Concourse: 12/04/17


Monday, December 4, 2017

International Conference on Northeast India and Southeast Asia: Exploring Continuities- 25-26 October 2018, Ambedkar University Delhi, New Delhi, India


Northeast India, located on India's periphery, is a region whose socio-cultural world exhibits more similarities with Southeast Asia region than with that of South Asia. Such perceptive characterisation of the Northeast region, however, has had been scuttled by the constricted imagination induced by the nation-state paradigm and related ways of writing history. The uncritical reliance on colonial discourse to understand the region reinforces the colonial conceptions while simultaneously marginalising the cultural-historical legacy of resident communities. This has led to the creation of an idea of an insular (Northeast) region on the one hand while reinforcing the image of India as the mainland constitutive of a larger Indic/ South Asian culture on the other.

The proposed conference seeks to question this entrenched way of understanding Northeast India by way of situating it contiguously with Southeast and East Asia. In doing so, it will take a multi disciplinary look at lived reality, insider perspectives and experiences of transformation to identify the threads of interconnectedness between these regions. The conference will thus highlight the inter-regionality of Northeast India while culturally positioning it in a larger Southeast/East Asian tradition.

Concept Note

Human societies share common traits, including myths and values, materials and traditions, language and practices. The uniqueness of each arises partly from the way dynamics of power operate in the geographical spaces they occupy, and how societies negotiate, manipulate and control the direction of their development. The highlands of Northeast India, Yunnan and Southeast Asia offers a vantage point to look at this from the viewpoint of societies that till the 20th century stayed away from the statist political systems of a dominant mainland polity.

Referred to as ‘people without history’ due to the lack of written language, communities in these regions use orality as a conscious societal choice to transmit shared memories of an ancient past as well as the insights from the present. In a similar way, shaping the land through the widespread use of the jhum or swidden agriculture is a societal response for mobility and autonomy while maintaining food security. In the cultural sphere for example, many scholars of Northeast India suggest that the customs and traditions of many communities in the region in many aspects resembles those of tribal communities in Southeast Asia, from Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Taiwan. Similarly, the Tai-Ahom of the Brahmaputra valley in Assam finds many similarities with communities from Thailand. The shared palette of colours, patterns and motifs in textiles tells us how the rich cultural traditions of the peoples across the larger region have been intricately linked to the political economy at different points in time.

The study of cultures is today an interdisciplinary field incorporating a wide range of participants, approaches, and topics. The contextual study of structures, monuments, artifacts and oral literatures provides a methodology to understand the beliefs and attitudes of societies other than our own, and opens up possibilities for comparative investigation along the ‘Asian axis’.

These and other connections between the main aspects of life in the Northeastern Region of India, and the larger Asian cultural landscape can be substantiated from a transnational perspective. Conventional representations of Northeast India glosses over this history of cultural continuity and its connections, that has remained partly because of being in a marginal borderland over time. Highlighting the cultural continuities in the larger region, it is important to look beyond political boundaries, and reconsider the manifestations of identities in terms of geographical continuities and cultural dynamics.

At a time when the study of multidimensional cultural aspects has been attracting scholars and policy makers across the world, an engagement with the cultural axis between Northeast India and Southeast Asia becomes indispensable. In this connection, the need for a cultural mapping of the region has been suggested by various academic and professional cultural institutions. This would include establishing linkages between researchers and scholars from diverse disciplines, and promoting communication between various communities across national boundaries.

Contextualising Northeast India with the contiguous regions of Southeast Asia and Yunnan (South China), the conference aims to develop a multi disciplinary appreciation at experiences of transformation, identity (re)construction and the threads of interconnectedness between these regions. The intent is to critically engage and reflect on the larger historical trajectories that shaped societies and communities in these spaces using a comparative lens. In the process demanding multi-level engagement that questions preconceived notions around nature, culture and people in todays politically charged environment.

This conference invites scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds across the social sciences and humanities to share understandings of societies in the region. We invite papers embedded in empirical case studies which explore one or more of the following lines of inquiry. 
  • Material cultures of the past and present
  • Orality, language and literature
  • Performance, ritual and practice
  • Trade, market and state making in the region
  • Regional similarities and differences – aspects of traditional life
  • Colonialism, globalisation and the process of modernity
  • Identity construction and power dynamics.
  • Post-colonialism and its impact on gender relations.
  • Peace, conflict and governance
  • Environment, society and health
  • Biodiversity, conservation and society
  • Culture, psyche, morality and innovation interface

Conference Registration fee: Rs. 500/- for research scholars and students

Rs. 2000/- for Faculty (National and International)

Submission Guidelines:

Abstract (in English) of 250 words along with a short bio-note of 150 words should be sent to on or before 30th January 2018. Full papers need to be submitted by 30th June 2018.

Young research scholars working in the area are specially invited to present their work. We will be organising a special sessions for their participation.

Poster presentations are also welcome. They will be displayed during the conference and time will be allotted for an interaction between the poster presenters and others participants.

Travel Support: Limited assistance for travel support is available and may be considered for research scholars, independent researcher and early career faculty. Please send your request by 30th January 2018 clearly mentioning Travel Support in the subject line, along with your name and abstract title in the body of the email.

Accommodation Assistance: Participants requiring help in finding accommodation in Delhi during the conference may write to the organiser clearly mentioning Accomodation Support in the subject line, along with your name and abstract title in the body of the email.


Abstract Submission Deadline: 30th January 2018

Notification of Acceptance: 28th February 2018

Full Paper Submission: 30th June 2018

Email for Abstract Submission and other Information:

Contact Info: 

Lovitoli Jimo / Surajit Sarkar
NEF / Centre for Community Knowledge
Ambedkar University Delhi,
Lothian Road, Kashmere Gate, Delhi 110006 , India

Contact email -
Contact Email:

Three-day International Conference on Commonwealth Literature, 8-10 February 2018, Osmania University, Hyderabad

Concept Note
“A room without books is like a body without soul.” (Cicero)

In today’s multicultural and multi-lingual society, the focus of literary studies has drastically changed. The focus has shifted to postcolonial theory, lesbian and homosexual writing, diaspora, ethnic studies and corporate fiction. In the last three decades, writers across the globe have enriched the literary scene by dealing with contemporary themes and issues. Some of these writers are Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey, David Malouf, J.M. Coetzee, Gunter Grass, Kazuo Ishiguro, Milan Kundera, Rohinton Mistry, Toni Morrison, Ben Okri, V.S. Naipaul, Michael Ondaatje, Zadie Smith and Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Today Indian English literature has registered a remarkable growth and many of our writers like Anita Desai, Bharati Mukherjee, Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie and Jhumpa Lahiri have achieved international recognition. As Indian writing in English has come of age, it is time to examine where it stands in terms of other literatures in the world, and what are the reasons of its popularity.

Comparative Approach
Some of the books published during last three decades have made indelible impact on us. We now are the citizens of the world and can no longer afford to neglect the excellence of other literatures in the world. Just as national literature is the reflection of the national history, so is the world literature a by-product of comparative literature. We are glocal—both local and global. While comparing Indian writers/ movements with overseas writers/ movements, we are mainly concerned with relationships, resemblances and differences. Such an approach will give wider dimensions to the realm of contemporary literature.

Humanities/ Social Sciences
The conference is both comparative and interdisciplinary in character. Literature is closely related to humanities and social sciences. Certain political and social movements have all-pervading influence on common people as also on literary milieu. A writer is essentially the conscience bearer and moral watchman of his people. The conference will therefore discuss, apart from literature, like Terrorism, Popular Culture, Human Rights, Feminism, in all spheres of knowledge. Papers are therefore invited from scholars in the disciplines of History, Political Science, Philosophy and Psychology, within the larger framework of the theme of the conference.


• Landmarks in Indian and World Literature 1990-2018
• Globalism and Literature
• Diversity, Multiculturalism
• Local, Glocal and Global Identity
• Feminism
• Eco-Criticism
• Diaspora literature
• Minority literature
• Subaltern Studies
• Comparative literature
• Special sessions on Canadian, Irish, African and Australian literatures


• Renowned Keynote Speakers and Resource Persons
• Plenary Lectures
• Panel Discussions
• Release of the Journal
• Readings by Creative Writers
• Book Releases/Book-Exhibition
• Conference Dinner
• Cultural Evening

Creative Writing Session

A number of creative writers will participate in the session. Ms. Roswitha, German writer in India, will deliver a special lecture on her recent novel.


Select Papers presented at the Conference will be brought out as a volume of essays—an ISBN publication—or as a special issue of the U.G.C.-approved bi-annual journal The Commonwealth Review. However, articles of only the subscribers will be considered for inclusion.

The aim of this International Conference is to encourage academics, scholars and practitioners representing an exciting diversity of countries, cultures and languages to meet and exchange views in a forum encouraging respectful dialogue.


The deliberations of the conference will be useful for sharpening the research tools and strategies by the teachers and research scholars. The conference will discuss multiculturalism focusing on the ideological issues of caste, gender, religion, and the social movements affecting the new literatures written in different languages and regions with a view to bringing out the multicultural diversity of the globe. It is hoped that the conference will enlighten the delegates and scholars about the nature of the new literatures, the ideological and cultural deep structures lying behind them, and the way the multiculturalism of the writers has questioned the established beliefs and systems to uphold humanism based on the values of liberty, equality, and fraternity.

The City of Hyderabad

Hyderabad, the Capital of Telangana, is a historical city—well-known for pearls. It is a seat of learning and has more than seven universities. A multicultural city, it is famous for grandeur and royalty. Places to visit include Char Minar, Salar Jung Museum, Fort and the Lake. Weather in November is pleasant. Accommodation will be provided in the OUCIP Guest House on twin-sharing basis.

Book Exhibition

There will be a Book Exhibition where members can display their publications. Members who wish to get their books released may send copies of the books preferably in advance.

What to send

A 200-word abstract should be submitted by 30 December 2017 along with the information in this order: a) author b) affiliation c) email address d) title of the abstract. Abstracts may be sent to:


Acceptance will be sent by the Academic Committee, within three days from the receipt of the abstract. Submission of registration fee and travel bookings may follow.Certificate of Participation in the International Conference will be given to all registered delegates. Convener, Academic Committee: Professor Jagdish Batra, Jindal Global University. Sonepat.

Important Dates

Abstract Submission: 20 December 2017

Registration Fee: 10 January 2018

Registration Fee
Foreign delegates :USD 300, includes accommodation for 4-5 nights, hospitality and conference kit
India delegates:
  • Rs. 3500 per person. It includes Conference fee, accommodation, Conference kit and hospitality.
  • Rs. 2500 per person, not needing accommodation. It includes Conference fee, Conference kit and hospitality.
  • Research scholars, not employed and below 30:
  • Local Rs. 2000;
  • Outstation with accommodation Rs. 3000.
  • Spot registration will not be possible.

Late Fee after 10 January 2018: Rs. 300

Kindly note that we are not in a position to assist with the conference travel or subsistence. Participants are requested to approach their institutions for travel grant and conference fee.

For all queries, contact:

Secretary, ISCS:

Dr. Suman Mobile: 0-9891097657

All correspondence may be addressed to: