Homi K. Bhabha

ENGLISH AND COMPARATIVE LITERATURE DEPARTMENT,
HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Homi K. Bhabha is the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities in the English and Comparative Literature Departments at Harvard University. He was founding director of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University and director of the Harvard Humanities Center. He is the author of numerous works exploring postcolonial theory, cultural change and power, contemporary art and cosmopolitanism. Homi Bhabha is also leading a research project on the Global Humanities supported by the Volkswagen and Mellon Foundations. He is a member of the Academic Committee for the Shanghai Power Station of Art, advisor on the Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (CMAP) project at the Museum of Modern Art New York, and Curator in Residence of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In 2012 Homi Bhabha was awarded the Government of India’s Padma Bhushan Presidential Award in the field of literature and education. He holds honorary degrees from Université Paris 8, University College London, the Free University Berlin and Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Early in 2020, Homi Bhabha was elected as Fellow oft he British Academy. Homi Bhabha will be involved in several programmes at THE NEW INSTITUTE.


Contact

Email: hbhabha@fas.harvard.edu


Publications

  • “Midnight to the Boom. Painting in India after Independence”, 2013
  • “Our Neighbors, Ourselves. Contemporary Reflexions on Survival”, 2011
  • “Making Difference. The Legacy of the Culture Wars”, 2003
  • „The Location of Culture“, 1994
  • „Nation and Narration“, 1990

What gives you hope?
The refusal to comply with cruelty or become inured to injustice. The creative impulse to engage with the conflict of contradictions and the uncertainty of transitions in a spirit of “disappointed hope”. [Adorno, Bloch].

How does change happen?
When you look at the present “as if” from the future without confusing the two.

What is human?
The best response to this question comes from my mother. To be human, she said, is not a state of being; it is a state of doing. To reach out towards what appears, at first, to be most “foreign” to one’s own way of life and thought, is a humane act of hospitality and solidarity that protects the asymmetry and singularity of the mosaics of human civility and civilization. The “human” is an ethical position and a social perspective; it is not an umbrella term for any and every manifestation of humankind.

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