture, nation, religion, family, identity, race, and time fight for dominion over Jihad until he realizes he is facing the same demon his uncle claims to have defeated, and all Jihad has to fight with is himself.

Sriram Balasubramaniam
Sriram Balasubramaniam Sriram Balasubramanian is a Writer who has contributed extensively to international publications such as NYT, WSJ, Foreign Policy, Forbes India, The Hindu among others. He has interacted with a variety of global business leaders and policy makers in his experience as a journalist and writer. His main areas of focus has been on human development, education and socio-economic issues with a global context.
Besides this, he has a Masters degree from University of Southern California and is pursuing another degree at Columbia University in NYC. He is also authoring another book on the World Chess championship which was held recently.
He is very passionate about India, its cultural ethos & socio-economic evolution.
Jamba : The Joint Family
Jamba : The Joint Family In an age when families are becoming more nuclear, Karthik's family was an aberration: It was a large joint family with its own complications, contradictions and commonalities. Two love stories and a wedding get intertwined within the family at the same time. One of them could make or break the joint family, will the family survive? Will the love story succeed? Will the younger generation respond to the needs of the family? How will the older generation respond to the changing perceptions of the younger generation? Will the family eco-system survive?
In an India swamped by globalization, this racy and humorous story tries to dissect the generational changes in Indian society and how the Indian society is responding to the changes.
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