Concourse: September 2017


Saturday, September 30, 2017

International Deleuze and Guattari Camp - Conference on Contemporary Communication Cultures, Controls and Becomings – February 14--17 2018

Concept Note:

The contemporary world has been going through challenging times in the areas of information and communication, crucially marked by novel surveillance modes and archiving strategies. In particular, the modern state with its powerful techno-economic infrastructure becomes the main protagonist here. Its capabilities of information mapping and communication controls have expanded greatly in recent times, bringing more and more segments of the people’s life under its panoptic regime. Perhaps the most pernicious one in this context is the appropriation of the biological and personal profiles of the citizenry, which is speciously justified with reasons ranging from security and terrorism to welfare measures in health and education. Such incursions, which have deep ethical and political implications, are expedited by the melding of the biopolitical strategies of the state with the technological sophistication of advanced capitalism.

More importantly, the handle on communication and information has emboldened the state to further annex more facets of citizens’ life to its jurisdiction and governmentality. From what they should eat and wear to what they should believe and worship, the states, especially in the developing part of the world, are articulating their preferences and choices with an unabashed candor. Definitely such articulations are politically suspect.

On the other side, the semiotic and technological resources of communication and media are drawn upon by the people to register their dissent and muster social resistance. Those employed are forms like cinema, literature, painting, theatre, music, sculpture, street plays, and numerous subaltern forms of representation. The social media perhaps becomes the most powerful weapon of the weak at present to fight the excesses of the state and the brutalities of the present global order.

Deleuze’s paper on the societies of control untangles the complex strands of the modern information and communication regime with unusual clarity and verve. He clearly charts the progression from the “disciplinary society” of yesteryears, so skillfully analyzed by Foucault, to the present society of information and communication controls. It is not that the mechanisms and the institutions of the disciplinary society have disappeared, but that they are further supplemented and strengthened at present by the new information regime. To our chagrin, the kind of sophistication now achieved by modern science and technology in converting everything into information and codes has gone beyond the imagination of even Deleuze and Guattari. Nonetheless, it could also be convincingly argued that Deleuze and Guattari provide one of the most resourceful repertoire of theories and concepts to tackle both the wily and benevolent legacies of information and communication in the present times.

The Chennai conference on Deleuze and Guattari in February 2018 seeks to explore the different aspects of information, communication and controls in the present mediatized world from a Deleuzo-Guattarian perspective. It will provide a platform for academics, students, philosophers, and activists across the world to present their papers and exchange their ideas on the conference theme. The conference will be preceded by the well-known International Deleuze Camp which will help the aspiring students and scholars to hear and learn about Deleuzo-Guattarian philosophy from the outstanding scholars in the field. Papers and abstracts for the conference presentation are invited from wide-ranging areas associated with information, communication and controls. Papers are also welcomed from relevant areas, though not listed below.

Themes for the Conference Presentation
  • Machinic/digital controls and new subjectivities
  • New panopticons and new control societies
  • Cryptic journalism/communication, encryption and hacking
  • State and corporate surveillance and control systems
  • Bodies as site of controls and becomings
  • Food cultures as site of controls and communication
  • Biometric controls and Biosecurity in the present globalized world
  • Agrarian cultures of communication in the new age of controls
  • Industrial cultures of communication in the new age of controls
  • Consumer cultures of communication in the new age of controls
  • Mass media as site of controls and communication
  • Social media as site of controls and communication
  • New cultures of protests and dissent
  • Neo feudalism, casteism and neo liberalism as site of controls and communication.

    The last date for submission of the Abstract of the Conference Paper is November 15, 2017. The Conference Abstract should not exceed 500 words (Times New Roman, Single space, Font size 11) and also should specify the name of the applicant, gender, institutional affiliation, contact number and email address. The Conference Abstract should be sent to the following email IDs: and You will be notified of the acceptance of the Paper after the scrutiny of the Abstract within the ten days of your submission. If the Abstract is accepted, one can proceed to the payment of the Registration Fee.

The deadline for submission of the Full Paper (3000-3500 words, Harvard/Chicago referencing, Times New Roman, One and a half space, Font size 11, Justified text, PDF format) is January 31, 2018 and should be sent to the above email IDs. 

We also welcome participants who wish to attend the Conference without presenting a paper. They can also start the process of Registration by submitting their Statement of Purpose (not exceeding 500 words, Times New Roman, Single space, Font size 11, with name of the applicant, institutional affiliation, contact number and email address) to the email IDs given above on or before November 15, 2017. If selected, they will be intimated via email within the ten days of your submission and thereafter can proceed to the final Registration and the payment of fees. Please note that the seats are limited for this category.

Last Date for Registration: November 30 2017

Participants who pay the Registration Fee are required to immediately send the PDF copy of payment slip (specifying all the details including the name of applicant, gender, institutional affiliation, title of the paper, contact number and email address) to the following email ID: Please note that Registration is complete only with the payment of Registration Fee and the receipt of the copy of the payment slip.

For More Details:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Researchers’ Conference on On Limits of Laughter in Cultural Discourse and Practice- November 10-11, 2017 Ramakrishna Mission Residential College (Autonomous), Narendrapur, WB

Concept Note

This conference seeks to engage with the rationale of laughter in literature and other cultural texts. Laughter in this context does not merely refer to a physiological stimulus but its broadest possible application incorporating terms such as black humour and carnivalesque. The oldest theory of laughter goes back to Aristotle, as stated in De anima: “Of all living creatures only man is endowed with laughter.’’  In the Indian classical text Nāṭyaśāstra, laughter or ‘hasya’ comes second in the aesthetic hierarchy of the eight rasas, only after ‘shringara’. The field of humour studies beginning from Aristotle through Kant, Bergson, Freud and Bakhtin among its contributors on the one hand and numerous cross-disciplinary hypotheses on the other have attempted to explain human laughter offering psychological, physiological and sociological accounts. But the discourse remains cheerfully unstable. 

Hobbes’s superiority theory brings in the psychological attitude to laughter as he locates the origin of laughter in the realization of an “eminency in ourselves” arising from the comparison with the “infirmity of others.” Kant focuses on the intellectual origin of laughter by pointing at the nexus between the perception of the incongruous and laughter. The archetypal biological definition is offered by Darwin that pins laughter to an efflux of the excess nervous energy.  The sociological studies trace the shift from genial laughter to subversive laughter and underpin the fact that laughter can engage in a power game with institutionalized meanings and pose a political threat to establishment. These hypotheses despite their avowal of separate disciplines seem to share the idea that laughter is an aberration from the familiar and the normative. Yet, it is deeply anchored in some discursive order to be intelligible. In literature, laughter on most occasions dwells upon an anti-heroic attitude to life’s incongruities but it might also engage with the gap between personal emotion and impersonal affect as we encounter (in late modern literature in particular) laughter without humour, bordering on violence. The representational politics is problematic because the reasons that make people laugh are sometimes unknown to both the laughers as well as the observers of laughter.  

Considering these issues and many more, we can seek to understand laughter both on its own terms and in terms of its form and functionality in texts and culture across history. We invite papers focusing incisively and analytically on the praxis of laughter; its instrumentality and everyday struggle with the normative.

Some of the areas which can be addressed are the following:
Laughter and aesthetics
Laughter on stage
Laughter and the scope of subversion
Genres of the comic
Laughter in the visual medium
Cultural construction of laughter and the laughable
Laughter and Gender
Laughter as a limit-experience
Non-humorous laughter in modern literature
Censorship, laughter and the State


We invite abstracts of not more than 300 words from college/University students and research scholars to be emailed to the conference convenors at The names, contact numbers, email ids, and affiliations of those sending abstracts should be clearly mentioned in the abstracts. Please write “SRC2017 Abstract” in the subject heading of your email.
Publication of selected papers is an issue under deliberation.

Important Dates
Last Date of submission of Abstracts: 8th October 2017
Notification of acceptance of Abstract: 14th October 2017

Registration fee
College/University Students: INR 100/-
Research Scholars and Independent Scholars: INR 300/-

Queries can be addressed to the seminar convenors at

Friday, September 22, 2017

GIAN Workshop on Radical Aesthetics in Third World Cinema: The Case of Latin America.08-16 December 2017.Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University.


Latin American cinema has been a major source of inspiration for Indian filmmakers since the 1960s. Generations of Indian directors, film critics and film students have studied Latin American cinema and have interacted with its major directors and writers. India’s friendly relation with most of the countries in that continent has facilitated this dialogue, and the immense popularity of Latin American literature among Indian readers has bolstered it. This course will focus on the most productive areas of Latin American film practice over the last few decades and will cater to the students and scholars of cinema in India who consider themselves part of an inter-connected world of modern arts in the global South.

The cinema arrived early in Latin America: by the end of 1896. Yet quickly—certainly by 1920—the Latin American film market fell under the control of U.S. cinema. By the 1960s, a number of film
movements erupted across Latin America that sought not only to challenge the industrial hegemony of Hollywood but perhaps even more crucially, to propose new, innovative approaches to filmmaking. This course will trace the history and development of radical filmmaking practice across Latin America from the Sixties until recent developments in cinema and related media arts. A special focus will be the dialogue between Latin American filmmakers with various movements and genres of international cinema: neorealism, modernism, melodrama, postmodernism, etc. The lectures will be amply illustrated with films to make them accessible and enjoyable to participants from different backgrounds.


  • Lectures on history and aesthetics of Latin American Cinema: December 8, 2017 –
  • December 15, 2017
  • Tutorials: December 8, 2017 – December 15, 2017
  • Film screenings with Introductions: December 8, 2017 – December 15, 2017
  •  Examination: December 16, 2017
  • (Number of participants accepted for the course will be limited)

You Should Attend If…

  • You are a student of cinema studies/media studies/journalism from under
  • graduate, post-graduate and research levels.
  • You are a teacher of cinema/media studies or teacher from a film institute
  • recognized by the Government of India.
  • You are a research scholar or a post-graduate student of modern history and
  • politics of the Global South.
  • You are a film practitioner with experience in teaching and/or research

The participation fee for taking the course is INR 1000.
Number of participants will be limited.
Last Date of Application: November 15,2017.

Teaching Faculty

Richard Pena
Richard Pena is Professor of Professional Practice in the Film Division at Columbia University, New York. He has served as Visiting Professor teaching film at Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Paris (1) among other places. He served as the Program Director at the Lincoln Center, New York, and was the Director of New York Film Festival (1988 -2012), and Director of The Film Centre at the Art Institute of Chicago (1980-88). He has served as jury at many international film festivals, and has contributed essays on world cinema to many anthologies and journals. Among the many awards won by Professor Pena is the Lifetime Achievement Award at Jerusalem Film Festival in 2013. 

Hosting Faculty
Moinak Biswas

Moinak Biswas is Professor at the Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University. He is also the Coordinator of The Media Lab at Jadavpur. He edits the Journal of the Moving Image and was one of the founder editors of BioScope, South Asian Screen Studies. Biswas has written widely on Indian cinema and culture for anthologies and magazines. Among his publications is Apu and After, Revisiting Ray’s Cinema (2005). He wrote and co-directed the award winning feature film Sthaniya Sambaad (2010) and has recently created a Video installation titled Across the Burning Track for the 11th Shanghai Biennale, 2016-17.  

Course  Coordinator
Professor Moinak Biswas
Phone: 033- 2414 6689 (work)

Thursday, September 21, 2017

National Conference on “Indigenous Narratives: Perspectives and Problematics” Daulat Ram College, University of Delhi 11-12th January 2018

Concept Note
Literary attempts to understand the culture of storytelling have often sieved through lenses of orality and literacy. However, with European colonialism, the natives – to a considerable extent indigenous and at times doubly marginalised – were made to abandon not only their socio-political identities but to relinquish linguistic and cultural identities as well. Multi-lingualism and multi-culturalism, particularly in South Asia, in fact, are constituted by a variegated social consciousness, political imagination and linguistic expressions. In fact, a major limitation in tracing literary historiography in the South Asian context is the fact that the history of languages in South Asia has remained an unclaimed terrain. Herein, historically, not only the indigenous languages, but traditions, religions, values, and customs have undergone cultural appropriation on account of multiple colonial invasions. A post colonial consciousness, thus, wakes up to the problematics of the Indigenous representation. While the word ‘indigenous’ can literally be understood as ‘a native’, ‘Indigenous’ as a category in itself is inbred with heterogeneous complexities. Do only ‘self-expression’ or narratives by natives qualify to be in the nomenclature or any representation of the native/ the indigenous/the first Nations/the vernacular can be brought into discourse?

Moreover, in the post-colonial era, the theoretical denomination of nationalism that began to assign more significance to literatures in the third world countries essentially highlights the uncomfortable intermingling of the natives with the non-natives. Even a more accommodating concept such as the World Literatures ambit, while on one hand, makes way for Cultural, Ethnic, and Regional Studies to come together and enable a democratic representation and setting, on the other, it largely fails to answer the indigenous angst. Dominant historiographic discourses such as colonialism, modernism, post-colonialism, post-modernism and so on, combined with the politics of canon-formation, also only manage to subsume the indigenous in the newly carved out ‘mainstream’. It is for this reason that the quest for indigeneity is exhibited most inevitably in African, Afro-American, Dalit, and Tribal narratives, which aim to negotiate, question, and oftentimes reject received history and the pre-conceived notions of culture, caste, class, race, and ethnicity via alternative historiography.

While the rational enlightened minds endeavour to be sensitive and accommodative of the ‘indigenous’ shades into mainstream fabric, the tendency also drifts towards a certain kind of patronising or exoticizing. The politics of recognition significantly directs what gets represented and how via literary festivals or anthologies. More often than not such appropriation of the Indigenous is driven by a narcissistic desire to self-congratulate ourselves on our intellectual endeavours for having brought the margins into the central fold facilitated by media, technology and translation. Can an English speaker, or a reader of translated texts claim the right to consume or interpret the indigenous experience? Do the linguistic and cultural distinctions melt away and become transparent to the new reader or audience? And how is a native or an indigenous narrator represent her/his worldview and make it accessible to the wider world in the colonizers tongue? Will it be a discourse of negation or affirmation/re-affirmation?

Can the struggles over histories, the tussle between identity and appropriation, the resistance to politicisation or reification find a just voice in the new/old tongue, keeping in view that many indigenous languages are becoming extinct? The oral, visual narratives, the art forms, the undocumented experiences, can they be part of a normative discourse or is it even desirable?

With all these and many more questions revolving around the Indigenous Narratives, we invite papers in the following but not restricted to only these sub topics:

• The Indigenous in the post-globalized era
• Cultural appropriation of the indigenous
• The visual and the oral traditions of the indigenous 
• Indigenous art forms 
• Linguistic and identity politics of the indigenous
• Literary festivals and recognitions 
• Culinary and cultural expressions
• The problematics of translation
• Indigenous attempts at alternative historiography
• Indigenous experiences and perspectives from different parts of the world

Last date for submission of abstracts: 30th September 2017
Intimation of acceptance : 10th October 2017
Submission of the full paper : 15th November 2017
Registration Fee. 1000. INR

Abstracts should be submitted in following format:

Title : Times New Roman, font size 14, bold
Name and complete address for correspondence: Times New Roman, font size 12 bold, spacing 1.15
Body of the abstract : Times New Roman, font size 12, spacing 1.15, word limit 300-350 words
Key words: 3-4

Abstracts should be submitted to along with a brief profile of the participant.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Schomburg Center Scholars-in-Residence Program 2018-2019. New York..

Call For Applications: 

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a unit of The New York Public Library, invites applications for its Scholars-in-Residence Program for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The program offers long-term and short-term research fellowships to scholars and writers pursuing projects in African diasporic studies in fields including history, politics, literature, and culture.

Long-term fellowships provide a $35,000 stipend to support academics and independent scholars who work in residence at the Center for a continuous period of six to nine months. Fellows are provided with individual office space, research assistance, and access to the unparalleled resources of the Schomburg Center. In addition to pursuing their own research projects, fellows also engage in an ongoing interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, sharing their research with one another in a weekly work-in-progress seminar. While in residence, they are also exposed to the vibrant intellectual life of the Schomburg through its public exhibitions, panels, screenings, and events. 

Short-term fellowships are open to postdoctoral scholars, independent researchers, and creative writers (novelists, playwrights, poets) who work in residence at the Center for a continuous period of one to three months. Short-term fellows receive a stipend of $2500 per month.

Requirements: The program is intended for scholars requiring extensive, on-site research with collections at the Schomburg, the pre-eminent repository for documentation on the history and cultures of peoples of African descent around the globe. Fellows are expected to be in full-time residence at the Center during the award period and to participate in scheduled seminars and colloquia. Persons seeking support for research leading to degrees are not eligible under this program. Current candidates for advanced degrees must be scheduled to complete and receive their degree before the start date of the fellowship.

This program is made possible in part through grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Samnuel I. Newhouse Foundation.
For more information, please visit:


Contact Info: 
Aisha al-Adawiya
Program Administrator
Scholars-in-Residence Program
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Contact Email:

Monday, September 18, 2017

IASA Biennial Conference on Planetary Futures and the Global South-16-18 January 2018,Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur

 In association with:
DAAD-Global South Network, University of Tuebingen
JNU-UPE-II Project “Asian Crossroads: Indic Neighbourhoods, Global Connections,”
Project on Science and Spirituality, JNU
Samvad India Foundation, New Delhi.

Concept Note 

India has been called the “cross-roads” of the entire region of the Indian ocean oecumene, literally on the “road to everywhere.”[1]For almost every important intellectual, political, and cultural current from East to the West and from West to the East, India became the point of transition, mediation, or even fruition. This is as true of the evolution of British colonialism in Asia and Australia as it is of prior times. The question, however, is how these connections might play out in the future, but also in terms of how futures are to be imagined, designed, and executed from hereon. It is this exciting discursive terrain of future studies that this conference fouces on, with special referene to India, Australia, and the Global South.

The aim of this conference is to study some of these cross currents of Global Futures, to document available knowledge about them, explore alternative futures for Indic-Australian inter-relationships, and to create new paradigms for understanding the globalisation of both India and Australia in this light. Our main objective, then, would be to try to explore Indic-Australian connections from colonialism to global futures and begin to explore the range of ideas and processes implicit to these processes. With this view we plan to engage with the history, politics, and cultural formations of cross-connections between India, Australia, and the Global South, including Africa and Latin America, giving primacy to oceanic and cross-continental intellectual and cultural traffic. In addition, the conference will focus on issues such as traditional knowledge systems, spiritual and sacred practices, Indo-Australasian nationalisms, transfers of science, technology, and culture, and relations in social practices, arts, and media in the region, especially as they impact our thinking on Global Futures.

At its most ambitious, this project is about “re-presenting” India, Australia, and the Global South not just in a post-imperialistic, increasingly globalized world-system, but beyond these into systematic thinking and planning of planetary futures. The word “represent” is used here in both its commonly understood senses, as likeness, bringing to life or going back to its Latin root esse or presence, represent as making present. But every description is, necessarily, also an interpretation. So to represent Indo-Australian connections in their oceanic, global, and futures contexts would also be to reinterpret them. The other meaning of represent is to stand or speak for; to resisting others’ definitions of us, so that we, in India, Australia, and others in the Global South, speak for ourselves, taking charge of how we represent ourselves.[2] Indeed, both ways of looking at Indic-Australian connections are relevant to our conference.

In our shared contexts, this might imply the constructing of new disciplinary paradigms or institutional apparatuses. It might also mean competing for legitimation in how our regions are understood or studied, finally to declare ourselves as interested parties or stake-holders in such a process of designing Global Futures. It would also implicate us in challenging other, for example, imperial representations and to offer alternatives to them. The composition of research groups, with experts from the various communities of India, Australia, and the Global South, to examine their inter-

Themes of the Conference
1. Global Futures for India, Australia, and other parts of the Global South, including Africa and Latin America
2. Crossroads – roots and routes in the India-Australia dialogue
3. Global-Local knowledge flows
4. Alternative Global South: Who’s Futures?
5. Indian Ocean: Culture, Geography, Security
6. Heritage Futures: Epistemology and Identity
7. History and its Shadows
8. Spiritual Pragmatics
9. Traditional Knowledge, Sacred Practice and Spirituality
10. Nationalisms and Beyond: The Politics of local-global interaction
11. Hybrid Knowledge Futures: Science, culture, technology in the India-Australia context, and the Global South, including Africa and Latin America
12. Representations- Media and the Arts – Re-Orient
13. Research as Resistance: Voice and Optimism in a shrinking world
14. Pathways to Meaning and Co-Creation – research collaborations across borders

Important Dates:
Last date for the submission of Abstract (300 words): 30 September, 2017.
Approval of abstracts: 15 November, 2017.
Last date for the submission of Conference Paper (5000 words): 10 December, 2017.

Registration Fee:
Foreign Delegates (with accommodation): USD300
Foreign Delegates (without accommodation): USD 80
Indian Outstation Delegates (with accommodation): INR 5000
Indian Delegates (without accommodation): INR 2500
Special discounted fee for students (without accommodation): INR 1000.

General Secretary, IASA and Conference Coordinator,
Professor Pradeep Trikha, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur:
Cell: #91-9460112468

Friday, September 15, 2017

National seminar on “Politics of Difference and (Re)locating Marginality : Reflections in Indian Literature” by Visva-Bharati (A Central University), Santiniketan 9th -11th November, 2017

Concept Note:
Marginality, a major concern in socio-cultural, economic and political spheres, is the focus of this seminar. In a gross sense, the person, who is cornered to the edge of the society and finds himself deprived, depressed and subordinated in his individual as well social life is determined as marginalized. Behind this inequality the politics of difference plays the lead role, which has a multi-faced approach. From the skin colour to gender – a lot of factors stand behind the subaltern capping, which forces some particular groups of people to be devoid of the fundamental rights that they actually deserve. Though there are some common reasons for such discrimination, yet the characters of the politics of difference are divergent according to places and space. In India, the primary roots of marginality lie in religion, caste, and class hierarchies, while lingual hierarchies are determined by the social location of different speech communities. And again, gender bias or the subaltern position of woman in every class of society is a very common face of social discrimination. 

Contrary to the politics of difference, the endeavour to relocate the marginalized people in the main flow of the society is the consequence of the voices raised for equality. Indian Literature witnesses the conflicts between equality and inequality. The Dalit literature certainly has the agency to speak of their own sufferings and identity, but the main stream literature, may be in some different way, also illustrates the scenario. Literature, written in different regional as well vernacular languages of modern era are the main sources of this discourse, as the issue of marginality has come more in the focus since 19th century. Simultaneously, the literature of ancient and medieval India is the other obvious source. While the Brahmanical literature evidences the roots of differences, the Buddhist argued for the equality of all human beings. The social, philosophical and/or religious reforms or movements like Ambedkar’s Dalit Movement or Caitanya’s Bhakti movement became the milestone in the journey of relocating the marginalized people, and the then literature reflects, rather documents these social changes. The social realities along with all other norms of dalit lives and their crisis of identity are the focus of marginal literature. The struggle to get back their own justifiable position is another important issue of such literatures, where the conscious attempt has been made to differentiate it from other literature. Dalit aesthetics challenges the customary norms of literary criticism and tries to project its separate identity by voicing otherness. As this also involves concerns of equity and justices, the issue of legality is also occupies a significant position in Dalit Studies. Film, drama or other media can be included here as literary texts, which time and again involve themselves by questioning and reconfiguring marginality. 

To redefine the problems of marginality in current Indian and the global scenario is very much pertinent, as the society is now facing some sensitive questions. The proposed seminar would be a platform for the interactive discourses on the issues of social politics and relocating marginality from the perspective of Indian literature. It would be interdisciplinary in nature, and it will not deal only with different modern literary texts, but also the ancient and mediaeval literature of India. 


The seminar will address, but not remain limited to the following issues:
• Marginality in literary discourses
• Ethnicity, language and marginality
• Speech communities, dialects and question of marginality
• Tribal Languages and Literature –Issues of translation 
• Marginality in oral tradition
• Caste hierarchy and marginality
• Gender discrimination 
• Cultural marginality
• Marginality thinkers
• Socio-religious reforms and marginality
• Social violence and marginality
• Dalit aesthetics 
• Marginality as reflected in film and drama
• Marginality and media
• Marginality and legalists 

Submission of abstracts

• Abstract (within 300 words) should be sent on/before 18th September, 2017 through email to, 
Cc to
• Authors should clearly mention their name, affiliation, contact no, e-mail address and the title of the paper. 
• Language of the paper and abstract : English, Hindi, Bengali; Style sheet : MLA format, 8th edition. 
• The sub themes mentioned are only suggestive. Presentation time will be 15-20 minutes.
• After the blind review of the abstracts the selected authors will be informed through mail and University Website.

• On receiving the acceptance letter, participants should send the registration fee through demand draft. (Details of DD will be given with the acceptance letter).
• Registration fee includes conference kit, working lunches, dinners, breakfasts, tea, snacks and cultural programme. (Registration fee does not include the accommodation. A list of good hotels near the University will be provided in second circular). 
• Registration fee : Rs. 2500/-, (Outside Visva-Bharati) 
• Registration fee for the faculty, staff and research scholars of Visva-Bharati : Rs.1500/- 
• The participation/ paper presentation certificates will be distributed only in Valedictory session of the seminar.

Important Dates
Submission of abstracts: September 18, 2017
Communication of acceptance: September 25, 2017
Deadline for registration : October 18, 2017
Full Paper submission : November 2, 2017

Dr. Gargi Bhattacharya : 0-9007856721;
  • Mr. Ranvir Sumedh Bhagwan : 0-7585950365,

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Film Studies International Conference on In Search of the Hero(es) within the Genre and Beyond: 23-24 February 2018, BHU,India.

Concept Note:
“A Hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”-Joseph Campbell

The world today has become a confused arena populated with masses having no clue of what is going on around them, and more especially, with them. The enthusiasm and optimism that foregrounded the most part of the 20th century, despite the great wars and mass killings, turned pessimistic in last few decades, and now paranoia dictates us. Our present bearing is so fittingly described by Cooper in the movie Interstellar that “We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our places in the stars. Now we just look down and worry about our places in the dirt.” We used to exalt our lives with the sublime conduct by following examples of people like Gandhi and Buddha. We used to be inspired by the stories of people, real or fictional, displaying extraordinary demeanor against hostile forces. Now, we have turned them into commodities with which we satisfy our fetish devours by owning them. What led humanity to arrive here? The old tales are not working now and new ones are not in the making. A bizarre wasteland surmounts us inhabited by a lot that is passive and disinterested, lacking moral convictions, aspiring to be rescued and purged by someone else for their sins. However, whom they chose to be rescued by, that posits the question.

This question consciously or unconsciously has become a part of our day-to-day discourse. Metaphors ranging from the semiotics of avant-garde to pop-culture, from real to surreal, from genres and beyond, wobble around the same question – What sort of hero you want to choose to redeem yourself? But before one can delve into this question, one needs to ask, who and what is a Hero? Joseph Campbell weighs over the concept of hero and elucidates that a hero is someone who makes a journey into an experience that is lacking in life or is not permitted to the members of society. The hero, thus, takes an adventurous journey to have an access to that knowledge and then returns back with some message; hence, a cyclical process of going and returning. If so, can we call each one of us heroes, as Norman Mailer said during Kennedy’s Presidential bid in 1960, “each of us was born to be free, to wander, to have adventure and to grow on the waves of the violent, the perfumed, and the unexpected, had a force which could not be tamed.” If these are the interpretations of being and becoming a hero, then what are the (im)possibilities of academics, theologians, philosophers, and ascetics to become one? One can notice the repetition of journeys that Campbell talks about have been witnessed in the stories ranging from Jesus to Ram to Buddha to Krishna to Beowulf to Ulysses to Robin Hood to Milton’s Satan to even contemporary encashment of “hero-making” and “hero-worshipping” in the likes of Obama to Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin to John Cena to Shahrukh Khan to Batman. It is in the later body of folks where the concept goes awry because by the time one reaches to this end of the string, it becomes hard to decipher between the hero and the image. And thus, is witnessed the emergence of myth-making of heroes from tribal, local, regional, ethnic, racial, gendered, religious, national and international communities.

And it becomes more convoluted and twisted because we are strolling in an age where the stratosphere everywhere is breathing with its own kind of personal and private heroes conflicting with the other. Orrin E. Klapp justly remarks in his article, “The Creation of Popular Superheroes,” which seems to be an astute remark for our times that “an age of mass hero worship is an age of instability,” and it would be rash on our part if we blind eye ourselves to this fact. ‘The best are lacking in all convictions’ as W B Yeats once remarked, ‘and the worst are full of passionate intensity’. Only if one can dare to confront such ‘heroes’ like Bob Dylan emphatically does, “I see through your eyes/And I see through your brain/Like I see through the water/That runs down my drain” (Masters of War). So, what is the solution? Shall the heroes be abandoned? Shall the search be for a Hero rather than heroes? The matter of fact is we are in a mad house and we are all mad as the Cat mentions to Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland:

‘How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice.

‘You must be,’ said the Cat, ‘or you wouldn’t have come here.’

Now, if we can’t abandon the idea of leaving the premises of the madhouse, it is better then to reconstruct the formula of madness afresh. If we can’t bail out of our heroes for a Hero (having whom would again be nightmarish), if we can’t go back to the world where heroes acted as a beacon to overcome our mortal fears, then the need is as Paul Meadows illustrates, to ‘identify the social interaction of the hero in its myriad form: social control, leadership, imitation, propaganda, the social movement, crowd psychology’ (“Some Notes on the Social Psychology of the Hero”).

This conference, therefore, aims to bring forth the scholars and researchers to deliberate upon the various concepts and jargons about heroes within the genres and beyond of political, social, cultural, and literary, with hopes to construct and rejuvenate ideas from scratch out of the stale ones.

Following are the sub-themes (but not limited) that this conference aims to dwell upon:

  • Hero or Leader
  • Hero as Character/Protagonist
  • Hero/Anti-hero/Villain/Criminal
  • Hero as Poet/Prophet/Philosopher
  • Female Hero or Heroine
  • Hero in Transition
  • Alternative Hero
  • Hero as Outcaste/Pariah
  • Superhero
  • Artist/Author as a Hero
  • Hero with Mask
  • City/Space as Hero
  • Genre Heroes
  • Medium/Technology as Hero
  • Statesman as Hero
  • Nation as Hero
  • Hero as Myth/Hero in Mythology
  • Hero as Explorer
  • Hero as Guardian

List of Speaker(s)
Keynote Speaker:Alicia Maree Malone

The famous film reporter, host, writer and self-confessed movie geek. She first gained notice hosting movie-centric shows and reviewing films in her native Australia, before making the leap to Los Angeles in 2011.Since then, Alicia has appeared on CNN, the Today show, MSNBC, NPR and many more as a film expert. Currently, she is a host on FilmStruck, a cinephile subscription streaming service run by the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies, and she is the creator and host of the weekly show, Indie Movie Guide on Fandango.

She is the writer of the book 'Backwards and in Heels' about the history of women in Hollywood.

Alicia has traveled the world to cover the BAFTAs, the Oscars, the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and SXSW. She is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and over the years has interviewed hundreds of movie stars and filmmakers.

Plenary Speaker(s)
Prof. Dr. Ursula Kocher

Professor of General Literary Studies and Older German Literature in the European context at the Bergische Universitaet, Wuppertal, Germany. Prof. Ursula Kocher studied German, Romance, Rhetoric and History at the Otto- Friedrich University, Bamberg as well as Eberhard Karls Universitaet, Tübingen, Germany. From 1991 to 1999 she was a scholarship fellow at the German Cultural Foundation. In 2000 and 2001, Kocher was a research associate of the DFG Research project “The Invisibility of the Imagination in Elizabethan Culture” at the Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, and then until 2006 a scientific assistant at Freie Universität, Berlin. She is pioneer for starting many Projects with Indian. 

Dr. Jyoti Sabharwal

She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Delhi, India. Her expertise lies in German Exile Literature from 1933-1945, with a special focus on India as a place of exile; Representations of India in post war novels and shorter prose, the emergence of migrant writing and questions of history and memory.

Key Points
Last date for sending abstract of the paper: 31 December 2017

Last date for sending complete paper: 28 January 2018

Send abstract/paper to the conference email id:

Selected Presenters will be notified by 10 January 2018

Conference Dates: 23-24 February 2018

Registration Fee: Rs 2,000 (for Research Scholars); Rs 2,500 (for Faculty Members); and 100 USD (for International delegates)

Format for the Application

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Publications, if there (mention the best three):
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