Columbia University Press Receives $875K to Establish the Bandhan Bank Bengali Library

Thanks to a major grant of $875,000 from Chandra Shekar Ghosh, Founder and Managing Director of Bandhan Bank in Kolkata, India, Columbia University Press is thrilled to announce the inauguration of a new book series of Bengali texts in translation. The series will be called The Bandhan Bank Bengali Library.

The goal of the series is to preserve the textual traditions of Bengal, one of the cultural epicenters in India and home to some of the greatest creative minds in humanistic endeavors. The project will bring centuries of literary, historical, and philosophical works from the region to the rest of the world through a series of authoritative editions, complete with scholarly apparatus. Each volume will contain both the original masterpiece from the Bengali textual tradition and its English translation.

Columbia University Press will draw from a specially created endowed fund to help support the cost of publishing and promoting each new book in the series. The Bandhan Bank Bengali Library will publish one new book every year.

Series editor and University Professor at Columbia University, Gayatri Spivak, remarks, “Given the powerful presence of global English, this rich history will be lost in another generation if our series does not establish itself now. The texts can travel from persons located in India to the very wide Bengali diaspora which started in the 16th century and has increased exponentially in the contemporary globalized world.”

Spivak (Columbia University) will be joined by Sankha Ghosh (renowned Bengali poet), and Thibaut d’Hubert (University of Chicago) as series editors.

Those interested in the series should contact Christine Dunbar (cd2654@columbia.edu), editor at Columbia University Press. For all other queries contact Meredith Howard (mh2306@columbia.edu), Promotions Director, Columbia University Press.

About Gayatri Spivak

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is University Professor, the highest faculty rank at Columbia University. She is a founding member of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University and is considered one of the greatest literary theorists and feminist critics of our time. Her pioneering work in the field of post-colonialism makes its influence felt worldwide.

About Chandra Shekhar Ghosh

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh started Bandhan-Konnagar in 2001 with three employees in Kolkata, India. The NGO provided microfinance services to small and marginalized female entrepreneurs in areas not assisted by formal banking services. In 2009, he registered Bandhan as a non-banking finance company. In 2014 it became the first microfinance institution to receive a banking license in India. Bandhan Bank started operations on August 23, 2015, with Ghosh as the managing director and CEO. This is the first instance of a microfinance enterprise getting the banking license in India and also the first instance of a universal bank being set up in the East of India since independence. Bandhan Bank was named the Best Emerging Business in 2019 by the Economic Times.

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