SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL AND AFRICAN STUDIES
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H OXG
"NARRATIVES OF 'HOME' IN SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE"
24-25 June 2004
Venue: London, SOAS
The search for the location in which the self is 'at home' has been one of the primary projects of modern literature all over the world. This workshop's objective is to map the narratives of 'home' in South Asian literature from the advance of modernity on the subcontinent till the present day. It aims to read more than the domestic into representations of the home, to explore not only the geographical, but also the psychological and material connotations of 'home'. Its goal is to disassemble the concept of 'home' in all its incarnations - as confinement, as stability, as security, as myth and as desire.
Our objective is to problematise 'home' and its experience in different contexts and in different ways. Martin and Mohanty, for instance, engage with the notion of 'being home' ('the place where one lives within familiar, safe, protected boundaries') and of 'not being home' ('the realization that home is an illusion of coherence and safety based on exclusion of specific histories of oppression and resistance, the repression of differences even within oneself'). We aim to investigate if and how home changes its significations when articulated from different locations, in different languages and by different subjects, paying particular attention to ideological determinants like gender and class. The organisers of the workshop encourage also specialists on diaspora writing to submit proposals in order to achieve the widest possible comparative perspective. Though the focus will be kept on
literature, we also invite papers dealing with narratives of home in media, particularly film.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
How do the narratives of 'nation' and 'home' intersect?
How does the trope of 'home' in literature subvert or enforce the binarisms of private- public, male - female, colonizer - colonized?
What importance does gender play in the rhetoric of 'home'?
What are the inclusions and exclusions on which 'homes' are built?
What are the politics of location in the discussed texts?
How is 'home' conceptualised in the 'immigrant genre'?
What are the intersections between 'home' and language? Between 'home' and the creative process?
How do creative writers in the diaspora work with their multiple identities?
How do notions of 'home' reflect the 'adjusted sense of self' in the post-modern individual?
What are the literary implications of re-readings of the 'home', informed by feminist/psychoanalytical or any other theoretical perspective?
How does literature reflect the changes in family and kinship in the modern notions of 'home'?
In what ways have media and film represented the spatial and temporal implications of 'home'?
Paper proposals should be no longer than one page (typed A4) and should be sent by email to Dr. Lucy Rosenstein by 1 March 2004.
Anybody interested in attending should fill a registration form available on the website of the Centre of South Asian Studies (below) and send it together with the conference fees to The Executive Officer the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H OXG by 1 May 2004. Conference fees are £25 for academic staff and £15 for students. Payments can be made by cheque or international money order made out to SOAS. Abstracts and the conference programme will be advertised on the CSAS website in due course. For more information please contact Dr Lucy Rosenstein.
Professor Malashri Lal
Dept. of English, and Director,Women's Studies & Development Centre
University of Delhi
Dr Sukrita Paul Kumar, Reader, Department of English, Zakir Husain College
University of Delhi
Dr Aruna Chakravarti,
Principal, Janki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi
Dr Lucy Rosenstein, Lecturer in Hindi,
Department of South Asia,SOAS
Dr Lucy Rosenstein, Lecturer in Hindi
Department of South Asia
London WC1H OXG
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