Call for Papers - Themed Issue on Literature of Northeast India

Call for Papers - Themed Issue on Literature of Northeast India

Organization Name: Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities

Apply By: 31 Dec 2021


Presentation Date: 01 Jan. 2022 - 31 Mar. 2022

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About the Organization

The Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities (ISSN 0975-2935)  derives its name from ‘rup’ (form) and ‘katha’ (words), which, when combined, mean ‘myth’ in Bengali. The journal gets its inspiration from the etymology and goes by the principle that anything which has a form, visual or mental, can come under focus.

About the Conference

With about 225 tribes of the 450 tribes of India and about 200 languages spoken in this region, Northeast is often described as a place of ‘mindboggling heterogeneity’. Comprising the seven sisters of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and the recently included Sikkim, Northeast has ancient legacies, though the region has gained significant visibility in the recent times as a violence- ridden territory with robust political contestations. At the same time, the region has also drawn attention following a unique body of literary manifestations which has almost been canonized in the realms of the academics as the ‘Northeast Literature of India’. As pointed out by Pradip Acharya, this literature addresses a set of realities that comprises ‘affection, memory and community’. (2017) This literature has two distinct dimensions– one is the ‘literatures from Northeast’ belonging essentially to a polyglossic landscape, which include the lay of literatures in the vernacular languages of the region either in written or in oral forms; and the other, a relatively young but a powerful literary terrain, which has primarily emerged in the English language. Notably, the Anglophone literature from Northeast has given a common identity to the ethnopolitan collectivism of this region.

Northeast as a location in the periphery is essentially a postcolonial cartographic devolution inherited from the colonial rulers whose imagination of the territory was not as a historically-ordained region but rather as that of a distant, non-descript ‘frontier’. Michiel Baud and Willem Van Schendel defined a ‘frontier’ as an ‘empty area’ meant for territorial expansions of nations and civilizations. (1997) The aggressive implementation of agro-imperialism and other forms of intrusions as part of the ruthless colonial capitalist ambition had effectively orientalised both its land and its native demography as ‘empty signifiers’. Leanne B. Simpson would argue that for the indigenous communities ‘land (is) pedagogy’ (2014). For the natives of Northeast, land and geography are not only integral to the rhythms of their cultural memories but also a crucial source of their native wisdom, mythology as well as their historical linkages. Northeast is not only multicultural but also, what Eduardo Viveiro de Castro would describe, ‘multinatural’, where even non-human entities attain subjectivity as part of its narrative negotiations with its intimate ecology. In the process, the region has witnessed evolutions of fresh discursive idioms in the wake of what Artuo Escobar would define as the ‘ontological turn’. (2007)

Northeast as a discursive terrain has reflected an awareness to redefine the self in terms of altered ontology as against the dominant paradigms essentially predicated upon orientalist as well as the pan nationalistic metanarratives. In this context literature of Northeast has emerged as a major site of assertion and resistance forming a key foundation of what can be termed as the Northeast discourse comprising other forms of cultural transactions as well, which include, inter alia, theatre and performance, cinema and mass media, ecology and folklore, popular culture and sports, food and textiles, art and music that celebrate its inherent polysemy countering the unipolar discourses of single stories. This special issue invites critical papers on Northeast literature and its varied dimensions preferably from multidisciplinary perspectives focusing upon the broad themes suggested below which is indicative though not exhaustive:

  • Indigenous ontology and Northeast literature
  • Northeast literature and cultural discourses
  • Northeast literature and ethnopolitanism
  • Northeast literature and translations
  • Anthropocene, eco-humanities and Northeast literature
  • Non-human subjectivities in Northeast literature
  • Mnemonic praxis and Northeast literature
  • Native historiography and Northeast literature
  • Peace and conflict in Northeast literature
  • Nationalism, ethnonationalism and Northeast literature
  • Gender intersectionality and Northeast literature
  • Theatre of Northeast
  • Sports and Northeast discourse
  • Cinema, popular culture, mass media and Northeast literature

Important dates:

  • Submission of Abstract with keywords of 200 words: 5 October 2021
  • Notification on the selected abstracts: 20 October 2021
  • Submission of completed paper (4000-5000 words) 31 December 2021
  • Book Reviews (1200-1500 words) of recently published books, not more than 2 years old, on Northeast Literature should be sent for consideration by 15 December 2021.
  • Publication: Volume 12, Number 1, January-March, 2022.
  • For any query or submission, write to Prof. Jyotirmoy Prodhani at northeastrupkatha@gmail.com

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