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Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Journal of Postcolonial Writing

For a Special Issue on
Memory, Materiality, and Forgetting in the Postcolonial South Asian Diaspora

Abstract deadline
15 December 2022

Manuscript deadline
15 December 2023

Cover image - Journal of Postcolonial Writing

Special Issue Editor(s)

Avishek Parui, Indian Institute of Technology Madras
[email protected]

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Memory, Materiality, and Forgetting in the Postcolonial South Asian Diaspora

This issue will examine the entanglement of memory, materiality, and forgetting in the postcolonial South Asian diaspora. The theoretical and philosophical focus of this issue will draw on recent research on memory studies, material engagement theory, and postcolonial studies apropos of identity formations and re-formations. The issue will engage with the interplay of memory and forgetting through affective as well as material markers, with the backdrop of the experiential and unique cultural contexts of the postcolonial South Asian diaspora. The aim and intellectual scope of this issue correspond more to the slow memory model of understanding the emergence and sustenance of postcolonial identities in South Asian diaspora, instead of the big-event framework of memory studies.  Consequently, the issue will focus more on the symbolic material markers of memory which operate at daily, domestic, and quotidian levels, also incorporating forgetting as an experience which is sometimes slow, subversive, and deliberate in quality. Situated in and engaging with the political and existential contexts of the postcolonial South Asian diaspora, this issue will bring together a collection of articles on fictional as well as non-fictional representations that will offer a memory studies perspective into how mutable and interstitial identities may be complexly studied through an interplay of remembering and forgetting across affective, discursive, and material markers. In doing so, this issue aims to offer a unique and complex understanding of the discursive processes that shape and re-shape postcolonial identities through the entanglement of memory, materiality, and forgetting in fiction as well as in non-fiction. 

This issue aims to foreground some of the salient and most immediately experiential qualities in memory, materiality, and forgetting in postcolonial South-Asian diaspora. The topics may include (but will not be limited to):

  • Memory as an entanglement of remembering and forgetting in the production, reproduction, and preservation of postcolonial diasporic identities
  • Memory, forgetting, and agency in experiences of re-location and acculturation
  • Forgetting as a phenomenon that emerges not just as passive erasure but also as a strategic, subversive, and metonymic mode of memory that underlines privileged forms of remembering and representation
  • The materiality of memory that shapes and in turn gets shaped by the affective intersubjective economy characterising postcolonial diasporic experiences
  • Memory studies, affect theory, and material engagement theory as connected philosophical frameworks that examine the complexities of postcolonial diasporic experiences
  • Examinations on how fictional and non-fictional accounts of diasporic experiences compare and contrast in their representations of events, emotions, and identities
  • Diasporic memory as a slow, quotidian, post-event process that operates through material and affective markers
  • Diasporic memory as an emergent experiential as well as collective connective processes
  • Technologies and machines of memory characterising postcolonial South Asian diaspora
  • Postcolonial diasporic identities in a digital age

Submission Instructions

Please submit 200–250-word abstracts to Avishek Parui ([email protected]) no later than 15 December 2022. Enquiries are welcome prior to abstract submission. Full article submission deadline is 15 December 2023. Word count: 7,000 (including abstract, notes, and bibliography).

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

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