Call for Papers International Seminar on “Narratives of Violence and Terror in South Asia” 16-18 November, 2017 at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya, India

deadline for submissions: 
July 22, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Department of English, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong - 793022, Meghalaya, India
contact email: 

“Terrorism will spill over if you don’t speak up” – Malala Yousafzai

Terror and violence have become markers of the times that we live in. Violence has become endemic in all walks of life. We experience violence at home and outside, both in private and public spheres. Violence manifests in different forms - as domestic, caste, communal, ethnic, racial, gender, national and state violence. In its extreme form, violence takes the form of terror and threatens human security. Practically no country or community appears to be safe in the post-9/11 world that we live in.

The manifestations of violence and terror have attracted the attention of scholars, academicians, and social activists.  Efforts have been made to understand the nature, forms and impact of terror and violence. Ways and means have been explored and suggested to put a check on different forms of violence and terror. Theories of violence, terror and trauma have been propounded by theorists like Walter Benjamin, Sorel, Hannah Arendt, Zizek, Balibar, Cathy Caruth, Jill Didur, Susan Sontag, Susan Faludi, Gyanendra Pandey, Sudhir Kakar, Amartya Sen, Arundhati Roy, Veena Das and Asish Nandy. Walter Benjamin attempts a radical intellectual formulation of the poetics of violence. Hannah Arendt engages with violence as a discursive category of analysis, bringing out effectively the instrumentality of the state and its relationship with the moments of ‘radical evil.’ Arundhati Roy’s perspective on terror provides a significant insight, as she holds: “Terrorism is a heartless ideology, and like most ideologies that have their eye on the Big Picture, individuals don't figure in their calculations except as collateral damage. It has always been a part of and often even the aim of terrorist strategy to exacerbate a bad situation in order to expose hidden fault lines. The blood of "martyrs" irrigates terrorism” (“The Monster in the Mirror” Web).

In different ways, writers and artists have also made sincere efforts to portray different forms of violence and terror in their creative writings, films, documentaries, theatre and paintings. South Asian countries have been experiencing violence and terror in their different manifestations. The implications of violence and terror on people’s lives are effectively captured in writings and other art forms.  To name a few, South Asian writers like Mahasweta Devi, Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni, Indira Goswami, Arundhati Roy, Khaled Hosseini, Nadeem Aslam, Mohsin Hamid, Taj Begum Renzu, Gamini Akmeemana, Maureen Seneviratne, T. Arasanayagam, Monica Ali, Maryse Jayasuriya, Pradeep Jeganathan, Rajani Thiranagama, Anne Ranasinghe, Richard de Zoysa, among others, address the problem of terror and violence zealously.

As violence and terrorism have reached global dimension, it becomes imperative to articulate comprehensive, critical and comparative perspectives on these literary and artistic expressions of violence and terror. 


The seminar would focus on the following sub themes:

Theorizing Narratives on Terror and Violence

9/11 and after: Western Literary Narratives on Terrorism

Narratives on Terror in South Asian Literature

Insurgency and Terror Narratives on Kashmir and Northeast India

Narratives on Partition and Displacement

Gender Narratives on Terror / Violence

Caste, Ethnicity and Community

Theatre on Terror and Violence

Films and Visual Narratives

Memory and Trauma


The Department of English (North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Meghalaya, India) calls for abstracts, from scholars and academicians working on these themes from India and abroad. Participants whose abstracts are selected will be notified by 7 August 2017.


Deadline for submission of abstract (300-500 words) and a bio note (150 words):  22 July 2017, 1700 hours, IST).

Deadline for submission of full papers (3000 to 5000 words): 7 October 2017, 1700 hours, IST).

Contact email for submissions:

Registration Fees:

  1. For participants from India and SAARC countries:

a)      For outstation Participants – Rs. 3000/- (with accommodation); Rs. 1000/- (without accommodation)

b)      For local Participants – Rs. 1000/- (without accommodation)


  1. For other international participants:

a)      Faculty - $150/-

b)      Students - $75/-


Note: No TA/DA will be provided. Mode of payment of Registration fee will be intimated later. For any further information regarding the seminar please contact 919436732332 (M).