CFP: Peripheral Modernity and the South Asian Literary-World

full name / name of organization: 
24th European Conference on South Asian Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland

The 2008 global downturn has compelled the social sciences and humanities to refocus on the concept of "crisis" in capitalism and rethink the relations between "core" and "periphery." What is crucial to this era of crisis is the emergence of the BRICS countries and the corresponding shifts in the world system. Debates on world literature and comparitivism have been alert to these readjustments (Moretti, 2000; Orsini, 2003; Damrosch, 2005; Warwick RC, 2015) as well as the proliferation of the neo-social realist novel (Adiga, Hamid, etc).

Given the important place of South Asia in contemporary literary and cultural studies debates, this panel would like to interrogate the South Asian region in terms of "peripheral modernity" (Parry, 2009). Is South Asia a periphery to the capitalist world system or has it set up its own core and peripheries (enabled by the strategic and economic negotiations between India and Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal)? What role do 'social' components such as space, gender, class, caste, or ecology play in this reconfiguration? Could terrorism or civil war, petro-capitalism or religious fundamentalism tell us more about this specific arena of capitalist modernity? What does the contemporary popularity of 'cheap' novels written in English about India's middle class values indicate? Finally, how are we making a "literary world-system" in South Asia through the international circulation and reception of Anglophone literature and awards? This panel explores both literary and performance-based texts to uniquely situate South Asian transformations in the past decades.