22 May 2007

CFP - Edited Collection on Australian Perceptions and Representations of India, from the Colonial to Post-colonial Times (Deadline: 25th Nov 2007)

Wanderings in India: Australian Perceptions Celebrating Literary Links between Australia and India

Edited by: Rick Hosking and Amit Sarwal

Dedicated to the memory and works of the first Australian-born author
John George Lang (b. 1816 – d. 1864)

“The bread we eat comes from India.” – Governor Lachlan Macquarie

India has a long standing historical connection with Australia. It is said that Indians were present on Captain Cook’s ship as sailors and the first shipment of food supplies—“the bread” that Governor Macquarie talks about—to Australia arrived, in 1791, from India in the vessel called Sydney Cove that had sailed from the port of Kolkata. Besides, many Australians had spent time in India as servicemen, advisers, diplomats, lawyers, journalists, technicians, missionaries, teachers, and travelers, working for the Empire, living in the “contact zone,” engaging with and spreading their perceptions and knowledge about India through travel, study, art and literature. The extent of interest and familiarity that Australian writers/artists have shown for India can be gauged through their writings – novels, short stories, poetry, travel narratives, biographies, sports writing and films. To celebrate our literary links, we invite articles (4000–5500 words) on Australian perceptions and representations of India, from the colonial to post-colonial times.

Over the last few decades while more and more scholars have focused on “Asia,” India has not been so much of a focus in the Australian imagination as has Japan, China, Vietnam or Indonesia. While the images of China and Japan have been largely negative, seen in the notion of the “yellow peril,” India was familiar in a more positive way in Australia, not in terms of culture or literature, but as a lifeline. Australia and India share some undeniable connections, from the pre-colonial negotiations between the Aborigines and traders from the coastal regions of India to the colonial interaction through the bonds of Empire, sharing one Raj. There are traces of India everywhere in Australia: family names in the telephone directories, descendants of cameleers, hawkers and farm workers; household retinues and names of towns and streets—like Coromandel, Lucknow, Seringapatnam, Lal Lal, Howrah, Barrackpore and so on. Then there’s the post- and neo-colonial religio-cultural tourist trail of pilgrimages to India seeking spiritual enlightenment or adventure, relations forged by trade, Multi-national Corporation’s, and now the “academic traffic” between the two countries through ever increasing numbers of international students, Memorandum of Understanding’s, University exchange, writers’ programmes and so on.

Questions that can be reflected upon in the articles can range from orientalist, historical, political, social or cultural consciousness, experiences, (mis)representations, and perceptions of India as reflected through the consistently evolving corpus of literary works produced by Australian writers such as John Lang, Henry Lawson, Victor J. Daley, Ethel Anderson, Molly Skinner, Eve Langley, David Martin, Geraldine Halls, Vicki Viidikas, Christopher Koch, Colin Johnson, Syd Harrex, Barry Hill, John Kinsella, Jeri Kroll, Kenneth Slessor, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Fay Zwicky, Les Murray, Janette Turner Hospital, Inez Baranay, Jane Watson, Gregory Davies Roberts and many others (who can be located for analysis in A Bibliography of Australian Literary Response to “Asia” compiled by Lyn Jacobs and Rick Hosking (1995)—http://www.lib.flinders.edu.au/pub/series/2/).

Essays examining other thematic issues related to the colonial spirit, cultural shocks, appreciation, Australian familiarity with Indian sensibility, spirituality, sports writing, place names, domestic architecture and so on are also welcome. It may be useful here to compare the works from colonial and post-colonial perspectives. Articles that are interdisciplinary in nature and articles published recently in refereed journals or critical books are also welcome.

Please attach a 100-words biographical note mentioning your designation, university/institute, area of study, and relevant publications. Include contact information (your postal and preferred email address, phone and fax numbers).

Important Points:

Deadline: 25th November 2007.

Word Limit: 3500 to 5000 words.

Style: MLA (using Endnotes and Works Cited).

Please feel free to send your queries and articles (MS Word File) through email to:

Rick Hosking – Richard.Hosking@flinders.edu.au

Amit Sarwal – sarwal.amit@gmail.com

About the Editors:

Rick Hosking is an Associate Professor in English and Australian Studies at the Department of English, School of Humanities, Flinders University. His areas of expertise include Australian literature; creative writing; contact history; (South) Australian Studies. He is the co-editor of Fatal Collisions: The South Australian Frontier and the Violence of Memory (2000), which won the Historical Society of South Australia John Tregenza Award for National Community History.

Amit Sarwal is currently an Honorary Visiting Academic at the School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University, Australia as the recipient of the Endeavour Asia Award (2006). He has co-edited English Studies, Indian Perspectives (2006) and Australian Studies Now (2007).