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CREATIVE FORUM – Journal of Literary & Critical Writings
(Vol. 26, No. 1, Jan-Jun 2013)

Special Number on

Dalit writing in its formative years has been largely about articulating protest, self-respect, angst, identity, dignity, critiquing religion, politics, patriarchy, dalit patriarchy and the demand for space for dalits in social, cultural, and political spheres. However writers attacking traditional icons and symbols were not equally vocal as to what to replace them with. Dr Ambedkar publicly burned the Manusmriti in 1927; this needed an alternative icon, and Buddhism that he embraced in 1956 provided an alternative to dalits. With the maturing of dalit writing in the last two decades, there have been attempts at drawing from alternative literary, cultural and religious sources. By doing so, contemporary dalit writers are now markedly deviating from the established norms, styles and techniques of mainstream writing. Fiction, imagination and romanticization in prose writings are replaced by documentary kind of narratives, blurring the distinction between realism and fiction. Stylized syntax, pretentious diction and standardized styles have now made room for dialect and sociolect, which have earned respectability thanks to dalit writing. Folk theatre forms are now resources for prose narratives. Hindu icons, imagery and value systems are now being replaced by dalit deities, rural imagery and upturned value system. The notion of beauty and truth for example, has undergone a drastic change now, privileging the individual and his/her felt experiences rather than an abstract notion of imaginary beauty and archetypal experiences.
There is however criticism that dalit writing has run out of fuel and is repeating itself. This could be perhaps due to dalit writers' lack of creation/recreation of dalit icons. Dalit legends like Jambupurnam and the caste puranas of sudras are not being deployed in opposition to the Astadasta (eight) Puranas of Hinduism. Both dalits and sudras are yet to grow to accept each other's cultural history and tradition. Besides, the dependent dalit castes with rich cultural resources have the capacity to be able to further enrich dalit writing. Several studies in the last decade have been devoted to the thematic concerns of dalit writing, and the proposed special issue of Creative Forum concerns itself with alternative techniques, styles and strategies that dalit writers employ or need to employ in their writings.
We welcome book reviews and original research papers with innovative interpretation of dalit writing in different languages on the main theme and some following sub-themes:

• Sources of alternative narrative strategies
• Religious alternatives: drawing from dalit deities, rituals and myths
• Dalit aesthetics replacing Sanskrit aesthetics
• 'Speakerly Text': writing as one speaks/converses
• Dialect and dalit sociolect replacing standard varieties of language
• Concept of dalit aesthetics in opposition to mainstream aesthetics
• Sustainability of dalit alternative literary strategies
• Dalit aesthetics vis-a-vis post-colonial/post-modern/post-structural theories
• Failure of the Indian Left in acknowledging dalit aesthetics
• Limitations of dalit writing in creating/recreating cultural history and tradition
• Dalit-sudra interface of puranas/cultural history
• Narrative/theatre arts of dalit dependent castes
• Dalit women's interrogation of casteist feminism
• Reverse influence: dalit writing modifying mainstream writing
• Translations as validating/mainstreaming/canonizing/academicising alternative literary strategies in dalit writing
• Alternative literary strategies and implications for literary pedagogy

Papers pertaining to the areas mentioned above should be submitted electronically in MS-Word 2000-2003 format to the Guest Editor / Editors at their e-mail addresses given below not later than 31st January. The length of the papers should not exceed 5000 words and book reviews should not exceed 1200 words.

All papers submitted to CF should be original, neither having been previously published nor being considered elsewhere at the time of submission.

Manuscripts should be in conformity with the CF format, which is available on our website or according to the APA 6th edition manuscript format as specified in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

Guest Editor
Prof. K. Purushotham
Chairman, Board of Studies in English
Department of English
Kakatiya University, Warangal (AP)

Harpreet Kaur Bahri
Deepinder Singh Bahri
1749A/5, Govindpuri Extension
Kalkaji, New Delhi 110019