My experience at University of Stirling was singular and vibrant.
Nabina Das
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The sheer beauty of the surroundings and the energy and stimulus of being among young people led to a period of intense productivity
Namita Gokhale
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On the whole, I felt as though I was back to being myself again and I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that there were no “official” demands on my time.
Srilata Krishnan
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The period was, however, was one of self-discovery in many ways. For one, the actual physical silence of the place permeated my poetry in a way that I had never expected.
Arundhathi Subramaniam
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My time at Stirling as a Charles Wallace Fellow was golden.
Sridala Swami
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The Charles Wallace Foundation is an amazing concept that has enriched so many as it did me. And Stirling, I feel, is the icing on the cake.
Shreekumar Varma
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What I did have were the new poems. Poems which had come out of me being in a new place, needing to look at myself and explain myself in new ways
Annie Zaidi
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I was deeply touched by the landscape of Scotland and by the generosity of the people I met.
Snehal Vadher
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Celebrating Indian Writers at Stirling

Every year since 1994 the University of Stirling has hosted an Indian creative writer: from Namita Gokhale (novelist and founder of the Jaipur Literature Festival, the largest free literary festival on earth) to Man Asian Literary Prize shortlister, Siddharth Chowdhury, to emerging poet, Mihir Vatsa, our youngest fellow at 23.

The Charles Wallace Fellowship brings Indian creative writers to the University of Stirling through the funding and support of the Charles Wallace India Trust and the British Council India. Each year a different writer produces new work, engages with undergraduates, postgraduates and staff, and presents a public reading.

In 2014/15 we celebrated 20 years of the Fellowship at Stirling. In partnership with the Charles Wallace India Trust, we have developed an online writers’ gallery. Explore the work of our fellows as they reflect on their time in Stirling and share their creative work.

For information on how to apply for the fellowship click here.

Photo of Janhavi Acharekar

Janhavi Acharekar
2008-09

Rukun Advani Charles Wallace Fellow

Rukun Advani
1997-98

Photo of Smita Agarwal

Smita Agarwal
1999-2000

Janani Ambikapathy

Janani Ambikapathy
2012-13

Photo of Siddhartha Chowdhury

Siddharth Chowdhury
2006-07

Photograph of Nabina Das

Nabina Das
2011-12

 

Photo of Namita Gokhale

Namita Gokhale
2001-02

Photo of Manju Kak

Manju Kak
1995-96

Simar Preet Kaur
2016-17

Snehal Vadher

Snehal Vadher 
2013-14

 

Photo of Shreekumar Varma

Shreekumar Varma
2003-04

Mihir Vatsa

Mihir Vatsa
2014-2015

Annie Zaidi

Annie Zaidi
2005-06

House of Words

The Charles Wallace Fellows also play an integral part in a new initiative co-curated by the Pathfoot Gallery and Stirling’s Centre of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies. ‘House of Words’ celebrates the writers connected to the University of Stirling since its foundation in 1967. The initiative, launched in 2014, is part of a long-term vision to celebrate art and literature throughout the campus. A series of quotations from the Charles Wallace Fellows are being installed on the windows of the Pathfoot Building to complement the existing pieces in the art collection that explore relationships between text, image and literature. ‘House of Words’ text installations are positioned to create interaction between the corridors and courtyard spaces of the Pathfoot Building, encouraging visitors, students and staff to pause and spend time with the artwork and texts displayed in the Gallery.

House of Words

Charles Wallace India Trust

Charles William Wallace was born in Calcutta in 1855. He was a successful trader and managing agent, living and working in both India and Britain. In 1886 he co-founded the firm of Shaw Wallace. The name still exists in India but there is no connection with the Charles Wallace India Trust or with either founder’s family. Charles Wallace eventually became Vice Chairman of the Anglo Persian Oil Company. He died in London in 1916 aged 60 years old.

He wanted his modest fortune to be used for the benefit of the people among whom he had made it, believing that ‘all possessions great and small being acquired from the people should be returned to the people’. His will directed that after provision was made for his immediate successors for one generation his estate should be divided between Britain and India.

Following an agreement between the two governments in 1978, the Charles Wallace India Trust was set up in 1981. The Charles Wallace Trust supports scholarships and gives grants to Indian nationals working or studying in the arts, humanities and heritage conservation, enabling them to come to Britain for courses, working attachments and to pursue research. It also supports a number of fellowships at UK institutions in specific fields, such as the Fellowship in Creative Writing hosted by the University of Stirling.

Link to Charles Wallace India Trust Website

History of the Fellowship at Stirling

With the help of Professor Lyn Innes at the University of Kent at Canterbury I arranged for the first Charles Wallace Trust writer to come to Stirling and continued as the organiser of the programme until my retirement in 2006. I associate the presence of the Charles Wallace India Trust fellows at Stirling with magic. In the dark, bleak days of November or March, with rain or snow falling and dead leaves blowing in the sharp wind outside, their vivid and witty readings made us feel the heat, smell the food, and hear the sounds of people and animals in crowded streets and markets. A distinctive irony often glinted through the writing – the fiction and poetry explored experiences that were unfamiliar to the audience, in a context where many languages competed for readers’ and publishers’ attention, and where English was inflected in ways that surprised and delighted us. We were invited to think about the cultural interaction between Britain and India, its benefits but also its comedy and the damage it caused, with an intimacy that sprang from having the physical presence of the writers among us. They often attended departmental seminars and engaged in sometimes heated debate with the speakers; they taught a class in postcolonial literature or in publishing studies, and they gave advice on creative writing. They found other roles too – agony aunt, nemesis of litter louts, hill climber. Their liveliness continues to enhance the life of the University, thanks to the sustained care and commitment of the Charles Wallace India Trust.

 - Angela Smith

© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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