Trajectories of Precarity and Resilience in South Asia

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

Call for papers

Special Issue: Trajectories of Precarity and Resilience in South Asia

The term South Asia, as a geopolitical construct, was a product of area studies, an academic domain that attained currency in the second half of the 20th century, and as such, was often used as a neutral term. It attained validity after the formation of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in 1985, comprising India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Maldives, and the addition of Afghanistan in 2007. While there is some degree of truth that South Asian region has attained economic gains in the recent past, the corollary of these highly eulogized gains also needs to be analyzed since it provides the optics to see the everyday living conditions in the region that is completely under the grips of neoliberalism.

At a time when the accumulation of profit has been locked within specific groups, it is equally vital to look at the compromised life that is disowned and rendered precarious. What happens to the notion of assisted survival or citizenship when social structures are replaced by private ones? How do we conceptualize resilience when unions have been systematically abolished in the region? How does the region breathe collectively in the wake of neoliberal democracy that has granted exceptional power to state-corporate nexus? This new struggle that one witnesses in the region is the other side of neoliberal democracy.

These reconfigurations, driven by aggressive political systems and the subsequent subjugated social fabric, produce precariousness that permeates South Asian life. Judith Butler links “precarity” to citizens’ loss of agency, deprived of even grief and mourning. Suggesting ways to counter and erase global hegemonic regimes, Butler advocates a normative turn toward the framing of effective social policy to include issues of shelter, work, food, medical care, and legal status, as Butler sees the ineffectuality of bodies to put control over themselves in the light of pernicious forces. Butler sees conditions of precarity emanating from weak social structures, thus compromising the very idea of democracy.

This special issue will attempt to establish critical frameworks of precarity and resilience as manifested in the everyday realities of South Asia. It attempts to understand the ongoing social transformations and how life has become increasingly uncertain and dark due to neoliberal rationality that alters the condition of survival, assigning market values to all institutions and social practices. Rather than dealing with the history of precarity as such, this special issue aims to analyse literary production and movies to trace the forms and effects of precarity in the present socio-political and cultural imaginary of South Asia.

 Contributions should address the following issues, but not limited to:

  • neoliberalism and precarity
  • hermeneutics of decolonization
  • environmental justice
  • gender studies
  • urban life
  • human rights
  • digital cultures
  • biopolitics
  • marginality
  • disposability
  • migration and labour

Please submit a 150-word original proposal that clearly explains how your study will contribute to, revise, or depart from existing debates around the above-mentioned topics. Both proposals and final texts should be in English and should observe our guidelines as they appear on our website. The final submission should consist of : 4500-6500-word article, including a 150-word abstract, 5-7 keywords, and a 150-word author’s bio. Proposals and final submissions should be formatted as Word documents and submitted online at

Abstract deadline: October 15, 2022

Acceptance notice: October 20, 2022

Final submission: January 31, 2023

For queries contact the Editor: Om Prakash Dwivedi at