Tuesday, December 27, 2016

International Conference on  

History, Culture and Identity: Australian Studies in India and Australia

4-5 February, 2017

Venue: Astor Hotel Conference Room, Kolkata

Extension of deadline for abstract submission: 31.12.2016

How are Culture, identity and history re-shaped or re-interrogated in a cosmopolitan and globalized world order? In a world dominated by global political economy and new challenges of hegemonic ascendancy, it seems difficult to accept monolithic formations of history, culture and identity. History is being continuously re-written in terms of the discovery of new regimes of locational or regional priorities. This in turn redefines the overarching frame of culture and identity. In other words, the epistemic variables of cultural, political and economic ideologies bring about new modes of articulation.

Since the 70s of the last century, there has been a gradual renewal of cross-cultural linkages between Australia and India, beginning with a gradual and unabated flow of Indian migrants to Australia. This leads to the formation of various Bengali/Gujrati/Punjabi cultural societies and even Bengali/Hindi language schools in Melbourne and Sydney. The Bengali Association of Victoria (BAV), based in Melbourne, is largely responsible for establishing a meaningful cultural relationship. Gujrati Societies or Punjabi Associations have also been established along similar lines. Specific programs such as Literary Commons! (Monash University) – which brings indigenous from both countries together through their storytelling – and TRAMJATRA (RMIT) - interlinking Melbourne-Calcutta tramways - may also be regarded as significant markers of this growing cultural relationship. In Australia, the Australian Government organized such events as Utsav Australia or Indian Art Exhibitions (Museum Victoria) from time to time, thereby continuing this trend of cultural exchange.

In Kolkata Book Fair, Australia was honoured as the “Guest of Honour Country” (2006) and the “Focus Country” (2007). Moreover, Australian Government’s decision to open Uranium sales to India has brought the two countries closer in defence and security sectors. On cultural and literary fronts, the role of Australia India Council has further negotiated the formation of new establishments in terms of cultural exchanges.

Such transactions have generated new perceptions of both countries, thereby recognizing commonalities and differences: commonalities in the context of regional proximity, British colonialism, participation in World Wars, shared linguistic legacy etc; and differences in terms of settler history, configurations of Aborigine or indigenous history, cultural clashes etc. Such commonalities and differences may help us to discover new discursive strategies to locate evolving patterns of history, culture and identity of two distinctive role players in the Asia Pacific region: Australia and India.

This international conference welcomes Australian and Indian scholars from across disciplines to disseminate their ideas on how Australia and India can build a greater understanding of each other in terms of historical, cultural and strategic relationships.

This conference will be supported by Monash University and Oxford University Press.

The conference will address, but not strictly limited to, the following issues:

Dialogue of Cultures
Traces of Culture
Re-writing History
Race and Identity
War History
Tourism and Cultural Exchange

Colonial/Postcolonial/ Contemporary Writers
Literature and Socio-cultural Activism
Aboriginal Literature
Literature and Films
Arts and Environment
Verbatim Theatre and Community Theatre
Diasporic Literature

Environment and Security
Judicial Activism
Terrorism and Conflict Resolution
International Relations
Gender Issues
Human Rights
Land Rights, Property and Environment
Immigration and Citizenship

Liberalisation and Economic Reforms
Economic Paradigms in Bilateral Relations
Trade Union Movement

Biodiversity and Conservation
Ecological Sustainability
Climate Change and Culture

Teaching Australian Studies
Australian Studies: Syllabus Formation
Australian Studies: Research and Methodology
Teaching Asia in Australia

Abstracts may be emailed to Prof.Deb Narayan Bandyopadhyay: debnarayan@gmail.com

Indian Association for the Study of Australia, Eastern Region

Registration Fees (international): 100 AUD
Registration Fees (Natioinal): 1500 INR

Registration Fees include conference kit, lunch, tea and refreshments during the conference.