Peripheral Modernity and the South Asian literary world 
Sourit Bhattacharya (University of Warwick)
Priyanka Basu (School of Oriental and African Studies)
Room 207
Start time:
27 July, 2016 at 14:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

How has South Asian literature of the last decades responded to the crisis in capitalist world-system? Papers sought that take "peripheral modernity" as analytical framework and focus on literary form, space, rights and activism, economic crisis, global literary marketplace, and comparativism.

Long Abstract

The 2008 global downturn has compelled the social sciences and humanities to refocus on the concept of "crisis" in capitalism and rethink the relations between "core" and "periphery." What is crucial to this era of crisis is the emergence of the BRICS countries and the corresponding shifts in the world system. Debates on world literature and comparitivism have been alert to these readjustments (Moretti, 2000; Orsini, 2003; Damrosch, 2005; Warwick RC, 2015) as well as the proliferation of the neo-social realist novel (Adiga, Hamid, etc).

Given the important place of South Asia in contemporary literary and cultural studies debates, this panel would like to interrogate the South Asian region through the lens of "peripheral modernity" (Parry, 2009). Is South Asia a periphery to the capitalist world system or has it set up its (associated) system of core and peripheries (enabled by the strategic and economic negotiations between India and other SAARC nations)? What role do 'social' components such as space, gender, caste play in understanding the peripherality of modernity? Could terrorism or civil war, petro-capitalism or religious fundamentalism tell us more about this specific arena of capitalist modernity? How do we situate the vernacular aesthetics or the contemporary popularity of white collar English novels in this? Finally, how are we making a "literary world-system" in South Asia through the international circulation and reception of Anglophone literature and awards? The panel invites proposals based on literary, visual, and performance-based texts to uniquely situate South Asian transformations in the past decades.

Accepted papers: