CECI n'est pas EXECUTE Anne Castaing

Anne Castaing

Research Fellow
Field(s): Literature, Indian Studies
Institutional affiliation(s): CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research)




Holding a PhD from the INALCO (Hindi literature), Anne Castaing works on modern North Indian literatures (Hindi, Bengali, Urdu) from the 1920s to the hyper contemporary. After a dissertation focused on the work of the Hindi author Krishna Baldev Vaid, an icon of a literary modernity run through with complex ties to modern history and the cultural identity of South Asia, she shifted to a more comparative approach, focusing her work on three main projects:

The literary writing of history, and in particular that of the nationalist period (1920-1947) and of Partition (1947-1951) (nationalist imaginaries, gendered forms of violence during Partition, subaltern writings of History, postcolonial approaches to literary sources).

Contemporary feminist literature in Hindi and Bengali and its stakes (feminism’s new perspectives, literature as a space of gender performance, imaginary assignations of the feminine and masculine).

Valorization in France of South Asian literary traditions.

Anne Castaing has taught and continues to teach at the INALCO, theUniversité Aix-Marseille and the UniversitéParis 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle. She has also published translations from Hindi (K. B. Vaid, Ashok Vajpeyi, Agyeya, H. R. Bachchan).


Research areas


Vernacular Indian literature

Literature and History (Indian Nationalism and India-Pakistan Partition)

Subaltern Studies

Postcolonial theory

Gender studies


Current research topics


Politics of the feminine in the writing of the Indian nation (1920-1950)

The Partition of India (1947) in literature and the arts

DELI (Dictionnaire Encyclopédique des Littératures de l’Inde—Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Literatures of India)

Cultural performances of gender


Current programs

DELI project

with Claudine Le Blanc (UniversitéParis 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle) and Nicolas Dejenne (UniversitéParis 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle). Funded by the USPC Idex (2015-2017).

The Dictionnaire encyclopédique des littératures de l’Inde (Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Literatures of India) is a collaborative project aimed at providing an overview of the literatures of the Indian subcontinent, in addition to over 1,000 articles, which give an inventory of all Indian literatures, along with their context of production in South Asia (editors, institutions, book markets) and their reception in France (translation, edition, teaching). The project mobilizes a substantial team of renowned specialists, both from France and abroad, and this unique sum of knowledge and expertise provides a broad panorama of Indian literatures, from its beginnings up to the present day. With great concern for scientific rigor and a translinguistic and diachronic perspective, the team aims to make this exceptional literary treasure trove more accessible to the francophone public: https://deli.hypotheses.org/


Genre et Nations Partitionnées (Gender and Partitioned Nations) project

with Benjamin Joinau (Hingik University, Seoul). Funded by theInstitutdu Genre (Gender Institute) (2017).

This interdisciplinary and comparative project aims to inquire into partitions and national divisions from a gendered point of view and to identify both the imaginary project of sexuation of division and of gendered polarization of the two new nations, and the incorporation of the feminine into the process of partition and of the female body into the divided nation, a process which in many cases justified sexual violence in times of civil war. The project will make it possible to underline the symbolic value of women in the history of partitions, but also their actual involvement, often as victims. It will take an interest in representations as witnesses of theses imaginary incorporations: our reflections will be based on the media of literature, cinema, performing and plastic arts.


Courses and seminars


2016-2017 | « Littératures d’Asie du Sud » - Monthly research seminar, co-organized with Nicolas Dejenne (Univ. Paris 3), Claudine Le Blanc (Univ. Paris 3) and Eve Tignol (Irasia), BULAC, INALCO.

2014-2017 | « Performances culturelles du genre » - Monthly research seminar, co-organized with Tiziana Leucci (CNRS/CEIAS), Fanny Lignon (Univ. Lyon 2/THALIM), Mehdi Derfoufi (IRCAV) and Gianfranco Rebucini (EHESS), EHESS.

2014-2017 | « Approches postcoloniales du genre » - Master’s seminar French Literature and Linguistics Department -UniversitéSorbonne Nouvelle


Selected publications

Edited books

2017 | (with Elodie Gaden) Ecrire et penser le genre en contextes postcoloniaux, Brussels, Peter Lang, (321 p., ISBN : 978-2-8076-0325-7)

2009 | (with Lise Guilhamon and Laetitia Zecchini) La Modernité littéraire indienne : Perspectives postcoloniales, Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes (256 p., ISBN : 978-2-7535-0898-9)

2005| Ragmala, Les Littératures Indiennes traduites en français : Anthologie, preface by K. Satchidanandan. Paris, L’Asiathèque – Langues & Monde (403 p., ISBN : 2-915255-09-1)

Books - translation and edition

2006 | Intimités, translated from Hindi, edition, notes and postscript of a selection of poems by Ashok Vajpeyi, bilingual edition. Paris, Caractères, 2006 (111 p.)

2005 | (with Annie Montaut), Lila, novel by K. B. Vaid, translation from Hindi. Paris, Caractères, 2005 (105 p.)

Book chapters

2017 | « Lost home and poetics of pain: writing the memory of Partition”, in Anne Murphy and Churnjeet Mahn (ed.), Imagining Partition: Memorial Practices and Cultural Production, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, (Nov. 2017).

2017 | « Ecrire en d’autres langues : histoires et métaphores féminines en contexte postcolonial », in Anne Castaing and Elodie Gaden (ed.), Ecrire et penser le genre en contextes postcoloniaux, Brussels, Peter Lang (pp. 41-57).

2016 | « Subaltern Studies : De la provincialisation de l’Europe au langage de la différence », in Maxime Cervulle, Nelly Quemener and Florian Voros (ed.), Matérialismes, culture et communication. Tome 2: Cultural Studies, théories féministes et décoloniales, Presses des Mines (pp. 315-332).

2015 | « Nous sommes tous des réfugiés : Exil, errance et Partition dans le Nouveau Roman hindi », in Eve Feuillebois and Zaïneb Ben Lagha (ed.), Etrangeté de l’autre, singularité du moi. Les Figures du marginal dans les littératures, Paris, Garnier Classiques (pp. 235-255).

2013 | « The Idea of a Nation: Bacchan’s Palimpsestian House of Wine », in Diana Dimitrova (ed.), The Other in South Asian Literature and Film: Perspectives on Otherism and Otherness, New York, Routledge (pp. 69-83).

2013 | « Mahadevi Verma », « Mannu Bhandari », « Krishna Sobti », « Usha Priyamvada », « Amrita Pritam », « Alka Saraogi », « Mridula Garg », « Urvashi Butalia », series of short entries (1 to 3 pages each) on female Indian authors, for the Dictionnaire des Femmes Créatrices, Béatrice Didier, Antoinette Fouque and Mireille Calle-Gruber (eds.), Editions Des Femmes.

2012 | “Vernacularizing Rubaiyat: the Politics of Madhushala in the context of the Indian Nationalism”, in A.A. Seyed-Gohrab (ed.), The Great Umar Khayyam: A global reception of the Rubaiyat, Leyden University Press, Iranian Series (pp. 223-249).

2010 | « From Otherland to the Divine Land: Exile, Mysticism, and Secularism in K.B. Vaid’s Dard la dava », in Diana Dimitrova (ed.), Religion in Literature and Film in South Asia, New York, Palgrave MacMillan (pp. 153-169). 

Journal articles

2016 | "Condition d'exilée: rapt, mariage et mysticisme dans la littérature indienne", Etudes Asiatiques, De Gruyter, No. 70-2, pp. 347-363.

2015 | "Women Writing in India : pour une histoire littéraire des femmes", RLC LXXXIX, No. 4, October-December 2015 (pp. 473-484).

2015 | (With Elena Langlais) Mashushala, Hindi collection of H.R. Bachchan (1935) : translation (excerpts) and presentation, Impressions d’Extrême-Orient No. 5, Sept. 2015 (ideo.revues.org).

2015 | "Pour une sémiotique indigène du genre. Ecrire le genre en contexte postcolonial", Interrogations?, No. 20, June 2015 (http://www.revue-interrogations.org).

2014 | « Thinking the Difference: On Feminism and Postcolony [review essay] », South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal [Online], Book Reviews, Online since 18 February 2014, URL : http://samaj.revues.org/3689

2013 | « Le genre troublé. L’écriture ambigüe du féminin dans le roman hindi contemporain», Synergies Inde, No. 6 - 2013 (pp. 73-93).

2013 | « Gender Trouble in the New Hindi Novel: The Ambiguous Writing of Womanhood in K.B. Vaid’s Lila and Mridula Garg’s Kathgulab », Archiv Orientalni 81-1, Special Issue: Social Tension in Modern Indian Literature and Film" (ed. Prof. Damsteegt & Prof. Knotkova-Capkova), 2013 (pp. 67-88).



Last update: 27 September, 2017


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