New National Allegories: Twenty-First Century India in the Indian English Novel from 1990s to the present

deadline for submissions: 
February 18, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Department of English Zakir Husain Delhi College (Evening) University of Delhi



National Conference



New National Allegories: Twenty-First Century India in the Indian English Novel from 1990s to the present

13th March 2024


Under the aegis of Viksit Bharat@2047

In collaboration with IQAC, ZHDC (E)


Organised by:

Department of English

Zakir Husain Delhi College (Evening)

University of Delhi


Since its earliest formative years, the Indian novel has been preoccupied with the thematic of the nation, its formation, its articulation and its narration. Early novels like Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s Anandamath, Tagore’s Home and the World and Raja Rao’s Kanthapura set the initial trends in the modes of allegorizing the Indian nation. Along its long trajectory, over the twentieth century, the literary form managed to permeate almost all the languages of the Indian subcontinent, picking up other thematics such as the anti-colonial struggle, gender, caste and class concerns, communal, regional and ethnic questions. Even while being ostensibly focused on these concerns and questions, the Indian novel in English remained largely centred around the ideations and elaborations of the Indian nation. As the first nation-republic, installed in 1950, began to transform, irrevocably, in 1991 under global and domestic imperatives, the corollary cultural impacts and their cultural products, such as the Indian novel, were also bound to transform. The Indian nation emerged anew as an interesting subject where writers from various social, political and economic groups vied with each other to present and represent the ‘real’ and the ‘imaginary’ India. In other words, the post-1991 India which laid the foundations of twenty-first century India produced a newer version of the Jamesonian ‘national allegory’, as much as it had been produced pre- and post-1947. It is this post-1991 ‘national allegory’ that the proposed conference aims to investigate. Understanding the manners in which the post-1991 Indian novel addresses the issues and questions of Indian representations (to the home and the world), both from nationalist and decolonial as well as postcolonial points of departure is to form the anchor of the conference. To this end, the conference invites scholarly research papers in English on how the nation has been discussed, imagined, represented and narrated in the works of English language writers located within or outside India. Therefore, without placing a limitation, it is encouraged to bring the works of such writers to the fore who have followed the generation of Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, VS Naipaul, Vikram Seth, Rohinton Mistry, Jhumpa Lahiri and such others. This may include Arvind Adiga, Chetan Bhagat, Jeet Thayil, Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi, Manu Joseph and their contemporaries. The papers may include but may not be limited to the following topics:

  • Indian nation in the Indian novel in the twenty first century

  • Neo-nationalism/national self-assertion in the Indian novel

  • Postcolonialism versus decolonialism in the Indian novel

  • Return the white western gaze in the twenty-first century

  • Cognising neo-orientalisms and neo-imperialisms

  • Indian literary subjectivity in the twenty-first century

Abstracts of 300-350 words along with a brief bionote may be sent to by 18th February 2024.

The acceptance will be notified by 21st February 2024. Full papers may be submitted up to 5 days prior to the conference.

Registration fee and the payment process will be shared upon acceptance.