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South Asian Review

For a Special Issue on


Manuscript deadline
01 February 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Umme al-Wazedi, Augustana College
[email protected]

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This special issue aims to bring out a diverse collection of criticism on literary pieces and films (single authors/films or comparative) centering Bangladesh. The literary history of Bangladeshi literature notes that there have been English translations of Bengali works (published in undivided British India) from as early as the 1960s with Syed Waliullah’s Lal Shalu (1948), which the author translated in 1967 as Tree Without Roots. Of course, we cannot forget Rokeya Shawat Hossain’s Sultana’s Dream, which she first wrote in English in 1905 and then translated into Bangla. Within this literary landscape, however, the Partition of 1947 is largely missing. Hasan Azizul Hoque has published some stories, and a few of the current writers are also writing about the Partition. The Language Movement of 1952 also lacks representation in literature, particularly in fiction, other than some nataks and films such as Zahir Raihan’s Zibon theke Neya (Taken from Life) and Munir Chaudhury’s Kabar (The Grave). However, there is a plethora of poems about this time. Between 1952 and 1971, authors like Syad Mujtaba Ali, Ahmed Sharif, Bande Ali Mia, and Akhtaruzzaman Elias made rich contributions. The immediate response to the Liberation War of 1971 was several films such as Ora 11 Jon (1972), Abar Tora Manush Ho (1973), and Aurnodoyer Agnishakkhi (1972). The first novel on the Liberation War of 1971 is Rifle, Roti, and Aurat by Anwar Pasha. Nilima Ibrahim’s Ami Birangano Bolsi accounts for the women’s voices about the atrocities of the Pakistani army. Rizia Rahman’s Rokter Okkhor (1978-translated into English in 2016 as Letters of Blood) is another novel that continues the saga of the survivors of the wartime rape. Many young writers, primarily diasporic, have been influenced by the trauma of the war and have taken on the responsibility of writing about the history. These writers include Tahmina Anam, Dilruba Ara, and Nadeem Zaman. Then there is Adib Khan, Monica Ali, Zia Haider Rahman, Abeer Hoque, Arif Anwar. Anwar’s 2018 novel The Storm focuses on the deadliest natural disaster, the Bhola cyclone of 1970. Some recent writers are writing about Dhaka as a dystopic place in graphic narratives. Dr. Zafar Iqbal and his sci-fi fiction are making their marks in postcolonial science fiction. In this literary landscape, stories about the struggles of LGBTQIA+ people are not yet prominently visible but are slowly making debut like the cartoon Dhee (2015) and the collection of queer poetry Roopgonti (2015).


For this special issue, essays can focus on any of the historical moments/years. Topics may include:

  • social milieu, disillusion, political unrest
  • religious fundamentalism
  • women’s issues
  • migration, exile, and life in the diaspora
  • environmental issues
  • LGBTQIA+ issues
  • science fiction

Writers are encouraged to apply such theories as South Asian/Postcolonial/Muslim feminism, trauma theory, postcolonialism, neo-liberalism, neo-colonization, ecofeminism/ecocriticism, Queer Theories, and postcolonial science fiction/dystopia.


Contributors should submit a 500-word abstract and a biographical note of 50 words to Umme Al-Wazedi at [email protected] by September 1st. Invited papers of 5000-7500 words will be due by February 1st, 2024 and will go through double-blind peer review before final acceptance. Inquiries about submission should be sent to [email protected].