[UPDATE] Patterns of Story Telling: Traditions, Innovations, Visions and Revisions

full name / name of organization: 
The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the World

Story-telling has been intrinsic to human life ever since civilization began. Prior to the advent of spoken language (oral narration), experience was communicated through expressions or gestures. By the time, literature in the written form came into being, most cultural climes of the world had ample reservoir of tales/narratives told through myths and legends that comprised folk consciousness. There were thematic variations from one place to another, invariably with a moralist slant such as in Gilgamesh, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, or the Odyssey, or Beowulf, etc. The oral telling/re-telling of myths / legends/ narratives was marked by inventiveness as well as considerable improvisation even though the basic narrative frame would remain the same. James Frazer (The Golden Bough) and Joseph Campbell (The Hero with a Thousand Faces) have remarkably demonstrated ritualistic and archetypal patterns in representative narratives from different parts of the world.

A literary re-telling/re-presentation of a myth/story has to resort to adaptations, appropriations and improvisations in the process of its re-creation. At times, the master narratives are approximated whereas at other these are challenged, questioned, subverted /countered and even altered considerably, depending on the authorial prerogative which is shaped by the demands of the times. Various genres of literatures/ modes of expression have been used to telling/re-telling of stories through poetry, drama or fiction.

The theme for the 2013 MELOW Conference is "Patterns of Story-telling: Tradition and Innovation, Visions and Revisions". This broad umbrella theme will include several sub-themes like: (a) Adaptations and appropriations, (b) Theatre and performances, (c) Counter-narratives and revisionist texts, and (d) theoretical considerations. In addition there will be (e) creative writing sessions.

Abstracts of not more than 250 words may be sent.
Deadline: 15 May 2012