CFP: Thinking Territory: Affect and Attachment towards Land in South Asia (Goa) (8/1/07; 12/16/07-12/19/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Sura Rath
contact email: 

Forum on Contemporary Theory, Baroda
Tenth International Conference
=93Thinking Territory: Affect and Attachment towards Land in South =
Call for Papers
16-19 December 2007
Venue: International Centre, Goa
Thematic Outline
The tenth international conference of the Forum on Contemporary Theory =
will be held in Goa from December 16 through December 19, 2007 in =
collaboration with the Department of English of Goa University. =20
This conference seeks to bring together social scientists, humanists and =
thinkers and practitioners in the creative arts to reflect on the symbolic =
and affective investments in land and country over the millennia in the =
subcontinent through prose, poetry, and pictures. The conference takes as =
its founding assumption that rather than an objectively given entity that =
exists a priori, =93territory=94 is a complex outcome of discursive =
meditations and everyday mediations, and a structure of sentiment produced =
through imagination, memorialization, recollection, and visualization. =
Correspondingly, =93territoriality=94 (sometimes loosely understood as =
=93the nature of territory=94) entails a state of attachment, a network of =
longing and belonging, a call to love and to die for one=92s land. How do =
spaces on the earth=92s surface get affectively transformed into places in =
which one dwells with love and care, and for which individuals suffer and =
die? The modalites for imaging and imagining territory are myriad, and =
this conference invites you to reflect on how territory comes to be =
narrated through prose, recited and sung in poetry and song, drawn and =
painted in pictures and maps, and photographed and filmed in southern =
Asia. Through the work of such imaginings, that which is terrestrial and =
worldly frequently comes to be clothed in the aura of the mystical and the =
unearthly. How do we understand the enchanted poesy of territory with the =
prosaic language of the social sciences? Territories are also a matter of =
enormous preoccupation for states, both modern and pre-modern. Can we =
think territory outside and beyond the commanding language of the state or =
the sciences it deploys to govern and defend that which it sees as its =
own? The very logic of this conference suggests that we can and we must, =
and that the state=92s measure and stilling of territory is countered and =
contested by popular memories and memorializations, and by pilgrimages and =
peregrinations. In turn, how do such popular practices and attitudes =
toward territory reflect*and are in turn products of*caste, class, =
linguistic, ethnic, religious, and gendered cleavages of time and place? =
Not least, this conference seeks to understand the immense capacity that =
some territories have in summoning up the love of some who dwell in them =
to the point of dying for them. How can we understand this profound sense =
of affect and attachment with which some people inhabit some places? Can =
we even think territory without a theory of affect and sentiment?
We invite you to submit a title and brief abstract (of 500 words) broadly =
addressing such themes and ideas. Possible topics might include (but are =
not limited to): the prose and poetry of territory; gendered territories; =
sacred landscapes and the secular sciences of territory; cartography and =
the making of territory; and memorialization of land and landscapes. =
Papers that deal with what we might learn about affect and attachment =
through terms, concepts, and sentiments used in South Asian languages to =
categorize and think territory will be welcome, as will presentations =
which consider affective attachments that develop to places as a result of =
everyday labor and work.
Special Sessions
In addition, we invite papers for three special sessions:=20
Theorizing Territory: This panel will consider theoretical approaches to =
the question of territory with a special emphasis on theories of affect =
and sentiment that might be useful for such an endeavor.
When Art Meets Country: This panel will consider the manner in which those =
in the creative arts have related to land, landscape, homeland, country, =
and territory.
Pundalik N. Naik=92s Novel =93The Upheaval=94: In conformity with our =
earlier practice, a special panel on a regional text will be one of the =
highlights of the nning Konkani novel Acchev, translated into =
English as The Upheaval (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002). Set in =
rural Goa of the 1970s, the novel depicts the destruction of nature in the =
wake of industrial encroachment on the land and people. The author has =
tried to capture vividly the changes that have taken place in rural Goa =
with the arrival of mining entrepreneurs. The traditional family structure =
has suffered degradation in the process, but the author through his use of =
photographic imagery has succeeded in re-creating a vision of rural life =
as an aesthetic imaginary to countervail the impact of mindless industriali=

Submission Deadline
500-word abstract or proposal is due by August 1, 2007. Complete papers =
should be limited to 12 pages (approximately 15 minutes of reading time). =
A longer version may be submitted for possible publication in the Journal =
of Contemporary Thought or in the conference volume brought out by the =
Forum. The completed paper should reach the Convener of the Conference by =
October 30, 2007.
Conference Volume
Select papers from the conference and from those submitted in response to =
the =93Call for Papers=94 will be included in the conference volume, which =
will be ready for formal release at the 2008 conference of the Forum. =
Completed papers should reach us as email attachments by the end of June =
Registration Deadline
The last date for receiving the registration fee is August 1, 2007. =
However, we encourage participants to register early so that their =
accommodation at the International Centre is assured. Those who register =
late will be accommodated in Goa University Guest House, which is not very =
far from the venue of the conference. All participants need to be =

Participant from India (member of the Forum) Rs. 4000/
Participant from India (non-member) Rs. 6000/
Overseas Participant (non-SAARC countries) US $ 300/
Overseas Participant (SAARC countries) US $ 150/
Local Participant (member of the Forum) Rs. 1500/
Local Participant (non-member) Rs. 3000/
Student Participant (from Goa) Rs. 500/
The registration fee will cover room and board from the afternoon of the =
15th December to the morning of the 20th December, and cost of the =
conference volume dedicated to the 9th international conference held in =
Udaipur. The fee from the local participant will cover lunch, conference =
tea and the cost of the conference volume. The participants should arrive =
in the afternoon of December 15th and stay on until the morning of =
December 20 to make the full use of the facilities offered by the =
International Centre. The conference will begin at about 9 am on the 17th =
and will be over at about 6 pm on the 19th December.
Sightseeing Tour
16 December is reserved for local sightseeing. Those who wish to avail =
themselves of this tour will have to pay an extra amount to be determined =
by the local coordinators. The tour will include the churches of Old Goa, =
the temples and beaches.=20

For further information any of the following may be contacted:
Prafulla C. Kar
Director, Centre for Contemporary Theory, Baroda
0265-6622512; 0265-2338067
Sumathi Ramaswamy
Professor of History
University of Michigan
1029 Tisch Hall
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1003, USA
K. Sripad Bhat and Kiran Budkuley
Local Coordinators, Department of English
Goa University, Taleigao Plateau
Goa 403206
Tel: (0832) 2335208; 2417870

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Received on Fri Jan 19 2007 - 20:25:28 EST