EVENT May 11
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Theory-Literature Interface: Possibilities of Re-Searching India

Mulk Raj Anand Auditorium
Organization: Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh
Categories: Digital Humanities, Comparative, Interdisciplinary, Lingustics, Genre & Form, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Literary Theory, Women's Studies, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2023-05-11 to 2023-05-12 Abstract Due: 2023-03-25

Re-searching and revisiting the dynamic nuances of everyday entails a breaking away from the classical idea of everything. Boundaries of the world are re-configured every moment. People, communities, nations and identities are constantly made, un-made and re-made. In such a context, what does it mean to be Indian? How is our Indianness being shaped and modified by the currents of the immediate as well as the mediate? How do we navigate and negotiate with our Indianness in the everyday life? While Henry Lefebvre in his Critique of Everyday Life diagnoses the everyday to be colonised by consumption, Michel de Certeau posits the everyday to be the site of possibilities for resistance. Certeau understands consumption in the everyday life as an act of production as well. For him, the everyday is the site where mass culture encounters the individual. Different people consume culture in their own unique ways. Even Lefebvre visualizes the everyday as an “intersection” of what we control and what we do not control.

Our understanding of India as a nation, cultural entity and space is fast changing. Henri Lefebvre posits space to be a complex social construction, driven by a three-part dialectic between everyday practices and perceptions, representations and the spatial imaginary of the time. Boundaries of communities and cultures keep emerging and disappearing as one navigates between spaces. The cultural conditions within which each person works are multiple, overlapping and at time contradictory. The everyday practices are integral in understanding the changing dynamics of a culture. Being part of a class, an ethnic group, a professional grouping or some other social community entails ascribing to certain values and beliefs reagarding how we conduct our everyday affairs. While these values and ideas are dictated to us by the group, they also help in consolidating the group’s existence as a social collectivity. The everyday thus becomes a contested domain of shared social experiences and global interactions.

India is a land of cultural confluences. From the existence of the unique Vedic civilization through the conquests of the Mughal to the British colonization and the landmark economic reforms of the early 90s, India has been the land where diverse streams of ideas and cultures flow. The seminar proposes to bring together researchers interested and invested in the interface between literature and theory towards a critical understanding of India, and moving across disciplines it aims to facilitate discussions around the following themes:
·      Orality in India
·      Spaces and Non-Spaces of Contemporary Indian Geography
·      Visual Arts: From Museums to Underground Art Galleries
·      Indian History: Memories and Truth
·      Communities in Transition
·      Cyberspace and the Future of India
·      Digital Turn in the Indian Literature: Emerging Trends
·      Indian Literature in Translations
·      Indian Cinema and the Everyday
·      The Great Indian Bazaar
·      Indian Food, Ethnicity and Glocalization
·      Mapping India: Urban Space and Segregation
·      New Demographic Challenges as India Hits the 1.41 billion mark
·      Future of Liberal Arts in India
·      Indian Popular Culture: From Folk to Pop
·      Indian Tribes and Communities: Alienation and Exoticisation
·      Native Discourse of Eco-Criticism
·      Indian Philosophy and Art Aesthetics
·      Indian Knowledge Systems
·      Visva-Bharati: India and the World
·      Cultural Cartographies of India
These themes are only suggestive and are not exhaustive. Abstracts of upto 200 words, accompanied by a short bio of 50-70 words, are invited from research scholars and young teachers by 25.03.2023 at researching.indiaseminar@gmail.com. The selected abstracts will be notified by 30.03.2023. Full length papers of 3000-5000 words will be accepted by 20.04.2023. The tentative dates for the Seminar are 11-12th May, 2023.
Registeration Details:
The research scholars and young teachers selected for paper presentation are required to pay the registeration fee by 07.04.2023. The details for the same are as follows:
For Research Scholars (From Panjab University Campus and Colleges in UT): Rs. 1500/-
For Research Scholars (From Outside UT of Chandigarh): Rs. 1500/- + 18% GST
For Young Teachers (From Panjab University Campus and Colleges in UT): Rs. 2500/-
For Young Teachers (From Outside UT of Chandigarh): Rs. 2500/- + 18% GST
No travel allowance will be paid to the paper presenters. Moderate accommodation on additional payment, if possible, will be provided. Selected papers can be considered for publication in dialog – a bi-annual peer reviewed journal, or an edited anthology.
Further details will be shared at a later stage. Please reach out at researching.indiaseminar@gmail.com for any queries.


Suraj Kumar