A Two-Day International Conference
Borders, Diasporas, and Multilingualism in English Studies
25-26 June 2021 (tentative)
Department of English, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet 3114, Bangladesh
Call for Papers
Deadline: 5 January 2020
Submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Fakrul Alam, Professor Himadri Lahiri, and Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam
Professor Masud Mahmood, Professor Md. Shahidullah, Dr Mark Bartholomew, and Professor Mashrur Shahid Hossain
Literary studies around the world draw on a wide range of issues, ideas and themes, make people think and rethink about the progress of humanity, addressing crises and conflicts, delusions and dilemmas almost everywhere in the world. Different nations go through a variety of problems, strive to overcome challenges, and, in some cases, successfully come out of the predicaments. A number of national issues often end up as global issues that impact almost every nation of the world. Writers and poets of the concerned nations at times take interest in presenting the issues and concerns in an aesthetic manner, emphasizing on reshaping the world to make it more humane and inhabitable. Such artistic representations of global issues exert, no doubt, a huge impact on the minds of people, mirroring society. Literature, therefore, works as a significant tool and, to be more specific, the essence of human society, whereas language remains the quintessence of literature. Literature also helps people question the status quo, incongruities and hegemony, exposing the sheer reality existing in the societies, while language confirms the representation of hegemony and subalternity in literary studies. Over time, this sort of representation has burgeoned through dispersion of people, which is a common phenomenon in the contemporary world.
Human beings have been migrating from one place to another for many reasons for a long time, but in the present-day context, migration is a pressing matter, which demands an in-depth study. Discourses on borders and diasporas are prevalent worldwide, whereas South Asian reality, in this context, is deeper, because dislocations have taken place in this part of the world in a massive form – Partition 1947, for example, is a landmark event in the history of Indian subcontinent. Besides, many people from South Asia have settled in Europe and America where they go through varied experiences, sometimes undergoing trials and tribulations. Several prominent authors from South Asian region, many of whom recount their own experiences as migrants, have addressed the diaspora reality widely in their works. Moreover, dislocation, displacement, and loss of identity are taking place all over the world because of war, power politics, intolerance, and so on. The world is advancing, bringing people together culturally, linguistically, but, at the same time, people are becoming increasingly hostile to one another. Migrants and stateless refugees, forming a multilingual and multicultural society, who suffer discrimination in various forms are nowadays integral part of discourses in literary studies across the world.
Countless communities have dislocated, either voluntarily or involuntarily, throughout the world from the “home” country to the “host” country, a reality that provides a clear indication that diaspora is not at all a recent phenomenon. But there is no denying that the last few centuries have witnessed an outburst of migration. These pandemic dislocations across borders have designated diaspora as an essential part of human history. However, due to the voluntary or involuntary physical dislocation, diaspora may apparently seem as an external phenomenon, yet dislocation certainly has a deep-rooted effect on the people in diaspora. Such an experience is followed by the inability to locate oneself in the identity sphere for crossing multiple borders, which is further intensified by the pangs of being “un-homed,” a sense of being out of “place” both externally and internally.
Diverse attempts to address and represent these diasporic experiences in literary studies have led to the “diasporic turn” in discourse, which is why a treasure trove of narratives of dislocations has emerged on the issues of diaspora. The rich body of works, often under the broad realm called postcolonial or transnational studies, attempts to address these issues of space and identity; ambivalence regarding the self; dilemma of belonging; differences, mediation and a continuous negotiation between two identities; the relationship between “self” and “other”; conforming to hybridity; transgressing or rupturing the arbitrary borders created and sustained; colonial experiences and impacts etc. Moreover, the writers who have made these diasporic experiences speak from a place of deep ambivalence and linguistic hybridity, and the literary works provide the writers with outlets to voice their personal experience of dislocations and adaptations. In fact, these multicultural and multilingual influences in diaspora writings have enriched literary studies that deserve further exploration.
Multilingualism has become an important phenomenon in the era of globalization. The issues of multilingualism are perceived as reflections of political process, contact languages, and world culture and heritage. In relation to multilingual situation, diaspora defines national identities, which transform borders between and within languages. In today’s world, due to migration pattern and the need for assimilation with other cultures, multilingualism also acts as one of the most important factors in the field of English language education in the 21st century. It explores different ways to use languages such as diglossia and code-switching. Language change and development in multilingual settings are deliberated in diverse world contexts. In this way, multilingualism, in the study of English, sheds light on the current theory and practice in world English. Moreover, it examines the status of English in different contexts and its socio-political and educational implications.
The conference on “Borders, Diasporas, and Multilingualism in English Studies” attempts, therefore, to trace the experiences of the teeming multitudes dislocated in two worlds marked apart by the shadow lines of borders and how literary studies venture upon capturing the essence of these experiences. Moreover, the conference also delves into how multilingualism, as a societal phenomenon, shapes language attitudes, ideologies, identities, relationships and interaction. In order to shed more light on the aforementioned concepts related to borders, diasporas, and multilingualism in English studies around the world, the present conference invites proposals, in the form of abstracts, for papers that address, but may not necessarily be restricted to, the following areas:
• Dislocation and Displacement
• Ambivalence among the people in diasporic locations
• Identity formation
• Identity crisis
• Sense of belonging
• Resistance and rebellion
• Nationalism and border
• Clashes of cultures
• “Home” and the world
• Transnational literature
• Graphic narratives in postcolonial context
• Translation literature
• Technology in diaspora and multilingual situation
• Language and culture
• Linguistic imperialism
• Linguistic hybridity, style, and identity
• World English and literature
• Multilingual societies and discourse
• Language, migration, and diaspora
• Language variation and change
• Language and interaction
• Language, gender and sexuality
• Sociolinguistics and education
We are inviting proposals for 20-minute presentations. Please submit abstracts of about 250-300 words along with 4 to 5 Keywords and a short biographical note (50-100 words) by 5 January 2020 to email@example.com.
Important dates and deadlines:
• Deadline for abstract submission: 5 January 2020
• Notification of the outcome of abstract submission: 30 January 2020
• Article submission (around 4000 words): 10 March 2020
• Final submission of articles for consideration for publication in SUST Journal (through the peer-review process): Date will be announced later
International presenters: 200$
Presenters from SAARC countries: 100$
International student presenters: 50$
International participants: 20$
Registration of early bird local presenters: 2000BDT
Regular registration of local presenters: 2500BDT
Registered participants: 1500BDT
Student presenters: 500BDT
Note: Registration fees cover food, tea, and conference kits.
Further details about registration process will be communicated soon.
Prof Dr Himadri Sekhar Roy
Head, Department of English
Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
Sylhet 3114, Bangladesh
Dr Mohammad Shafiqul Islam
Convener & Associate Professor, Department of English
Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
Sylhet 3114, Bangladesh
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com