[UPDATE] CFP Edited volume on Tabish Khair (1st February 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Om Prakash Dwivedi and Cristina M. Gámez-Fernández (Editors)

Tabish Khair was born in 1966 in Gaya, a small Indian town of historical interest, in a Muslim middle class family. After his university education, he left for Delhi where he worked as a reporter for the Times of India for four years. Then he moved to Copenhagen in order to pursue his PhD. Currently he works in the Department of English at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Khair cannot be defined as a poet, a novelist, a reporter, a scholar, but all these altogether. Some of his most relevant publications prove the case: Where Parallel Lines Meet (2000), a poetry collection; Babu Fictions: Alienation in Indian English Novels (2001), an insightful resource book of scholarly writing dealing with essential questions as alienation, exile and language issues in Indian writing; The Bus Stopped (2004), a novel which deepens in the inexorable pace of the world which subsumes human nature and life; Other Routes (2005), an anthology of travel writing undertaken by Africans and Asians, throwing light to the biased view that only westerners undertook these dangerous and enriching explorations; Filming: A Love Story (2007), novel which explores essential human conflicts such as religious intolerance and deals with the Bombay film industry in 1940s with the Partition of India at its background scene; The Gothic, Postcolonialism and Otherness: Ghosts from Elsewhere, a scholarly study (2009); The Thing about Thugs (2010), novel based in Victorian London which examines the intricacy of human interaction as well as connections between cultures; Man of Glass: Poems (2010), his latest poetry book; or Reading Literature Today, co-authored with Sebastien Doubinsky (2011). His latest novel has just been released, entitled How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position (2012). The list of Khair's honors and awards is too long to mention and his works have been—and continue to be—translated into Brazilian, Italian, Russian, French and Danish.

He certainly holds his own views on the fast-growing postcolonial stance and claims for accurate use of terms and concepts in Post-colonial discourse. In 2005, Khair stated that he writes "for South Asians who read English and for the significant minority of western readers interested in going beyond the west's dominant discourses." Indeed he has often spoken of his understanding of "minorities" as a shaping element in his life and work. This takes him to reflect on individual memory and personal experience in contrast with collective discourses (national, religious, social…). His particular understanding of issues such as Indian writing both in India and abroad, religious intolerance, social injustice and Indian rich cultural heritage is skillfully combined with his subtle, lyrical, harsh and hilarious writing altogether. For, as Khair affirmed in 2010, what is the value of a book if it does not make you think anew. Unlike other diasporic Indian writers, Khair visits India regularly, and his reluctance to change his Indian passport for a Danish one speaks of his being deeply rooted in Indian cultures.

We seek contributions that will approach Khair's writings from different and varied perspectives. Scholars are invited to engage with Khair's academic writings in a fruitful dialogue, to analyze his social, political and religious concerns, to delve into his special poetic vision and language and to elucidate his characteristics as a novelist, deepening in his literary powers. Different critical stances and approaches are welcome.

Prospective authors are invited to submit a formal abstract (300-500 words) by 15th October 2012. After approval, full papers (4000-7000 words) must be submitted by 1st February 2013. The volume is likely to appear by 2014 from a refereed publishing house, still to be confirmed. Abstracts and full papers should be sent as attachments as Word files (2003 or 2007 versions) to: om_dwivedi2003@yahoo.com and cristina.gamez@uco.es