Category Archives: cfp: Literature















JANUARY 16-18, 2013


The Comparative Literature Association of India (CLAI) invites abstracts for the XIIIth CLAI Biennial International Conference on THE JOURNEY OF COMPARATIVE LITERATURE: INDIA AND BEYOND. The Conference is to be held at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, in collaboration with the Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University.The Conference will be held from 16 to 18 January, 2013.

Concept Note


The discipline of Comparative Literature in India is more than sixty-five years old in its institutional form and started with the establishment of India’s first Comparative Literature department at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Over the decades, it has evolved into a vibrant, exciting and relevant discipline. It manifests resonances with the development of the discipline in other parts of the world while at the same time mapping its own distinct trajectory. The Conference seeks to take stock of pedagogical developments in Comparative Literature the world over and to map the Indian context in terms of the same. It also hopes to explore the changing contours of its relationship with other disciplines and share perspectives on the potential of Comparative Literature as an academic discipline.


In particular, we would like to focus on the state of Comparative Literature today. Among other things, we would like to explore how the discipline has responded to pressures of a globalised educational matrix,the competition among disciplines for resources and recognition and the pedagogical imperatives of the same.By doing so, we hope to arrive at a nuanced understanding of where our discipline is heading and also how far we are equipped to make necessary interventions in this journey.


We welcome well-researched and substantiated, analytical presentations on all aspects related to the development of Comparative Literature as well as to the scope of the discipline. Papers related to the history and methodology of Comparative Literature and concomitant debates are particularly encouraged. Papers involving the study of one or more authors without reference to the methods and/or history of Comparative Literature would not fit into the theme of this Conference.



Comparative Literature and Other Disciplines


Comparative Literature in/and Translation


Comparative Literature in the Indian academia


Comparative Literature or Cultural Studies !!


Comparative Literature and Area Studies


The Future of Comparative Literature in ‘Bharatvarsha’ and beyond


Performance/Practising Comparative Literature


Comparative Literature : Theory & Praxis


Comparative Literature : Interrogating the Margins


What is so ‘comparative’ about Comparative Literature ?


Comparative Literature/World Literature Reconsidered


Cultural and Literary Interrelations between India and Neighbouring Countries (workshop topic – ICLA)


Please note that this Conference is for CLAI members only and individuals intending to present papers at the Conference must become members of CLAI (if they are not so already) before their participation can be confirmed. Details of membership are available on




Please send abstracts (maximum 500 words) to by August 31, 2012, along with the pre-registration form. All abstracts will be acknowledged within two working days. Participants will be e-mailed intimation regarding acceptance by September 15, 2012. Those who are asked to revise their abstracts must send in reworked abstracts by September 30, 2012. Registration forms will be e-mailed to participants latest by September 30, 2012. Completed forms, registration amount and, where applicable, CLAI membership fees and forms must reach us by November 15, 2012. The funds may be paid by bank transfer or demand draft only. All queries for clarifications are to be e-mailed to


For further details, the following may be contacted:


Professor Kunal Chattopadhyay

Joint Coordinator

Ph: (+91) 9831398301


Professor Suchorita Chattopadhyay

Joint Coordinator

Ph: (+91) 9831205770



Professor Chandra Mohan

General Secretary, CLAI

Ph: (+91) 9810683143


Dr Sayantan Dasgupta

Secretary, CLAI

Ph: (+91) 9831191181



Please follow our website for further updates :

Registration Fees


Faculty Members (Outstation): Rs. 2000/-

Faculty Members (Local): Rs. 1200/-

Research Scholars and Independent Scholars (Outstation): Rs. 1200/-

Research Scholars and Independent Scholars (Local): Rs. 600/-

Students (Outstation): Rs. 750/-

Students (Local): Rs. 500/-

International Delegates : US $ 200

CFP: Caste, Gender and Sexuality in Asia


Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific
Issue 33

Call for Contributions on Caste, Gender and Sexuality in Asia

For centuries now, caste system has been one of the most influential and deciding factors as a pattern of social stratification and segregation in most of the Asian countries. The system is so deeply rooted that each and every aspect of human life in these societies is affected and shaped by it. Each caste in the hierarchy comes up with its own social and cultural norms for the members of its community. Women are the most vulnerable and the worst affected members of the caste based societies. While women in general suffer internal oppression and gender bias, women of the casteist societies bear the multiple burdens of their caste, class, religion, region and work apart from gender discrimination. Moreover caste not only prescribes the roles but also assigns duties and responsibilities and prescribes food, dress and other codes of conduct for people, especially women. In a similar manner is constructed the male gender with different set of roles and responsibilities. The sexuality of genders is also defined and decided according to the caste hierarchy. In some contexts, certain genders and gender roles are forcibly thrust on people to perform certain roles depending on their caste and vulnerability to exploitation. In recent times, these societies are transforming gradually owing to political, cultural, economic and social developments. In this context, caste and gender have become some of the most important concepts of the social and cultural discourse. While on one hand there are efforts on for casteless societies, on the other hand assertion of caste identities is also becoming a crucial strategy of resistance against caste and gender hegemony. We look forward to discuss the following issues in INTERSECTIONS:

  • How does caste system contribute to the construction of gender roles and sexuality?
  • How do the narratives of gender oppression debate framework of caste and vice-versa?
  • How do the rewritings, retellings and translations of classical/canonical texts write alternative histories from gender and caste perspectives?
  • How does oral tradition construct or deconstruct caste, gender and sexuality?
  • How are the creative representations of sexuality influenced by notions of caste and gender?
  • How do the various movements and voices centered on caste and gender intersect or conflict in changing societies?
  • How are politics and governing influenced by caste and gender?
  • How have the developments like globalization, liberalization and English education influenced the categories of caste and gender?
  • What is the role of religions in shaping the gender and conversion in caste-ridden societies where both caste and religion define gender and sexuality?
  • How does the postcolonial debate function in terms of caste and gender?

These and any other questions related to caste, gender and sexuality are welcome to be discussed.

The online nature of the journal allows for added flexibility in including images, video clips, and other supplemental materials.

Deadline for submissions: 1 March 2012

Go here for submission details.

ANTI-CASTE CONFERENCE on “Caste and Sociology”


Krantisinh Nana Patil Academy, Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj Research Centre
and Tarabai Shinde Women’s Studies Centre organise the FIFTH NATIONAL ANTI-CASTE CONFERENCE on “Caste and Sociology ” at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad 28th and 29th January 2011;
Concept note:

Caste became a subject of sociological and anthropological enquiry during colonialism. The major ideological frameworks within which caste was comprehended and analysed at this time were Orientalism and Indology both of which substantially relied on Brahminical texts. Parallel to this ‘text view’ was colonial anthropology which used evolutionary and functionalist paradigms in generating empirical insights about caste. The nationalist school welcomed and internalised the Orientalists’ empirical (textual) method of the study of caste, which considered caste only within the restricted framework of ‘culture’ and religion. The theories of caste which emanated from such studies ultimately proved beneficial to the Brahminical tradition and interests.
The anti-caste movement stimulated and significantly contributed to the sociological studies on caste,by looking at the exploitative nature of caste in its religiocultural, economic and social aspects. The neo-Marxian theoretical view critiqued and complicated the classical Marxian interpretation of caste, moving beyond the tendency to equate caste with class or to see a one-to-one relationship between the two and provided a nuanced understanding of how caste configures and re-configures itself.
Other major theoretical approaches in academic sociology engaging with caste were structuralism and structural- functionalism which have not paid attention to the experiential accounts of the exploited groups within the caste system. The postmodernist approach is the recent entrant in problematizing caste. Amidst this prevailing abundance of approaches and studies on caste it is required to emphasise and prioritise those approaches which foreground the political, social and cultural articulations of the victims of caste system. This appears to be the correct choice from a transformatory political perspective.
As brought out earlier, caste continues to prevail in India both in its traditional manifestations and in new avatars. Struggles for the upward mobility of one’s caste group have played an important role in the construction of change and continuity in caste. In fact, social cohesion has been maintained in India through struggles of this kind. Therefore it is important to study both struggles aiming at economic, political, social or cultural enhancement of the role of one’s caste on the one hand, and genuine anti-caste struggles on the other.
The colonial mode of production created conditions for the emergence of class within the matrix of caste itself. This is evident from the fact that working class and capitalist class emerged from the erstwhile toiling castes and trading castes respectively.

Though the new capitalist order has challenged the hereditary nature of caste and structures of labour in some ways, caste-based appropriation of surplus was the only basis of capitalist exploitation, at least in the villages. Since capitalist development was oriented towards appropriating the surplus drawn from agriculture and diverting it to industrialisation, the process of formation of class relations in the rural society remained slow. Consequently, the elites of the dominant peasant castes in rural India remained influential and, at the national level, the entrepreneurs, and capitalists from the upper castes continued to dominate.
On the global scale, it is finance capital rather than industrial capital that is dominant. So even if the opening up of markets widens the class-based division of labour, with the dominance of service-based industries, upward class mobility requires cultural adaptations in the pattern of sanskritisation/brahminisation. The politics of caste identity thus becomes more entrenched. Religious fundamentalism and caste-consciousness have
both become widespread in the context of contemporary globalisation. How does this affect the social structure of caste? The Indian caste-class structure is organically linked to brahminical patriarchy.
The interrelationship between caste, class and patriarchy is constantly changing; a sociological study of this interrelationship thus becomes crucial to our understanding of Indian reality. Though the family is seen as an important institution in sociology, there is no attempt to study caste and family together. It is necessary to study how caste and patriarchy are instrumental in arranging marriages, child rearing, distribution of property
/ income and the day-to-day division of labour. The family is in a state of flux under globalisation, industrialisation and urbanisation. Even in the rural areas, the family is facing many kinds of pressure. It is imperative to undertake sociological study of these tensions and shifts.
Against this backdrop, literature, art, media and the sociology of education need to be studied in the context of caste. With a view of comprehending and analysing various aspects of the sociology of caste, Krantisinh Nana Patil Academy, Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj Research Centre and Tarabai Shinde Women’s Studies Centre are jointly organising the Fifth Anti-Caste Conference in January 2011.
Issues to be addressed in the conference:
1) Sociological Theorisation of Caste
2) Caste Mobility and Caste Struggle: Sociological Understanding
3) Capitalism and Socialisation of Caste
4) Sociology of Religion and Caste
5) Caste, Class and Patriarchy: Sociological Interpretation
6) Caste and the Family System
7) Political Socialisation of Caste
8 Education, Literature, Art, Media and Caste: Sociological Perspectives
9) Case Studies of Caste and Field Studies.
Last date for submission of abstract: 15 December 2010.The abstract & Paper should be submitted to Dr. Wandana Sonalkar, Director, Tarabai Shinde Women’s Studies Centre, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathawada University, Aurangabad.
Registration Fees: Rs.200.00
Dr. Wandana Sonalkar Dr. Narayan Bhosale Dr. Umesh Bagade
Director Conference Co-ordinator Director
Tarabai Shinde Women’s Studies Centre Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj Research Centre
E-mail: E-mail:

Gayatri Spivak at National Symposium on The Human Sciences in the Time of Disciplinary Decadence


image from google images

Second National Symposium

The Human Sciences in the Time of Disciplinary Decadence

10-12 February 2011

Venue: Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences, Baroda

Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences, in collaboration with the Forum on Contemporary Theory, will be organizing a national symposium on the topic “The Human Sciences in the Time of Disciplinary Decadence” in Baroda during 10-12 February 2011 to coincide with Professor Gayatri  Chakravorty Spivak’s visit to the Centre for delivering the third Balvant Parekh Distinguished Lecture on February 11. Professor Spivak has agreed to participate in the symposium and make critical interventions during discussion. Her lecture “Teaching Literature Today” will “consider the importance of teaching literary reading actively in a world that de-values the humanities in every sense.” At a time when the teaching of literature and philosophy has become a low priority for our educational planners, her observations and comments on Indian educational scenario will provide an impetus for rethinking the value of humanistic learning at a time when there seems to be some decadence in disciplinary structures of our knowledge-systems. One has to appreciate in that context the relevance of the human sciences as a methodological answer to the ossification of disciplines at present. Historically speaking, the human sciences emerged during the time of the First World War from a crisis in European thought; now is perhaps the time of the second renaissance of that awakening. At a time when disciplines like the humanities and social sciences are under a serious threat from the market forces that have considered these knowledge-generating fields of study as useless luxuries for social well-being, one needs to recall the old Greek term “theoria” for reclaiming what could be called an “originary experience” of knowledge combining a penchant for theory and its application in praxis. The human sciences have to be understood as an attempt to get back to that experience. As a hybrid episteme drawing its sustenance from the positive attributes of both the sciences (natural and social) and the humanities, the human sciences seem to have provided a way

out of the “disciplinary decadence,” to use a phrase from Lewis Gordon, our institutions have fallen into. They are also an attempt to simultaneously de-transcendentalize Theory as abstraction and to distil empirical praxis to conceptual reflection. Professor Spivak’s recent works and concerns are directed toward that effort. We hope the papers presented at the symposium and the discussion held will offer staple material for a volume, which the Centre will be happy to bring out. Those who want to participate in this Symposium should mail their abstracts to by December 15, 2010. Full papers should reach us by January 15, 2011.

Registration fee for participation is: Rs.1000/ (Rupees one thousand only), which may be sent by money order or bank draft favoring Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences by January 15.

The fee will take care of lunch and tea during the symposium.



Call for Papers: Negotiating Cultural Memories in Canada and India


Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India

The Centre for Canadian Studies
Department of Comparative Literature
Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India

International Conference on Building Bridges: Negotiating Cultural Memories in Canada and India
February 16 – 18, 2011

Cultural memory as a form of knowledge system is seen as a pre-text for modern expression/s, negotiating with interdisciplinary approaches from the point of view of evolutionary psychology, politics, literature and philosophy and environmental studies. The objective of the conference is to focus on the construction, evolution, evaluation and representation of issues pertaining to various cultural memories and how these become important tools in negotiating “modernity” with its various ramifications in Canada and India.

The conference will further focus on issues such as Globalisation, Ecocriticism, Ecofeminism in relation to the changing face of cultural expressions of diverse groups like immigrants, the First Peoples, sexual minorities in Canada and India. The Conference would invite a multidisciplinary approach to evaluate the changing face of disseminating knowledge which involves a process of negotiation and precisely this process of negotiation is what we have already defined as “modernity”.

Our objective is to capture the dynamics of how individual works of authors, ‘texts’, genres, cultural productions by various groups address this negotiation. We shall also look at literatures of various disciplines other than humanities such as science, technology, medical and technical terminologies, etc. We know that language as a broad category react and participate in this ‘process’. Addressing the problematics of language transmission (which has its own politics), would add further credibility to the contemporanaeity of such a conference. This would also help us contextualise pertinent issues that need to be taken cognizance of, both in Canada and in India.

The thrust areas of the conference would also address the various gaps in scholarship, especially, between mainstream pedagogic practices and grassroots activism. The conference would also emphasize upon emerging areas/trends of critical investigation, such as literature and cultural productions of the First Peoples of Canada and India, contribution of digital archives, and the socio-political and cultural concerns of fast-emerging groups in Canada and India which need to be dealt with outside the majority/minority discourse.

Papers are invited in all areas relating to the general theme of the conference. We have identified certain areas and some of them are listed below:

  • Citizenship, Identity and Nation
  • Community and the Individual
  • Justice
  • The poetics of fashion
  • Culinary activities
  • Societies, integration/disintegration, inclusion/exclusion
  • Politics of Marginalization
  • Globalisation
  • Ecofeminism
  • Language
  • Translation
  • Testimonials
  • Travel Narratives
  • Paintings
  • Performance Texts
  • The Verbal and the Visual
  • The New Media (Blog/Online journals/ Online networks)
  • Alternative sexualities
  • Dislocation
  • Metropolis, cities, towns and ruralis
  • Advertisements
  • Science and technology

    The title and a brief abstract (200-300 words) of the proposed paper may be sent as an email attachment by 1st October, 2010 to
    Conference Coordinators:

Sm. Debashree Dattaray (Lecturer)
Sm. Swagata Bhattacharya (Research Fellow)
Sri Dheeman Bhattacharyya (Research Fellow)
Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India

Symposium announcement


Here is an interesting symposium that puts together some very fine thinkers. Satyanarayan from EFLU is putting together an anthology of Dalit writings from South India. I have heard him speak and read his articles. He is an original. Very focused and clear in his thinking. Not at all simplistic in his oppositional discourse. Then there is Umesh, a very fine historian. His earnestness makes his scholarship more valuable. Venkat Rao from EFLU has been speaking the Balagangadhar logic regarding caste. So it would be an interesting exchange to watch out for.

Department of English

A One-day Symposium on Dalit Studies in the Indian Universities

31 March 2010

Venue: Dean Hall, Administrative Building,

SRTM University, Nanded

Concept Note

We deem it necessary to see critically how the dalits across India see an emergent pan-Indian dalit cultural identity. This cultural identity is being articulated through creative writing in many Indian languages. It has been through such creative writings, also known as dalit literature, that the dalits have repudiated norms of untouchability, oppressive caste structure and the normative ideology of brahminism. The emergence of dalit consciousness and dalit voice across India during the last three decades has received considerable attention in the realm of social sciences. However, the so-called mainstream literary theory has largely remained uninfluenced / unaffected by the literary, cultural, theoretical and ideological issues raised by the new writers.

Dalit literature emerged as the revolutionary literature and challenged the norms, standards and principles of the so-called mainstream brahminical literature, aesthetics and literary theory. Dalit literature is not the literature of mere protest or negation. It aims at dismantling the existing structures of exploitation and restructuring the global society.

Started in Marathi during the seventies, dalit literature is now being written in several Indian languages. These literatures, barring languages, do share the egalitarian ideology and expose the exploitative mechanisms latent in the Indian society. The rise of dalit women writers in many parts of India has raised many issues pertaining to brahminical patriarchy, dalit male chauvinism and specificity of the dalit women’s exploitation. Many dalit women writers have refused to subsume their ideological and practical issues in the overarching rubric of Indian feminism. Apart from creative writing, there have been attempts to theorise caste, patriarchy and culture. However, such writings hardly find any space in the curricula in the Indian universities, leaving them lopsided and socially irrelevant.

It is now being widely accepted that educational system is exceptionally important in maintaining the status quo in the society. Curriculum happens to be actual means whereby a particular worldview is inculcated in the learners’ minds. Basil Bernstein suggests how a society, selects, classifies, distributes, transmits and evaluates the educational knowledge it considers to be public, reflects both the distribution of power and the principles of social control. Since the curriculum is a result of deliberate selection and organization of the cultural knowledge in the syllabus, textbook has been the significant issue in educational research. The traditional curriculum designed for courses in literatures at the UG and PG levels has either underrepresented or not represented the literatures produced and theories developed by the subaltern writers and intellectuals. Marginal incorporation of dalit literature into the curriculum, which is predominantly brahminical and patriarchal, only serves to legitimise it.

This symposium aims at discussing the state of courses in dalit studies / literatures in various universities and colleges and hopes to explore the commonalities in the experiences of the teachers committed to contribute to alternative pedagogy. The Department of English of SRTM University, Nanded plans to start an interdisciplinary course in Dalit Studies from the next academic year. The deliberations in this Symposium will also be hopefully useful in designing and conducting of this course.

Resource Persons

Dr. K Satyanarayana (Head, Department of Cultural Studies, EFLU, Hyderabad)

Dr. Venkat Rao (Department of Literatures in English, EFLU, Hyderabad)

Dr. Umesh Bagade (Professor and Head, Department of History, BAMU, Aurangabad)

Prof. Rahul Pungaliya (Dept. of English, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune)

Dr. Bhagwan Jadhav (Dean, Faculty of Arts, SRTM University, Nanded)


Dilip Chavan –









Supported by the UGC SAP DRS-I

19-20 March 2010

The idea of identities in the margins has been in circulation for quite a while now, both in the popular domain and also in realm of mainstream academics. Movements catalyzed by a sense of a shared marginal identity have challenged dominant characterizations of the world across a range of disciplines and also in the fields of culture and politics. These rival definitions of what constitutes knowledge have unsettled the certainty of disciplines. Consequently, disciplines of the Social Sciences and the Humanities, perhaps more than most, have needed to rethink the status of the knowledge that they have legitimized with the value of ‘truth’. This would be a good time to rehearse the fact that a significant proportion of this challenge to the status of disciplinary knowledge came from experiences, narratives and strategies of understanding the world that were organized around identitarian collectives. Since then, as Dipesh Chakrabarty has demonstrated in ‘Minority Histories, Subaltern Pasts’, academic disciplines have tended to confer an easy legitimacy on ‘minority histories’ without caring to examine the logic with which disciplines gather their own rationality.

This seminar seeks to explore the way marginal identities have been shaped in the popular domain as well as in academic disciplines and in both together, in texts, in performance, in the realm of culture, politics and history. We look towards a wide ranging understanding of identity: caste, class, community and gender, certainly, but also region, sexual orientation as well as more ephemeral identities such as slum dweller, under trial, rowdy sheeter and so on. The seminar proposes to examine the way identities have been constituted, rethought and modulated, the way new identities have come into play. In other words, we see the seminar as an opportunity to think through the question of identity, the ways it circulates and most importantly, the limits and possibilities that it offers.

We invite papers and presentations that critically engage with the seminar theme. Kindly send in abstracts of papers to and by 20 February 2010; we will respond to you by 22 February.