Contemporary regimes of protest in South Asia are informed and injuncted by its ever shifting geopolitical modalities. With the rise of globalisation, neoliberalism and multiculturalism, South Asian geopolitics comprise a quest for redefinition of biopower and subjectivity formations. As hegemonies of Western dominance are toppled, South Asian geopolitics are evolving as a complex assemblage of biopolitics, citizenship ethics and human rights concerns. In this evolving engagement with global politics, South Asia is fast emerging as a contending power itself with competent human and capital resources. An important consequence of this is the appearance of newer axes of fault lines in terms of polity, economy, religion, culture, art, and gender. This has transpired into multiple geopolitical fissures, one glaring example of which is the CAA, a politically manipulated definition of citizenship and the politics of belonging in the Indian subcontinent. South Asian non-unitary subjectivities dwell within the vectors of diverse vocabularies of protest that are social and political in nature.
In the light of this, protest narratives originate in a space of power conflict as a means to combat the exploitation of the weak by the strong - as a means of survival for the unempowered and unprivileged. Therefore a longing for empowerment, a desire to topple the authoritarian and a quest towards a just society is embedded within any protest narrative. The journey of struggle gets recorded in such narratives and irrespective of the outcome, the cultural productions of the movements become important. Archiving of protest narratives is a significant task because such narratives dare to break away from the dominant cultural representations and present the voices of the marginalised. It critically enquires the heteronormative world of binaries bringing into limelight the fault lines in the dominant normative exclusivist discourses. An interesting hermeneutics of protest literature is its very fluid nature and multiple connotations. An important aspect is the moral and ethical relationship between aesthetics and political message informing the content of protest narratives. Protest as an agentive politics on one hand is hinged upon the philosophical question of individuality and the dynamics of social structure, while on the other, gains impetus from political issues. These political issues might be embedded within one’s location and therefore protest narratives are also deeply shaped by one’s embeddedness in specific geospatialities
Historically, gender has been identified as one such location of the genesis of protest narratives. Female voices have always been marginalised in a patriarchal social system. Patriarchal politics of sexuality and gender identities have been conventionally partial to the heteronormative male voice. Females, both as a sexual identity as well as a gender construct have been involved in a long and tedious battle which still continues. Within the South Asian region too females have a long history of struggle, the trajectory of which can be traced to the emergence of the female Bhakti poets in the 16th century in the Indian subcontinent. While any form of protest poetry invites penalty in some form from the authority, when it comes to the female voices, discourses invading the body and sexuality further problematises the issue. In the South Asian context, these struggle narratives are various and multi-layered. They have different rationales of origin, varied historiographies and socio-political consequences, depending on their geopolitical locations but they all together can be brought under the umbrella of intersectional feminist discourses. Whether it be the landais from Afghanistan, miya women writing from Assam, Dalit women’s narratives or narratives of queer women across the region, the modes of protest are against the dominant, monolithic, universalist ideology. The culminating point would be the ethical and humanitarian cartographies of protest narratives leading to formation of closely knit female communities of shared sufferings and solidarities resulting in a positive biopolitical production. Such positive female biopolitical productions are premised on affective frameworks of care, cooperation and collective political actions.
Within such a theoretical framework, the proposed anthology is interested in exploring the reconfiguration of female voices of protest in contemporary literature and popular culture and invites abstracts on but not limited to the following topics
· Exploring various genres of narratives by women, focus may also be on mixed genre interpretations
· Need for such narratives
· Socio-political consequences
· Feminism and protest/ resistance narratives
· Feminist postcolonialist perspectives
· Protest, gender and the era of post truth
· Queer narratives of protest
· Protest shaped by the politics of location
· Protest and the politics of belonging
· Protest and Biopolitics
· Protest and Necropolitics
· Protest Memory
· Protest and Citizenship Rights
· Protest and Life-writings
· Protest and Illness narratives/narrative medicine
· Protest and Disability Studies
· Protest in the age of electronic media
· Cultural Representations of Protest (In Films)
Please submit an abstract of 350 words by 1st February, 2021 at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Anthology will be published by an international publishing house.
Dr. Nabanita Sengupta (Assistant Professor, Dept. of English, Sarsuna College, University of Calcutta), West Bengal, India.
Samrita Sinha (Assistant Professor, Dept. of English, Sophia College for Women (Autonomous), Mumbai) – Maharshtra, India.
Dr. Nabanita Sengupta & Samrita Sinha(Editors)