Myth and History in Postcolonial Consciousness: Theory, Praxis and Politics

Sayan  Dey's picture
Type: 
Call for Publications
Date: 
March 16, 2019 to April 15, 2019
Location: 
India
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Cultural History / Studies, Human Rights, Humanities, Slavery

Concept Note 

In the year 1995, James W. Loewen, a sociologist and historian from University of Vermont wrote a book titled Lies My Teacher Told Me. It was a result of his analysis based on a dozen high school text books in the United States. Through this book his central intention was to interrogate the socio-historical and cultural ‘validity’ of the various histories and myths that are taught to the children about the past of the United States. During the analysis, it was found that the topics like first Thanksgiving, the Civil and Vietnam Wars, the Americas before the arrival of Columbus are geo-politically incomplete, socio-culturally distorted and racially flawed in many ways.

The politics of representation is a complex issue all over the world, both in terms of theory and practice. In the colonial era, distorted portrayal of reality was employed at large to achieve imperialist objectives. But it is sad to see that in the postcolonial era too things did not change much. With the emergence of postcolonialism across the world, the process of socio-political domination became simpler for the West as the earlier victims of colonialism started functioning as advocates of coloniality. For instance, the divide (and define) and rule policy which was introduced by the British in colonial India, continued to amplify in post independent India too through caste, political, communal, religious, historical, geographical and economic fragmentations. These fragmentations have not only enabled the colonial ideologies to survive (both physically and ideologically) and hierarchize (authentic/inauthentic, good/bad, superior/inferior, etc.) the indigenous socio-cultural, historical and mythological practices in India, but also assisted them towards continuing it in the contemporary era. In this regard, decolonial scholars such as Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Walter Mignolo, Ramon Grosfoguel, Boaventuro de Sousa Santos and Sabelo-Ndlovu Gatsheni argue that the prefix ‘post’ in the term ‘postcolonial’ needs to be interrogated because the physical colonial empire has receded to push the meta-physical [1]colonial empire to the forefront.

Noted historians namely Asis Nandy, Partha Chatterjee and Dennis Walder claim that postcolonial consciousness demands double awareness. On the one hand, it is important to locate the functioning of the colonial inheritance within a specific culture, community and country and on the other it is important to realize the changing relations between these cultures, communities and countries. Thus, in order to understand the changes thoroughly it is not only important to diminish the colonially influenced mythological and historical narratives that have been firmly ingrained in our existential psyche, but also it is important to revive the depolarized indigenous mythologies and histories across the globe. But, this process of revival is once again a challenging task as it is widely infected with the politics of theory and praxis. In other words, the justifications of indigenous histories and myths are usually underpinned with multifarious theoretical and praxial conflicts which are often socio-historically hierarchical and violating in nature.

In the light of the foregoing discussion, we request interested contributors to write an abstract in 250-300 words. The abstract should be written in two paragraphs and it should categorically outline the key objectives, arguments and findings of the proposed chapter. Please note that the abstracts which do not adhere to this format may not be accepted. The abstracts may be conceptualized on the following themes but are not limited to it:

  1. Decolonizing histories and myths.
  2. Politics of historical and mythological story-telling in a postcolonial world.
  3. Role of myths and histories in contemporary science.
  4. Contribution of myths and histories towards framing academic knowledge systems.
  5. Myths, histories and gender identities.
  6. Impact of myths and histories in daily life.
  7. Portrayal of myths and histories in animations (movies, soaps, academic/non-academic videos).
  8. Representation of indigenous histories and myths in visual and performing arts.
  9. Multidisciplinary understandings of histories and myths.

 

Publisher: Several national and international publishing houses have expressed a positive gesture towards our project. The international houses are: Routledge, Springer and Vernon Press. The national publishing houses are: Manipal Universal Press, Atlantic Publishers and Pencraft International. The publishing house will be finalized based on the merit of the contributions.  So, the selection process will be highly critical and competitive as we can accommodate only a limited number of chapters.

No fees will be charged from the contributors.

The deadline for the submission of abstract is: 20th April, 2019. The outcome of the submission will be communicated to the contributors by 10th May, 2019. Once selected, the contributors will be asked to submit a paper between 5000-7000 words. The deadline and the referencing style for the full paper will be informed then. Abstracts should be emailed to:

 

[1] It is important to note that here is the term ‘meta-physical’ is not used in the spiritual and/or philosophical sense. Here the term metaphysical means beyond physical and therefore it has been used in a hyphenated manner.

Contact Info: 

Dr. Arti Nirmal – artinirmalbhu@gmail.com

Dr. Sayan Dey – sayandey89@yahoo.com

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