Community Metaphors in india

deadline for submissions: 
November 20, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Anusuya A Paul/St Joseph's College of Commerce (Autobomous), Bangalore
contact email: 

Community Metaphors in India

The book Community Metaphors in India will be an attempt to read and understand the ways in which literary narratives represent the issues and concerns surrounding the lives of different communities in India. Indian literature in English, as well as regional literature in translation has represented the problems and challenges faced by the different communities of people living in different parts of the country in various genres of literature. There is much that needs to be narrated and articulated about the emerging nationality(s) in India and this can be best done when one reads the communities and their respective narratives. For example, the narratives offered by the oral literature of various communities which are unique in their own ways; the narratives of gender as they now try to negotiate the restrictive norms of performance; narratives of caste as the most visible forms of practising social hierarchy in urbanised India and many more can help one explore the history, tradition and culture of different communities in India and look into their identity question(s) from diverse perspectives. Studies conducted during the last decade reveal the new tendencies of defining community identities, which attempt to claim a distinctive space in pluralistic India and at most times are found challenging the old order of a complacent democratic national identity. Many indigenous communities are losing their abodes, facing displacement due to industrialisation, negotiating with natural disasters to save their lives and surviving under fear of violence; many individuals belonging to particular communities are still struggling to find a way for earning despite the Constitution guaranteeing them certain rights. Such challenges faced by the communities or individuals belonging to a certain community call for an immediate attention. The delusion of development in the name of an imaginary nation carries with it the angst of the millions whose suppressed voices directly endanger the future that they are forced to see and work for. This book would analyse the ways in which the project of nation building has left behind the agonising stories of the several communities and have ignored the myriad issues and concerns which affect their daily lives. Literature, as a part of humanities has the potential to allow one read and understand the ways in which possibilities of inclusion can be configured to address the identity questions of the communities. This book would try to explore the ways in which literature in India has depicted the challenges and issues faced by different communities in the available literary genres of poetry, short stories, novels, plays/drama, biographies, autobiographies, articles, and essays, oral literature and other relevant narratives or presentations as may be found relevant to the theme of the book.

Representation of a particular religious, gender, caste or ethnic community in literature always situates the community within a certain power relation of the represented and the representative. On the one hand, the narrative depictions portray the dark and grim realities of the lives of the people but on the other, they are mere objects of representation and hence, cannot escape the gaze of objectification. The latter kind of literary projections become a way of misrepresentation, which often end up in stereotyping the individuals as belonging to a particular community and hence, escape the required attention in the Indian polity. Stereotypical representations shut out all possibilities of looking at the innumerable problems that the different communities face in different parts of the country and negate their presences in the social and political spaces of a democracy. Literary narratives offer a wide scope to read, understand and reflect on the myriad issues and concerns that threaten their lives by making them vulnerable to exploitation. Literary depictions can be possible ways of engaging with the identity question of the communities which are now making conscious efforts to articulate their identity(s) and claim the space which was forever theirs.

This book would try to engage itself with the identity question of the myriad communities based on religion, caste, class and gender in India and attempt to offer a dialogue to the idea of a democracy and nationality at large. However, in doing so, the book would consciously examine and analyse if literary representations of the self/other widen the distance between the centre and the margin. Assertion of one’s identity is not only a claim for a political space but is also an expression of the trauma of victimisation under oppressive systems that legitimise social evils like murder, abuse, rape and ethnic conflict.

This volume would invite research articles based on the reading and analyses of literature and visual art forms which depict the contemporary issues and concerns affecting the lives of individuals who are born in certain communities, or who want to become a part of certain community in India. Such issues and concerns, as represented in literature and art may range from social exclusion, industrialisation and displacement, migration and livelihood, fight for political sovereignty, depletion of natural resources and their impact on the indigenous people, ethnic violence, armed conflict and abuse of women and children, representation of the self in the media and any other relevant concern that may be found depicted in narratives of literature and which is within the limitations of the proposed book.           

Themes and sub-themes:

  • Questions of representation in Indian English literature and regional literature in translation
  • Climate refugees, depletion of natural resources and its impact on the indigenous people
  • Impact of armed conflict on the lives of the communities of people inhabiting the insurgent areas
  • Tradition, culture and community(s) formation  
  • Contestations of power structure by women and children
  • Oral narratives and community identity(s)
  • Digital archiving of community narratives
  • Community narratives and the media
  • Gender narratives and their expression in literature
  • Religious and ethnic representations in literature


Any other relevant theme that may be found suitable for the edited volume is welcomed.


Submission guidelines:

  • Use white 8 ½ x 11” paper.
  • Make 1 inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides.
  • The first word in every paragraph should be indented one half inch.
  • Indent set-off quotations one inch from the left margin.
  • Use Times New Roman, 12 font size. Make sure that italics look different from the regular typeface.
  • Double space the entire research paper, even the works cited page.
  • Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin.
  • Use italics throughout your essay to indicate the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, provide emphasis.
  • Set off quoted text of more than four lines of prose or more than three lines of verse as a separate, double-spaced block of text, with an extra line above and below.
  • If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page.
  • Supply illustrations, tables, and charts in separate files. Indicate where they go in the text, but do not embed them.
  • If you translate from one word-processing program to another, proofread for problems (e.g., loss of italics, faulty character substitutions) and correct them.
  • Submit a Word-compatible electronic file of his or her essay unless instructed otherwise.
  • Save front matter (e.g., title page, table of contents, acknowledgments), essays, and back matter (e.g., notes on contributors, works-cited list) as a single file.
  • Use a Word-compatible software program in a recent edition.
  • Articles must be within 3000-5000 words including the Reference section.

Submission Deadlines:

  • Abstract submission: September 10, 2022
  • Full paper submission: November 20, 2022



The corresponding author should ensure

  • That the submitted manuscript is genuine research work produced by the author/s
  • That all the other authors are made aware of the submission
  • That permission is taken from other authors for publication
  • That the contribution of the authors is appropriately acknowledged
  • That the contribution of other persons or parties, who/which add value to the work in any way is acknowledged.