Friday, March 30, 2018

International Seminar on Identity, History, and Narrative in Contemporary Afghan Literature in English- February 6- 8, 2019, Gauhati University

Call for Papers
The Department of English, Gauhati University, has been organizing a series of international seminars on literature emerging from India and its neighbours, with two seminars already held on Sri Lanka and Pakistan. This year, we are shifting our focus to Afghanistan, the nation, and its diaspora.

Modern Afghanistan is often regarded as an isolated, troubled, violence-ridden territory in the global imaginary, in the light of its occupation by the Soviets in the Cold War era and by the US in the aftermath of 9/11. However, this representation, as with any representation, comes with its own political and ideological baggage. Seamus Heaney, in “Crediting Poetry”, his Nobel lecture, in speaking of the violent history of Northern Ireland, said that “history is about as instructive as an abattoir; ... peace is merely the desolation left behind after the decisive operations of merciless power”. This suggests the ‘universal’ nature of violence in the history of any race, and to speak of certain parts of the world as being prone to more violence is politically motivated.

In terms of language and culture, Afghanistan retains a rich heritage that not merely dates back to thousands of years but also charts a transnational trajectory in the form of a Persian literary culture that includes countries like Turkey, Iran and India in its ambit. Apart from Dari (Persian), Pashto, the other major language of Afghanistan, also possesses a wealth of literature, both oral and written. Afghan writing in English, however, seems to be a relatively recent phenomena compared to the rich literary histories of Dari and Pashto, with only a few writers like Khaled Hosseini and Nadia Hashimi writing in English. Other eminent contemporary writers who are visible globally, like Atiq Rahimi, have had their writings translated into English. Given this, to merely look at Afghan fiction in English would be to ignore the larger literary scenario that includes not merely Pashto and Dari but also other genres like poetry. In fact, poetry and fiction have been the dominant forms through which Afghan writers have articulated the trauma of violence, terror, displacement and loss of identity and home. 

A discussion of politics and the political cannot be avoided in speaking of representation; this is all the more so when one looks at contemporary Afghan literature, especially the fact that the writers choosing English as the medium of their representation are diasporic rather than resident writers. This is not to say that writing in English is not possible in Afghanistan itself but to underline the fact that the particular political engagements of writers are consciously undertaken to provide alternative versions of reading and representing Afghanistan rather than the politically dominant Western view of the nation being just a den of violence under Taliban rule until it was occupied by the United States of America and transformed into a ‘democratic’ nation. A similar preoccupation can be seen in the works of writers looking at the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in a similar light. Another important aspect is the experiences of women who find themselves repressed in terms of tradition, religion and politics. Writers as well as journalists highlight the grim challenges that women in Afghanistan face in present times. Even though the thrust of this series of seminars is on fiction in English, we would, however, like to welcome papers on texts translated into English as well as on forms other than fiction, if they conform thematically to the central focus of the seminar, which is, to attempt to understand the specific ways in which contemporary Afghan literature has responded to and addressed the drastic political and cultural changes in Afghanistan since the second half of the twentieth century as well as certain repressive aspects of tradition that perpetuate from the past well into the present.    

We invite papers that look into the complex cultural, historical and political contexts that underpin the literature emerging from both within Afghanistan and the Afghan diaspora since the last two decades, roughly under, but not limited to, the following sub-themes:
  • Gender and the nation
  • The body
  • Ethnicity
  • Home
  • Exile, migration and displacement
  • Identity, nation and literature
  • Religion and violence
  • Narrative and history
  • Orality and culture
  • The Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan
  • The Taliban occupation
  • 9/11 and the US presence in Afghanistan
  • Politics and literature
  • The folk and the popular
  • Terrorism and children
  • Everyday life in Afghanistan
  • Tradition and modernity in Afghanistan
  • Afghanistan and the West

Interested participants are requested to submit a 300-word abstract by 15 June 2018 to:

Participants whose papers are selected for presentation will be notified by 30 June 2018. Paper presenters will get 20 minutes each to present their papers, followed by 5 minutes of discussion. The full papers should be e-mailed to us by 31 December 2018.

For further details, please contact:
Manashi Bora (+91 9864034773)
Dolikajyoti Sharma (+91 9864111289)

Department of English
Gauhati University
Guwahati - 781014
Contact Info: Manashi Bora (
Dolikajyoti Sharma (

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Funded Conference - International Forum for Young Scholars Sub-Forum for Humanities and Social Sciences Shanghai University 2018

Shanghai University 2018 International Forum for Young Scholars

Sub-Forum for Humanities and Social Sciences

Shanghai University is making plans for the development of its Humanities and Social Sciences departments. With the support of national and municipal funds it will open up academic position at different academic levels in a variety of disciplines. Therefore, it will host a forum for international young scholars from 25 to 27 May, 2018, designed to discuss and explore new approaches and methods in Humanities and Social Sciences as well as to recruit young scholars interested in building the field of Humanities and Social Sciences at Shanghai University. Young academics from the fields of Literature, Chinese History, World History, Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, International Relations and Diplomacy, Sociology, Anthropology, Demography, Folklore, Public Administration or other related backgrounds are invited to apply. The forum will include symposia, academic seminars and a talent fair, all of which serve as a platform for young Chinese and foreign scholars to exchange ideas and explore opportunities at Shanghai University.

Profile of Shanghai University
Shanghai University (SHU) is a comprehensive research university, offering degree education in a broad range of academic disciplines. As a public university, it is jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. It is presently listed as one of the universities in China which transforming their own preeminent disciplines into first-class programs under China’s “Double-First Class” initiative.

At present, more than 27,000 undergraduate and 14,000 postgraduate students are studying at its 28 schools and 2 independent departments, the majority enrolled in one of the 71 undergraduate, 221 master, 117 Ph.D. or 2 MBA programs. According to the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, SHU is currently ranked 30 out of 2258 Chinese universities and 390 out of more than 20,000 universities worldwide. Moreover, SHU has 4 national-level key disciplines; 11 first-level disciplines in Shanghai, and 8 disciplines ranked in the top 1% in ESI. In 2017, it ranked among the world’s top 60 universities with a history of less than 50 years, topping the list of such universities in China’s mainland; was ranked 31st in 2017’s ‘US News Global University Rankings’ (within Mainland China), and 15th in 2018’s ‘QS World University Rankings’. (In Mainland China)

Shanghai University is open to the world’s academics and researchers, attracting first-rate scholars to join SHU through the “Talents Plan” platform, set up by China’s Central Government and Shanghai’s Local Government, focusing on the “First-Class Basic Discipline Construction Plan” and “Frontier and Key Discipline Development Plan”.

1. Applicants should be aged below 45, have a PhD qualification from top universities or institutions; plus more than two years research experience abroad.
2. Possess recognized, outstanding academic achievement and excellent research potential in the related field.
3. Aspire to return to China, be based in the Shanghai area, and engaged in academic research work.

Literature, Linguistics, Chinese History, World History, Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, International Relations and Diplomacy, Sociology, Anthropology, Demography, Folklore and Public Administration, and related fields.

Meals and Accommodation
Meals and accommodation for the invited participants will be arranged by Shanghai University during the forum.

NOTE: Shanghai University will reimburse round-trip air tickets for invited participants (economy class, up to RMB 12, 000 Rmb/person, for Europe, America and Australia; and up to RMB 6,000 Rmb/person for other countries or regions. Travel expenses for invited participants from China will be reimbursed upon presentation of original receipts based on the relevant state financial regulations).

Venue: New Lehu Hotel, Shanghai University, No.716, Jinqiu Road, Baoshan District, Shanghai.

Agenda and Contact Details

May 25th -27, 2018

Applicants are expected to submit applications via e-mail before 10th April and mark their applications: “Sub-Forum for Humanities and Social Sciences”.
Application materials must include the application form for ‘Shanghai University Forum for International Young Scholars Sub-Forum for Humanities and Social Sciences’, personal resumes, list of three representative achievements, and related materials.
For application forms, please contact:
 Ms. Qin Feifei (Tel: +86-021-66133228; Email: for Literature, Linguistics, Chinese History, World History, Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, International Relations and Diplomacy and related fields;

 Mr. Fan Jie (Tel: +86-021-66135205, +86-021-66134142;, for Sociology, Anthropology, Demography, Folklore and Public Administration; 

Notes: Please send this application form together with your resume to Qin) or Fan). Please mention “2018 Shanghai University International Forum for Young Scholars Forum of Humanities and Social Studies Application” in the email subject bar.
Contact Email:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

CFP Colonialism and its Narratives: Rethinking the Colonial Archive in Australia conference 10-11 December 2018

Call for papers

Saturday, March 17, 2018

CFP: Young Scholars International Conference Margins and Connections-: 7-8 February, 2019 - North East India Studies Programme School of Social Sciences JNU, New Delhi

Concept Note:
Margins are not mere physical outlying areas, or geographies at the edges of state, capital and socio-cultural worlds. They are products of various complex processes in colonial and postcolonial times and have been produced in various moments of contestations, fragmentations and negotiations. As such, margins are not inert spaces; they are active sites in which creative practices and connections have taken place. Such practices and connections include cultures, politics, histories, societies, and economies that inhabit either the border of a state or a “geo-body.” In this regard, various studies focusing on “margins” have enabled us to look at forms of state-making, subject formations, role of capital, circuits and networks, contestations and subversions, including various cultural and political practices across societies and boundaries.

Historically, “margins” such as North East India had connections with societies in the “margins” of neighbouring areas such as Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, etc. As such, these geographical spaces throw up comparable and significant insights in studying the making of such complex spaces. For instance, these geographies are sites and spaces of various forms of material and non-material transactions and connectivities, including resources, rituals and commodities.

Such transactions and connectivities continue to mark these spaces even in the contemporary times. People continue to have wider social, cultural and (in) formal economic networks, marked by routes and infrastructures that support various forms of mobility. These “margins” have also been sites and spaces where forms of state/non-state violence, contestations, projects of nation-building and developmental interventions of both state and global financial institutions simultaneously have coexisted. This has also included representing these “margins” as the “gateways” and “corridors” of capital, trade and services under the neoliberal economy. Nevertheless, these areas have also been marked by various forms of social and political movements, that resists and negotiates violence and developmental interventions.

Some of the broad concerns and issues that emerge from the above are, what are margins? In what context are margins produced and reproduced? How are margins connected to the wider processes of state, capital and cultural flows? What are the different ways through which societies respond to the shifting dynamics of margin making?


This two-day interdisciplinary international conference seeks to explore some of these issues and concerns, especially focusing on North East India and its neighboring areas such Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, etc. This conference focuses on the following themes, but are not limited to:
  • Making state, making margins
  • Circuits, networks and infrastructures
  • Capital, resource regimes and economy
  • Margins and everyday life
  • Violence, resistance and margins
  • Knowledge, power and practices
  • Margins and governance
  • Movement and mobility
  • Development, ecology and margins
  • Memory and narratives
  • Margins and gender
  • Material culture

Interested research scholars, post-doctoral scholars and early career academics are invited to submit an abstract of about 200-300 words, including a brief CV at

Participants from outside India are requested to seek funding from their institutions for travel costs. Partial funding to cover travel costs may be available for selected participants from within India based on availability of funds. Accommodation and local conveyance will be provided for selected participants.

Important dates:
Last date for abstract submission: 21 July, 2018
Intimation of abstract acceptance: 17 August, 2018
Submission of working papers from selected participants: 7 January, 2019

Organizing Team:
G. Amarjit Sharma is Assistant Professor at North East India Studies Programme, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Bhumika R, Thingminao Horam, Tammoy  Das and Robert Lunkhopao Haokip are Research Scholars at North East India Studies Programme, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. 

Contact Info: 
G. Amarjit Sharma is Assistant Professor at North East India Studies Programme, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Workshop on The Future of Humanities in the 21st Century,March 24, - 25, 2018 AURO University, Gujarat

Call For Applications:

Major civilizations of the world – Indian and Greek – based their models of education on inter-relatedness of various disciplines. However, with the focus on specialization and technology, liberal arts suffered at the expense of science and technology. But recently the discipline of Liberal arts and Human sciences has attained an unprecedented popularity in various Universities all over the world. The present world of the 21st century is strongly underpinned by rapid developments in the field of science and technology and accompanied by the ever-spreading roots of a global economy. The question then arises as to what role liberal education can play in the world mired in technological innovations spawned by globalization. In this fiercely contested competitive world, it would be naïve to think of an education system without linking it to a particular profession, but concurrently, employability should never be the sole aim of education. It is here that liberal arts and human sciences can play vital role by providing a unique opportunity to young minds to explore the space unleashed by this new blend of educational disciplines. Even a cursory look at the syllabi of major Indian universities like Nalanda University reveals their interdisciplinary approach to educational transactions. This contra-disciplinarity of education has its origin in the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) and the quadrium (music, arithmetic, geometry and astronomy or astrology) education system of the ancient Greek period, which provides a comparative model of study in order to see the relation between things, and to reduce the opposition between science and humanities, and in so doing, it allows enough space to curious minds to sharpen their thinking, reasoning and speaking skills for a broader and deeper understanding of the problems of human society. The discipline of Liberal arts and human sciences lays emphasis on the value of individual autonomy through imbibing integral growth. It allows one to regain his/her cultural heritage, develop civilizational understandings, while also being flexible enough to acquire a new skill set to meet the demands and circumstances of the Western world. In brief, liberal arts and science and technology along with other disciplines of knowledge complement each other, as sciences take care of provision and liberal arts of vision.

The Two day Seminar cum Workshop aims at bringing together a cross section of teachers, thinkers, social entrepreneurs, and leaders of industry to deliberate dialogically upon the importance of liberal arts and human sciences education in the 21st century. It will try to seek new yet cogent models of education that can act as a bridge to cover the demands of the rapidly changing world. Focus will be on sharing the learning skills required for teaching of interdisciplinary courses.
The two day Seminar cum Workshop is primarily meant for teachers and will be used as a dialogic platform to discuss:
  • Challenges to Humanities
  • Curriculum design for future Humanities
  • Major learning problems in the field
  • Teaching strategies to overcome existing problems
  • Experiential Learning
  • Evaluation techniques
  • Internships for learning outside the classrooms

Many international and national scholars, faculty members and thinkers of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences have agreed to participate in the Seminar cum Workshop.

AURO University is established in 2009 under the Gujarat Private Universities Act, for value based education. Its mission of providing integral and transformational education to the students focused on providing to students an environment for self-development; based on their aptitudes and interests; provide a platform to be mentors and guides who shape the country’s future leaders by imparting knowledge and skills; opportunities for research on emerging trends and industry practices; intellectual competence, reality-based knowledge, personal integrity; students who strive for excellence and aspire to become socially responsible future leaders.

Last date of Paper Submission: 15th March 2018
Acceptance Date: 18th March 2018
Last date of Registration: 20th March 2018
Dates of the Seminar cum Workshop: 24th-25th March 2018

Faculty/Professionals: 1500/-
Research Scholars: 1000/-
The Registration fee has to be submitted only through online mode (RTGS / NEFT) to:
State Bank of India   
Account Holder: Auro University
Account No.: 31703674530  
IFSC: SBIN0002636
Bhatha Branch                         
Surat, Gujarat