Memory Markers: Mapping Indian Narratives

deadline for submissions: 
July 20, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Elwin Susan John & Merin Wilson

Our cultural exercises and transactions have a symbiotic relationship with the past. The traces of our past determine the essence of the present and these traces manifest as memories. This fluid and liminal nature of memories lends an element of elasticity while crafting personal and collective identities, nationhood, history, body, imagination, communities, erasure and approval of knowledge systems and much more. The process of recollecting, recalling, remembering, retrieving, registering, witnessing, repressing, recording, forming, forgetting memories frees them from all forms of spatial and temporal boundaries and makes them powerful agents of disruption and change. Memory studies is a burgeoning area of exploration in India and this collection of essays aims to explore in an interdisciplinary manner, the protean nature of memories and their potential to shape and contest Indian narratives.

History is not possible without memories but recorded histories are very often rooted in selective memories. Memories are seen as ‘unreliable’ because they seem to centre around singular events, atmosphere or mood. Yet divergent memories can give rise to disturbing questions regarding official accounts. For example, they can challenge simple narratives of social media accounts or more complex narratives like the Partition of India or the Bhopal gas tragedy. But memories are valuable because they throw light on the society which chooses to celebrate certain memories, ignore some and forget some others. We would like to explore the role memory has played and continues to play in the production/destabilisation of Indian narratives. We would like to do so within the broader discourse of the social, cultural, political and technological shift of recent times and without making any essentialist or monolithic claims about memory.

The following sub-points can be used to deliberate on the research possibilities of memory studies.

● sensoria and memory

● food and memory

● technology and memory

● diaspora and memory

● disability and memory

● language and memory

● liminality and memory

● memory and globalization

● memory and bibliotherapy

● postmodernism and memory

● politics of identity and memory

● translation of memories

● pandemics and ‘memory worlds’

● colonial and postcolonial memory

● narrative turn in memory studies

● memory and medical humanities

● definition of nationhood and memory

● constructing memories and spaces

● role of memory in the creation of history

● curating memory through social media

● representation of memory in popular culture

● memorialization and preservation of memories

● remembering and forgetting as conscious actions

● forgetting as an active act of healing

● locating memory through the lens of race, gender and caste

● oral and chirographic ways of representing memory

● sites of memory like museums, archives, memorials, monuments etc

● literary manifestations of memory as in forensic literature, trauma literature, geriatric literature, environmental literature, war literature, genocidal literature etc

Guidelines for authors

● Last date to submit abstract: July 15, 2021

● We are looking for abstracts that are 250-300 words in length and a brief bio-note in about 100 words.

● Email abstracts and chapters to:

● Upon selection of abstracts, authors should send original, unpublished essays in English language with a significant research statement.

● Full length chapter submission: August 30, 2021

● Essays should follow MLA 8th Edition with a word limit of 3500-4000 words.


The collection of essays will be published by an international publishing house


Dr Elwin Susan John (Assistant Professor, Sophia College, Mumbai)

Ms Merin Wilson (Assistant Professor, Madras Christian College, Chennai)