RESHAPING THE MOULD: An International Conference on Literature and Language Studies (CONFELLGCU09)

Venue: Bukhari Auditorium

Location: Lahore, Pakistan

Event Date/Time: Jan 19, 2009 End Date/Time: Jan 21, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Sep 30, 2008
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This is a call for abstracts for an international conference on literature and language studies that the GC University, Lahore, Pakistan (, is planning to organize (pending approval of funding) in January 2009 in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. The conference proceedings will span three days, namely, 19-21 January.

The overarching theme of the conference is the triple nexus between the study of English literature, of the English language, and the scientific study of language known as linguistics, a nexus that exists as it does today in many parts of the world in large measure due to historical convenience. The situation in general seems to be riddled with a number of paradoxes: for instance, often the distinctions between (i) English literature and the literature of non-English origins, i.e., literature in English and literature accessed through translation into English, (ii) the study of English for the purposes of attaining functional proficiency in the language, and (iii) the scientific investigation of language as a universal human cognitive system, get blurred in pursuit of what has been administratively the parent discipline in a large number of postcolonial contexts, i.e., English literature or, more generally speaking, English studies. Not infrequently the ambiguity of this situation makes people consider these other more or less related disciplines as mere extensions of the study of English language and literature within which the disciplines in question are perceived to coexist as a result of an unwritten uneasy truce between them.

This conference aims to bring together researchers and writers who are keen to discuss this state of affairs, not necessarily in a confrontational manner. In addition, those who do not intend to directly challenge the status quo, or present alternatives to it, will also have an opportunity to present their research on a substantial aspect of any of these three areas of investigation, as one of the major aims of the conference is to enhance an understanding of some significant academic issues regardless of the boundary disputes implied earlier, thus accepting their overlapping coexistence as an unavoidable practical reality which should not prevent people from moving on within the peculiar situation they find themselves in respectively, a strategy which might result in some of the demarcational faculty disputes simply being left behind, or in their disappearance from the academic scene altogether without any definitive resolution. Thus, the conference is likely to envisage, indeed encourage, a revisionist agenda, but not at the expense of the inherent value of the research accomplished within the prevalent framework (such as it is!).

We invite abstracts (from literary scholars, linguists, language teachers, area study specialists, etc., including graduate students) on the specific theme(s) described above, but also on many other relevant themes, some of which are listed below. It goes without saying that the abstracts submitted need not to be confined to the following list, which is not intended to be exhaustive. The conference presentations are likely to consist of sessions organized around specific themes, and will in addition be interspersed with discussion sessions. Each individual presentation will be expected to last 20 minutes (leaving aside the keynote speakers), to be followed by a question-answer session of 10-minutes’ duration.

1. Fundamental research and criticism; literary theory in general.
2. The humanizing role of literature in education.
3. The English language and its postcolonial discontents.
4. Literature and linguistics.
5. The significance of linguistics as a discipline.
6. The English language in South Asia.
7. The South Asian literature in English.
8. Educational implications of literature and linguistics.
9. Linguistics and language teaching.
10. Literature and language teaching.


GC University

Additional Information

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: The following have accepted the invitation to be the keynote speakers: Graeme Cane, Aga Khan University Vivian Cook, University of Newcastle Muhammed Hanif (author of A Case of Exploding Mangoes) Jason Harding, University of Durham Alamgir Hashmi, PIDE Tariq Rahman, Quaid-e-Azam University Rajendra Singh, University of Montreal Shaista Sonnu Sirajuddin, Punjab University ABSTRACT SUBMISSION: Two copies of each abstract should be sent: one anonymous, and the other with the name and the affiliation of the author(s). These should preferably be submitted through e-mail to the address specified below. Not exceeding 500 words (excluding any references, data, tables, etc.), the abstracts must be in the Word/A4 format, single-spaced, justified on both sides with a 1½ inch margin on and the left and the right of the text and also at the top and the bottom of a page. They should be typed in 12-point Times New Roman, with the title in bold 14-point of the same type of font. Authors may submit at most two abstracts, individually or as a joint author. Likewise, no more than two abstracts may be submitted by the same set of joint authors. Further, there is a possibility that a selection of the papers presented will be submitted to a reputable publisher as a volume to be published. GENERAL INFORMATION: The delegates (with the exception of the keynote speakers) will be expected to pay and arrange for their accommodation themselves. However, the organizers will do their best to help them locate appropriate places. Further detailed information regarding travel, accommodation and other hospitality arrangements will be posted on the conference website in due course. It might as well be mentioned that the neo-Gothic GCU campus, the venue of the conference, was built around 150 years ago, and is located near the heart of the historic city of Lahore (that is, just outside the walled inner city). REGISTRATION: The participants whose abstracts have been accepted must pre-register for the conference at least four weeks in advance. Other delegates may register on-site. The registration fee is US$ 20.00 for international participants, and PakRs 300.00 for Pakistani participants. This may be transmitted to conference account by means of mode(s) of transfer that will soon be specified on the conference website.