CFP: Critiquing Humanism (Deadline May 15, 2016)

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Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry Vol 3 No 1

The recent refugee crisis in Europe has brought to the fore the pressing aspects of the precarious nature of human life. This is not a sudden crisis as scholars have traced its historical roots with the exploits of "Western" capitalism, imperialism, environment, and war on terror. Such engagement has also given us different politico-philosophical points of analysis of the condition: for instance, the rise of terms such as "precariat," "new subaltern," "precarity" (Guy Standing; Simon During), the debates on "Anthropocene" and "capitalocene" (Dipesh Chakraborty; Jason W Moore), or the interest in neuro-biological or communal human affects (Catherine Malabou; Judith Butler). Added to such is the challenge of the machines and objects in our daily life. Gadgets of the virtual world, such as computers, cell phones, or the internet, have become a dominant mode of the production and transmission of knowledge. These developments in technology have also affected the humanities and social sciences research as machines, objects, nonhuman animals, and digital humanities have been brought to critical notice with emphasis on ethics, rights, and existence (Peter Singer; Huggan & Tiffin; Donna Haraway). At pace with it, the world has recently seen an unprecedented rise in consolidated protests and non-violent resistance movements, from the Arab countries to the far corners (from Eastern Europe to Latin America and South East Asia), conjuring up images of twentieth century humanist resistance movements against the tyrannical, imperialist-colonial regimes (Nilsen; Roberts, Willis et al; Gledhill and Schell, etc.).

These diverse, somewhat contradictory, and challenging aspects call for a renewed engagement with humanism in the twenty first century. How do we read humanism today? What role does "precarity" play in such readings? Is it at all a viable concept when we are dominated so pressingly by machines and gadgets, the digital challenges, and by neoliberal late-capitalist concerns? What do the various protest movements speak to us? And finally, how can this new critical humanism, if we may call it, respond ethically to questions of class, gender, race and caste discriminations?

Literature has always been an important medium as well as a mode of production to explore the human in both its flurry of overreaching and its liminal vulnerability. We are interested in teasing out the implications of literature's engagement with this new critical humanism or better still a critique of humanism, oscillating between the "anti" and the "alter." We are happy to consider perspectives from different angles and fields: especially those of literature in relation to philosophy, new media studies, politics, history, sociology, visual culture, fine arts, science studies, cultural studies, anthropology, and animal studies. Contributors are welcome to consider the following topics without being limited to them:

Humanism and its implications today
Humanism, Posthumanism and Literature
Digital Humanities and Educational Culture
Humanism and Anti-Humanism
Humanism and Social Movements
Humanism and Affect
Literature, the Human and Production
Humanism and New Media
The Human and the Non-Human
Humanism and Technology
Biology, the new Human and Literature
Humanism, Literature and Climate Change
Critique of Humanism under the Capitalist regime
Bio-politics and Humanism
Humanism, Mob Violence and Collective Resistance
Humanism in the age of Identity Politics
Humanism and Religion
Humanism and the Universal
Humanism and the Multicultural
Humanism and the Precariat
Humanism and Terror

Prospective papers addressing the issue should be sent to by May 15, 2016. The decisions will be communicated to the authors by June 30, 2016. The issue will be published in late July, 2016. The papers should be between 5000 and 7000 words in length including notes and references, sent along with an abstract not exceeding 200 words and five or six keywords. For further information on style and guidelines, please log on to: