Mahesh Dattani's Plays: Language and Culture

deadline for submissions: 
February 28, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Niladri R. Chatterjee (Department of English, University of Kalyani), Nibedita Mukherjee (Department of English, Sidho Kanho Birsha University, and Nilanjana Chatterjee (Department of English, Durgapur Govt. College)

Call For Book Chapters

Mahesh Dattani's Plays: Language and Culture


Niladri R. Chatterjee (Department of English, University of Kalyani), Nibedita Mukherjee (Department of English, Sidho Kanho Birsha University, and Nilanjana Chatterjee (Department of English, Durgapur Govt. College)


Scope of the Book:

Brecht in "New Age" observes, 'A new age does not begin all of a sudden...Wisdom was passed on from mouth to mouth.' And in doing so, the new meat is possibly eaten with the old forks. In the 20th Century, Indian English playwrights, like Gurucharan Das, Pratap Sharma, Bharati Sarabhai, Manjula Padmanabhan or Asif Currimbhoy  has attempted in his/her own way to open up cultural spaces for Indian English Theatre with perhaps a protective (but critical) relationship to Indian classical or folk culture. Mahesh Dattani too identifies or/and responds to the cultural problem-spaces as an Indian English playwright but most likely with a spork. Dattani appears to metamorphose the cultural legacy of the Indian English Theatre by ‘dirtying’ Indian English with regional impurities so that cultural hygiene is productively infected. In1984, he founded his playgroup 'Playpen' and in 1986, he wrote his first play Where There's a Will. Since then Dattani seems to be packaging his plays with innovative matter and manner. We think (but not indoctrinate) that the need of the hour is to acknowledge the fact that Dattani unapologetically writes for the English speaking Indian middleclass spectators and readers, wherein language acts as a probable tool to problematise culture. His characters, strategically injected with cultural impurity, can speak. But, our question is, what do they speak? If Dattani's cultural and political project is to visibilize their structures of feeling, then our question is, what do they feel? The book, therefore, intends to look at Dattani's plays and examine how language (quiet and loud) and culture is produced, and analyse whether one sufficiently and productively pollutes the other.

We, in this book, while acknowledging the existing scholarship on Dattani’s Plays, attempt to focus on an area that is relatively under-analysed. The book proposes to collectively unpack what Dattani's texts are doing to English language. Second, it intends to enquire how does this language produce culture, and third, what does this language intend to communicate? Reading Dattan’s texts through linguistic or/and cultural lens/es, the book proposes to adumbrate the contours of Indian English Theatre. Such Critical analyses of the everyday language and culture of Dattani's texts might prove valuable to appreciate his plays in a more productive way.

The Book proposes to Include Chapters Related to, but not limited to:

1. Deconstructive Study

2. Post-Modern Reading

3. Psychoanalytical Reading

4. Marxist Reading

5. Cultural Materialistic Reading

6. Stylistic Reading

7. Culinary Approach

8. Aging and Identity/Gerontology

9. Theory of Liminality

10. Body Talk (Disabled bodies, aging bodies, Illness, Medicines, Pain, Parenting, Distress, Pathological complexity, the Dying People) in Medical Humanities

11. Use of Music

12. Childhood Homes

* However, all these perspectives are to be studied with specific relation to language and/or culture


Abstract Submission:

Contributors are advised to send abstracts of 250 words with maximum 08 Keywords along with a brief CV by 28th February, 2021 to the mail ids, and .

 Selected Papers are supposed to be submitted in full with abstract and declaration in an MS Word file by 31st July, 2021. While submitting the abstract, the title of the book "Mahesh Dattani's Plays: Language and Culture" should be in the subject place of the mail.

Selection Procedure:

All submissions will go through editorial review process. The details of the selected paper will be informed to the Contributors via email by 31st March, 2021.