Sentinel Island: Sixty Thousand Years of Solitude


Location: 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Halls (View on map )

Sentinel Island

Benjamin Hoffman, associate professor of French, director of the Center of Excellence, and director of graduate studies at The Ohio State University, will present a lecture centered on his novel L'île de la Sentinelle.

Located some 600 miles from the coast of India, Sentinel Island is the home of the last people entirely cut off from the modern world, the Sentinelese. No one knows where they come from, what language they speak, or their beliefs. Only one thing is certain: for centuries they have violently rejected outsiders who set foot on their island, including Venetian travelers, British colonists, shipwrecked Chinese, Malaysian poachers, European monarchs, and American missionaries. Sentinel Island tells the story of this people and of Krish and Markus, two friends who have little in common other than their fascination with this forbidden island. One is an anthropologist of Indian origin in a badly fraught marriage to an American woman; the other is an unmarried New York editor, heir to an enormous fortune built in the art market. Swept up in a grand adventure, Sentinel Island is the story of peoples in far-flung places, friendship, class relations, contemporary America, the gradual unraveling of an interracial marriage - and the story of globalization and those who attempt to escape it.

This event is sponsored and organized by the Transnational France research cluster, supported by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.