ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

35 – Postmodern Narratives of Caste and Indigeneity

This panel considers narratives of caste and indigeneity across genres, media, and languages and their explicit engagement with narrative conventions of the postmodern.

Convenors

Laura Brueck - Northwestern University, Dept. of Asian Languages and Cultures, Evanston, United States
Veronica Ghirardi - Università degli Studi di Torino, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Torino, Italy
Praseeda Gopinath - State University of New York Binghamton, English, Binghamton, United States

Long Abstract

This panel considers narratives of caste and indigeneity across genres, media, and languages and their explicit engagement with narrative conventions of the postmodern. Literary postmodernism emerged in Euro-American literature as a set of experimental narrative approaches in the late 1960s, notably the same period when in India, Dalit literature in Marathi was consolidating its interventionist narrative politics and radical experiments with language and form. This panel seeks to trace the strategic employment and diversification of postmodern storytelling techniques in literatures and other media explicitly engaged in the politics of caste and indigeneity and considers the ways in which the grammar of postmodernism is reconfigured through an exploration of Dalit and indigenous fictions. We invite contributions that address the question: how do Dalit and Adivasi fictions disrupt and interrogate the artistic category of postmodernism itself? Contributions to this panel might consider the employment of tropes such as embodied and non-chronological time, visceral memory, literal and figurative travel, speculative storytelling, futurity, space, otherworldliness, and alternative realities. The question of postmodernism and/in translation is also a central concern. This panel seeks to provide a forum for a transnational network of scholars working to situate Indian and South Asian literatures of caste and indigeneity across disciplines and in innovative and comparative critical ways.