Panels and Presentations

The 2014 Northwest Folklife Festival will present panels from accomplished speakers as part of our Cultural Focus program! We are honored to welcome Ramesh Gangolli, Sonora Jha, Indu Sundaresan and Dr. Anu Taranath as they each identify their experience and connection to the Indian community in the Northwest. Join our talented panelists on Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 between 12 PM – 4 PM in the JBL Theater (Narrative Stage).

Writingsonora jha Fact through Fiction: Telling India’s Untold Stories

With Sonora Jha

Saturday May 24, 2:00PM – 2:50PM

Seattle University Journalism professor and novelist Sonora Jha, speaks about the delights and challenges of writing in different forms in India and in the U.S. Through her fiction novel, ‘Foreign’ she will communicate the contrast between a developing American existence and a developing Indian one. Drop in on Sonora’s storytelling as she reveals a world of protest rallies and a love that demands to be rekindled.



Harems, Courts and Politics in the 17th Century India of the Taj MahalIndu Sundaresan

With Indu Sundaresan

Saturday May 24, 3:00PM – 3:50PM

Storyteller, Indu Sundaresan, reveals a blend of romance and history about the abandoned ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri. Turning a seamless drama into an integrating solid research, Indu weaves the political affairs of the Mughal kingdom into the fictionalized account. Get a glimpse into the royal lives of India’s Mughal kings who built the Taj Mahal, as Indu takes you on a virtual tour of the city and read from sections of her novels that are set in Fatehpur Sikri.


anu taranathStorytelling from India and Beyond: How Literature Makes Us Care about Ourselves and Others

With Anu Taranath

Sunday May 25, 2:00PM – 2:50PM

Dr. Anu Taranath is a professor at the Universtiy of Washington and teaches about power and privilege through a focus on postcolonial, queer, and feminist world literatures. Passionate about stories, Anu will introduce us to inspirational stories from India and the Indian diaspora. We will learn about history, cultural diversity and identity, and wonder together how storytelling affects who we are and how we think of others. Join Anu for this interactive conversation that will help us better understand the range of perspectives literature offers us.

Ramesh GangolliMusic of India and its Romance with Seattle

With Ramesh Gangolli

Sunday May 25, 3:00PM – 3:50PM

Ramesh Gangolli is musician, musicologist, mathematician and educator at the University of Washington. Come participate in our discussion about how Seattle has come to be known as one of the prime venues in the US for the presentation of Music of India.  Discover any unanswered questions you might have about classical Indian music in the Pacific Northwest and how you can get involved.