NAZRUL ENDOWMENT PROGRAM of University of Connecticut (UCONN) Prepared by the members of the UCONN Nazrul Endowment Committee

Our Mission

The Nazrul Committee of Connecticut (UCONN) endeavors to make relevant, visible, and urgent the life and work of Kazi Nazrul Islam for equality, social justice, peace, and human rights.

Our Work

Since 2006, the Nazrul Committee of Connecticut (UCONN) has planned, organized, and hosted events guided by the spirit, example, and scholarship of internationally known and globally recognized activist/scholar/poet/philosopher Kazi Nazrul Islam, the first poet laureate of Bangladesh. Through symposia, lectures, poetry readings, play performances, and other activities, we work to: - Initiate, support and facilitate student involvement with Nazrul’s works, emphasizing his relevance to the contemporary world; - Carry out comparative studies of Nazrul’s literature & philosophy with those of other internationally recognized writers & philosophers; - Introduce Nazrul’s literature in the University curricula; - Establish an Endowed “Nazrul Chair” at UConn; and - Partner with international academic and research institutions to promote and share Nazrul literature and music.

Nazrul Endowment

In 2011, the Nazrul Committee of Connecticut – in partnership with the UConn Asian American Cultural Center and the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute – embarked on a highly successful fundraising campaign intended to institutionalize its programmatic and scholarly vision with regard to commemorating and contemplating Kazi Nazrul Islam’s legacy. 2012 marked the inaugural year for the Nazrul Endowment Program, which annually funds scholarly lectures, creative arts programs, and other human rights initiatives.

  • 2006-- “Why Nazrul Matters in the Twenty-First Century” (Interdisciplinary Symposium)
  • 2007 – 2011-- Lectures about Nazrul’s oeuvre featuring Rachel McDermott (Columbia University), Winston Langley (UMass Boston), Martin Espada (UMass Amherst), and June McDaniel (College of Charleston).
  • 2014-- Staged play reading of O the Ever Beautiful Jubilant Youth, Arise & Take Charge” (a translation by Dr. Gulshan Ara of Nazrul’s Jago Sunder Chiro Kishor). This reading, which featured undergraduate actors, involved a joint collaboration between the UConn Department of Drama, the Asian American Cultural Center, and the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute (AASI).
  • 2016-- Co-sponsored three film screenings focused on human rights and independence: Muktir Gaan, Muktir Kotha, and Matir Moyna. These screenings featured acclaimed producer/director Catherine Masud and were followed by generative talkbacks which included community members, UConn faculty, and undergraduates.
    The Asian and Asian American Studies Institute featured “Nazrul’s Moral Aesthetics,” a lecture delivered by Professor Haider Khan, John Evans Distinguished University Professor of Economics at the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies (University of Denver).
  • 2017-- Co-sponsored a campus-wide talk featuring Eboo Patel, author of Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America. This lecture occurred in conjunction with the UConn Reads initiative, which was concentrated on “Religion in America.”
    The Nazrul Endowment Committee of UConn sponsored a university-wide lecture on Nazrul’s significance during the Trump era; this year’s featured Professor is Winston Langley (UMass Boston)