[UPDATE] 'The Female Kipling' and the British Raj: A Critical Anthology on Flora Annie Steel (Feb. 15, 2014)

full name / name of organization: 
Susmita Roye, Delaware State University (USA)
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'The Female Kipling' and the British Raj:
A Critical Anthology on Flora Annie Steel

Anybody who has delved into the scholarly field of Memsahibs' writings of British India has come across the works by a famous "unconventional" memsahib, Flora Annie Steel (1847-1929). This memsahib-writer has been variously hailed as the "Novelist of India" and the "Star of India". She was a prolific writer, who narrated fictional tales colored by her first-hand experience of Indian life and life in India. Wife of an ICS officer, she lived in British India for 22 years, travelled across the north-west of the subcontinent and, out of her curiosity to see the 'real India', learned Indian languages to better communicate with the natives she met. For her enthusiasm to learn about India and write about what she thought to be the heart of India, she stood out among the other memsahibs. Her works range from novels (like On the Face of the Waters), short fiction (like 'In the Permanent Way'), collection of Indian folk-tales (Tales of the Punjab), to guides for other memsahibs in colonial India (The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook).

As mentioned, scholars and critics studying the memsahibs' writings almost inevitably come across and/or work on Steel's oeuvre. Benita Parry, Indrani Sen, Nancy Paxton, Jenny Sharpe, among others, have critically analyzed Steel's writings. Violet Powell has penned down a biography of Steel. Despite the significance of Steel as a colonial woman writer and the extant critical works on her, we do not have any major edited collection of essays bringing together scholarly articles on Steel for the benefit of the researchers, scholars and students of Memsahib's literature. This collection of articles proposes to address that lack.

The editor invites scholarly articles on Flora Annie Steel, and her literature on and relationship with India. Topics for essays may include, but are not limited to:
* Critical analysis of Steel's short fiction
* Critical analysis of Steel's novels
* Analysis of Steel's overall contribution to memsahib's literature
* Analysis of Steel's stature as an 'unconventional' memsahib
* Steel's relationship with and contribution to British India
* The Raj machinery as seen by this unconventional memsahib
* 'Colonized' women as seen by this 'colonizer' woman
* Steel as a 'maternal imperialist'
* Study of gender and imperialism as evident in Steel's works
* Intra-racial tensions, if any, in the gaze of a memsahib-writer like Steel
* Life at Home and out in the Colony
* Sense of exile and pain of alienation
* Portrayal of missionary women, barrack wives and white maid servants
* Steel as a female 'Dissenter and Maverick'
* Femininity and/or feminism in Steel's female gaze

Susmita Roye (Associate Professor of English, Department of English and Foreign Languages, Delaware State University, USA; email: sroye_at_desu.edu)

Timeline of this project:
This project is already at an advanced stage where other contributors have submitted their papers. However, to further enrich the quality of our collection and enhance the diversity of critical analyses of Steel's work, a few more articles are being solicited. Therefore, if you are interested, kindly submit your abstract at your earliest for consideration. Please note that an invitation to submit completed essay will not necessarily guarantee inclusion in the collection; all final decisions will be made on the merit of the full-length article.

Abstracts = 700 words
Full-length articles = 6,000-9,000 words

Please send your abstract to Susmita Roye by FEBRUARY 15, 2014. Any questions or requests for further information are also to be directed to her at sroye@desu.edu