Call for Papers for the American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting

Seminar Title:

India Everywhere: Diaspora, Globalization, Imagination

Due 23 September 2017 for the  “American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting”, 29-March – 1 April, 2018, Los Angeles, CA. 

CFP Abstract:

Seventy years after independence, India has begun to assert itself with new energy on a global stage. After the neoliberal transformations of the late twentieth century, India is now economically tied to global markets; its current political leadership aspires to project Indian soft power abroad; and India’s diaspora is now considered the largest in the world. This seminar seeks to examine how competing ideas of “Indianness” in contemporary literary and cultural representations shed light on the political economy of the imagination. It seeks to identify the political and economic dimensions of visibility that shape these mobile, often contradictory, regimes of representation and their impact. Through this research, the seminar aims to chart the new theories, methods, and approaches needed to understand the rise, and potentially the limits, of an India seemingly everywhere in globalized circuits of culture.

 Integrating South Asian studies with diasporic and ethnic studies, the seminar invites papers to theorize the wide range of ways by which ideas of Indianness are constructed, contested, and circulated beyond India’s territorial borders (as well as recirculated within them). Possible concerns might include new genres of self-narration, connectivity, and long-distance nationalism in the diaspora; emerging Indian state theatrics that project national identities abroad; discourses of cultural appropriation and stereotyping; border discourses within South Asia; the politics of Indian ethnicity in the age of terrorism; demand for Indian cultural products in Asian, Latin American, and African markets; transnational circulation of non-Anglophone texts; and the political and economic logics shaping new modes of recognition and legitimacy for an imagined “India” today.

The organisers seek 250-word abstracts which should be submitted through the ACLA online portal, available through The portal will be open for abstract submissions 1-23 September 2017.
For further details please contact Dr Shameen Black:


Dr. Shameem Black (Organiser)

Deputy Director, South Asia Research Institute

Fellow, Department of Gender, Media and Cultural Studies

Fellow, Higher Education Academy

School of Culture, History and Language

College of Asia and the Pacific | The Australian National University