29 décembre 2014

Call for Papers: Fractious Modernities: The (dis)Contents of the Now (Jadavpur University)

Call for Papers
The fractured, multiple modernities that constitute our world are increasingly in conflict with each other. It is crucial that we explore the ways in which the commonalities shared by many modern societies are shot through with differences in the ways societies understand themselves, their relationships with each other and with the past. Market forces, ‘civil society’, media, state and transnational apparatuses interact within historically specific milieus shaped by nationhood, peoplehood, religion, ethnicity, race, caste, class and indigeneity to create complex trajectories of modernity.
Literary and cultural texts provide an important point of entry into problematizing the ‘historical continuities’ in these modernities, questioning the ‘global’ trends of ‘progress’/’development’ in them, and reconsidering the ‘transc(ending)’ of modernity through ‘post’-modernity. It is clear that our modernities exist concurrently with non-modern, pre-modern and post-modern formations; indeed, notions of ‘early’ and ‘late’ modernity may need to be re-visited in the context of alternative and non-western modernities. The ‘messy texts’ that emerge out of this simultaneity demand reading in ways that might help us understand the radicalizations and resistances that are a function of the agon we all inhabit. We invite papers that reflect afresh on the nature of our modernities to examine the intersections/disjunctures/hostilities between them. This reconsideration is urgently needed in a world where ‘irreducible’ differences in the structures of affect and rationality erode the possibilities of productive dialogue between competing ideologies and communities. As Chantal Mouffe puts it, “we must always allow for the possibility that conflict may appear and... provide an arena where differences can be confronted.”
Subthemes may include, but are not confined to:
Historicizing modernities – (re)considering different paradigms of modernity, such as the early modern and the Enlightenment; historicizing modernities in different geo-historical and cultural contexts.
Theoretical and lived modernities – engaging with prevalent theories of modernity and emergent discourses such as radical modernities, etc; narrativising and translating the lived experience of multiple modernities in and through cultural texts.
Thinking beyond the ‘tradition versus modernity’ debate with reference to the interface of religious and political ideologies; engaging with the role of gender and sexuality as well as other identity categories in defining various modernities.
Cultural and aesthetic modernities: exploring the convergent/divergent times and spaces of modernities in various arts and media.
Technologies of modernity: Resistance and protest as a function of modernity in people’s movements, civil society and the modern state; also, modernities as producers of large-scale conflicts and displacement. This sub-theme is linked with cultural modernities, especially with relation to the effect of the mass replication and dissemination of cultural texts.
The otherness(es) of modernity – pre-modern, non-modern, anti-modern and post-modern formations and their relationship with modernities; the negotiations of ethnicity, caste, class, indigeneity and other formations within different modernities.
Abstracts of about 200 words, with a 50-word note on the speaker, must be emailed to Prof. Chandreyee Niyogi <chandreyeen@yahoo.co.in> and Prof. Nilanjana Deb <nilanjanadeb@yahoo.com> before 31 December 2014. Out-of-town and overseas delegates will be notified as soon as possible, to expedite the process of travel bookings. We regret that we cannot offer reimbursement for travel and accommodation, but we could assist delegates in making arrangements for accommodation, if required.

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