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Swarali Paranjape, M.A.


Swarali Paranjape, M.A.

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About Swarali Paranjape

Swarali Paranjape was born in Pune, India. She holds a Master's degree in German studies from University of Pune. During her masters she was awarded a scholarship by DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) to participate in the International Summer Course for Philology (Internationaler Sommerkurs für Germanistik) at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. She has contributed to the research projects and conferences held by the German wing of the Department of Foreign Languages, University of Pune. Her extensive training in German language enabled her to work as a German language expert for several organizations, such as DAAD and Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd. in Pune among others. Her keen interest in print media led her to work as a Feature Sub-Editor for a leading Marathi newspaper in Pune. She was also a long term intern at the Deutsche Welle-TV, Berlin. Swarali is a classical Indian "kathak" dancer by training and has given various dance performances in India as well as in Germany.

Her research interests include intercultural communication, media and performing arts and South Asian modern literature, with a particular focus on the colonial Marathi satire.

Since November 2008, Swarali is a Ph.D. candidate at the Cluster of Excellence, University of Heidelberg.

Ph.D. Project

"Colonial Satire: The Case of Marathi Literature in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century"

Marathi is one of the prominent modern Indian languages. It is the official language of Maharashtra state of India. Traces of satire in Marathi literature can be found in the literary works of Marathi writers as early as in 13th and 14th century.

This project focuses on the production of satire in Marathi literature during the high tide of British colonialism in India, i.e. the nineteenth century and first half of the twentieth century. Satire for the Marathi intellectuals – a product of colonial encounter themselves – was a powerful literary mode to critique the British colonial regime and also of self-criticism. Marathi colonial satire deals with not only the British Raj and its politics, but it also ridicules and attacks the anglicized Marathi people. Social mimicry, shifting gender identities, ridiculing the traditional ways, attitudes and role models are the themes of these satirical writings. The literature also engages with the problematic of Marathi cultural identity and everyday lives under the overarching presence of colonialism. In spite of leaving a notable mark in the Marathi literary oeuvre, satire as a topic has so far found little favour with literary historians. This challenges one to give Marathi satirical literature some critical attention. This ongoing research demarcates the development of the literary mode of satire in modern Marathi literature and sheds light on the various socio-political themes in the satirical texts.


Curriculum vitae


Selected publications

“Crossing Boundaries: ‘Punch’ and the Marathi Weekly Hindu Pañca (1870-1909)”, in: Asian Punches: A Transcultural Affair, Hans Harder, Barbara Mittler (eds.) Springer Verlag, Heidelberg 2013