Call for Papers

Vol 21, Issue 1, January, 2021
Theme: Life Writing
Life Writing in its conceptual, creative or hands-on versions articulates very intriguing reconfigurations. Writing about one’s own life/lives, writing about the lives of others- real or imagined, the living vs the not so much alive or the non-living has been loaded with the complexities of agency, perspective and cultural currency. The politics of non-human narratives in the age of the Anthropocene has evolved into an entire discipline. One has also to be mindful about the word writing and what sort of rhetoric and knowledge it entails and presupposes respectively. Lives ‘written’ through art, music, sometimes through graffiti or word of mouth has repopulated the significations of textuality.
Whose are these lives that are being presented? Why? By whom? And what facets of these lives swim to the surface? These questions have never been satisfactorily answered. And neither should they be. Because Life and the many meanings it has acquired does not allow one to settle for answers. Rather, the questions present interesting possibilities regarding the matrices and impulses that govern the world over time. The need to chronicle, to confess, profess, clarify, edify or to preserve for posterity, the possibilities, motives, methods are limitless, leading Life Writing to draw from diverse disciplines and speaks many dialects of knowledge.
This edition of Samyukta: A Journal of Gender and Culture looks at the possibilities that Life Writing presents- as an elastic genre, as an ongoing conversation between the agencies governing human interaction, as power, as knowledge and other associated slants and angles.
We are interested in critical examinations of how Life Writing evolved over time from being read as a clutch of diaries to the intense revelation of cultural and historic connects between philosophies, religions, languages and selves. Exclusionary politics and the subtle art of self- censorship are concerns that draw greater attention to glaring absences. These concerns also establish delicate bridges with the many positions that truths occupy -personally, philosophically, ethically and theologically. Intersections between the global, the local and the Anglophone and the issues of economic viability, visibility and contemporary geopolitics govern who gets written and read. The agency presented by social media to narrate lives and the issues of digital divide add yet another angle to the discourse. The way that Life Writing places people, the politics of gender and power, the stories of movements, nationhood and social systems through the accounts of the self and the times throws the spotlight on the many modernities that we experience and live through today.
Possible topics could include but are not limited to:
  • The archeology of Life Writing
  • The teleological, narrative and spatial politics of Life Writing
  • The many Subjectivities of Life Writing
  • The nuances of Text and Writing in Life Writing
  • Decoding ‘Life’ in Life Writing
  • Gender and Life Writing
  • Writing Lives, Writing History
  • Reading Social Movements through Life Writing
  • Reading Ideologies through Life Writing
  • Writing Life through Art: Performing Lives.
  • Survivor narratives
  • Writing the non-human
  • Life Writing and Social Media
  • Translating Vernacular Lives: Who gets Translated and Why?
  • Biopics as Life Writing
An abstract of 200 words should be sent to by 10 January 2021
Selected abstracts will be intimated by 15 January 2021.
The full paper must be sent to by 25 January 2021.
The paper must be between 3000-5000 words, in Times New Roman size 12 and must comply with the stipulations of the MLA Handbook (8th edition).
Guest Editor for the issue is Kukku Xavier, Assistant Professor, Department of English, All Saints’ College, Thiruvananthapuram.

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