Saturday, February 21, 2015

MELOW 2015

MELOW CONFERENCE. 20-22 Feb 2015 20-22 Feb 2015

The 14th international conference of MELOW, the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the World, began on 20th Feb 2015 at Hotel Parkview, Chandigarh.

Spread over three days, the conference is an extended discussion of its main theme, which is Literature and Censorship. “Damn the Book, Gag the Voice” is the catchy title of the conference that has inspired about a hundred academicians, young and old, to come forward with their views on the subject.

The inaugural address was delivered by Sh Kanwar Sandhu who traced the history of censorship down the ages, referring to the ways in which it has been found in different fields, in literature, art and particularly the media. Mr Sandhu’s talk covered extensive ground, was very well received, and set the tone for later discussions on the subject. A special invited lecture on the theme was delivered by Prof Amritjit Singh Langston Hughes Professor at the University of Ohio (USA).

The conference was divided into eighteen panels which discuss various aspects of the key theme: theoretical considerations, western and non-western literary canons, forbidden and taboo issues, books and authors  banned or burnt, religious, ethical and moral issues, and other issues like censorship of children’s literature, educational curricula, etc.

The delegates participating in the conference are local as well as from outside Chandigarh, hailing from different parts of the country --  as far as Darjeeling, Orissa, Hyderabad, Gujarat, Kashmir, Chennai and Srinagar.  There are also some scholars from abroad, from the USA, from UK, Thailand, Iran and Iraq.

The organization gives a prize for the best paper presented by a young scholar. The award is in the memory of the late Prof Isaac Sequeira, a well-known name in academic circles, who hailed from Hyderabad and was a guide and mentor to several generations of scholars. This year’s prize was awarded to Dr Anupam Vatsyayan who teaches in Ludhiana. Altogether twenty-seven delegates had competed for the award.

Prof Amritjit Singh delivered the prestigious Isaac Sequeira Memorial lecture. He spoke at length censorship that owes its origin to religious, political or social beliefs. Raising a valid question – is it possible to have total freedom of expression? – he seemed to advocate a spirit of tolerance, a ‘civilized’ way of life that respects and takes into cognizance people and communities of all shades and varieties.

Faculty from the Panjab University involved in the conference include Professors Manju Jaidka, Anil Raina, Pratibha Nagpal, Archana Singh, Meenu Gupta, and others. One of the key objectives of MELOW is to groom young scholars into focused research-oriented scholars. With this in view a special session on “Academic Writing” will be held on 22nd Feb in the morning.
MELOW Journal, compiling select papers of the last conference, was formally released at the conference. 

Manju Jaidka   (Secy, MELOW)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Accommodation arrangements for the Conference

NOTE PLEASE: ALL (outstation) 





This is also the Conference Venue.

Phone nos: 91-172-4644495, 2700050

Friday, February 13, 2015

Abstracts of Conference 2015

Dear Friends:
the ABSTRACTS of papers to be presented at the February Conference in Chandigarh have been circulated via the melusmelow Google Group. In case you are not part of the group and wish to join, please send a request to 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Conference Program

Dear Friends
The conference schedule is given below.
In case you have any doubt please email 


Inaugural Address: Kanwar Sandhu
Parallel Sessions
A1 Nandini, Navjot, Manpreet, Ismael
A2 Archana, Samik, Sangeeta, Renuka,
A3 Meenu, Monica, Sukhdeep, Swati
Parallel Sessions
B1Kanchan, Sonali, Radika, Tajinder, Sunaina
B2 Ashis, Parul, Prasita,Sonam, Suman
B3 Janesh, Nilanjana, Ramneek, Reena
Parallel Sessions
C1Divija, Pranav,Priya, Nirmal, Harpreet
C2 Amritendu, Anway, Parvinder, Harpreet, Ranjita
C3 Harneet, Chanchal, Gaurav,KBS, Neela
Short Break
ISM Lecture: Amritjit Singh
Parallel Sessions
D1 Jyoti, Karan, Parminder, Amandeep & Amandeep, Vipan
D2 Vivek, Gursheek, Rahul, Nosheen, Manjot
D3 Bhawna, Jaidev, Khem, Rohit, Subah
Optional Session on Academic Writing
Parallel Sessions
E1 Munejah, Rimika, Namrata
E2 Vandhana, Harsh, Shagun
E3 Aman, Suneeta, Sarabjeet
Parallel Sessions
F1Poonkulaly, Manjinder, Sakshi
F2 Ashima, Debobani, Sakoon
F3 Ruheela, Simranpreet, Rajinder
Valedictory + GBM


DAY 1:  20 FEB 2014

10.00-11.15:                       INAUGURATION + KEYNOTE by KANWAR SANDHU

11.15-11.45:           TEA

11.45-1.15:                         PARALLEL SESSIONS

Session A1  

Focus on Women Writers

·        Nandini Bhadra :          The Sacred and the Profane: Reading Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights and     Saratchandra's Devdas in Our Times”

·        Navjot Deol :                 “’Who’s Afraid of Edna O’Brien?’: An Investigation into the Literary Journey of Ireland’s Controversial Writer”

·        Manpreet Kang:           The Hailed and the Condemned: A Study of Select Novels by Maya Angelou, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison”

·        Ismael Saeed :               Censorship as an Invisible Agent in Ursula Kroeber Le Guin's The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”


 Censorship: Politics and other issues

·        Archana R. Singh:   “Muzzling the Media: Press Censorship in India”

·        Sangeeta Singh:      “Muzzling the Muse: The Politics of Censorship”

·        Renuka Dhyani:      “Censorship and Nature”

·        Samik Malla             “Is There an Epistemic Purity”


Banning and Silencing

·        Meenu Gupta:                     “Ban-Bane, Boon- Boom –The Satanic Verses Saga”

·        Monica Sabharwal :           “Blaspheming Literature: Religion, Rationality and Censorship”

·        Sukhdeep Ghuman:          “Silencing of Stories: Censorship in Rushdie's 'Haroun'”

·        Swathi Krishna:                   “Eros and Blasphemy in John Updike’s Couples

11.15-2.15               LUNCH

2.15-4.00                 PARALLEL SESSIONS


Western Perspectives

·        Kanchan:                  “Freedom, Humanism and Censorship in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

·        Sonali Sarkar:          The Color Purple Banned: US Response to Alice Walker’s Novel, 1984-2008”

·        Radika Chopra:       The Political and the Artistic: George Orwell’s Animal Farm”

·        Tajinder Singh:        The Strange Case of Slaughterhouse Five and Censorship in American Schools”

·         Sunaina Jain:           Book Censorship in the Twentieth Century: A Study of Selected Dystopian Novels”


The Forbidden in Non-Western Literature

·        Ashis Sengupta:      Power, Performance, Censorship: Contemporary South Asian Theatre”

·        Parul :                        “Politics at Work: Writing and Banning of Katherine Mayo’s The Face of Mother India”

·        Prasita Mukherji:   BOL: Speaking Silence”

·        Sonam Angmo        “Sexuality and Violence in Ismat Chughtai and Saadat Hassan Manto’s short stories.”

·        Suman Sigroha:      Forbidden Love: Same-Sex Marriages in Popular Hindi Cinema”


‘Deviant’ Sexuality

·        Janesh Kapoor:       Rethinking Deviant Sexuality: Negotiating Female Body and Self in Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple

·        Nilanjana Ghosal:   Forbidden Body Images and Violence of Assimilation: A Reading of Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers”

·        Ramneek Kohli:       Rejection of the Little Toy Wife and the Angel: Sylvia Plath's Demand for Personal and Artistic Identity in The Bell Jar”

·        Reena Sharma:       Representation of Deviant Sexuality in Mahesh Dattani’s On a Muggy Night in Mumbai”

DAY 2:  21 FEB 2014

9.15-11.00               PARALLEL SESSIONS


Intellectual Dissent

·        Divija Kumari:         Nadine Gordimer's Burger's Daughter: Why was it Banned?”

·        Pranav Joshipura: The Masterplan: An Exposé of Apartheid Government’s Master Plan”

·        Priya Sandhu:          Beyond the Colour Line: A Case Study of July’s People by Nadine Gordime”r

·        Namrata Nistandra: “ The Idea of the Public Intellectual: A Saidean Reading of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”

·        Nirmal Kumari :      “Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front: Dissent, Propaganda and Anti-War Narratives”


Censorship of Manuscripts, Anthologies, etc.

·        Amritendu Ghosal:            “The Homophobe’s Last Resort: The Tradition of Bans from Whitman to Ginsberg”

·        Anway Mukhopahdyay: “Buckles for Voices: The Politics of ‘Editing’ and/or Censoring Manuscripts before Publication”

·        Parvinder:                “Foregrounding the Tabooed: Cultural Censorship and Autobiographical Resistance”

·        Harpreet Bali:          “Anthologies and Censorship: A Critical Analysis of Selective Controversial Anthologies”

·        Ranjita Pati:             “Representation versus Repression: An Ideological Concern”


Censorship and Children’s literature

·        Harneet Sandhu                 “Of Guppees, Gardeners and Genies: A ‘Childish’ Study of Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories”

·        Neela Sarkar:           “ In Search of Light: A Reading of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials”

·        Chanchal Narang:              Fantasy and Escape: The Barbie Factor”

·        KBS Krishna:                         “Should Children Read Sherlock Holmes?: Issues & Challenges while considering Detective Fiction as Children’s Literature”

·        Gaurav Sood:          “Cultural Politics of Censorship: A Case Study of Child Pornography” 

11.00-11.15                        SHORT BREAK

11.15-1.15               ISM SESSION

·        Anupam Vatsayan:            “The Bard and the Bawdiness: Profanity and Censorship in the Shakespearean Canon”

·        Nanditha Krishna:              Taslima Nasrin’s Lajja: Was the Ban justified?”

·        Neepa Sarkar:                     Censoring the Voice: Gioconda Belli, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Dario Fo and Franca Rame”

ISM special lecture  by  Amritjit Singh                                 

1.15-2.15                 LUNCH

2.15-4.00                 PARALLEL SESSIONS


Silencing South Asian Voices

·        Jyoti Mishra:            “Shall we submit to gagging?- Angaaray : An Interrogation”

·        Karan Singh:            The Politics of Ban: The Great Soul, Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India”

·        Parminder Singh:   “ Death Sentence to a Sentence: A Study of Libricide in Selected 20th century South Asian Novels”

·        Amandeep & Amandeep Kaur: Framed, Captured and Gagged: Resisting Presence of the Kabir Kala Manch”

·        Vipan Kumar :         Presentation of Dalits in Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History

SESSION D2            

Films, Art, and Censorship

·        Vivek Sachdeva:     “Do Films Threaten the Nation”

·        Gursheek KAur:      “Criticism versus Creativity: Considering Censored Films”

·        Rahul Chaturvedi: “Inside Censorium: Ideology of Film Censorship in India”

·        Nosheen Kapoor:   “Silenced, Suppressed, Sometimes Salvaged: Art in the Face of Censorship”

·        Manjot Josan:         “Aesthetics and Censorship of Violence”

SESSION D3            

 Hindu(tva) and Censoring

·        Bhawna V. Arora: “Censorship: An Oppressive Apparatus of Hindutva Watchdogs: A Case Study of Select Texts”

·        Jaidev            Bishnoi:         “Politics of the Hindu right: A Mockery of the Freedom of Expression”

·        Khem Raj Sharma: “‘What’s in a Name?’: Politics of Censorship and Literary Voice in Lindsey Collen’s The Rape of Sita

·        Rohit Sharma:         “Draupadi, censored or uncensored?: A comparative analysis of the two TV adaptations of the  Mahabharata

·        Subah            Gautam:       “Official Narrative v/s Alternate Narrative: The Hindus by Wendy Doniger”

DAY 3:   22 FEB 2014

9.15-10.00               LECTURE ON ACADEMIC WRITING (optional) by Anil Raina

10.00-11.00                        PARALLEL SESSIONS


Lolita and Malala

·        Munejah Khan:       "Reading Lolita in Tehran: An Account of the Banned Books of Literature through the Eyes of an Exiled Writer"

·        Rimika Singhvi:       From Banning Lolita to Reading it in Tehran”

·        Harpreet Kaur:        Censorship of  I Am Malala: Power, Politics and Hegemony”


Censorship and the Future

·        Vandhana Sharma:            “Censorship: A Necessity for or Abuse of Human Speech”

·        Harsh Bhardwaj:                “Censorship Today: A Future Prism for Progressive Ideals”

·        Shagun Singh:         “Marilyne Robinson’s Mother Country: Humanity at Risk”

Session E3:             

Ethics and Censorship

·        Aman Deep:             “Issue of Untouchability: Profane and Ethical Defilement of Human Values”

·        Suneeta Patnayak:             “Caste, Ethics and Society: A Circumcision of Liberty in Ananthamurthy's Samskara

·        Sarabjit Kaur:          “A Way to be Good Again: A Study of The Kite Runner

11.00-12.00                        PARALLEL SESSIONS


From the Indian Sub-continent

·        Poonkulaly Gunaseelan:  “Literary Ellipses and the Violence of Silence in Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy (1993) and Rohinton Mistry’s  A Fine Balance (1995)” 

·        Manjinder Wratch:             “Reading Moments of Cognition and Self-Realization in Sadat Hassan Manto's Engagement with the Erotic”

·        Sakshi Kaushik:       The Breaking of Silence in My Feudal Lord”


·        Ashima Bhardwaj:             Beat Movement and the Conundrum of Censorship”

·        Debobani Biswas:               Twice Militant: “‘Outing’ Lorraine Hansberry as the Complete Revolutionary”

·        Sakoon Singh:                     “Thomas Bowdler’s Family Shakespeare: Expurgation and Sensibility of an Age”


Children and Censorship

·        Ruheela Hassan:                 “Media Content for Young Minds: An Appraisal”

·        Rajinder Singh:                   “ Pinki Virani's Unspoken Bitter Truth”

·         Simranpreet Kaur:                        “Persistent Damsels and Omnipotent Dudes: Children and Mass Media”

12.15-1.30               VALEDICTORY +GBM

1.30pm                                 LUNCH