Graduate Colloquium Series: Debarati Byabartta

“‘The Tramp’- A Vehicle of Social Criticism via Humor on Silver Screen: Chaplin (USA), Cantinflas (Mexico), and Raj Kapoor (India)”

Tuesday, 30 January 2018, 4-5 p.m.
Location: 311 Glasscock Building

Debarati Byabartta
 Ph.D. candidate, Department of Hispanic Studies, 2017-2018 Glasscock Graduate Research Fellow, Texas A&M University

The Renaissance concepts of Rabelais (carnivalesque and grotesque realism) via Bakhtin’s twentieth century reinterpretation transcend space, time, distance, location, and culture, when one investigates the burning social issues and gross societal shortcomings, projected cinematographically. There is a universal thread that binds different cultures across time and geography, which bolsters the current-day discourses of Subaltern Studies, besides inverting the power structure. The (grotesque) body of “Tramp” thus becomes the subalterns’ subversive agency to challenge the entire social system to renew and regenerate it.
This research aims to include the theories and tropes of Rabelais and Bakhtin to scrutinize the bodies of three kinds of “Tramp” that emerged in three different filmic and cultural contexts during the same extended time-period. They also analyze the social vices and the sensitive issues that are otherwise perilous and taboo to discuss in different societies. To buttress the hypothesis, the methodology will include distinct Theories of Humor.

The Graduate Colloquium offers graduate students an opportunity to discuss a work-in-progress with faculty and graduate students from different disciplines. By long-standing practice, colloquium presenters provide a draft of their current research, which is made available to members of the Glasscock Center listserv. Each colloquium begins with the presenter’s short (10-15 minute) exposition of the project, after which the floor is open for comments and queries. The format is by design informal, conversational, and interdisciplinary.

The Glasscock Center extends a warm invitation to faculty and students to join in a discussion of Debarati Byabartta’s work-in-progress. The paper is available to members of the Center’s listserv, or by contacting the Glasscock Center by phone at (979) 845-8328 or by e-mail at

Join the Center’s listserv to receive regular notices of colloquia and other events.