UPDATE:'The Road Not Taken': Explorations in Narrative Refusals, Disnarration, and Counterfactual Histories

full name / name of organization: 
Indian Institute of Technology [IIT] Bombay
contact email: 

Plenary speakers:
Professor Jasbir Jain,
Hon Director, Institute for Research in Interdisciplinary Studies (IRIS), Sahitya Akademi Writer-in-Residence, 2009

Professor Supriya Chaudhuri
Professor and Coordinator, Centre of Advanced Study, Department of English, Jadavpur University

Papers are invited for a two-day refereed conference on Disnarration from 1st to 2nd March 2013, at IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India.

Gerald Prince's introduction of the 'disnarrated' in 1988 marks an interesting milestone in the evolution of narrative theory. The notion of what could have, but does not happen in a narrative, opens up new ways of looking at texts and at their visibility, overt and implicit.

An early landmark text in this tradition is Jane Austen's _Northanger Abbey_ (1818), which raises the spectre of the gothic novel through irony and parody, precisely in order to refuse to narrate it.

By discarding possibilities in the progression of plot, or by countering/contradicting a generic convention, the disnarrated can address issues about a narrative's tellability. Indicating the path of 'what might have been', the disnarrated implicates paradigms like genre, and structuring strategies like choice and closure. Disnarration thereby also lends itself to self-reflexivity in the text as well as in its reading.

Papers, twenty minutes long, are invited on the modes and uses of disnarration in texts. Papers are also welcome on counterfactual historical novels (parahistory/alternate history), which by presenting an alternate history, address issues and sentiments, taking the idea of disnarration ahead.

Topics include, but are not restricted to:

* Self-reflexivity through the disnarrated
* The disnarrated as a retardatory device
* Economy and Disnarration
* Competing stories, narrative logic
* Disnarration and compulsions of context
* Disnarration and thresholds of interpretation

Please submit email abstracts of approximately 300 words, plus a brief bio-note in MS Word format.

Contact Email: shastri@hss.iitb.ac.in

Deadline for abstracts is 30th September 2012.

Registration fee of 750/- INR (waived for students)

Participants will be informed of acceptance by 1st November 2012.

Dr Sudha Shastri
Associate Professor of English,
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences,
IIT Bombay, Mumbai, INDIA