National Conference Vernacular Periodicals and Dalit Writing: Production, Circulation and Reception

Organizer: GITAM School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management, Hyderabad

About the Conference

  • When: 1-3 March 2023
  • Call For Papers (Revised)
  • Registration Fee Needed
  • EXTENDED DEADLINE 4th February 2023
  • The conference will be in offline mode unless otherwise notified by competent authorities such as state health departments or ICMR

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, under the leadership of Dr B R Ambedkar, Raicharan Sardar, Panchanan Barma, Guruchand Thakur and Surendranath Thakur, an aspiration
to express themselves in the periodical print became quite pronounced among the minority and Dalit communities. Printed in vernacular, these periodical magazines and journals challenged the status quo of mainstream socio-political discourse and literary aesthetics. They became
mouthpieces of contemporary caste politics. In post-independent India, such aspirations found resonance in literary movements such as the little magazine movement and the Hungryalist movement across India, especially in Maharashtra and Bengal. Several Dalit writers, Baburao Bagul, Raja Dhale, Namdeo Dhasal, Shankarrao Kharat, and Binay Mazumdar, found a platform in the bulletins and the little magazines for interrogating the mainstream. These literary movements provided an alternative platform for Dalit writers and paved the path for a new brand
of Dalit periodicals to emerge.

Subsequently, little magazines and periodicals like Vacha, Aamhi, Ata, Aso were quickly followed by Vidroh, Dhammalipi (Marathi), Adol Bodol, Atma Nirikshan, Bahujan Darpan (Bangla). How was the journey of these vernacular periodicals? How do we take stock of this century-long ephemeral print enterprise? What are the defining features of this journey that carried the legacy of Namasudra Shurid and Namasudra Hitoishi, Bratya Kshatriya Bandhab, Jagaran, Mooknayak, and Prabuddha Bharat forward?

This conference invites early career scholars and doctoral candidates to engage with the periodical magazines from different Indian vernacular languages that facilitated the coming of a Dalit literary world and circulated different socio-political debates on varna and jati. Besides, it invites you to locate these magazines within the contemporary publishing industry, the market, and their struggle to remain in circulation. We also encourage scholars to trace the conversations, and exchange of ideas taking place across castes and languages, and scrutinise self-reflection and
introspection within these vernacular magazines. To engage with these questions, the conference invites interested contributors to focus on the following rubrics of investigations. However, the following list is indicative and not exhaustive.

● Production, circulation and reception
● Readership of vernacular periodicals
● Print industry and vernacular periodicals
● Affiliations, organisations
● Language, ethnonationality and the question of caste
● Across language, caste networks of ideas and exchanges
● Folk genres and Caste Question
● Relationship with little magazine movement
● Challenge to the aesthetic status quo

Important Dates

  • Submission of Abstract: 04.02.23
  • Communication of Acceptance: 7.02.23
  • Registration: 7.02.2023 – 15.02.2023
  • Conference: 1-3 March 2023

Submission Guidelines

Kindly submit the abstract of your paper in about 300-400 words (Times New Roman, Font size 12) with 4-5 Keywords to The abstract must be submitted as a
docx file containing the title of the paper and the relevant sub-theme and should indicate primary and secondary sources.
A separate document should be sent containing the name of the author, institutional affiliation, a short bio and contact details.

Select papers will be published in an edited volume from reputed publishers.

Registration fee

Research scholars and students: Rs. 600/-
Others: Rs. 1000/-
In the case of joint papers, both authors need to register. Registration fee includes conference kit, tea and lunch during the conference days. It does not include accommodation. Guidance will be provided for arranging accommodation. Subject to the availability of funds, financial assistance for accommodation may be made available for participants. Participants are encouraged to seek travel assistance from their respective institutes.

All the paper presenters must complete the registration process online before 15 February 2023.

Details of the process will be available on the conference website from 7 February 2023.
For queries, please write to

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