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Call for Papers

5th Annual Debrupa Bal Memorial Students’ Seminar

Organized By: Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur
Date: 24th and 25th January, 2012

Text, Stage and History

`Text’ in itself is a problematic term especially when placed alongside `Stage’,

another (if not more) multi-stranded conceptual unit. The intricacies of the
problematic get heightened when an attempt at conceptually threading these two
ends of the spectrum is made given that even if it is possible to think of the
former in abstraction the later denies any such possibilities. The initial question
that has baffled theorists and practitioners of the stage time and again and which
this seminar aims at asking anew is whether the term `text’ and the concept of
the `stage’ inhabit a continuous space at all. Whatever the answer might be (if
there be any), it cannot be absolute and one-dimensional. Not only across space
and time but within a specific spatial and temporal zone also several contending
conceptualizations of both these categories exist. In India, the interventional
experiments of Badal Sircar, responsible for revolutionizing Indian theatre in
general and Bangla theatre in particular, bear testimony to the continuation of
the old debate. The sad demise of Sircar earlier this year, implying the end of an
epoch in Indian theatre, prompts us to rethink the relation between the `stage’
and `text’, especially in an Indian situation where parallel and sometimes
mutually-interactive theatrical traditions have existed in both the `classical’ and
the bhasha languages. This seminar aims at looking at the complex patterns
informing the construction of the `text’ and how those patterns take on newer
forms when an effort to connect the `text’ with the `stage’ is made. These issues
have been dealt with extensively in the past, albeit in different ways at different
historical conjunctures. Diachronic studies of how people in different times and
places have reflected over the problematic linkage between the `text’ and the
`stage’ are equally encouraged.

Contributions are invited but not limited to the following topics:

■ Text, Stage and their connections
■ Different dimensions of the concept of `stage’ across various
literary-performative cultures around the world
■ The Indian situation, before and after print
■ Comparative Literary methodology, Intermediality and the concept of `text’
■ Historical analysis of the problematic in general
Abstracts clearly mentioning the title of the paper, name and designation of the
author(s) and not exceeding 300 words are to be submitted by 10th January,
2012 to debashreedattaray@gmail.com. Acceptance of the abstract would be
notified by 15th January, 2012.
Contact Person:
Dr. Debashree Dattaray
Assistant Professor
Department of Comparative Literature
Jadavpur University
Kolkata – 700 032