Nationalism and the Human Condition: Then and Now
Call for Papers for the Special Issue of the Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics
Nationalism and the Human Condition: Then and Now
Guest Editors: Dr. Goutam Karmakar & Rajarshi Roy
The discourse of Nationalism has undergone a sea change in the recent years. Even If it received
a new spirit of historiographic enquiry from Benedict Anderson’s “Imagined Communities”
project, the current Nationalist discourse has largely tried to be supremacist, and in being so has
laid bare its darker sides in invoking an “exclusivist” model of political subjectivity. The
sovereign’s sense of heightened selfhood has something to do with this; it is thus quite similar in
terms of what Bindu Puri suggests:
“To debate involves an intellectual welcome to an opposition in ideas. The manner of that
welcome is structured in a form, which is hospitable to learning. Such intellectual hospitality to a
difference in ideas as an opportunity to learn suggests a diminutive presence of the ego in the life
of the mind. However, it is in ideas that the ego could seem at its strongest. For one is most
stubbornly attached to how one understands things—to one’s vision of what constitutes the best
form of life in general or perhaps of political life. This is evidence of the strange dichotomy of
the human condition. It is most restricted where it most needs to be free.”
(Puri, The Tagore-Gandhi Debate on Matters of Truth and Untruth)
The cruel irony thus lies here, that debates, which largely a midwife in the birth of democracies,
finds herself out of commission, in the recent climate of exclusivity of the Nationalist discourse.
Debates, which were a mainstay in the formulation and the possible future of the Indian
Nationalism, as one finds in Gandhi’s debates with Savarkar, Tagore and Ambedkar; has today
transmuted into a scripted spectacle organised in news channel studios.
It is not a novel observation, anymore these days, that the Nationalist discourses in all their
absolutist grandeur, take special pride in Representation; which Carl Schmitt had once in all
temerity gone on to suggest was a quality of polities from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century.
In films, in advertisements, in memes, and even in news channel debates, Nationalism writes and
rewrites itself with the boldness of the “immanent” and castigating the history of cultural
tolerance and syncretism to the darker depths of “alterity”. A future of relentless
“Development”, one the removes the cultural nostalgia of ‘non-alignment’ and ‘progress’, and
makes exclusion a causal determinist fact of the citizen’s life. What such a Nationalist agenda
revels in, is in activating an episteme of ‘iconography’, in so far as each of its acts, incantations,
decisions, censure acts as a creative “fifth estate” to various obvious avenues of representation,
as opposed to popular expression.
In this special issue of the JCLA, we shall be seeking essays on the subject of the rebirth of the
Nationalist discourse on the international geopolitics, its significance, its historical context, its
relation to the concept of the “nation” and its representations across avenues of popular
Papers can also be conceptualised on the following subtopics:
• The long-standing debates on Nationalism and its relation to the concept of the Nation.
• The method of “Nationalist fictions”, its philosophy and language.
• Nationalist discourse in regional literature.
• The position of dissent as opposed to the Nationalist Discourse; the re-birth of
• Nationalism, “The Nation Question”, and the “Class Struggle”.
• Change in Nationalist undertones in Indian films vis-à-vis the representation of fragile
Nation-hood, in foreign language films.
• The public intellectual and the course of popular dissent.
• Nationalisms in Europe and the Great Wars.
• Nationalisms and the crumbling European Union.
• Weimar Nationalism.
• Hindutva and other Supremacist discourses of Nationalist Fundamentalism
• Relation of Fundamentalism to the Nationalist discourse.
• File must be in Microsoft Word format (Preferably Word 2010).
• Paper size: A4, Font & size: Times New Roman 12, the title must be in 14 point size, bold.
• Text and contents of the paper: Justified, Title page with the author’s name and institutional
details, introduction, the main body of the text, conclusion, references and short bio note.
• Spacing: One and a half, Margin: 1 inch on all four sides.
• Word limit: Minimum 4000 and Maximum 6000 along with an abstract of 250 words and 5
• The contributors will have to strictly follow MLA 8th edition in their papers.
• Contributors should attach a brief bio-note of not more than 150 words of the respective
authors (name, designation, affiliation, specialization, mail-id, contact no. etc.) at the end of the
Contributors are requested to submit their manuscript to firstname.lastname@example.org and
The last date of submission: 31st July 2020 (Extended till November 31st)
Terms & Conditions:
▪ Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
▪ The Editors will carry the right to make changes if needed in the paper and the same will be
conveyed to the contributor.
▪ The Editors along with the publisher reserve the right to reject a paper if it lies beyond the
scope of the theme.
▪ Article submitted for the journal cannot be withdrawn or sent to somewhere else before
getting the rejection mail.
▪ If accepted the contributor will have to sign a copyright declaration assuring the originality
of the article to the publisher.
Dr. Goutam Karmakar is an Assistant Professor of English at Barabazar Bikram Tudu
Memorial College, Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, West Bengal, India. He has completed his
Ph.D. from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of
Technology Durgapur (NITD), West Bengal, India. His essays, research papers, book reviews
and poems have been published in many reputed International Journals. He has taken interviews
of many notable Indian poets writing in English. Apart from organizing one international
conference in India, he has presented papers in many international conferences in India,
England, Germany and other European countries. He has edited four critical books on Indian
poetry in English. He seeks interest in Indian Writings in English, South Asian Literature, Film
Studies, Marxism and Post Marxism, Ecocritical Studies, Dalit literature, Mythology, Folklore
and Culture Studies. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Rajarshi Roy, is a final year M.Phil scholar at the Department of English, Jadavpur University.
He is also a recepient of the Rashtriya Uchhatara Shikhya Abhiyan (Phase-2.0) Fellowship, under
which he is involved in producing a translation of Prasantakumar Paul’s “Rabijeebani”, which
is an archival biography of Rabindranath Tagore. He had been, nominated for the Indian Centre
for Philosophical Research Annual Young Scholar’s Award 2019, for his keynote “The March of
The Fascists” (available on his academia.edu handle). He has published numeous papers mostly
on his academic interests (phenomenology of time, science fiction) in numerous journals of
international academic repute. His interests include Philosophy of the sciences, Political
Economy and chess problems. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
About the Journal:
The Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (ISSN 0252-8169) is a half-yearly journal
published by the Vishvanatha Kaviraja Institute of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, India
since 1977. The Institute was founded on August 22, 1977 coinciding with the birth centenary of
legendary philosopher, aesthetician, and historian of Indian art, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
(1877-1947). Vishvanatha Kaviraja was a medieval Indian aesthetician. The Journal is committed
to interdisciplinary and cross-cultural issues in literary understanding and interpretation, aesthetic