Call for Papers: Popular Culture and the ‘Text’ of Engaging Masses

Call for Papers: Journal Efflorescence (ISSN: 2278-3873)

  • Last date of submission: August 31, 2023
  • Each contributor will be provided with a free complimentary copy.

The Department of English, Naba Ballygunge Mahavidyalaya invites faculty, scholars and students to contribute manuscript articles of 2500-3000 words and book reviews to the forthcoming issue (Issue 8) of the journal Efflorescence (ISSN: 2278-3873) on “Popular Culture and the ‘Text’ of Engaging Masses”. We welcome only original and unpublished articles that should follow the argument as alluded in the concept note. The selection will be made on the basis of the originality of thought, argument and appropriateness of the methodological approach applied. All papers will be peer reviewed and the recommendations of the editorial board will be conclusive. Only selected papers will be published in the Journal.

Concept Note

The conduit of culture is a symbiotic function of nation and society and the topology of “popular culture” is the topography outside The Frankfurt School comprising of Adorno, Horkeimer and Marcuse. Alan Singewood in his The Myth of Mass Culture (Macmillan 1977) delves into the fact how the mass culture gained its footing when the archetypal gravitational force of power, family and aristocracy began to lose their hegemony in the post-industrial Britain. The iconography of art as a “modus operandi” of “high culture” is dismantled by the participation of labour class in the production of theatre, music and art. The culture industry from 1970s saw a revolutionary approach to the meritocracy and bureaucracy of intellectuals in the domain of art and Umberto Eco along with Roland Barthes and Andrew Ross saw the social production of art away from the centrifugal pull of the Utopian Intellectuals to mass production. One way to look at it is to see that the print media is not the center of the totality of literature. It is an accidental media, which took literature from its oral tradition and provided it a structure. In this postmodern era, print media is not the be-all and end-all of literature; nor is it the fixed locus that to express culture and art we have to depend on the print. Technology has provided us with the ‘sign-substitution’ that Derrida argued about and the range encompasses from “Music cds” to Facebook ‘likes’, from Box office hits to Blue Ray Discs.

Thus technology has offered an alternative to print media and it is neither an ‘infinum malum’ nor ‘sumum bonum’ of popular culture, but it is a medium that has increased the consumption of literature thousand folds. Since we are in post Marxist era, production does not hold power, because as Roland Barthes points out the ‘author is dead’ and author as producer of culture no longer is the apex of economic pyramid. It is the consumers of literature and culture who holds the power. Thomas Roberts in his Aesthetics of Junk Fiction (University of Gregoria Press 1990) captures the contested area of the “mainstream” and the “canonical”. He argues that if people read Goethe and Alessandro Manzoni together with detective stories, then popular fiction has more worth than the imagination of the critics.

The emotive response to the popular culture is made tangible through the filming of classic texts by BBC which ranges from Shakespeare classics to Jane Austen and the actors along with the directors reproduced the classics in popular texts by adapting the theme and language according to the popular taste. Films brought a celluloid denouement of Shakespearean plays and Hollywood took to heart the art of Elizabethan state and stage. Indianised versions added the colour and spice of cultural refinement to the Bardic nuances of Shakespearean plays and flavoured it to the palatable delights of Indian audience. Vishal Bharadwaj’s Maqbool, Omkara and Haider revolutionized the ‘aura’ of Shakespeare into a customized alleys of Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh and Kashmir. Even before this triology, we have the example of Qayamat-se Qayamat tak as an Indianised understanding of the blood-feud between families and the idea of ‘honour killing’, thereby a metamorphosed version of Romeo and Juliet.

Along with film adaptation and the film as a sentient being in itself, we have the de-hegemonisation of Music especially through the hands of artists like John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan and thousand others. If Derrida had laid his emphasis on the literary world, we find John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan capturing over the cultural forum with his singing prowess. Their works reached almost a status of revolutionary magnum, especially among the youth for its intellectual and dynamic possibilities. Their call towards the younger generation in creating a violence free society is an attempt to cultivate the ideas of an ever changing and progressive future. Especially if we look into their war and protest songs, we find a genuine attempt on his part to bring out the notion of changing societal graph through their works.

Details About the Theme

Scholarly articles in English are invited on the theme of popular literature and popular culture. The articles can be based on the following sub-themes, but are not to be restricted to them:

  • TV Series
  • Film Adaptation
  • Metal Bands
  • Hard Rock
  • Soft Rock
  • Magic
  • Dystopia
  • Social media
  • Super Heroes
  • Meta Humans
  • Detective novels and films
  • Comics
  • Graphic Novels
  • Paintings
  • Popular Dance
  • Remix
  • Thrillers
  • Sci-Fi
  • Anime
  • Meme
  • Pulp Fiction

Editorial Instructions:

Full paper, along with Abstract (300 words) should be sent to the email address

  • Last date of submission: August 31, 2023
  • Each contributor will be provided with a free complimentary copy.
  • Font & size: Times New Roman 12, Spacing: 1.5 lines, Margin of 1 inch on all four sides.
  • Title of the paper: bold and centered.
  • Text of the paper: Justified. Font & Size: Times New Roman – 12.
  • For citation, 9th MLA style sheet should be followed.
  • Articles should be submitted as MS Word attachments only.
  • The length of article should be between 2500-3000 words and book review of 1500 words.


Dr. Sayantina Dutta, Assistant Professor & Head, English Department, Department of English, Naba Ballygunge Mahavidyalaya, NAAC Re-accredited B+ UG & PG College (Affiliated with The University of Calcutta), 27E, Bosepukur Road, Kasba, Kolkata, West Bengal 700042, India

Call for Keynote Speaker (UG/ PG Student/ Research Scholar Can Register): Visit Here for Details

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *