CALL FOR PAPERS

XIII International ConferenceTheme: “The Virtual Transformation of the Public Sphere”

15-18 December 2010

Venue: Park View Hotel, Chandigarh, India  

The thirteenth International Conference of the Forum on Contemporary Theory will be held in Chandigarh from the 15th to 18th December 2010 in collaboration with the Department of English, Panjab University.

Thematic Introduction

Ever since the 1989 publication of Jurgen Habermas' The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere in English, theorists from a wide variety of disciplines have engaged with the Habermasian notion of the public sphere, its relation to bourgeois society and class formation in general, its traction with minority cultures, its conception of gender and its separation of spheres between the public and the private. An important thesis of Habermas's text was what he saw as the degeneration of a rationally based mode of public deliberation into a consumerist society dominated by a mass media that was itself compromised by its relationship with the State.  His critics, in turn, have argued that such a transformation was not in fact a degeneration but a marker of a more egalitarian and democratic public culture. This conference seeks to re-examine the contours of this debate in the light of the significant transformations in digital technology and human communication that have taken place over the last few decades.  

The rapid expansion of the internet, along with email communications, online forums, social blogging and social connectivity websites have transformed the ways in which individuals interact and communicate with each other in fundamental ways. The transformations have not only been drastic in terms of how internet-connected individuals organize the daily routines of their personal lives but it has also affected in many ways their own self-fashioning as private and public individuals. The rapid changes have also meant fundamental structural changes in the institutions that have traditionally served as key elements of societal communication and deliberation. For instance, as more individuals communicate via email and as more enterprises advertise online, the U.S. Postal service currently faces a severe shortage in revenue and is almost certainly positioned to see cutbacks. As more readers choose to access their latest news coverage online (often at no cost), many local and indeed national newspapers in the U.S. have found their advertising and subscriptions revenues dwindle often resulting in bankruptcy. In the meantime within a decade of its existence, "google" has become a commonly used verb, "friending" someone has become an (almost) competitive sport and the blogosphere has shown evidence of layers of mutually "following" bloggers that can only be described as a rhizomatic array of mutual enchantments. And if the internet has become the base for a newly ordered public and commercial sphere (think online banking and shopping here), corollary devices that use the internet along with advanced GPS positioning technology (think Smartphones and particularly the IPhone here), have arguably made their increasingly dependent users the cyborgs that visionary theorists in the past had long anticipated.  

We have seen, in short, at least in the world of the internet-connected, a "virtual" transformation of the public sphere -- a transformation as "real" as "virtual" can get. This conference seeks to examine the multiple sites of this transformation as well as the many inequities, challenges and silences that it may conceal. Our aim is to cast a wide net on a range of issues: how have digital technologies transformed our engagement with human creativity and communication? How has, for instance, our increased access to electronic texts and databases (whether through Project Gutenberg or Google Books to name only two), affected the ways in which we go about leading our lives, not only as scholars, but also as lay citizens? How have such technologies affected our notion of the "literary" and its genres? To give a specific example:  how are our literary theories of the genre of "autobiography" affected by the proliferation of personal web pages and tweets? Or, to turn to a different discipline, how have art historians and other scholars of visual culture reconceptualized some of the foundational theories and methods of their field in the flurry of visual dissemination enabled by new media technologies?  What, in short, are the implications and possibilities of the digital humanities? And, to what extent can digital technologies and the new media help foreground the centrality of the humanities and art to public culture and social life?  

Our aim in considering the virtual transformation of the public sphere is neither to be uncritically celebratory nor to be unduly cynical. Rather, we hope to gather scholars from a variety of disciplinary and intellectual backgrounds who are interested in reflecting on these transformations and theorizing them in relation to issues of power, justice, privacy, identity, political deliberation, civic society and also of aesthetics, consumption, and pleasure.  

The following topics are intended the help those who are interested in participating in the conference in formulating their proposals for submission.  However, they are only suggestive, and not exhaustive:  

(a) What are the limits of the public/private divide and how do the new media inscribe them?

(b) How are the categories of "literature" or "art" affected by the dissemination in the new media    of a number of mixed genre texts and new modes of visuality?

(c) How are patterns and habits of "reading" changed when individuals turn to the new media for access to more conventionally created texts such as novels?

(d) How are our theories of the "human" revised or modified when human beings increasingly engage in the virtual sphere?

(e) Do the new media help or hurt the growth of literacy? How does our understanding of "literacy" change when we consider it in relation to new media?

(f) What is the nature of "imagined communities" on the internet?

(g) How do issues of anonymity mediate public discourse on the internet?

(h) How do the still-evolving social conventions of email disrupt or reinforce existing social relations?

(i) What are the social dynamics of "blogging"?

(j) Is there a technological divide of access across different communities and if so, how are we to best identify it?

(k) How does the global nature of internet discourse radically change earlier notions of the Public Sphere?

(l) How does active participation in online communities affect the ways in which contemporary individuals fashion their identities?

(m) What are the potential strengths and drawbacks of new digital technologies in the research lives of scholars?

(n) How can the new media help in the dissemination of the humanities and the arts in the world at large?

(o) Can the digital humanities "save" the humanities from their allegedly slipping hold on the public imagination?

Special Session

In conformity with our earlier practice, a plenary session on a regional text will be one of the special features of the conference schedule. This year’s choice for the panel is Gurdial Singh’s novel Unhoye (1966), translated into English by Rana Nayar as The Survivors (New Delhi: Katha India Library, 2005). A distinguished Punjabi writer of our time, Gurdial Singh has received numerous awards including the Jnanpith Literary Award for his outstanding contribution to Indian literature. The Survivors is a novel about how ordinary individuals in a small town in the Malwa region of Punjab in India strive to maintain their dignity and self-respect against injustice and oppression perpetrated by a hierarchical social order that continues to thrive despite the nation’s independence. By focusing upon the disintegration of community life under the pressures of the process of modernization, the novel addresses several connected issues of national importance such as the persistence of the caste system; the widening gap between the rich and the poor under globalization; the disintegration of kinship culture and community life; and the general impact of Western modernity on social and religious practices. While reflecting, like Thomas Hardy and R. K. Narayan, on the life of a specific region in the Punjab in post-independence India, the novel tries to capture stylistically the subtle nuances of the regional dialect in a poetic manner. This could be an indicator of a new direction in Indian literature, which pays more attention to the invocation of a culture through its linguistic resources than to the negotiation of grand themes under the influence of world literature. It is in the creative exploitation of the poetics of the local that the strength of The Survivors lies.  

Submission Deadline

500-word abstract or proposal is due by August 30, 2010. The abstract should have a title for the presentation along with the name and institutional affiliation of the presenter and should be mailed as an email attachment to Gaurav Desai, the Convener of the Conference (gaurav@tulane.edu). Complete papers should be limited to 12 pages (approximately 20 minutes of reading time). A longer version may be submitted for possible publication in the Journal of Contemporary Thought or in the conference volume brought out by the Forum.  The completed paper should reach the Convener of the Conference by November 15, 2010.  

Conference Volume

Select papers from the conference and from those submitted in response to the “Call for Papers” will be included in the conference volume, which will be ready for formal release at the 2011 conference of the Forum. Completed papers should reach the Conference Convener as email attachments by May 1, 2011.  

Registration Deadline

The last date for receiving the registration fee is September 15, 2010. The fee may be paid through a bank draft drawn in favor of Forum on Contemporary Theory on a Bank in Baroda. Overseas participants may pay the fee through checks drawn in favor of Forum on Contemporary Theory. The amount should be sent to the address of Forum on Contemporary Theory mentioned on this leaflet.  We encourage participants to register early so that their accommodation at the Park View Hotel is assured. All participants need to be pre-registered. The registration fee is non-refundable. Each participant will be sharing his/her room with another participant, as there are no rooms with single beds in the hotel.  

1 Participant from India (member of the Forum) Rs.5000/ 
2 Participant from India (non-member)  Rs.6000/   
3 Overseas Participant (non-SAARC countries)  US $400/  
4 Overseas Participant (SAARC countries)   US $150/   
5 Local Participant (member of the Forum)  Rs.1500/  
6 Local Participant (non-member)      Rs.3000/ 
7 Student Participant (from Panjab University)      Rs.500/   

The registration fee from the outstation participant will cover room rent and breakfast and lunch from 15th December to the afternoon of 18th December, and cost of the conference volume dedicated to the twelfth international conference held in Trivandrum. The fee from the local participant will cover lunch, conference tea and the cost of the conference volume. The participants should arrive on December 15th and stay on until the afternoon of December 18. The conference will begin at about 9 am on the 16th and will be over with lunch on the 18th December. 15th December is reserved for local sight seeing for which an additional fee will be charged.  

Conference Convener

Gaurav Desai teaches in the Department of English and the Program of African and African Diaspora Studies at Tulane University where he has formerly served as Department Chair and Program Co-Director. Author of Subject to Colonialism: African Self-fashioning and the Colonial Library (Duke University Press, 2001) and editor of Teaching the African Novel (MLA, 2009) he has guest edited a volume of essays on “Culture and the Law” (South Atlantic Quarterly, 100.4, 2001), on "Actually Existing Colonialisms" (Journal of Contemporary Thought, 24, 2006) and co-edited a volume of essays on “Multi-Ethnic Literatures and the Idea of Social Justice” (MELUS, 28.1, Spring 2003). Postcolonialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and Criticism (Rutgers University Press, 2005) which he co-edited with Supriya Nair has become a standard reference and classroom text since its publication. Among Desai's other publications are articles in edited collections and journals such as PMLA; Genders; Representations; Boundary2; Research in African Literatures; African Studies Review; and Cultural Critique. Recipient of a residential fellowship at the National Humanities Center in 2001, Desai has also been awarded a Rockefeller Foundation award for a residency at the Bellagio Center in Italy and an ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship for his research. In 2004, he was made a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. He is currently working on a project tentatively titled Post-Manichean Aesthetics: Africa and the Indian Ocean Imaginary and is guest editing a Special Issue of Research in African Literatures on Asian writing in Africa.  

Keynote Speaker

Nicholas D. Mirzoeff, Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University will deliver the keynote address on the topic “Global Visualities in Crisis.”  He has taught at State University of New York at Stony Brook, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of Texas at Austin, University of California at Irvine, and University of Warwick, England. His publications include  The Right to Look: A Counter-History of Visuality (Duke  University Press, forthcoming 2010-11);  Watching Babylon: The War in Iraq and Global Visual Culture (Routledge, 2005);  An Introduction to Visual Culture (Routledge,1999);  Silent Poetry: Deafness, Sign and Visual Culture in Modern France (Princeton University Press, 1995); Bodyscape: Art, Modernity, and the Ideal Figure (Routledge, 1995).  He has edited The Visual  Culture Reader (Routledge, 1998) and Diaspora and Visual Culture: Representing Africans and Jews (Routledge, 2000). His research articles have appeared in such journals as Culture, Theory and Society; PMLA; Social Text; October; The Journal of Visual Culture; Radical History Review; Eighteenth Century Studies and as chapters in several critical anthologies.  

For further information any of the following may be contacted:  

Prafulla C. Kar                                                                                                                                                   Convener, Forum on Contemporary Theory, Baroda                                                                                                         Tel: 0265-2338067 ®; (0265) 2320870 (O)                                                                                                                       Email: prafullakar@gmail.com

Gaurav Desai                                                                                                                                                         Convener of the Conference                                                                                                                                           Department of  English                                                                                                                                                   Tulane University,                                                                                                                                                          New Orleans,USA                                                                                                                                                     Email: gaurav@tulane.edu

Rana Nayar                                                                                                                                                               Local Convener,                                                                                                                                                          Head, Department of English,                                                                                                                                     Panjab University,                                                                                                                                                      Chandigarh                                                                                                                                                                 Email: rananayar@gmail.com

List of Participants of the XIII International Conference

15-18 December 2010

 

1.      Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University , New York , USA (ab41@columbia.edu)

2.      Akshaya Kumar, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh        (akshaykumar@gmail.com)

3.      Alankar Kaushik, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, The English and Foreign Languages University, Shillong Campus, Meghalaya (akaushik23@gmail.com)

4.      Amy Parish, Department of English, Marcellin College , Randwick , Sydney , Australia (amylouiseparish@gmail.com)

5.      Anil Raina, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh (aneelraina@gmail.com)

6.      Anjana Sharma, Department of English, B. Borooah College, Guwahati , Assam   (dranjanasharma@rediffmail.com)

7.      Anju Dhadda Misra, Department of English, University of Rajasthan , Jaipur, Rajasthan     (ahimsakosh@yahoo.in)

8.      Ankit Gandhi, Department of English, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Mody Institute of Technology and Science, Lakshmangarh (Sikar), Rajasthan (ankit0082@gmail.com)

9.      Ankita Sharma, Department of English, Government College for Girls, Chandigarh                   (ankitasharma1838@gmail.com)

10.  Anup Shekhar Chakraborty, Department of Political Science, St.  Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling , West Bengal (anup_105@rediffmail.com)

11.  Anurag Jain, Pencraft International, Delhi (anuragjainpencraft@nda.vsnl.net.in)

12.  Arturo Brahms, International Lincoln Center , Louisiana State University in Shreveport , USA  (ny.patriot@yahoo.com)

13.  Aruni Mahapatra, Department of English, University of Delhi , Delhi  (arunixmahapatra@gmail.com)

14.  Ashes Kumar Nayak, Freelance Writer, Bhubaneswar , Orissa (nayakashes@gmail.com)

15.  Balaji Ranganathan, Department of English, KSKV, Kachchh University , Bhuj, Gujarat  (balajiranganathan@yahoo.com)

 

16.  Bhupinder Brar, Department of Political Science and Dean Research, Panjab University , Chandigarh (bb21852@gmail.com)  

17.  Bini B. S., Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics & Other Human Sciences, Baroda   (binisajil@gmail.com)

18.  Bishnu Mohapatra, The Ford Foundation, New Delhi (bishnumohapatra10@gmail.com)

19.  Biswajit Das, Centre for Culture, Media and Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (biswas.das@gmail.com)

20.  Capri Rosenberg, Department of Art History, Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, Georgia, USA (tajackso@scad.edu)

21.  Charulata Singh, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (Affiliated to Guru Gobind Singh, Indraprastha University , Delhi , India ) (charukuldeep@yahoo.co.in)

22.  Deepti Gupta, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh (deepti.elt@gmail.com, deptipu@eth.net)

23.  Devika Narula, Department of English, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, University of Delhi , Delhi (devika_narula@hotmail.com)

24.  Dibyajyoti Borah, Department of English, Hemoprova Borbora Girls’ College, Golaghat , Assam (jborahdibya@gmail.com)

25.  Divya Joshi, Department of English, Central University of Rajasthan, Kishangarh, Rajasthan   (divya.jsh@gmail.com)

26.  Esha Sen, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Madras , Chennai (esha.madhavan@gmail.com)

27.  Garima Kalita, Department of English, Cotton College , Guwahati , Assam   (garimakalita@rediff mail.com)

28.  Gaurav Desai, Department of English, Tulane University , New Orleans , USA    (gaurav@tulane.edu)

29.  Geetanjali Bhagat, Regional Institute of English, Chandigarh (anbhgt@yahoo.co.in)

30.  Golam Rabbani, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University , Savar, Dhaka , Bangladesh   (golam.rabbani1@gmail.com)

31.  Gour K. Das, Former Professor of English, University of Delhi and Vice Chancellor, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Orissa (gourkdas@yahoo.com)

32.  Gurpal Sandhu, Department of Panjabi, Panjab University , Chandigarh

 

33.  Harpreet Pruthi, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh   (harpreetpruthi@yahoo.com)  

34.  Hiba Aleem, Centre for English Studies, School of Language , Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University , New Delhi (hiba150@yahoo.co.in)

35.  I  Sevaraj, Chennai  

36.  James Winchester, Department of Philosophy, Georgia College & State University , USA  (james.winchester@gcsu.edu)

37.  Jasbir Jain, Institute for Research in Interdisciplinary Studies, Rajasthan  (jain.jasbir@gmail.com)

38.  Jaspal Kaur Singh, Department of English, Northern Michigan University (jsingh@nmu.edu)

39.  Javeed Alam, Chairman, Indian Council of Social Sciences Research, New Delhi (chairman@icssr.org)

 

40.  Jitendra Mahapatra, Gurgaon, Haryana

 

41.  Jyoti Rane, Department of English, Pratap College , Amalner, North Maharashtra University , Jalgaon, Maharashtra (jsramal@yahoo.com)  

42.  K. M. Johnson, Department of English, Sacred Heart College , Thevara, Kochi , Kerala   (kmj1968@gmail.com)

43.  Kalpana Purohit, Department of English, Jai Narain Vyas University , Jodhpur , Rajasthan      (kalpana1410@rediffmail.com)

44.  Kanika Batra, Department of English, Texas Tech University , Lubbock , Texas , USA   (kanika.batra@ttu.edu)  

45.  Kriti K. Kalia, Department of English & Cultural Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh (interact_k@yahoo.com)

46.  Lewis R. Gordon, Laura H. Carnell, Department of Philosophy & Jewish studies, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA (gordonl@temple.edu)

47.  Lovleen Bains, Department of English, Guru Nanak National College Doraha, Ludhiana , Punjab (lovleenbains.bains@gmail.com)

48.  Lovelina P. Singh, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh (lovelinasingh@hotmail.com)

49.  Moti Lal Raina, Former Professor of English, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh (mdraina@rediffmail.com)

50.  Mandakini Jha, Department of Sociology, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat (mandakinijha@yahoo.com)

51.  Manju Dhariwal, Department of English, The LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur, Rajasthan (mdhariwal1@gmail.com)

52.  Manju Jaidka, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh (mjaidka@gmail.com)

53.  Marie Fernandes, Principal, ST. Andrew’s College, University of Mumbai , Bandra, Mumbai (dr.marie.fernandes@gmail.com)

54.  Mary Bachaspatimayum, Forum on Contemporary Theory, Baroda , Gujarat        (meryb31@gmail.com)

55.  Mashrur Shahid Hossain, Department of English, Jahangirnagar University , Savar, Dhaka . Bangladesh (mashrursh@yahoo.co.uk)

56.  Meenu Gupta, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh (mun1102_75@yahoo.co.in, meenu11@pu.ac.in)

57.  Meera Chakravorty, Department of Sanskrit, Bangalore University , Bangalore , Karnataka  (meera_c@vsnl.net)

58.  Meeta Chatterjee Padmanabhan, Department of Learning Development, University of Wollongong , New South Wales , Australia (meeta@uow.edu.au)

59.  Mokshada Kar, Baroda , Gujarat (mokshada15@gmail.com)

60.  N. Nagaraju, Department of English, Rajiv Gandhi University , Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh (rajunn4@yahoo.co.in)

61.  Nicholas D. Mirzoeff, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University , New York , USA (nm45@nyu.edu)

 

62.  Nipun Kalia, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh (nipunkalia17@gmail.com)  

63.  Nishat Kazi, Centre for Contemporary Theory, Baroda , Gujarat (kznishat@gmail.com)

64.  Nitin S. Patil, Department of English, Pratap College, Amalner, North Maharashtra University, Maharashtra (nitinpatilpca@rediffmail.com)

65.  Nizara Hazarika, Department of English, Sonapur College , Sonapur , Assam (nhazarika04@gmail .com)

66.  P. E. Thomas, Department of Communication and Media Studies, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu (thomasmediastudies@gmail.com)  

67.  Padam Nepal, Department of Political Science, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling , West Bengal (padamnepal@gmail.com)

68.  Pankaj Roy, Department of English, Kamalanagar College , Aizwal, Mizoram    (pankajroysglobe@rediffmail.com, 69roysworld@gmail.com)

69.  Parul Dave Mukherji, Department of Visual Studies, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi (parul.dm@hotmail.com)

 

70.  Piyush Pal, Advocate, Patna High Court, Patna

71.  Piyush Raval, Department of English, Sardar Patel University , Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand, Gujarat (piyushspu@gmail.com)  

72.  Prafulla C. Kar, Centre for Contemporary Theory, Baroda , Gujarat (prafullakar@gmail.com)

73.  Pushpinder Syal, Director, The English and Foreign Languages University , Lucknow Campus, Uttar Pradesh (pushpinder.syal@gmail.com)

74.  R. C. Sobti, Vice Chancellor, Panjab University , Chandigarh (vc@pu.ac.in)

75.  R. Radhakrishnan, Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of California at Irvine , USA (rradheya@gmail.com)

76.  Rajyashree Khushu-Lahiri, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Uttarakhand (rajyashreek@gmail.com)

77.  Rana Nayar, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh (rananayar@gmail.com)

78.  Ratan Deka, Department of English, Nalbari College , Nalbari , Assam (ratandeka2@gmail.com)

 

79.  Ravina Aggarwal, The Ford Foundation, New Delhi (r.aggarwal@fordfound.org)  

80.  Rich Rice, Department of English, Texas Tech University , Lubbock , USA (rich.rice@ttu.edu)

81.  Rinku Raval, Anand, Gujarat (piyushspu@gmail.com)

82.  Roshan Lal Sharma, Department of English, Government Degree College , Rajgarh, Himachal Pradesh (roshanlal.sharma@gmail.com)

83.  Rumina Sethi, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh (ruminasethi@gmail.com)

84.  S. Sridevi Selvaraj, Department of English, Chevalier T. Thomas Elizabeth College for Women, University of Madras , Chennai (sridevi65@msn.com)

85.  Sanchita Choudhury, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, West Bengal (choudhury.sanchita@gmail.com)  

86.  Sanghamitra Sadhu, Department of English, Cotton College , Guwahati , Assam          (sanghamitra_sadhu@rediffmail.com)

87.  Shailaja Mahapatra, Gurgaon, Haryana

88.  Shakuntala Kunwar, Department of English, HNB University , Garhwal, Srinagar , Uttarakhand  (shakuntala_pragnya@yahoo.com)

89.  Shefali Bedi, Department of Sociology, Guru Nanak Dev University , Amritsar , Punjab

 

90.  Shelley Walia, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh (shelleywalia@gmail.com)

 

91.  Shweta Rao, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Himachal Pradesh (shweta@iitmandi.ac.in)  

92.  Smriti Singh, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Patna , Patna , Bihar (smritichotu@gmail.com)

93.  Soni Wadhwa Kar, Research Scholar in English, University of Mumbai, Mumbai (wadhwa.soni@gmail.com)

94.  Sukhdeep Ghuman, Department of English, Baring Union Christian College , Batala, Punjab  (sukhdeepghuman@yahoo.co.uk)

95.  Sumedha Iyer, School of English Literatures and Philosophy, University of Wollongong , Australia (sumedhaiyer@gmail.com)

96.  Sunita Manian, Coordinator, Interdisciplinary Studies Program, Department of Political Economy, Georgia College and State  University, Milledgeville, Georgia, USA (sunita.manian@gcsu.edu)

97.  Supriya Agarwal, Department of English, Central University of Rajasthan, Kishangarh, Rajasthan (agarwalsupriya13@gmail.com)

98.  Surbhi Goel, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh (surbhi.x@gmail.com)

99.  Surhita Basu, Department of Convergent Journalism, AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi (surhita@gmail.com)

 

100. Tarlok Singh Chhabra, Freelance Journalist, Chandigarh  

101. Tilottama Rajan , Canada Research Chair in English and Theory, Distinguished University Professor, University of Western Ontario (trajan@sympatico.ca)

102. Timothy Allen Jackson, Department of Art History, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah , Georgia , USA (tajackson@scad.edu)

103.    Urjani Chakravarty, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Uttarakhand (urjamater@gmail.com)

 

104.    Urmil Talwar, Department of English, University of Rajasthan , Jaipur, Rajasthan         (urmiltal@hotmail.com)

 

105.    Vipan Pal Singh, Department of English, Government Brijindra College , Faridkot, Punjab (vipanpal@gmail.com)

 

106. William Pederson, International Lincoln Centre, Louisiana State University in Shreveport , USA (william.pederson@lsus.edu)  

Student Volunteers

1.         Ashima Thakur, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh

2.         Gaurav Sood, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh

3.         Priyanka Thakur, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh

4.         Shelly Narang, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh

5.         Tejinder Singh, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh

6.         Tulika Kakkar, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh

 

Program-Schedule

Wednesday, 15th December

Registration 

 Thursday, 16th December  

10.00 – 11.30 am

Inauguration

Chair: Prof. Bhupinder Brar

Venue: Banquet Hall (Upper)

 

10.00 – 10.10 am                     Welcome by Prof. Rana Nayar, Head, Department of English, Panjab University

10.10 – 10.20 am                     Welcome by Prof. Prafulla C. Kar, Convener, Forum on Contemporary Theory, Baroda

10.20 – 10.35 am                     Thematic Introduction by Dr. Gaurav Desai, Convener of the Conference

10.35 – 10.40 am                     Introduction of the Special Issue of the Journal of Contemporary Thought, “Degrees of Statelessness” by Prof. Lewis R. Gordon

10.40 – 10.45 am                     Release of the Special Issue by Prof. Nicholas D. Mirzoeff, and remarks

10.45 – 10.55 am                     Introduction of the Volume, Abraham Lincoln without Borders by Prof. William D. Pederson

10.55 – 11.00 am                     Release of the Volume by Prof. R. C. Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University , Chandigarh

11.00 – 11.05 am                     Introduction of the Volume Democratic Culture: Historical and Philosophical Essays by Prof. Akeel Bilgrami, and remarks

11.05 – 11.10 am                     Release of the Volume by Prof. Javeed Alam, Chairperson, Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi , and remarks

11.10 – 11.20 am                     Inaugural Address by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. R. C. Sobti

11.20 – 11.25 am                     Address by the Chair, Prof. Bhupinder Brar

11.25 – 11.30 am                     Vote of Thanks by Dr. Surbhi Goel, Department of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh  

11.30 – 11.45 am

Tea/Coffee

 

First Session

11.45–1.00 pm

Keynote Address

Chair: Gaurav Desai

Venue: Banquet Hall (Upper)

 Speaker: Nicholas D. Mirzoeff, Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and

Communication Studies, New York University , USA

Topic: “The Right to Look: Global Visualities in Crisis”

 

 1.00 –2.00 pm

Lunch  

Second Session

2.00 –3.30 pm

A1: Theorizing the Public Sphere

Chair: Jasbir Jain

Venue: Banquet Hall (Lower)

 

a)      Meera Chakravorty, “The Virtual Transformation of the Public Sphere and Its Dynamics”

b)      Nishat Kazi,  “Internet and the Dynamics of Public Sphere”

c)      Surhita Basu, “News and Public Sphere: Discourse is Power”  

 

B1: Political AgencyVirtual and Real1

Chair: Pushpinder Syal

Venue: Conference Room

    a)      Anup Shekhar Chakraborty, “Identity and the Virtual Spaces among the Zo Hnahthlak: The Emergent Zo Cyber Politics”

b)      Esha Sen, “Internet as Public Sphere – The Emergence of New Forms of Politics”

c)      Hiba Aleem, “Virtual Activism, Real Repercussions: An Analysis of How Facebook Impacts the Public Sphere in Light of Some Recent Campaigns”

d)      Padam Nepal , “Virtualization of the Politics of Recognition: Mapping the Physical-Virtual Complementarity in Lepchas’ Struggle for Recognition as PTG in Darjeeling Hills (West Bengal) and Sikkim , India

 C1: Democracy, New Media and the Public Sphere

Chair: Harpreet Pruthi

Venue: Board Room  

a)      K.M. Johnson, “Cyberspace and Postmodern Democracy: A Critique of the Habermasian Notion of the Public Sphere”

b)      Garima Kalita, “Attested Freedom: Public Sphere of Media Democracy”

c)      Timothy Allen Jackson, “Cybernecology: Liberation Aesthetics in the Public Sphere”  

Third Session

3.30 –5.00 pm

A2: Historicizing the Public Sphere

Chair: Parul Dave Mukherji

Venue: Conference Room

 

a)      Mary Bachaspatimayum, “Technological Advancement and Its Influence on the Public Sphere”

b)      N. Nagaraju, “New Communities and ‘Their’ Public Sphere”

c)      Anju Dhadda Misra, “Noosphere in Cyborg: The Virtual and the Virtuous”

d)      Ashes Kumar Nayak, “Media Literacy: Strengthening the Public Sphere”

 

B2: Political Agency­ Virtual and Real 2

Chair:  Meera Chakravorty

Venue: Banquet Hall (Lower)

a)      James Winchester, “Global Justice, Institutional Change and the Public Sphere in the Age of the Internet”

b)      Arturo Brahms & William Pederson, Media Transformations from Lincoln to Obama”

c)      Mandakini Jha, New Media’s Use and Misuse of Lincoln as a Democratic Symbol in Asia

 

C2:  Representations 1

Chair: Sunita Manian

Venue: Board Room  

a)      Jasbir Jain, “Mediations between Collective Voices and Future Time: Politics and Media Representation”

b)      Jaspal K. Singh, “Images of Sikh ‘Tortured Bodies’ and the Construction of Sikh Solidarity and Identity within the Indian Nation-State and the Diaspora”

c)      Divya Joshi, “Culture of Confession in the Bachchans: From Autobiography to Blogging”

 

5.00 5.15 pm

Tea/Coffee

 

Fourth Session (Plenary)

 5.15 – 7.00 pm

Re-Reading William Godwin

Chair: R. Radhakrishnan

Venue: Banquet Hall (Upper)  

Speaker:           a) Tilottama Rajan , Canada Research Chair in English and Theory and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Western Ontario

Topic:               “Mediating the Novel: Speculations and Discipline in Godwin’s St. Leon

Speaker:           b) Gour K. Das, Former Professor of English, University of Delhi and Vice Chancellor, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar

Topic:               “Culture of Anarchy: On the Shaping of Contemporary Media and Literary Cultures”

 

Friday, 17th December

 Fifth Session (Plenary)

9:00 – 10:00 am

Chair: Ravina Aggarwal

Venue: Banquet Hall (Upper)

Speaker: Lewis R. Gordon, Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy, Temple University ,

Philadelphia , USA

Topic:  “Market Colonization of the Virtual Public Sphere?”

 

Sixth Session

                  10:00 – 11:30 am

A3: New Media, New Identities

Chair:   Deepti Gupta

Venue: Board Room

 

a)      Vipan Pal Singh, “Media Culture and the Construction of Postmodern Identities”

b)      Nizara Hazarika, Inventing the Self in the Public Domain of Cyberspace: A Cyberfeminist Perspective”

c)      Charulata Singh, “New Media Technologies and the Cultural Shift: Changing Dimensions of Public Sphere and Identities”

d)      Balaji Ranganathan, “The Virtual World and the Reconstruction of the Self”

 

B3: Virtual Realities/Real Consequences

Chair: Jaspal K. Singh

Venue: Conference Room

 

a)      Kalpana Purohit, “Being In-Between Two Worlds”

b)      Ankit Gandhi, “Online Blogging Communities Threatening Real Life Relations”

c)      Jyoti Rane, “Honour and Killing–Community Public Sphere vs. Public Sphere of a Nation State”

 

C3:  The Virtual Construction of Culture

Chair: William D. Pederson

Venue: Banquet Hall (Lower)

 

a)      Shweta Rao, “Virtual Kitchens: Food and Community in Media”

b)      Alankar Kaushik, “The Public Sphere and Media: Vernacular Television Networks”

c)      Ankita Sharma, “Media and Degeneration of the Public Sphere: A Critique of the Ad World”

 

11:30 –11:45

 Tea/Coffee

 

Seventh Session (Plenary)

11:45 – 1.00 pm

Chair: Javeed Alam

Venue: Banquet Hall (Upper)

 

Speaker: Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Director, the Heyman

Centre for the Humanities, Columbia University , New York , USA

Topic:  “The Mentality of Democracy”

 

1.00 –2.00 pm

Lunch

 

Eighth Session

2.00 –3.30 pm

A4: New Media Sexualities

Chair: James Winchester

Venue: Conference Room

 

a)      Bini B. S., “The Public Spheres of Vicarious Fulfillments: Live Sex on the Internet and the Performative Dynamics of Body and Sexuality”

b)      Dibyajyoti Borah & Ratan Deka, “Social Networking, Sexuality of the Closet and the Second Life”

c)      Golam Rabbani, “Media and Peeping Tom Culture: Disorienting Public Spectacle in the Evolution of Voyeurism”

d)      Sunita Manian, “New Media Erasing Boundaries or Erecting Barriers?: Gay/Transgendered vs. Kothi/Aravani

 

B4: The Location of Literature

Chair: Rumina Sethi

Venue: Banquet Hall (Lower)

 

a)      Marie Fernandes, “Reconstruction of Galatea from White Marble to Mechanical Cyborg”

b)      Supriya Agarwal, “Modernity and Gender in Shashi Deshpande’s Urban Novels”

c)      Urmil Talwar, “The Dialectics of Private and Public Spaces in the Poetics of Marginality in The Survivors

C4: Representations 2

Chair: Anil Raina

Venue: Board Room

 

a)      Geetanjali Bhagat, “Ironic Juxtaposition of Media, Ethics, Politics and Public Sphere: A Critique of Peepli Live

b)      Sanchita Choudhury, “Bāul Fusion Music Emerging as a New Genre in the Domain of Fusion Music Fuelled by Media of the Milieu”

c)      Rajyashree Khushu-Lahiri, “Stories of a Lifetime: New Media and Orality”

 

Ninth Session (Plenary)

3:30 – 4.30 pm

Chair: Bishnu Mohapatra

Venue: Banquet Hall (Upper)

 

Speaker: R. Radhakrishnan, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of California at Irvine , USA

Topic:  “Public Spheres and the Challenge of Self-Reflexivity”

 

4:30 – 4.45 pm

Tea/Coffee

 

Tenth Session (Plenary)

4:45–6:30 pm

 Gurdial Singh’s Novel Unhoye (The Survivors)

Chair: Gour K. Das

Venue: Banquet Hall (Upper)

 

Speaker: a) Moti Lal Raina, Former Professor of English, Panjab University , Chandigarh

Topic:       “Modern, Postmodern, PreModern: What Survives in The Survivors?”

Speaker:   b) Rana Nayar, Professor and Head, Department of English, Panjab University ,

                    Chandigarh

Topic:       “On Translating Gurdial Singh’s Unhoye

Speaker:  c) Gurpal Sandhu, Department of Panjabi, Panjab University , Chandigarh

Topic:     “Decentring Reality: Self, Tradition and Modernity”

 

7.00 – 8.00 pm

Cultural Program

by

 Students of the Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University

 

Saturday, 18th December

Eleventh Session

9.00 –10.30 am

 

   A5: Blog/Twitter Politics

Chair: Kanika Batra

Venue: Board Room

 

a)      Soni Wadhwa Kar, “The Promise of the Sindhi Websites”

b)      Amy Parish, Stuff White People Like, Blogging and the ‘Racialisation’ of White Subjectivities”

c)      Sumedha Iyer, “Twitter and the Public Intellectual”

 

B5: Literature and Technology

Chair: Lovelina Singh

Venue:  Conference Room

 

a)      Manju Dhariwal, “A Vision of Virtual Sphere in Kafka’s ‘Penal Colony’: Its Relation with Introna’s ‘Obligation’

b)      Kriti Kalia & Nipun Kalia, “From Ink to Pixels: Literature in a Digital Avatar”

c)      S. Sridevi Selvaraj, “A Study of Mediated Internet Literature – A Facet of Electronic Communities”

d)      Urjani Chakravarty, “Relevance Theory and New Media: Interpreting Pattern Change in Literary Criticism”                                                          

 

C5: Open Questions, Or, the Jury is Still Out on the New Media

Chair: Manju Jaidka

Venue: Banquet Hall (Lower)

 

a)      Smriti Singh, “From an Imagined Community to a Virtual Community: A Borderless World”

b)      Aruni Mahapatra, “Sharing or Stealing? Some Reflections on Piracy and Ethics Today”

c)      Lovleen Bains, “Is New Media Helping or Hurting the Growth of Literacy?”

 

10.30 –10.45

Tea/Coffee

 

Twelfth Session

10.45–12:15 pm

A6: “Are We Socially Networked Yet?”

Chair: Akshaya Kumar

Venue: Banquet Hall (Lower)

 

a)      P. E. Thomas, “Anonymity and Online Interaction – A Thematic  Perspective”

b)      Sanghamitra Sadhu, “Fashioning the Self on the Sites: Plausibility of a Virtual Public Sphere”

c)      Mashrur Shahid Hossain, “2b/X2b=?: IM & d trnsloc8ing f a virtual sphere”

d)      Sukhdeep Ghuman, “The Ever-Expanding Sphere of Cyber Communities”

 

B6: The Pedagogical Imperative

Chair: Timothy Allen Jackson

Venue: Board Room

 

a)      Pankaj Roy, “The Virtual Transformation of the Public Sphere: Media’s Role in the Growth of Learning”

b)      Meenu Gupta, “Virtual Worlds – A Contemporary Pedagogical Reality of Teaching and Learning”

c)      Meeta Chatterjee Padmanabhan, “Some Real Problems Faced in the Virtual World of Online Learning”

d)      Rich Rice, “Writing for Life: Narrow­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Casted Mass Convergence and the Consumption of NewlyMediated Knowledge”

 Thirteenth Session

12:15 – 1:15 pm

Open Session & Valedictory

Chair: Prafulla C. Kar

Venue: Banquet Hall (Lower)

 1.15 – 2.15 pm

Lunch

 Plenary Speakers’ Bio-Notes

 Akeel Bilgrami is Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Heyman Centre for the Humanities at Columbia University , New York . He has written extensively on philosophy of mind and language as well as on political and moral psychology. He is the author of Belief and Meaning (Blackwell, 1992) and Self-Knowledge and Resentment (Harvard, 2006). Among his forthcoming works are Politics and the Moral Psychology of Identity; What Is a Muslim? And Gandhi’s Integrity.  

Lewis R. Gordon is the Laura H. Carnell Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Studies at Temple University , Philadelphia and Visiting Professor of Government, Philosophy, and Literature at the University of the West Indies at Mona , Jamaica . His publications include Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism (Humanity Books, 1995/1999); Fanon and the Crisis of European Man (Routledge, 1995); Her Majesty’s Other Children (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997); Existentia Africana (Routledge, 2000); Disciplinary Decadence: Living Thought in Trying Times (Paradigm, 2006); and An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Cambridge UP, 2008). His forthcoming book to be published by Fordham University Press is titled, No Longer Enslaved Yet Not Quite Free.  

Nicholas D. Mirzoeff is Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University . He has taught at State University of New York at Stony Brook, University of Wisconsin at Madison , University of Texas at Austin , University of California at Irvine , and University of Warwick , England . His publications include The Right to Look: A Counter-History of Visuality (Duke University Press, forthcoming 2010-11); Watching Babylon: TheWar in Iraq and Global Visual Culture (Routledge, 2005); An Introduction to Visual Culture(Routledge,1999); Silent Poetry: Deafness, Sign and Visual Culture in Modern France (Princeton University Press, 1995); Bodyscape: Art, Modernity, and the Ideal Figure (Routledge, 1995). He has edited The Visual Culture Reader (Routledge, 1998) and Diaspora and Visual Culture: Representing Africans and Jews (Routledge, 2000).  

R. Radhakrishnan is Chancellor’s Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California , Irvine . His publications include Edward W. Said: A Critical Dictionary (Blackwell, 2010); History, the Human, and the World Between (Duke University Press, 2008); Between Identity and Location: The Politics of Theory (Orient Longman India , 2007), Theory in an Uneven World (Blackwell, 2003), and Diasporic Mediations: Between Home and Location (University of Minnesota Press, 1996). He has edited and co-edited Theory after Derrida (Routledge India , 2009); Colonialism, Modernity, Theory (Pencraft India , 2009); Transnational South Asians and the Making of a Neo-Diaspora (Oxford University Press, 2008); and Theory as Variation (Pencraft India , 2007). Some of his essays have also been published in journals such as Social Text, New Literary History, Callaloo, PMLA, Jouvert, Positions, Boundary2, Cultural Critique, MELUS, Rethinking Marxism, Comparative Literature, Transition, Differences, Organization, Journal of Contemporary Thought, New Centennial Review, ADE, and European Legacy.  

Tilottama Rajan is Canada Research Chair in English and Theory and Distinguished University Professor University of Western Ontario, London , Canada . She has authored four books–Romantic Narrative: Shelley, Hays, Godwin, Wollstonecraft (2010); Deconstructionand the Remainders of Phenomenology: Sartre, Foucault, Derrida, Baudrillard (2002); The Supplement of Reading: Figures of Understanding in Romantic Theory and Practice (1990); and Dark Interpreter: The Discourse of Romanticism (1980) and over seventy articles, also edited and co-edited seven book collections. Her research and supervisory interests include British Romantic literature (the 1790s novel, Mary Shelley, etc.), Romantic philosophy and science, and Contemporary Theory (particularly deconstruction and phenomenology) in its interrelations with Romantic and Idealist philosophy. She is now working on two projects: a genealogy of encyclopedic and comprehensive thinking from Idealism and Romanticism to Deconstruction; and a book that reads between Hegel and Schelling on a number of topics including aesthetics, historiography, the life and earth sciences, and organizations of knowledge.        

Gour K. Das is former Professor of English, University of Delhi ; Director, South Campus, University of Delhi ; and Vice Chancellor, Utkal University , Bhubaneswar . He has authored E. M. Forster’s India (Macmillan Press, London 1970). He has co-edited with Sushma Arya Literature of Resistance: India 1857 (Primus Books, New Delhi 2009); with Gamini Salgado The Spirit of D. H. Lawrence (Macmillan: London & Barnes & Noble: New Jersey 1988); and with John Beer E. M. Forster: A Human Exploration (Macmillan: London & New York University Press 1979). His research articles have been published in such journals as Review of English Studies; D. H. Lawrence Review; Hamlet Studies; Indian Literature; Dhauli Review; English Studies in India; Journal of Literary Criticism; Indian Horizons.  

Moti Lal Raina is former Professor of English at Panjab University , Chandigarh . His areas of scholarly interest are Shakespeare; modern literature; forms of narrative; and theories of criticism; and cultural studies.  

Rana Nayar is Chair, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Panjab University , Chandigarh . He is also a theatre artist and has participated in a number of major full-length productions. He has been a pioneer in bringing into English translation a number of classics from Punjabi literature. Among the prominent Punjabi authors he has translated are included such literary giants as Gurdial Singh, Raghubir Dhand, Mohan Bhandari and Beeba Balwant. His scholarly interest includes such areas as American drama; translation studies; history and historiography; and third world narratives.  

Gurpal Sandhu teaches in the Department of Punjabi, Panjab University , Chandigarh .