Journal Special Issue - Reliving Orature: Orality in the Age of Post-Literature
SPECIAL ISSUE – Reliving Orature: Orality in the Age of Post-Literature
The interactive platform of Web 2.0 and the evergrowing reliance on the digital space, especially during the global outbreak of COVID-19 and the worldwide lockdown, not only revolutionised communication and verbal art forms but also marked a beginning of a new era, in which the term literature, with all its nuances and indeterminacies, needs to negotiate with other forms of verbal expressions. Literature, etymologically coming from the Latin word ‘littera’ and referring primarily to ‘writing’, is often posed against orality, and thus creates a hierarchy, which Ngugi wa Thiong’o termed as “aesthetic feudalism” between spoken words and written expressions. However, the arrival of cyberspace, and the textual forms emerging with it, where the texts are essentially multimedial and transmedial, collaborative and participatory and what has been named by Ngugi as “cyberture” posed diverse challenges to this hierarchy and subsequently results in the altered reading habits of people around the globe, with their increasing dependence on the digital, shortened attention span, and the hybridized and intermedial mode of storytelling. It surely signifies an era of ‘post-literature’, which goes beyond the conventional idea of literature and written texts.
Post-literature, by incorporating different modes of producing texts and different perspectives, calls into question the picture of a grand narrative consisting of homogenised and “globalised” cultures across the world, promoted by the “global” market. Under such circumstances, the languages of the economically dependent and marginalised sections of the world population started to surrender to the languages of the economically independent and thus powerful section of the world population. As linguistic ability is a significant way of expressing human feelings, thus it governs a considerable part of the cultural identity of a particular group or community of people. The economic shift has enveloped the entire planet in an apparent crisis of human languages. Today human beings try to control their own activities with the help of artificial intelligence. Many scholars do identify this as an added layer in this moment of crisis. It must have occurred to many of us that this linguistic transaction that is governed by AI is actually a form of language-based technocentricism. Technocentricism has changed the human equations of socialising. We at this juncture must not neglect the language that is used in cyberspace. We all must have noticed that the global cyberspace is governed by a handful of languages. If we take a deeper look into the same we will see these governing languages are the cultural vehicles of the governing economies across the world.
The age of ‘post-literature’ is the age of no segregation among the disciplines, rather it calls and creates room for the practice of verbal and non-verbal arts, science and technology together under the same umbrella. It could be understood as the platform to bring together the Chaoids, as has been discussed by Deleuze and Guattari, and make them interact and overlap with each other. The Age of Post-literature questions the unidirectional ways of reading books and calls for a more interactive platform where the audience and the performer may contribute to the formation of the text and thus destabilises the assurance of fixity in written forms. It may also remind us of the world of orality, where texts, authors and readers are not fixed and always build a dialogic relationship. This process of challenge is quite similar to the way abstract art challenges the given framework of interpretation of the observer.
The key objective of this issue would be to attempt the dismantling the given and rigid framework of literature and to challenge its limitations towards the inclusion of newly evolved or evolving platforms of both oral and literary productions. As a contributor, you are welcome to break the norms and the boundaries and think beyond to offer creative and critical insights on post-literature. The special issue will delve into various dimensions of orature and its contemporary relevance. We invite original research papers, reviews, and critical analyses that explore but are not limited to the following topics:
- The interface between orature, literature and cyberture
- Newly emerged oral genre in the cyberspace
- Transmedia storytelling as a challenge to written art forms
- Orature as a global tool for decolonisation
- Orature and the resistance and resilience of marginal voices
- Globalisation and commodification of orality
- Orality and the question of identity
- Orality and cultural imperialism
- Orality and the issues of language
- Orality and comprehension of social and textual relationship
- Traditional orature and New Media
- Archiving orature
Important Dates: Submission deadline: 30 Oct 2023; Decision of acceptance: 31 Nov 2023; Publication of the issue: Spring 2024.
Manuscripts in MS Word (5,000–8,000 words) following the MLA style should be sent to email@example.com with a copy to editor@ jcla.in.