Sunday, July 9, 2017

MELOW Conference 2018 in Dharamshala

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


To be held in Dharamshala, H.P.
9-11 March 2018 



Literary Texts are not suspended in a featureless limbo. Whatever the mode, the lyric, the dramatic, or the narrative, a text, be it the pastoral poem or a narrative of the American wilderness, is concerned with topology. Texts are narrated against a specific backdrop, whether real or fictitious, exquisite or horrendous, utopian or dystopian. Traditionally, narratives belong to a specific time and place, even when they cross borders and spill over to other locales and climes. But with globalization, cultural and otherwise, the traditional notions of space and place have undergone a sea-change, giving rise to a space-centric terminology: no place (Marc Auge), placeness, placelessness, heterotopia (Michel Foucault), deterritorialization (Deleuze and Guattari), etc. So, are we rooted or rootless, topophiliac or topophobic? Do we “belong” to a particular geographical space that influences our thoughts, actions and words? And when we write, does our writing get affected by the flora and fauna, the ranging mountains, the foaming seas or the green meadows in which we live and breathe? Does the landscape find its way into what we dream and write of? Or is that true only of the past writers, with contemporary writers and texts now becoming placeless and deterritorialized, with no identifiable spatial or cultural moorings? This is what MELOW would like to deliberate upon in its next conference.

MELOW 2018 will focus on space, place, and landscape in literatures of the world.

Tentatively, the conference will be divided into the panels mentioned below.
Panel A: Theoretical issues: Critical perspectives on space, place and landscape in literature; environmentalism and eco-poetics, cultural-spatial globalization, virtual places, etc.

Panel B: Nature and Literature: Mountainscapes; waterbodies; Island Literature; verdant greens: Rolling meadows, sprawling plains, moors; Call of the wild: Deserts, wilderness, inhospitable regions, etc.

Panel C: Cityscapes: Urban landscapes; Technologies of Space and Place; science and speculative fiction; surrealistic or fantastic landscapes; utopias and dystopias.

Panel D: Nostalgia: Places lost or left behind in time; a world that was; Displacement, Memory and Place; Diasporas and Migrations, Place and Identity.

Panel E: The Politics of Place: Nationalism, Imperialism and Colonialism; cultural globalization.

Please note: The focus will be on texts, whether printed or cinematic. The thrust will be on WORLD literature. There will be restrictions on the number of abstracts in any given category. In case of overlapping themes, or if there are too many abstracts in a specific field, you may be asked to send another abstract on a different theme.

Abstracts (200 to 250) words may be sent on relevant topics to by 1st  September 2017.

Your abstract should be sent in the TEXT BOX of the email (not as attachment). The following information, in the given format, should be sent along with the abstract:

 PANEL HEAD under which abstract may be considered (A, B, C, D or E, as given above): 

MELUS/MELOW conferences attended earlier (in which year and where)
Are you currently a member of MELOW? Or do you need a fresh / renewed membership? Please specify.
Name of Delegate
Official designation
Email id
Title of Abstract
ABSTRACT [Text] 250 words max.

·      The subject line of your message should read thus:
ABSTRACT 2017: [YOUR NAME] and [If competing for the ISM Award, state if you are an Indian citizen below 40]*

Deadline for receipt of abstracts is 1 September 2017 
All abstracts will be peer-reviewed before they are accepted. Do not send full papers. Once acceptance letters are sent, full papers (approx 3,000 words) will be invited only from participants (under 40 years of age) competing for the Isaac Sequeira Memorial Award. The rest need to bring their complete papers along at the time of the conference.

In the memory of our patron, Prof Isaac Sequeira, MELOW annually awards a prize for the best paper presented at its conference. The award will comprise a certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 5,000.
The competition is open to Indian citizens who are members of MELOW. The competing participant / delegate should be less than forty years of age at the time of the conference. The abstract should be submitted by the stipulated deadline. If it is selected for the ‘long list’ the complete paper will be invited by a given deadline and assessed and shortlisted before it is presented at the conference.
Organizing Committee:
President: Prof Anil Raina (Chandigarh)
Vice-President: Dr Vijay Sharma (Delhi)
Secretary: Prof Manju Jaidka (Chandigarh)
Jt. Secretary: Prof Manpreet Kaur (Delhi)
Treasurer: Dr Meenu Gupta (Chandigarh)

Executive Members: 
Prof Sushila Singh (Varanasi)
Prof Dipankar Purkayastha (Silchar)
Prof Debarati Bandopadhyay (Santiniketan)
Prof Ravichandran (Kanpur)
Dr Roshan Sharma (Dharamshala)
Dr Seema Bhupendra (Udaipur)
Dr Neela Sarkar (Kolkata)
Dr Jyoti Mishra (Chattisgarh)
Dr Vandhana Sharma (Jammu)
Dr Suneeta Patnayak (Chandigarh)
Dr Radha Gautam (Surat)