Call for Papers for Edited Volume Celebrating 75 years of Indian Independence
Call for Papers for an Edited Volume
Editors: Dr Meenu A. Gupta and Dr Kamalpreet Kaur
We invite chapters for an edited volume of essays dedicated to the glorious event of 75 years of Indian Independence with a look back at the history of the umbrella term ‘Indian English Literature’.
Although the English language is considered to be an unwanted gift bestowed on Indians, since independence it has been integrated into the Indian culture, giving rise to a new variant of the language known as Indian English. This has allowed for the addition of Indian-origin words such as ‘Jugaad’, ‘Chutney’, ‘Bungalow’, ‘avatar’, ‘funda’ and many more into the Oxford English Dictionary, the custodian of the English language. The literature produced in Indian English or by Indian origin writers, however, has always been studied in the post-modern, post-colonial and diasporic context with a single generic question hovering over them, “Can Indians write in English?” According to A. K. Ramanujan, a single question such as this, contains in itself multiple questions depending on where the stress is placed and can have any of the following meanings: “What is the nature of such writing? What are its possibilities and limits? How good is it? Where does it fit in in the larger spectrum of Indian literature and culture? What is its relationship with mainstream literatures in English on the one hand and with various “vernacular” Indian literatures on the other? In short, what is the identity of Indian English Literature?” (Makarand Paranjape, 1998). The current edited volume caters to the same set of questions where the term ‘Indian English literature’ is representative of everything from art and aesthetics which finds its origin in India post-1947.
The Bombay-based Progressive Artists' Group (PAG), founded in 1952 by six artists is in itself illustrative of how India and its artists were ready to establish new ways of expressing India in the era of new-found freedom moving away from nationalism. F.N. Souza, PAG’s leader had then openly stated that their efforts as well as the group’s activities were in no way related to “the whole business of nationalism,” while Krishen Khanna, another member maintained that the group as a whole was at odds with being called Indian painters, as it bound them to a certain genre instead of allowing them to soar high like an eagle. Over the decades since independence, the art forms of painting and sculpture of Indian-origin have flourished in leaps and bounds, leaving a deep impact on the world stage by inventing new styles, inspired by traditional finesse in both material and themes. Artists like Bharti Dayal have been able to give a modern twist to a traditional style of painting, in her case, Mithila painting or Madhubani art, in turn creating a style of her own. This has resulted in the increase in discourse about Indian art, both in English and the vernacular languages, which has changed the way art has come to be perceived in art schools.
In terms of aesthetics, one cannot forget the contribution of the Sangeet Natak Academy which came into existence in the year 1953 and has since been working to promote and preserve the vast cultural heritage of India, focusing on the genres of music, dance and drama. The academy has ever since been working tirelessly to allow a new sort of independence to these cultural assets, thus breaking away the shackles imposed on them over the past two centuries of colonial rule. One cannot skip the mention of Kapila Vatsyayan here, a towering figure of the post-independence Indian art history and aesthetics who, according to Leela Venkataraman, looked at the holistic nature of Indian art totally from an Indian point of view: “She believed that other traditions of art could be viewed through the Indian window. Studying Vastu-Sastra, Silpa Sastra and Sangit Sastra, her prodigious intelligence was able to decipher inter connectivity among all disciplines of India, which in their multi-layered complexity evolved with a give and take, taking off from the Indian world view which looked at no aspect of life - inanimate, animate, geological, biological, matter, energy, sense organs or sense perceptions - as being in ‘absolute autonomy and isolation.’ Spatially and temporally key concepts and seminal ideas permeate all art and literary traditions.”
Another literary tradition which has its origin in the national movement is the newspaper. Before independence, all newspapers and editorials in all languages were focused on enlightening the general public with legends, like The Hindu (1878) and The Tribune (1881) leading from the front. These giants are still leading the genre but a lot has changed in the past quarter of a century, in turn giving them independence of not only thought and motivation but language as well. In terms of language, one cannot forget the famous politician and parliamentarian, Shashi Tharoor, who has been making diligent efforts to bring back into use the ‘lesser known’ English words such as ‘apposite’, ‘fatuous’ and ‘calumny’. His efforts are directed towards each and every English speaker across the world and not just Indian English speakers. He believes that one uses language “to communicate, you use it to express ideas, use it to give and gain pleasure. If all of that is not happening, then you don’t need it.” The keywords being ‘communicate,’ ‘express’ and ‘give and gain pleasure.’ In essence, 75 years of independence have not only allowed for physical independence but mental independence as well where the words ‘India’ and ‘Indian-origin’ have come to acquire a new and individualistic meaning, or rather a new beginning.
The edited volume intends to explore the intuits of these decades since independence from the world of art and culture; as Raymond Williams highlights the effectiveness of ‘institutions,’ ‘traditions’ and ‘formations’ in the culture of any society. In these glorious decades, Indian literary scenario has witnessed the compliance, hesitant experimentation as well as firm resilience in the themes and form, language and structure, influence and independence all under one veil of post - colonial and postcolonial thinking. The era has been a witness to nuanced dramatics at play – within and without the nation and native-ness. The volume intends to publish essays that reflect the various shades of works that have a substantial place in the journey towards a new beginning.
Sub themes for articles/essays are given below but are not limited to:
- Art and Aesthetics
- Nation and Nativity
- Language no Barrier
- Multiplicity United
- Performativity in Flow
- Displaced Other
- Resistances Within
- Newspaper and Editorials
Submit a 300-500 word abstract with tentative title (pdf format only) in 14 point-Times New Roman, on or before 15th July, 2022 to the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Abstract for edited volume celebrating 75 years of Indian Independence.’ Mention name, designation, affiliation, contact number and email in the abstract itself. Acknowledgement will be sent within 24 hours. In case, acknowledgement is not received within the stipulated time, re-send the submission.
Deadline for abstract submission: 15th July, 2022
Acceptance notification: 20th July, 2022
Deadline for complete paper submission: 31st October, 2022
Guidelines for Full paper submission
- Word limit: Articles or should be within 3,000 – 7,000 words.
- Title: 14-point Times New Roman
- Abstract: not more than 300 words
- Authors’ names: (12-point Times New Roman), Designations, affiliation/address, telephone number and email id (10-point Times New Roman)
- Content: 12 Font Size (Times New Roman style)
- Spacing: 1.15 line spacing
- Document types allowed: Word Document only (.doc or .docx)
- Bibliography/Works Cited: Latest MLA or APA styles
Dr Meenu A. Gupta, Associate Professor, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India
Dr Kamalpreet Kaur, Assistant Professor, GGSCW 26, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India