Concourse: 11/08/17


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

International Conference on Indian Literature as World Literature: Past, Present, Future -18 to 20 January 2018. EFL University, Hyderabad, Telangana

Call For Abstracts:

In recent years Indian Literature in English has been generating renewed interest in its writers and writings not just among students and scholars of literature but also intellectuals and thinkers working in other areas of Humanities and Social Sciences. There has also been a huge global increase in sales of literary works produced by Indian writers living in India as well as writers of Indian origin living outside the country. This new era in Indian Writing, as we all know, was ushered in by the epic-success of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children published in 1981. Today, interestingly, many of the works published in the 80s and 90s, especially Rushdie’s own magnum opus, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things and Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger and others feature on the reading lists of departments of World Literature in universities across the globe.

Not very long ago, classical literatures of India produced over the last two millennia, had generated a similar interest among scholars of British India. English translations of The Rāmāyaṇa, The Mahābhārata, Pañcatantra, Kathāsaritsāgara, Jātaka Tales, Abhijñānashākuntala, Raghuvaṃśa, Mṛcchakaṭika, Svapnavāsavadattam, Harṣacarita, Pṛthvīrāj Rāso and Padmavat began to come into the public domain as early as the last quarter of the 1800s and after. The contribution of indologists and translators like Ralph Griffith, Arthur Ryder, E. B. Cowell, Charles Henry Tawney, Sir William Jones and others in the preservation and dissemination of India’s most loved classical texts across the limits and boundaries of the ancient languages is unquestionably one of the most important milestones in the journey of Indian literatures. Sadly, however, these extraordinary texts, or at least parts of them, despite their incomparable literary quality and universal appeal have rarely been featured on reading lists of World Literature departments.

The fate of literatures produced in the regional languages of India has not been very different. Most of the literature produced in Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and a host of other languages has to a large extent remained unknown both to readers outside the language of its origin as well as to the English-speaking world simply for lack of translation across  languages within India and of course, into English. Can an understanding of World Literatures ever be complete without having known the worlds of Kalidas, Kabir, Meera, Mir Taqi Mir, Mirza Ghalib, Kaifi Azmi, Gulzar, Sri Sri, Gurram Jashuva, Kuvempu, Premchand, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, Nirala, Sumitranandan Pant, Maithili Sharan Gupt, Bhisham Sahni and O V Vijayan,  to name a few?
Thus, the range of possibilities and array of questions that glare at those engaged in a serious and sincere promotion of the idea of “world literature” are overwhelming and intriguing at the same time. But the ride, however bumpy and bouncy it may seem, has also been immensely rewarding in terms of the varied points of arrivals, the reactive and commendatory responses, fresh challenges and new possibilities in the domain of world literatures.

Today, “world literature”, presents itself as a field of study with major thrust on global circulation, transcultural reading methods, wide ranging stylistic patterns, “intertextuality,” and interesting affiliations between texts and readers, hitherto not so evident. Indian writers, in their elaborate visions of particular locales/settings, have all along been challenging the notions of worldliness as something divorced from the local and the indigenous as something insulated from the world as the West would prefer to view them. These writers preferred rather to display the synergies between the local, national, regional, and global, and show how the local and the familiar function as the co-ordinates of the world. Being quite in consonance with one of the major pursuits of postcolonial literatures - fostering an understanding of the traffic between the local and the global, and that of world literature insisting that power and the way one is socially situated affect how one reads and writes the world - Indian literature does not seem to have any different purpose or end from that of world literature. The world then becomes not something exotic, menacing, and inhospitable but an accretion of what we consider home, a larger community to which we are all native.

The conference aims to explore the promising avenues of exchange between Indian literary studies and world literature. What role can writers, readers, critics, scholars, teachers, translators, literary agents, publishers, journalists, film makers, print and electronic media professionals etc. can play in promoting Indian literatures in English and translation at the global level? Consequently, the Conference looks to bring experts from various fields on to a single stage, all looking to share their learning and expertise in addressing the concerns. 

Well-researched and unpublished papers are invited on topics related to all aspects of Indian literature and literary criticism in English, in translation as well as regional language literatures. However, all submissions must strictly be in English only. If you choose to make an impact submit your abstract in not more than 250 words along with the keywords.  Do not forget to mention your name, place, affiliation, mobile number, and email address.  All submissions and correspondence may be made at

Important Dates:
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 20 November 2017
Notification of Acceptance: 30 November 2017
Deadline for Registration: 15 December 2017
Full paper: 25 December 2017
Registration Fee:
Faculty Members (Out-station paper presenters) Rs 5000/-
Research Participants (Out-station paper presenters) Rs 2500/-
Local Participants (presenters & non-presenters) Rs 1500/-
EFLU Research Scholars Rs 1000/-
Foreign Delegates 100 USD
Please pay conference registration fee through Money Transfer to the bank account provided below. You are requested to email us your name and complete transaction details like amount, transaction number, date and name of the bank along with a scanned copy of the counterfoil.
Beneficiary’s Name: Internal Income Account
Acc No.: 62122901303
Type of Account: Savings
State Bank of India
IFSC Code: SBIN0021106
Bank Address: SBI, EFLU Branch, Hyderabad-500007

Payments may also be made through a Demand Draft drawn in favour of Internal Income Account, A/C No.62122901303, SBI, EFLU Branch, Hyderabad and sent to The Conference Coordinator, Dept. of Indian and World Literatures, EFL University, Hyderabad, Telangana - 500007. Please furnish complete transaction details like amount, Transaction number/DD No., date, Name of the Bank etc. in your communication. The Registration Fee includes the conference kit, three lunches, the conference dinner on January 18, and tea & snacks at intervals. Outstation participants will be provided breakfast on all three days. Accommodation will be available from 3 pm on 17 January to 10 pm on 20 January. ¬-Participants making joint presentations need to register separately.

Our Distinguished Conference Speakers

Prof. Graham Huggan, Professor of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literatures, University of Leeds, UK will deliver the Keynote Address. Prof. Huggan is one of the world’s most renowned critics in the comparative postcolonial literary/cultural studies.

Prof. Vinay Dharwadker, Professor of Comparative Literatures and Folklore Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, is an expert in Indian and South Asian literatures and culture. 

Prof. Aparna Dharwadker, Professor of English and Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, specializes in comparative modern drama, modern Indian theatre and contemporary world theatre.

Mr. Ananth Padmanabhan is Chief Executive Officer of HarperCollins India and was former senior vice-President of Penguin India, the biggest multinational publishing houses in India. Mr. Padmanabhan has been at the helm of publishing business in India for more than 20 years now.

Dr. Arshia Sattar specializes in South Asian languages and civilizations and Indian narrative. She is one of the finest experts in Ramayana, an extraordinary translator of ancient texts and author of several books inspired by Indian mythology.

Volga is a popular Telugu novelist, short story writer, poet and translator. She was honoured with the Sahitya Academi Award for her collection of short stories titled Vimuktha.

Ms. Bhawana Somaaya, film journalist, critic, author and historian will deliver the Valedictory Address. Ms. Somaaya was recently honoured with the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, by the Honourable President of India Shri. Pranab Mukherjee. She has also served on the advisory panel of the Central Board of Film Certificate.

Prof. N. Ramadevi Murru, Dean, School of Literary Studies
Conference Coordinator
Dr. Chinnadevi Singadi, Assistant Professor
Joint Coordinator
Dr. Thoty Subramaniam
Head, Department of Indian and World Literatures
The EFL University, Hyderabad