Call for Papers
Narratives of Estrangement and Belonging: Indo- Australian Perspectives
Contemporary Australia, a pluralistic society majorly comprises of diverse, Indigenous/Aboriginal people, people from British colonial past and an extensive diaspora from varied countries and cultures. These three give Australia a distinct flavor of being multi- ethnic and multi-cultural nation, a nation which is a home to many- a place to live and belong. However, this ironically has contradictory perceptions as well. The Aboriginal, the Fourth world people, have for long felt estranged/ homeless in their own land. They question the very being of being an Australian; the white/British descendants experience a new outlook amidst new cultural contents and diaspora with their tales of departure and arrival ponder over Who am I? Where am I? To whom and where I belong to? These interrogations reflective of socio-political encounter amongst cross-cultural and inter cultural domains also pose strong existential queries around ethical framework. Australian society today, hence, stands at a threshold negotiating its identity as a nation - nation at present occupied with its own past more than ever before so as to come as its own.
We all know/understand that literature of any nation cannot be studied in isolation. It must be read, studied, examined and evaluated with respect to socio-political and economic environment in which it breeds as well as the historical events which precede it. Australian literature today, too, exemplars this concept. For the Aboriginals it is self-representation that has allowed them to speak with their own voices their connection (belonging) and dis-connection (estrangement) with their land instead of being spoken about. The white settler writers struggle with the issues of conflict and contradiction between Britain and Australia and the extensive diaspora writers have traces of longing and belongings. The contemporary Australian literature, thus, reflects varied shades of living in Australia.
The proposed book shall engage with Indo-Australian perspectives on complex living in multicultural and multi- ethnic Australia and how the notion of estrangement and belonging defines the contemporary Australia and Australian literature. Australia’s Aboriginal people’s urge to define Aboriginality, their assertion for artistic as well as political recognition, through its creative literature with the intention of belonging; the mainstream White writers location and their response to issues of home and kinship, and the diasporic community’s images of travel as presented imaginatively and realistically so as to belong to the place they live in would be the focus of the book. The purpose is to bring forth the narratives as accounts of lived lives as a way to/of structuring the past and belonging to the present as well as to articulate the experience of living in contemporary Australia.
The following are the suggestive areas:
The book will be published under the aegis of ‘Centre for Australian and New Zealand Studies’, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla, India in collaboration with leading publisher in India.
Professor Neelima Kanwar
Centre for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Himachal Pradesh University
Shimla 171005, H.P, India