full name / name of organization:
Prof. Mala Renganathan / North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India
This is a Call for Papers announcement. We plan to bring out an edited volume of critical essays on Rabindranath Tagore's Plays to be published by reputed book publishers. The Concept Note for the volume is attached below. The deadline for the online submission of the abstract is 20 March 2014 and the deadline for the online submission of the final article is 1 May 2014.
Mala Renganathan (North-Eastern Hill Universirty) & Arnab Bhattacharjee (Rabindra Bharathi University) (Co-Editors)
Dr. Mala Renganathan
Professor, Department of English
North-Eastern Hill University
Shillong – 793022, Meghalaya
The Concept Note
The vast criticism on Rabindranath Tagore, Asia’s first Nobel Laureate, has so far dwelt on his aesthetics, through his poetry and fiction rather than drama. In the voluminous repertory of Tagore literature comprising of poems, short stories, novels, essays and plays, Tagore plays, highly innovative and skillful, occupy a central position in Indian drama and also reflect Rabindranath Tagore’s inimitable status as a cultural icon. Tagore experimented with dance, music, dance drama, plays in a unique manner that speaks volumes of his concepts of environment, education, gender and women, postcolonial encounters, romantic idealism and universality. Tagore’s plays are sites of his experimentations with new performance modes, like the writing and staging of an all women play on stage for the first time or the use of cross-cultural styles like Manipuri dance style, or Thai craft in stage design, or the Baul singing styles, etc. Most criticism on Tagore drama, found as part of critical anthologies devoted to his entire works, provides rare access to the abundant richness of the dramatist’s texts and performances. Rarely any attempts have been made at a rediscovery of Tagore’s translations and adaptations, in order to internationalize the cross-cultural encounters or the border crossings found in Tagore’s plays. Hence the need to attempt a volume exclusively devoted to Tagore’s drama, with the hope of reconstructing a dramatic criticism that attempts an exciting re-exploration of Tagore’s plays, available both in Bengali original and English translation.
No critical endeavor on Tagore drama is complete without an adequate focus on his contribution to Indian drama, particularly his attempts to Indianize English in his plays. Such an attempt will allow the universal dramaturgy to resurface through his songs, dances, dance dramas, plays, and also attempt a cultural and performance research into Tagore plays. There are innumerable issues for an enchanting critical exploration of Tagorean drama, such as, Tagore’s contribution to Indian drama, Tagore drama and environment, education, feminism, postcolonial engagement, cross-cultural encounters, Tagore drama as performance, Tagore drama in translational and adaptation modes, the non- translated or the non-translatable Tagore drama, the universal Tagore drama, the spatial Tagore, Tagore drama in the 21st century and Tagore on film. The volume aims to serve as a wide-ranging and up-to-date resource on Tagore drama criticism. For the purpose of concentration and focus, the book would consist of two major components – the political themes and the reception. The political themes would primary deal with essays on postcolonial, feminist and ecological perspectives on Tagore’s plays. The reception component would comprise of essays on the cross-cultural responses, pedagogy and theatrical approaches to Tagore’s plays. Here the editors would like to clarify that the cross-cultural responses would look at the local, regional, national, and global responses to Tagore’s plays, seen in terms of the critical as well as theatrical responses to Tagore’s drama. Whereas the theatrical aspects will primarily focus on the theatrical dimensions of Tagore’s plays, in order to avoid the overlapping that might occur. Moreover cross-cultural responses need not be only theatre or performance oriented, but also translation or adaptation based, thereby covering even adaptations or translation studies. Viewed within this structural framework the essays will be arranged in the following manner:
Part I - Themes
1) Section I: Tagore's drama and postcolonial encounters
2) Section II: Tagore's drama and feminist views
3) Section III: Tagore's drama and ecocritical ideas
Part II – Reception
4) Section IV: Tagore’s drama: cross-cultural explorations
5) Section V: Tagore & Pedagogy: Teaching Tagore’s drama
6) Section VI: The Theatrical Aspects of Tagore’s plays
The opening section will offer essays on Tagore’s plays as a site of postcolonial encounters, and includes an exciting exploration of the key paradigms of postcolonialism in Tagore’s drama, like changing perspectives of Tagore drama in relation to postcolonialism, new understandings of Tagore based on postcolonial historiography, relation of Tagore drama to colonialism and imperialism, and its dramatic discourses of engagement and contestation.
The second section will underline the importance of understanding Tagore plays in the context of feminism, offering a wide-ranging perspectives on Tagore’s representations of women in his plays, his projection of the female actors on stage, the use of the feminine or female idiom, feminist approach to Tagore and so on.
The third section will offer contextualization of Tagore drama within the perspective of his explorations of ecological values and representations of the environment.
The fourth section will discuss the validity of Tagore drama in the background of his plays having received productions in both the regional, national as well as the international theatre repertoire, including the various regional, national and international productions as well as the translations they received into numerous languages.
The fifth section will undertake the pedagogical challenges involved in the teaching of Tagore plays, whereby Tagore as a teacher is re-explored through his plays, and examined how far they reflect the pedagogical values of the dramatist.
The final section will deal with the theatrical aspect of Tagore’s plays, and will highlight the stagecraft, mise en scène, construction of the theatrical time and allied themes in the perspective of the traditional Indian dramaturgy as well as the European dramatic art