Saturday, April 5, 2014

Conference 2015 Feb in Chandigarh

(The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the World)



We live in a world where it is impossible to be isolated. As human beings we are forever in conversation with each other because we need to express our feelings, communicate, and interact with our fellow creatures. In the process, as we reach out of our closed cocoons, we strike relationships, some positive, some reactionary. Some of our overtures boomerang on us in the most unexpected ways, as negative criticism, hostile reaction, or even official banning or censorship.

This is what MELOW seeks to debate at its conference in Chandigarh in February 2015 (exact dates to be announced). 

The uneasy relationship between literature and censorship has always been the subject of animated discussion between writers, critics, scholars, those who wield authority and those who suffer it. Underlying the banning and censorship of literature there is the undeniable logic of hate and fear, the politics of power, xenophobia, insecurity or simply the desire to dominate. Although the so-called civilized nations claim to uphold the freedom of expression, they invariably clamp down when sensitive issues are given a public voice. Censorship operates in different guises, some obvious others subtle, some socially or politically or even emotionally motivated.

MELOW 2015 will explore the various issues connected with literature and censorship. Abstracts of 200 words are invited in the categories listed below. They should be sent to the respective panel heads (email ids given) by the 1st of August 2014. 

Panel A: Theoretical considerations: Why do we censor? Freedom of expression versus the need for censorship. Send abstracts to Prof Anil Raina
Panel B: The forbidden and the Western literary canon: Ideas that are taboo. Pornography. Deviant sexuality. Send abstracts to Dr Roshan Sharma.
Panel C:  The Forbidden in the non-western literature. Dr Vandhana Sharma.
Panel D: Religious, Ethical and Moral issues: The blasphemous. Send abstracts to Dr. Manpreet Kang.
Panel E: Books that were banned or burnt. Artists who were exiled. Send abstracts to Prof Manju
Panel F: What books would I like my children to (not) read? What films would I forbid them to see? Send abstracts to Prof. Sushila Singh.

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