The Digital Divide: South Asia in Crisis

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
MLA 2018 Special Session
contact email: 

While digital technologies are generally seen as empowering because they offer increased scholarship opportunities and resources through Open Access, affordable education through MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses), and unlimited interpersonal interactions through social media, why is it that in South Asian countries, access to digital technologies only perpetuates existing social divisions?  Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey in their landmark study, The Great Indian Phone Book (2013) describe the mobile phone as a remarkable agent of change, but just how economically and socially leveliing is this change?  We seek proposals for papers that examine gender, class, geographical and cultural divides in the use of digital technologies in South Asian literatures and cultures.  Papers might explore how research/literacy/social interactions have changed as a result of digital access.   Or discusss how digital access has impacted literary productions of Indian writing, whether in regional languages or English.  Papers might also show how contemporary digital depency is finding representation in television and cinema.  Please send 300 word abstracts and a brief bio to by March 15.