This talk will look at a space in the heart of the city of Kolkata, historically known as a 'meeting-place' for many cultures and ethnic groups. Placed between the older native quarter of North Calcutta, and the newer European quarter in the south, it has been referred to as the 'grey town', and housed communities from all over the world, including the Chinese, Portuguese, Armenians, Jews, Ismaili Shias, Bohra Muslims, and Parsis. It continues to house their places of worship and their educational institutions, and flourishes as a trading centre, though it bears the marks of cultural loss, urban decay and the gradual migration of the communities that once prospered here. By examining the unique character of this urban district, I hope to say something about the changing history of Kolkata as a space of cultural encounter.  

Event Partner

, Oxford Bookstore, The Makers Collaborative
Supriya Chaudhuri
Supriya Chaudhuri is Professor Emerita, Department of English, Jadavpur University. One of her many interests is the history of Kolkata, studied through an international collaborative project called Envisioning the Indian City, which developed the AR App, Timescape: Kolkata.