Envisioning Temporality in South Asian Studies: Anticolonial Past, Resistant Present and Radical Futures

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Sritama Chatterjee
contact email: 


Paper proposals of 300 words and a 100 word bio-note are invited for South Asian Literary Association(SALA) nominated *guaranteed panel for MLA 2021* to be held in Toronto from 7th to 10th January, 2021

Short Description of the panel :

What are the modalities through which time is lived and imagined in South Asia? Abstracts of 300 words are invited by 15th March, 2020.

Sritama Chatterjee, University of Pittsburgh (src88@pitt.edu)

Thisshort description can also be found here: https://mla.confex.com/mla/2021/webprogrampreliminary/Paper12879.html

(Note that the new deadline on the MLA Website is yet to be updated)

Detailed Description:

This panel primarily aims at investigating the modalities through which time is lived, experienced, encountered and imagined in contemporary South Asia. Given that ‘South Asia’ as an area, a conceptual category of analysis and as a methodology is predominantly considered as spatial and geographic, what would it mean to envision a future of South Asian Studies in terms of temporality? The panel would also articulate the assemblages and the tensions between South Asian Studies with Postcolonial theory, where the latter has generated a body of work on decoloniality, anticolonial thought and neoliberalism that approaches time as fragmented and contingent rather than genealogical.

In the last decade, South Asia has increasingly seen the rise of several mass movements, including but not limited to the Anti- Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) Movement in India and Road Safety Movement in Bangladesh in 2018 that have seen students, women and the transgender community on the streets, in a fight for social justice and equity. The contemporary moment in South Asia can be characterized as one of resistance which has been significantly shaped by the legacy of a past that is built on anticolonial solidarities and internationalisms. In such a state of turmoil and struggle, how would South Asian Studies as a discipline adapt, engage, respond and visualize the future? Can radicalism as a philosophy and praxis offer a method of rethinking the future in South Asian Studies? What are the various scales of time through which South Asia can be understood that are not necessarily referential or global? Can time be differentiated from space and place in South Asia? Is there a South Asian way of approaching time? What are the frameworks through which notions of postcolonial time can be productively put into conversation with South Asians postulation of temporality which would help in revitalizing not just the disciplinary contours of the field but would also be effective in interrogating the commitment of South Asian Studies beyond the academy ?

Paper proposals interrogating the key questions above in not more than 300 words on the following sub-themes, but not limited to these themes are invited:-

a)      Anticolonialism, Decoloniality, Neoliberalism

b)      History, Archive and South Asia

c)      Radicalism, resistance and revolution

d)      Anthropocene, Plantationocene and South Asia

e)      Space, Place and Time in South Asia

f)       Methods and Time in South Asia

g)      The ordinary, the mundane and the Grand

h)      Scale and South Asia

i)       Genres, textual Forms and Temporality

j)       Migration and Trauma Time

k)      Multispecies Entanglements in South Asia and Time

l)       Postcolonial, Contemporary and Futurities

m)   Public sphere and time

n)      Time Beyond the Academy

  • o)      Time as relation and extraction

p)      Gendering time

q)      Time and Pedagogy

Please feel free to get in touch with me with questions:  src88@pitt.edu