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Friday, 25 January 2013

International Conference on Contemporary English Studies: Society, Culture and Language March 6-8, 2013 Organized by Department of English, Assam University & Forum for English Studies, Assam University

The Department of English, Assam University and the Forum for English Studies, Assam
University will jointly organize a three-day International Conference on “Contemporary
English Studies: Society, Culture and Language.” The conference would include a keynote
speech and other invited lectures by eminent scholars as well as presentations by
participants. The maximum number of participants which the conference could welcome
is approximately 200. Proposals for participation from interested faculty members,
research scholars and other academicians engaged with the various branches/areas of
English studies are welcome.
The Concept Note:
By the first decade of the twenty first century, English Studies has become a complex
design of contesting and complementing ideas and interests. In fact, the very shift from
“English” to “English Studies” in current usages foregrounds the fact that the area under
consideration is no longer a unified and uniform one. While till the advent of postcolonial
and other related approaches academic engagement with English meant the study of
British and American literature and some bit of history of the language, today literatures
in English from the former colonies like India, Africa, Canada and Australia are getting
attention and priority. Interestingly, texts originally written in the indigenous languages,
too, are being studied and here, the theory and practice of translation have become
significant tools. The rise in identity politics and awareness in the international scenario
has also considerably promoted the study of writings based on identity politics, such as
feminist, multi-ethnic, queer and various other subaltern groups. Thus the English canon
has begun to expand and renew itself in its journey from the “Eurocentric” to the
“multicultural.” Even within British literature, texts that were traditionally ignored,
neglected or unknown, are emerging as interesting records of human transaction.
So far as studies in English literature/s are concerned, there also seems to be a
gradual marked shift in the tone and approach. It is seen that the Arnoldian-Leavisite
liberal humanist approach is being largely replaced by the new historicist,
deconstructionist, feminist, postcolonial and other similar mode of studies. While the
approaches are diverse and divergent, the only common thread that can be found in these
is a sustained interrogation of the canonical texts for the silences, marginalizations and
exclusions. This has necessitated the change of parameters of literary studies, chiefly in
terms of the transition from the “aesthetic” to the “political.” In spite of deconstruction
and its overarching textualities, there is a constant urge within the field to recognize,
project and interrogate issues primarily related to society, culture and language. In brief,
the boundaries of the cultural politics of English studies are ever shifting.
It must be acknowledged that literary studies and research in English has never
been possible without the help of core social science disciplines like history and
sociology. This has only been intensified and expanded by the recent developments. In
fact, areas like women studies, gender studies, ecology, studies of race and colonialism,
which are some of the major concerns of English studies, primarily belong to Social
Sciences. In view of such revolutionary changes in the scope and focus of the discipline
known as “English Studies,” a constant negotiation with the social sciences has become
In the above context, it deems pertinent to examine and explore the implications
of these changes in English studies. The conference aims at exploring the dynamics and
implications of this transitions which can contribute in preparing a future roadmap for the
discipline. To highlight the major stakes and contentions, a few sub-themes/topics have
been chosen; which, however, are meant to be indicative only, and not exhaustive.
· English Studies and Social Sciences: Concerns and Trends
· English Literatures: The Emerging Canons
· Reinventing British English Literature
· Decolonization and the English Language
· Society, Racism and Colonialism: Postcolonial Literatures
· Diaspora, Hybridity and Globalization
· Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary English Literature
· Identity and Violence: Multi-Ethnic Literature, Dalit Writing
· World Literature and Cultural Interface: Role of English in Translation
· Interdisciplinarity: English Studies Beyond Disciplines
· The Postmodern Perspective: Literature and Beyond
· English as the Language of Power : From “English” to “englishes”
· English in India: North East and Beyond
Submission Deadline: The submission deadline has been extended. A Three-hundred
word (300 words) abstract of the proposed paper should be sent latest by 31st January,
2013. The abstracts may be sent as email attachments (MS word. Times New Roman.) to
dipenduds@yahoo.co.in, dipendudas2011@gmail.com or jaydeepenglish@gmail.com.
Registration Fee: The participants are required to pay a registration fee of Rs 2500/-
(Rupees Two Thousand Five Hundred only) either through online or bank draft in favour
of ICCES 2013 payable at State Bank of India, Dargakona Branch (Code 14260.
IFSC: SBIN0014260. MICR: 788002522. Swipe Code: SBININBB481. Current A/C
no. 32610757743). The bank draft may be sent either to the Convenor or to the Joint
Convenor. The Registration amount includes seminar kit, lunch and tea during the
conference and an abstract volume. The participants will have to bear their own travel
and accommodation expenses.
Early bird Registration fee of selected participants within January 31, 2013 is
For students and Research scholars (not employed) Registration fee is Rs.1500/.
Late registration fee after 31st January 2013 and on spot registration fee is Rs.
Late registration fee after 31st January 2013 for Students and Research scholars
(not employed) is Rs. 2500/ only.
The organizers may arrange the accommodation of the participants on payment of
an extra charge of Rs 3000/- (Rupees three Thousand only).
Confirmed Speakers:
Sanjukta Dasgupta is a Professor of English at the University of Calcutta. Her areas of
interest include English, American and Indian English literature; Gender studies;
Colonial and Postcolonial women’s writing, Women and/in Indian Films, Migration and
Diaspora studies, Translation Studies and Creative Writing.
Prof. Dasgupta has also established herself as a poet, critic and translator of repute and
has contributed publications to journals of distinction in India and abroad. She has been a
recipient of the British Council Charles Wallace Scholar grant, Fulbright postdoctoral
research fellowship, Fulbright Alumni Initiative Award, Fulbright Scholar in Residence
at Suny, Oswego, NYS, Australia India Council Fellowship, Visiting Fellow at the Centre
for Women’s Research and Gender studies, University of British Columbia, Vancouver,
Associate Fellow at Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, Visiting Fellow at the
Women Studies and Development Centre, University of Delhi. She is the Managing
Editor of FAMILIES: A Journal of Representations, a Fulbright Alumni Initiative project
journal launched in 2002.
Prof. Dasgupta has visited, delivered lectures and talks and presented papers in Nepal,
Bangladesh, Melbourne, Malta, Stockholm and at Charles University, Prague, Oxford
University, UK, Jagiellonski University and Pedagogical University, Krakow, Poland and
also at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, UK. She has taught a summer course on
postcolonial theory and literary criticism at the State University of New York, Oswego,
NYS as a Visiting Professor.
Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee taught English Literature at an undergraduate college in
Silchar and Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He also worked as
the Secretary of Sahitya Akademi’s Eastern Regional Office at Kolkata, as the Editor of
Sahitya Akademi’s Journal, Indian Literature, in Delhi and as the Director of National
Book Trust at Delhi. At present he functions as the Director of K K Birla Foundation,
Delhi. His English translation of Mahashweta Devi’s The Armenian Champak Tree, Sunil
Gangopadhyay’s The Dreadful Beauty, Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s The Ghost of Gosain
Bagan and Bengali translation of U R Anantamurthy’s short story collection, Surya
Sarathi have been critically acclaimed. He co-edits CIIL’s web- journal Translation
Today and is a Member of the Programme Advisory Committee of the National
Translation Mission launched by the Goverment of India. He co-edited Barbed Wire
Fence: Stories of Displacement from the Barak Valley of Assam (2012). He was awarded
the diploma for excellence in translation by the International Board for Books for Young
People ( IBBY) in its Congress held at London in 2012 for his English translation
of Bhayankar Sundar ( The Dreadful Beauty ) by Sunil Gangopadhyay. He co-edited with
A J Thomas four volumes of The Best Of Indian Literature published by Sahitya
Akademi in 2012.
David Johnston submitted his doctorate on Buero Vallejo and Unamuno in 1982. He
taught Spanish in the universities of Ulster, Hull and Strathclyde before taking up the
Musgrave Chair in Hispanic Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland in 1991. His
principal research interests lie in theatre, and the theory and practice of literary
translation. He is committed to the idea of practice as research, both in terms of
performance and of translation as a writing practice, and much of his work deals with the
ways in which theory and practice are mutually illuminating.
Prof. Johnston is co-director of the Queen’s University based research forum ‘Betwixt
and Between: Translation and Cultural Encounter’, which holds an international
conference and various symposia every year. He is a multi-award winning translator for
the stage, and has written versions of over thirty plays from Spain, Latin America,
Portugal and France for professional performance around the world. Fifteen of these
translations have been published. He was one of the pioneers of the ground-breaking
Spanish Golden Age season at London’s Gate Theatre in the early 1990s, where he won
The Observer Special Award for Achievement in Theatre and London Weekend
Television’s New Plays on Stage Award. Most recently he was commissioned by the
Royal Shakespeare Company to write a translation of Lope de Vega’s El perro del
hortelano, the third time he has been commissioned by the RSC, he has worked closely
with the Royal Court’s International Department, and he has had work performed on both
television and radio. He is also a commissioned writer for the Atelier Européen de la
Traduction (Université d’Orléans), with whom he maintains a close collaborative
Mahesh Dattani
Mahesh Dattani is the first playwright in English to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi
award. Born and brought up in Bangalore, Dattani’s foray in the world of drama began in
1984 when he founded his playgroup 'Playpen'. Apart from theatre, Shri Mahesh Dattani
is also active in the field of film making. His films have been appreciated all over the
world. His film 'Dance Like A Man' has won the award for the best film in English
awarded by the National Panorama. Besides being a playwright and a director, Shri
Mahesh Dattani adorns the mantle of a teacher with equal ease. He teaches theatre
courses at the summer session programmes of the Portland University, Oregon, USA. He
also imparts training in the field of acting, directing and play writing at his own theatre
studio in Bangalore.
Pramod Pandey
Pramod Kumar Pandey is a Professor at the Centre for Linguistics, and holds a Ph.D. in
Linguistics, an M.Litt., in English, an M.A. in Linguistics and an M.A. in English. He has
been engaged in teaching and research for the past 29 years. He was awarded the
Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency Fellowship, Bellagio, Italy, 2003, and Guest
Scientist, Department of Linguistics, Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary
Anthropology, Leipzig, 2003, in the Fifth Plan period. His research interests include
Phonetics and Phonology, Morphology, Linguistic Theory, English Language Teaching,
Writing systems, and Research Methodology.
Bijay K Danta
Bijay K Danta is a Professor of English at Tezpur University. He teaches literature and
critical theory, and translates from Assamese and Oriya into English. He has a PhD on
metafiction (Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, 1998). His critical writings include essays
on Shakespeare, Eliot, Faulkner, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Kurt Vonnegut, Edward Said,
Toni Morrison and JM Coetzee. He has coedited, with Biyotkesh Tripathy, The Indian
Mind: Essays of the Inimitable Govinda Tripathy (2004), a collection of essays translated
from Oriya to English specifically for this volume. He is currently working on a
materialist reading of William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha novels. His present research
interests include postcolonial self-fashioning in life writing and travel writing.
Organizing Committee:
Chief Patron: Somnath Dasgupta, Vice Chancellor, Assam University
Chair Person: Dipankar Purkayastha, Head, Dept. of English
Convenor: Dipendu Das
Joint Convenor: Jaydeep Chakrabarty
Members: Rosaline Jamir
Ramaprasad Biswas
Baby Pushpa Sinha
Anindya Syam Choudhury
Sumana Chakraborty
Lalthakim Hmar
Saugata K. Nath
Anindya Sen
About Assam University: Assam University is a Central University established in 1994
by an act of the Indian Parliament. It is a teaching cum affiliating university with
academic jurisdiction over five districts of Southern Assam, India. The University is
located at a distance of 17 kilometres from Silchar town, the second largest city of
Assam, India. The Department of English is one of the oldest and prestigious departments
of the University. Interested participants may browse the University’s website
www.aus.ac.in for additional information. There are regular flight connections between
Silchar and Kolkata and Silchar and Guwahati, and on alternative days between Silchar
and Agartala, Silchr and Jorhat, Silchar and Imphal and Silchar and Dibrugarh. Besides,
there are also road and train connections with Guwahati and Agartala. The weather in
early March is usually pleasant here.
Dipendu Das Jaydeep Chakrabarty
Convenor Joint Convenor
Associate Professor Assistant Professor
Department of English Department of English
Assam University Assam University
Silchar. Pin: 788011 Silchar. Pin: 788011
Assam. India Assam. India
Cell: 91+9435172416 Cell: 91+9954498495
Email: dipenduds@yahoo.co.in & Email: jaydeepenglish@gmail.com

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