Annual Researchers at Work Conference on Body: Aspects in Literature, Culture and Society

Organizer: Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad, India

About the Conference

  • When: May 19– 20, 2022
  • There is no registration fees
  • Call for Papers

The relationship of ‘body’ with culture is intricately woven. In many ways, culture is, through its various practices, encoded and performed in the bodies of its members. The body, in turn, can be seen as a site of meaning to symbolize and represent conformity, resistance, playfulness, negotiation and many other possibilities within certain cultural norms. This opens up multiple possibilities of situating the body in the domain of culture, society, politics, and its varied histories. This domain is further characterized by a hierarchization of types of body in which certain body types are exemplified, thereby constructing the notion of the Normative. Thus, in the South Asian context, the intersectionality of caste, gender, class, disability, and religion play a crucial role in this process of constructing this Normative. Furthermore, Covid has forced a situation onto all of us wherein the ‘state’ exercises power and control directly over the bodies of people, medical and social, in this case. However, there is an absence of uniformity in its exercise. The bodies of the migrant labourers, daily wager, sex workers, beggars and other dispossessed groups are not regarded as important enough in the eyes of the state — they are treated as potential carriers of the virus rather than recipients of care. Thus, such treatment of bodies is carefully imbricated with the political
modalities of the state

Modernization, in its wake, further entrenched Minoritization of certain sections of society, especially in the making of the nation and the emergence of nationalist narratives in the nineteenth century. In other words, emergence of minority and the emergence of the nation go hand in hand. Going by Aamir Mufti’s argument, the very act of making a uniform, unifying nation brings with it the violent threat of displacement, of many peoples, and the inevitable result of creating the imbalance of majority and minority status bestowed upon different peoples. This argument can be used as one of many ways of reading the creation of the minority body in modernity and nationalist narratives. It can also be looked at from a colonial perspective.

In similar fashion, the concept of body can be explored through the themes of clothed bodies, accepted bodies, reified bodies, dismissed ones, resistant bodies, consumption of bodies and consuming bodies, re(-) production of bodies, desired and desiring bodies, the visual gaze and the body, a technically evolved body and so on. This seminar calls for papers that look at the body as a site for further theoretical, critical and analytical discussions.

Taking the body as a broad category, abstracts are invited on the following points of discussion, though not limited to them

Potential Sub Topics:

  • Construction and representation of Body
  • Nation, Civil Society, Citizenship and Body
  • Modernity and Body
  • Body in ‘state of exception’
  • Body Politic
  • Body in cyber-culture and cyberspaces
  • Body and Medical Sciences
  • State and Surveillance
  • Body as Resistance
  • Body, Cinema and the Visual Arts
  • Indigeneity, subaltern and Dalit body
  • Gendering the body, hyper masculinity, female body, LGBTIQA+
  • Sex Work
  • Dis/ability and Caregiving
  • Partition, Genocide, Pogroms
  • Body as Performances
  • Intersectionalities

Submission of Abstracts and Papers

Abstracts of 300 words exploring the above-mentioned themes, and also extending them, may be sent to latest by 12 April, 2022. Selection of papers will be intimated by 15 April 2022 and the full paper has to be submitted by 15 May 2022.

RAW.CON or Researchers at Work Conference in its eighth year, is a students’ research initiative, broadly focusing on Literary and Cultural Studies conducted by the Centre for Comparative Literature, School of Humanities, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad – 500046, India.

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