Concourse: 06/22/17


Thursday, June 22, 2017

International Conference on WOMEN & SECTARIAN VIOLENCE IN SOUTH ASIA: FICTION & REALITY 9-10 Nov, 2017, Central University of Gujarat, India

Centre for English Studies

School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies
Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar 

Concept Note
The conference aims to enquire how South Asian women, situationally, moving beyond the traditional notions of motherhood, family and ‘womanhood’, creates a trail of some yet unexplored trait. Is she trying to re-create the notion of ‘woman’ in her ‘context of situation’, region and gender? Has there been an insistent  attempt to re-contextualize herself?

The South Asian region has been witness to many-layered  onflicts: be it the Partition, the Sikh and other riots in India; the historical trajectory of violence in Afghanistan;, the ethnic violence in Sri Lanka; or the minority conflicts in Pakistan,, women have been the carnage, the sub-stratum through which Patriarchy has waged war. She has been torn, ravaged, mutilated, humiliated, and burnt. There is nothing more that she can fear or encounter. There is nothing more that she can remember to forget. She is inscribed by a violent earth, colonized by man, culture, religion, caste, ethics and morality. The historical and social/cultural terrain has had its role to play in the enormity perpetuated. There is a need to re-visit this territory and engage with it critically. One needs to ask whether ‘Literature’ has captured all this. Do writers remember to forget? Can one write to make our countries remember? Do we forget to remember? Nevertheless, the psychological dimension is something that one cannot afford to forget. 

In an area where censors, bans, riots and sectarian violence have historically been a part and parcel of everyday life, South Asian women have inspired the world by living through the trauma. Her body has become a contested site and the possibility of an imaginary is not yet born. Her ‘values’ are eroded on the streets and in the psyche, yet she has not given up.In the face of interminable violence, she is ‘abducted’, ‘returned’ and ‘recovered’. She traverses through this terrain, through tears, through fights, and perhaps through the yearning that one day, there might be light on the horizon. 

This conference is an attempt to re-discover this ‘traversing’, an attempt to understand her myriad moods and pathways, not roles. To dissolve, devour and evaporate the vicious circle that she is enmeshed in. The search stretches in as well as out, into the interiors of the mind and the land called South Asia. The aim is not to encase and embalm women in strict compartments, nor to stick to a particular genre, but to break boundaries and borders. An exercise to translate, transcreate and transliterate. It is also a calling out to women who have not been heard or published, women who cannot write, but who can only reproduce narratives. These are not just testimonies, oral/gendered histories, creative/critical writings, satires, poems, or short/long fiction. It is this and much more. The conference will have a section on the visual forms such as graphic images, paintings and photographs to explore this other ‘reality’.

Themes under discussion:
  • Sectarian violence and Women
  • Caste, Society and Violence
  • Women and the mutilated body
  •  Humiliation and Self
  •  After-rape: Recovery, Revival and Reconciliation
  •  Experience and Body: Vulnerable and Viable
  •  After-experience: Body, trauma, memory and forgetting
  •  War and Women
  • Widows, half-widows and war-widows
  • Visual culture and women
  • Cinematic (mis)representation of the traumatic woman
  •  Memory, history and women

Last date for abstract submission: 10th August, 2017
Registration charges:-
Students/ Research Scholars: Rs. 2000/-
Faculty Members: Rs. 3000/-

Guest Convener:
Prof. Rachel Bari
Kuvempu University
Contact No: 9448244273 
Prof Atanu Bhattacharya 
Dr. Ishmeet Kaur 
Contact No: 9974092042