CFP: Transnational Migratory Spaces and Cultural Exchange between Australia and India

Transnational Migratory Spaces and Cultural Exchange between Australia and India

Indian Association for the Study of Australia, Eastern Region

09-10 February, 2018

Astor Hotel,  Kolkata

Transnationalism may be regarded as a distinct phase of global modernity in terms of re-structuring the postcolonial thesis. With the rise of globalization, Edward Said, in his Culture and Imperialism, seems to revise his earlier theses of Postcolonial binaries and states: “No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there seems to be no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about.” (407, 1993) This revisionary stance of the postcolonial critic is also noted in Arjun Appadurai who seems to discover new formations of cultural dimensions in the age of globalization. Arianna Dagnino appreciates Appadurai’s revisionary approach to “cultural forms as irregular, boundary-less, and without any clear structure (Transcultural Studies, 8, 2012, 1-14, “Transculturalism and Transcultural Literature in the 21st Century Literature”).

The transnational as well as transcultural critic Wolfgang Welsch refers to an interesting citation from Carl Zuckmayer’s The Devil’s Jungle (1946) in which he posits a view of cultural mixes and permeation and concludes that all races of people with cultural permeation may conduce to a new form of transcultural celebration: “…they were the best my friends! The best in the world! And why? because the nations mixed there like the waters from the spring and brooks and rivers that flew together in one great living stream”.

Certain factors should be kept in mind in terms of the emergence of the thesis of transnationalism and transculturalism. The rise of global or international political economy largely developed a decentring of national economies through restructuring of a new global world order. The traditional segmental political as well as economic structure underwent a total disruption through new negotiations of power structures in Asia, Europe, and America. As a result, the sites of political and economic centres moved rapidly towards innovative mobility and expansion. This neo-liberal economic order in the age of globalization gradually moved towards the obliteration of traditional borders. Though global political economy has been largely associated with trade and monetary relations, it raised a definitive awareness of territorial border crossing and transnational interconnectivity. Since 1990s, this global scenario in politics and economy largely impacted on the traditional perceptions of nation-state and cultural segmentation.

The perspective of transnational ideology began to be largely initiated by the German theorists like Frank Schulze-Engler and Sissy Helff. Similarly, in the upper regions of Northern Europe, it began to be significantly canvassed by the Nordic network of scholars. It is pertinent to consider Fernando Ortiz’s significant book Cuban Counterpoint (1940) where Ortiz seeks to explore processes of “cultural transformations and exchange within a framework of fundamentally unequal and hierarchical relations between powerful nations (such as the USA) and less powerful ones (such as Cuba). Taking cue from Ortiz’s analysis, Mary Louise Pratt seeks to develop postcolonial lens of “contact Zones”. But transnational critics like Anne Holden Ronning considers Pratt’s ideology inscribed “within a too restrictive and dichotomous paradigm of colonisers vs. colonised cultures. In other words, it is a rejection of the postcolonial thesis based on binaries of dominant vs. subordinate, colonisers vs. colonised culture”

Arianna Dagnino, therefore, looks at the present age as “fluid, neonomadic, protoglobal times” (Comparative Literature and Culture, Perdue University Press, Vol. 15 (2013) issue V, page 2, “Transcultural Literature and Contemporary World Literature”). Thus transnational critics try to show how local or regional modernities move into a transnational environment. Dagnino comments that major institutes worldwide promote the study of representation of transnational culture and communities. This confluential natures of culture not only critiques the dichotomous nature of nation-state, but also tries to reshape the so-called national collective imaginaries. This cosmopolitan vision in the age of transnational political, social, and cultural processes, the dominant postcolonial discourses come to be radicalized and disrupted. The central argument of the project is that postcolonial theory, through its long run of  more than three decades, reveals new twists and turns. It seems that postcolonial phase proves to be inadequate in interpreting the recent cultural perceptions.

This conference seeks to address multiple problematics of transnational and migratory spaces in terms of cultural exchanges between Australia and India.

The conference will address, but not strictly limited to, the following issues:

Key themes:

Transnational/World Literature

Border-crossing, Exchange and Migration

Nation and Transnation

Beyond the Narrative: Representation and Transnational Culture

Mobility and Cultural Exchange

Literature, Culture and Globalisation

Cultural Mixes and Permeation: Diaspora, Politics and Economy

 

This conference will be supported by Bankura University, University of Wollongong , SAGE and Routledge.

 

Sub-themes:

HISTORY AND CULTURE

  • Dialogue of Cultures
  • Traces of Culture
  • Re-writing History
  • Race and Identity
  • War History
  • Sports
  • Tourism and Cultural Exchange

LITERATURE AND THE ARTS

  • Colonial/Postcolonial/ Contemporary Writers
  • Literature and Socio-cultural Activism
  • Aboriginal Literature
  • Literature and Films
  • Arts and Environment
  • Verbatim Theatre and Community Theatre
  • Diasporic Literature

POLITICS, FOREIGN POLICY AND LAW

  • Nationalism
  • Environment and Security
  • Judicial Activism
  • Federalism
  • Terrorism and Conflict Resolution
  • International Relations
  • Gender Issues
  • Human Rights
  • Land Rights, Property and Environment
  • Immigration and Citizenship

GLOBAL ECONOMY

  • Liberalisation and Economic Reforms
  • Economic Paradigms in Bilateral Relations
  • Trade Union Movement
  • Tourism

ENVIRONMENT

  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Ecotourism
  • Ecological Sustainability
  • Climate Change and Culture

PEDAGOGY AND PRAXIS

  • Teaching Australian Studies in India
  • Australian Studies: Syllabus Formation
  • Australian Studies: Research and Methodology
  • Teaching Asia in Australia

Abstracts (not exceeding 250 words) may be emailed to Deb Narayan Bandyopadhyay: debnarayan@gmail.com Secretary, Indian Association for the Study of Australia, Eastern Region

Deadline for sending the abstracts: 15 November, 2017

Registration Fees: 2000 INR (National)

150 AUD (International)

Though it may not be possible to arrange accommodation, the conference team may provide assistance if contacted beforehand: sarbojitbiswas@gmail.com