The Literary Present and the Postcolonial Condition An International Conference 14-16 November, 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Department of English, International Islamic University, Islamabad

At the end of the World War II, the British and the French territorial control over the colonies began to crumble and a new global condition emerged in which erstwhile colonies transformed into newly independent or created nation-states. The former colonial masters, having relinquished territorial occupation, devised cultural and economic models of control that divided the world into developed and developing parts, similar to the division into the civilized and the savage parts in the colonial era. Originally literary and cultural theorists favoured violence as a necessary part of decolonization and freedom. With the demise of the Soviet Union, the emergence of a unipolar world and increased globalization, meditations on violence gave way to sophisticated theorizations of hybridity and syncretism. Novels about violent struggles began to be replaced by the narratives of immigrant families in developed countries became more acceptable forms of the literary.

After 9/11, non-state violence was seen as a serious challenge to the state's monopoly over violence and a type of literary genre emerged: the post-9/11 novel. From Jean Baudrillard's The Spirit of Terrorism to Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, John Updike's Terrorist, and Anna Perera's The Guanatanamo Boy, the liminal figure of the jihadist became the focus of theoretical and literary explorations. In other words, narrative and critical literature has always engaged with and responded to the spirit of the age. The organizers of the conference invite proposals for papers/presentations on the literary present examining its contours with a specific reference to Pakistan, a general reference to South Asia, and a broader engagement with the postcolonial condition.

The organizers of the conference welcome abstracts of papers and presentations exploring any of the following topics:

Hybridity/Syncretism and Postcolonial Identity
National and Regional Languages and the Politics of Global Translations
Folklore and the Disenchanted World
Diasporic Imagination and the Idea of Home and Location
Global Knowledge Circulation and Local Consequences
Indigeneity and Civilizational Interactions
Cultural Ownership and the Global Knowledge Industry
The Popular Imagination and the Narratives of Clashing Civilizations
Literary Constructions of the Jihadists/Fundamentalists
The Western Canon and Pedagogy in Postcolonial Locations
Stylistic Features of Pakistani Literature in English
The Politics of Gender and Postcoloniality

The conference is a three-day event that aims to examine all aspects of literature produced in English in the region.

Panel Proposals:

If you want to organize a special panel or become a discussant, please send in a detailed panel proposal at the email address given below.

Please send an abstract of 250 words to email address ( by August 1. 2012. The accepted proposals will be notified by August 20, 2012.

All abstracts will go through a double-blind peer review process.

Contact Person:
Dr. Hafiz Abid Masood
Assistant Professor
Department of English
International Islamic University
Phone (Office): 0092-51-9019636