CAFE DISSENSUS: Issue 54: January 2020: Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast [Last date for submission: 30 November, 2019; Date of publication: 1 January, 2020]
Guest-Editors: Dr. Bhumika R, English Language Instructor, IIT Jammu & Dr. Suranjana Choudhury, Assistant Professor, Department of English, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong.
Concept Note: Northeast India has been consistently imagined in the popular discourse in India/ in the rest of the country as a space and a culture that is either exotic or as mired in conflict. The positioning of a space, communities, cultures and societies within such narrow definitions/ categories can deny an understanding/ prevents and does not allow an understanding of the complex textures of the society, cultures and people inhabiting this broad terrain termed as the Northeast. Everyday imaginations of individual and collective lives can offer narratives of identity that move beyond the apriori binary, specifically in the case of the Northeast. Most of the communities who have made this region their home possess a formidable story-telling tradition. Here the oral blends with the written to yield a kind of literature, which in the views of many, is a confident assertion of voice and identity. It has the effect of dismantling existing stereotypes and binaries. Mundane elements constituting the everyday works as an important site of resistance against constructed identities and offer the textured nature of identity weave, constituting this space. Extending Henri Lefebvre’s (1971) discussions of the everyday, the emphasis on the everyday in this case, concerns ‘an analysis of everyday life that will expose its ambiguities – its baseness and exuberance, its poverty and fruitfulness- and (…) creative energies that are an integral part of it’.
In the context of the Northeast, studies pertaining to everyday have discussed the imaginings of everyday in the genre of visual (specifically photography). Amit R Baishya’s (2019) discussion of everyday in the context of Assamese literature points to the ruptures caused by larger socio-political events on the mundane life of individuals. The questions and concerns which the current issue seeks to explore are: How are the imaginings of everyday or the ordinary articulated in the realm of culture, including literature? What do these articulations of everyday and engaging with the ordinary tell us of the collective history and politics of the space and its inhabitants? Can shifts be traced in the understanding of everyday in the last few decades (roughly since the 1950s up to the present)? What do these shifts indicate with regard to the understandings of everyday? Can practices function as important registers of resistance against apriori constructs of identity? How do contemporary literary articulations from Northeast engage with questions of the everyday?
In the proposed issue of Cafe Dissensus, we invite papers, photo-essays, audio-visual narrations or interviews, memoirs, non-fiction, etc. that explore varied contours of the idea of the ‘everyday’ and its literary and cultural representations in India’s northeast in the recent times. We are also keen at engaging with such discourses in various media like movies,music, dance, theatre or any other art forms.
Submission should be approximately 2000-2500 words. We also invite audio-visual submissions (in the form of interviews, conversations, etc.) The audio-visual files must not be more than 20 minutes in duration. Photo Essays are also invited with not more than 15 photos in an essay. Please do provide a brief bio at the end of your piece. Since the magazine is geared toward non-academic readers, the citations within the body of the articles must be minimal, in the form of the name of an author or an idea, etc. The issue is planned for online publication on 1 January, 2020. Submissions will be accepted till 30 November, 2019. Please email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org