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Home"Imaginary homelands": South Asian Literatures in diaspora

"Imaginary homelands": South Asian Literatures in diaspora

« Imaginary Homelands » : Littératures d’Asie du Sud en diaspora

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Published on Tuesday, September 26, 2017


Le projet DELI (« Dictionnaire encyclopédique des littératures de l’Inde ») organise le 7 décembre 2017 à la Maison des sciences de l’Homme sa cinquième journée d'étude. Intitulée « Littératures d'Asie du Sud en diaspora », cette journée d'étude vise à interroger la nature des phénomènes littéraires découlant des diasporas sud-asiatiques, récentes ou plus anciennes. Cette journée d'étude est organisée avec le soutien du Centre d’études de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud.



The DELI Project ("Encyclopedic Dictionary of Indian Literatures") organizes its fifth workshop on 7th December 2017 at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme. Entitled "Imaginary Homelands": South Asian Literatures in diaspora", this one-day workshop aims at interrogating the nature of literary phenomena resulting from South Asian diasporas, both ancient and modern.

This workshop is organized with the support of the Centre d'Etudes de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud (CEIAS).

Workshop organised by the DELI Project

7 december 2017

Maison des Sciences de l'Homme - Room 737
54 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris



The South Asian diaspora is one of the most important Diasporas of the world today, counting more than 20 million people. From commercial and religious movements to South-East Asia at the beginning of our era to the migration of "engaged" labourers (girmityas) to colonial plantations, to the movement of people in the aftermath of partitions of the Indian subcontinent or to the most recent diasporas of urban elites, Indian presence in the world is multiple and varied, stretching from Canada to New Zealand, and from Malaysia to Sweden.

If the term of diaspora in the South Asian context is subject to debate, the designation of "diaspora literature" is controversial too. It is that theme that the next workshop of the DELI project proposes to explore by interrogating the nature of this literature as well as the literary and linguistic phenomena of hybridization, intermixture or creolization that stem from it. While questioning what one means by the terms diasporic literature — is it a literature produced by authors born out of India and living abroad, or is it a literature of exile and displacement? Are the particular contexts of Mauritius and United Kingdom analogous? —, this one-day workshop also aims to investigate the relationships between this type of literature and the literature produced in South Asia. How do writers, nourished by memories or fantasies of "India", conceive their work? What is the place of India in their writing? If diaspora literature in English is renowned since the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature to V.S. Naipaul in 2001 at least, in what South Asian or host countries languages do writers choose to express themselves? How do they perpetuate, reinvent, or interrogate Indian literary forms and motifs? And, finally, how does diaspora literature contribute to the renewal of South Asian literary and aesthetic models?


For this workshop, we invite scholars working on South Asia and its diaspora to propose papers of 20-25 minutes which illustrate and problematize the nature of South Asian diaspora literatures and their relationships with literature from South Asia. We particularly call for proposals related, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • definition and meaning of the term "diaspora literature"; issues of diaporic identities (consent or reluctance of authors of South Asian origin to define themselves as writers of the diaspora, phenomena of assimilation of the literary models of the host country);
  • phenomena of hybridization, intermixture and creolization of diasporic literary productions;
  • relationships between "diaspora literature" and "South Asian literature": place, status and contribution of diasporic writers to the literatures (and languages) of South Asia; relationships between "diaspora literatures" and "national" literatures; diaspora literature in world literature;
  • experiences and representations of India in diasporic literature (nostalgia, integration, exile, utopias, etc.)

Submission guidelines

Abstracts of no more than 250 words, in French or English, along with a brief biography, must be submitted

by 25 October 2017

to the DELI project at the following address: projetdeli2015@gmail.com.

Scientific committee

  • Anne Castaing (CNRS/CEIAS)
  • Nicolas Dejenne (U. Sorbonne Nouvelle/ Institut français de Pondichéry / MII)
  • Claudine Le Blanc (U. Sorbonne Nouvelle/CERC)

For more information, please contact the organizers at the following address:



  • Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, salle 737 - 54 boulevard Raspail
    Paris 06 Luxembourg, France (75)


  • Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Attached files


  • diaspora, Asie du Sud, littérature, langue


  • Projet DELI
    courriel : projetdeli2015 [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Ève Tignol
    courriel : projetdeli2015 [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« "Imaginary homelands": South Asian Literatures in diaspora », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, https://calenda.org/416409

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