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SPECIAL ISSUE - Pakistani Literature in English: Rethinking Conventions and Conflicts (Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics)

Organization: Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics
Categories: Postcolonial, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Literary Theory, Women's Studies, World Literatures, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2023-07-31 Abstract Due: 2023-05-31


Pakistani Literature in English: Rethinking Conventions and Conflicts

Guest Editor: Javaria Farooqui (COMSATS University Lahore)

Conversations on the oeuvre of literature written in English by Pakistani authors traditionally begin with the grand event of the creation of the country in 1947. Many critics discuss this literature within the context of colonial history, grounding their critique in an analysis of the power and prestige of the English language as imperial legacy. It is useful to look at Pakistani literature in English from the time when it gained scholarly attention in the late 1970s, with the publication of Alamgir Hashmi’s Pakistani Literature: The Contemporary English Writers. Pakistani literature in English was recognized as a discipline of literary studies after 1990. Books like Tariq Rahman’s A History of Pakistani Literature in English, and Muneeza Shamsie’s A Dragonfly in the Sun: An Anthology of Pakistani Writing in English, as well as articles on the novels of Mohsin Hamid and the poetry of Zulfikar Ghose created a space and place for this new discipline in the classrooms of English literature in Pakistan.

The list of authors writing in English who are living in Pakistan, and authors with Pakistani origins living outside the country, has increased at an amazing pace in the twenty-first century. In the hierarchy of fame, fueled by frequent inclusion in academic syllabi, fictional works of Bapsi Sidhwa, Hamid, Sara Suleri, Hanif Kureshi, and poetry by Taufiq Rafat and Ghose remain at the top. Shamsie, Mohammad Hanif, Nadeem Aslam, and Uzma Aslam Khan have also marked their niche in the national and international market with their literary fiction. There was a sudden rise in the visibility of authors writing in English in the beginning of the 2000s. Novels like Before She Sleeps (Bina Shah), The Diary of a Social Butterfly (Moni Mohsin), This House of Clay and Water (Faiqa Mansab), Unmarriageable (Soniah Kamal), Austenistan (ed Laleen Sukhera), In the Company of Strangers (Awais Khan) and so on, became popular outside the classrooms through a broader social appreciation.

This special issue aims to explore the variety of styles, conflicts, and impacts of Pakistani literature in English. We invite papers that contribute to the theoretical and empirical exploration of this literature. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Key issues in the teaching and learning of Pakistani literature in English
  • Decolonizing through texts
  • Curriculum design for teaching Pakistani literature
  • The trauma of Partition 1947
  • Popularity of Pakistani literature originally written in English
  • Postcolonial and post 9/11 conflicts
  • Pakistani literature in English and the digital humanities
  • Student responses to studying Pakistani literature in English
  • Genre fiction [romance, horror, sci-fi] in Pakistani literature in English
  • Exploring themes of hybrid identity, colonialism, and diaspora politics

To contribute to this special issue, please submit the full manuscript of your article (no less than 4,000 words) with a short author’s bio to the guest editor Javaria Farooqui at javariafarooqui@cuilahore.edu.pk, with a copy to jclaindia@gmail.com. You are very welcome to ask any questions about submission or the topic you will select.

Important Dates: 

Submission deadline: 31st May 2023;

Decision of acceptance: 30th June 2023;

Publication of the issue: Winter 2023/Spring 2024.




The Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (ISSN: 0252-8169) is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal published by Vishvanatha Kaviraja Institute of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, India, since 1977. The Institute was founded by Prof. Ananta Charan Sukla (1942-2020) on 22 August 1977, coinciding with the birth centenary of renowned philosopher, aesthetician, and historian of Indian art Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (1877-1947) to promote interdisciplinary studies and research in comparative literature, literary theory and criticism, aesthetics, philosophy, art history, criticism of the arts, and history of ideas. (Vishvanatha Kaviraja, most widely known for his masterpiece in aesthetics, Sahityadarpana, or the “Mirror of Composition,” was a prolific 14th-century Indian poet, scholar, aesthetician, and rhetorician.)

The Journal is committed to comparative and cross-cultural issues in literary understanding and interpretation, aesthetic theories, and conceptual analysis of art. It publishes current research papers, review essays, and special issues of critical interest and contemporary relevance.

The Journal has published the finest of essays by authors of global renown like René Wellek, Harold Osborne, John Hospers, John Fisher, Murray Krieger, Martin Bocco, Remo Ceserani, J.B. Vickery, Menachem Brinker, Milton Snoeyenbos, Mary Wiseman, Ronald Roblin, T.R. Martland, S.C. Sengupta, K.R.S. Iyengar, Charles Altieri, Martin Jay, Jonathan Culler, Richard Shusterman, Robert Kraut, Terry Diffey, T.R. Quigley, R.B. Palmer, Keith Keating, and many others.

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Founding Editor: Ananta Charan Sukla,Vishvanatha Kaviraja Institute, India

Email: jclaindia@gmail.com

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Ananta Sukla