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Friday 11 January 2013

International Conference Literature and Marginality: Comparative Perspectives in African American Australian and Indian Dalit Literature

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)
School of Humanities
New Delhi

International Conference

Literature and Marginality: Comparative Perspectives in African American Australian and Indian Dalit Literature

February, 20-22, 2013


UNESCO in a recent appreciation hailed IGNOU as the living embodiment of inclusive knowledge society in a globalised world of learning. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), established by an Act of Parliament in 1985, has continuously striven to build an inclusive knowledge society through inclusive education. It has tried to increase the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) by offering high-quality teaching through the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode. IGNOU currently serves the educational aspirations of over 4 million students in India and 36 other countries through 21 Schools of Studies and a network of 67 regional centres, around 3,000 learner support centres and 67 overseas centres. The University offers about 490 certificate, diploma, degree and doctoral programmes, with  strength of nearly 420 faculty members and academic staff at the headquarters and regional centres and about 36,000 academic counsellors from conventional institutions of higher learning, professional organisations, and industry among others.

The University has made a significant mark in the areas of higher education, community education and continual professional development. The University has been networking with reputed public institutions and private enterprises for enhancing the educational opportunities being offered by it. As a world leader in distance education, it has been conferred with awards of excellence by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Canada, several times. In January 2010, it was listed 12th in the webometric ranking of Indian universities, based on the calibre of its presence on the Internet.


‘Marginality’ is generally employed to interpret and analyse socio-cultural, political and economic spheres, where disadvantaged people struggle to gain access to resources, and equal participation in social life. The superstructures of race in Africa, Australia, USA and caste in India inform, deform, and complicate the identities of the marginalized along lines of gender, class, and family structure. In the modern day debate, various facets of marginality have been discussed in scholarly circles in almost every disciplinary area including literature, history, sociology, and political science with implications for issues as diverse as justice, gender, equality and inequality. This academic exercise which engage experts from National and International arena will explore the convergences in imagination and expressions of writers like Ngugi and Achebe, Kim Scott and Alexis Wright and then Valmiki and Gaikwad.

Over the years, the traditional assumptions of disciplines have been challenged and scholars have also explored the role of the “canon” and debated on what the so called “great” (canonical) texts may be in their respective disciplines, and the more profound grounds of their canonicity. There is a great academic need to explore these comparative perspectives in African American and Australian, Indian Dalit Literature. The advent of literary and cultural theories in the literary field has brought major changes in the way of reading, interpreting and understanding literature and culture. This has empowered, in a significant way, marginalized discourses which often remained unnoticed by the hegemonic culture. This has constantly been argued that a comprehensive literary study of marginality and its epistemic role is necessary and would contribute to a better understanding of how humanistic knowledge has been created, structured and transmitted.

The proposed bilingual (Hindi and English) conference is to contextualize marginality in an Inter-disciplinary framework with reference to past and with its possible effects on life in future and also provide a comparative platform of literary study between Dalit, African, Australian and American discourses. Although the chief concern will be to review literature on marginality and figure out the points of coming together and departure in terms of marginalized writings yet scholarly contributions from every domain are also invited so that the inter-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary approaches can authenticate the main theme. The innovative, exciting, and intellectual discussion by the scholars of all domains will also help in promoting a high order research in this area.

The broad areas to be covered by the Seminar include: 

  • Subaltern Consciousness in African Australian American and Dalit Writings.
  • Parallelism and Ambivalences  in literature of the ‘margins’
  • ‘Art’ and ‘Aesthetics’ of African Australian American and Dalit Writings
  • Literature of Marginality:  African American Australian and Dalit Literature.
  • Art, literature and films as modes of expression and Resistance
  • Issues of  language, form and genre
  • Nation and its Others
  • Autobiographies as layers of Identity and Resistance.
  • Representation of women, caste and Race.
  • Dynamics of Social exclusion - Issues, Trends and Prospects
  • The Subaltern Consciousness and the associated challenges
  • Politics of Empowerment and Subaltern issues.

Any other topic(s) relevant to the theme of the Conference is/are welcomed.

Conference Methodology

The conference format would be a mix of thematic and plenary sessions, panel discussion and presentation of papers. If needed, parallel session may be organised for presentation of papers. In the end, recommendations of the conference will be deliberated and drafted.

Important Dates:

Submission of Abstracts:  15 January, 2013
Submission of completed papers:  30 January, 2013
Communication of outcome of review: 07 February, 2013

Chief Patron

Prof. Gopi Nath Pradhan
Vice Chancellor
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)  


Prof. Vimal Thorat (HINDI) & Dr Parmod Mehra (English), Indira Gandhi National Open University.
Best Paper Awards

The Conveners will select a paper from each Technical Session which will be given Best Paper Award.

Contact Details:

Prof Vimal Thorat (Hindi)                                                      Dr Parmod Mehra (English)
School of Humanities, Block-F, Tagore Bhawan, IGNOU, New Delhi-110068
Email:  iclm2013

Blog :
Mobile: +91-9818209985,  +91-1129534289

Dr Parmod Kumar
# 191, Sector-19 B,
Near OPG School,
DDA MS Flats, Sanskriti Apartments
Dwarka, New Delhi-110075
Mobile: +91-9818209985
Website :

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