Call for Chapters - Pastoral and Anti-Pastoral: Exploring the Representation of City and the Village in Literature ( DEADLINE EXTENDED to 21 May 2021)

deadline for submissions: 
May 21, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Shubhanku Kochar/ Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and Dr. Neepa Sarkar/ Mount Carmel College, Bangalore

The Twentieth century saw the rapid development of the city and its impact on the socio-cultural fabric of nations manifested in the social and cultural ways of living. The city came to be represented as an urban wasteland and the loss and moving away from the pastoral was eulogised in many texts. These texts looked into the anonymity of the individual in the milieu of the city where the older closed bonds of the familiar rural community got replaced by the unfamiliar existence. The village was seen as an idyllic space nurturing the humans towards an organic and symbiotic coexistence and ways of living. In contrast, the city or the urbanscape was moulded by experiences of loneliness, alienation, darkness and crime, wherein the humans became characterised by their consumerism, materiality and desire.

Terry Gifford has argued that one can read literature by way of looking at it through pastoral and anti pastoral parameters. Pastoral as a trope has been there since ancient times and with the development of society, one finds literature also representing the same metaphor and motif that of evolution or transition from village to city. Pastoral is, as Gifford argues, glorification of village life whereas, anti- pastoral is critique of the village life. For rich and aristocrats, village life is full of blessings and comforts. whereas, for poor and oppressed the village life is harsh and cruel. In contemporary times, when environmental threats are dominating the mainstream discourse, critics are rethinking about the place of village and city in the present model of development.

This volume of critical essays seeks to decode the heterogeneity and plural effects of urban and rural spaces as well as negotiate the tenuous relationship between identity and belonging in postcolonial, global times. This book will try to explore the complex relationship and negotiations between collective memory and places (both urban and rural) in a postcolonial and global context. The contributions might focus on but are certainly not limited to:

Representation of the city in literature

Representation of the village  in literature

How Romantic writers of Europe, India, America and elsewhere have conceptualized village as source of joy, innocence and purity

How Romantic writers of Europe, India, America and elsewhere have classified city as a place of crime, corruption, disease and negativity

Portrayal of rural/ urban spaces as landscapes of violence, segregation and injustice.

How one remembers one’s home as village or city when one is away from it

Nostalgia and the city

Nostalgia and the village

City and the flaneur



Abstracts of 250 words with a brief author bio note (100 words) with " Pastoral and Anti Pastoral Submission" in the subject line to be sent to both the editors Dr. Shubhanku Kochar ( and Dr. Neepa Sarkar ( The deadline for abstract submission is May 21, 2021. If accepted, the final chapters will be due on  31 July 2021. For general queries and submissions do get in touch with the editors.