Friday, December 24, 2004

South Asian Literary Association Meeting

I'm checking out for a few days along with everyone else, but I just got a last-minute request to post the schedule for the South Asian Literary Association (a noble group with an unfortunate acronym!), which meets parallel to the MLA, generally the day before. They currently don't have a web site that I know of, so consider this the official SALA website!

Those of you who live in the Philadelphia area or are planning to
attend the Modern Language Association Convention from December 27-30,
may be interested in the South Asian Literary Association's activities,
which are being planned in coordination with the MLA: first, our annual
conference and business meeting on December 26-27, and then our two
sessions at the MLA on December 28 and 29th respectively. At the
conference, Rajini Srikanth will be our Plenary Speaker, and Ved Mehta
will be receiving our Lifetime Achievement Award. See details below and
for more information, please contact Lavina Shankar
[] or Josna Rege [].

is being held at the Holiday Inn, Historic District, in Philadelphia
from the 26 th- 27th December 2004.
Address: 400 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 Tel: 215-923-8660

The Conference features a challenging array of presentations that touch
on a wide range of issues: postnational geographies and linguistic and
literary re-inscriptions; negotiating dislocations and translating
cultures; exploring counterhistories and carving new radical spaces; as
well as queering the subaltern and recontextualizing Dalits. The
presentations explore the issue of revisioning gender, caste, and class
politics, in the context of Hindutva, hybrid identities, and
mushrooming call centers. The papers touch on the most recent literary
productions to emerge from South Asia, both regionally and
transnationally, including the exponential success of Bollywood in

The Conference offers an opportunity to explore the many different
ways in which literary, non-literary and cinematographic texts, both
reflect and wrestle with the hegemonic and resistant narratives of
transnationalism. We hope that this Conference will shed some light on
the social, political, cultural, and economic disjunctures and
dislocations that are elided by the utopian promise of

Rajini Srikanth, author of The World Next Door: South Asian American
Literature and the Idea of America, and coeditor (with Lavina Shankar)
of A Part Yet Apart; South Asians in Asian America, and Contours of the
Heart (with Sunaina Maira), is the featured speaker at the Plenary
session on 27th December from 5:15 -6:30 and will be reading a paper:
“Grandiose Ambitions and the Literature of South Asian America.”

This year's SALA Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to well
known writer Ved Mehta, author of 24 books, including Face to
Face(1957), Portrait of India(1970), Daddyji, (1972), Mamaji(1979),
Continents of Exile: The Ledge Between the Streams (1977), Sound
Shadows of the New World(1986), Dark Harbor (2003), and The Red Letters

Rajender Kaur (Rhode Island College) and Pennie Ticen (Virginia
Military Institute) Conference Co-Chairs

Sunday, December 26th
4:00-5:00pm Registration
5:00-6:15 Session 1 (1APostnational/Transnational: The Blurring of
National Boundaries; 1B-Reinventing Genres, Recontext-ualizing
Historical Moments)
6:15-7:45 Dinner on your own
8:00-10:00 Hamara Mushaira

Monday, December 27th
7:30-8:00 Registration
8:00-9:15 Session 2 (2A-Poetry Across Shifting Regional and Linguistic
2B-Redefining Home and the World)
9:30-10:45 Session 3 (3A-Gender and Transnationalism;
3B-Exploring Counter Histories, Inscribing New Transnationalisms)
11:00-12:15 Session 4
(4A-Translating Cultures, Negotiating Dislocations; 4B-Carving New
Radical Spaces)
12:15-1:15 Lunch on Your Own
1:15-2:30 Session 5 (5A-Exploring the Limits of Translation and
Interpretation; 5B-Contemporary Refigurings: Debating Religion,
Sexuality and Gender)
2:45-4:00 Session 6 (6A-Language in a Transnational World;
6B-Recontextualizing Dalits)
4:15-5:15 Session 7: Plenary Session
5:15-6:30 SALA Business Meeting/ Lifetime Achievement Award presented
to Ved Mehta
6:30-7:30 Social Hour/ Cash Bar at the Holiday Inn Historic District
8:00-10:00 Conference Dinner (seating is limited)

Wednesday, 29 December
436. Varieties of South Asian Feminism
12:00 noon-1:15 p.m., Tubman, Loews
Program arranged by the South Asian Literary Association Presiding:
Hena Ahmad, Truman State Univ.
1. “The Hindu Right and the Rhetoric of Feminism: The Fate of
Secularism in The Moor's Last Sigh,”
Lopamudra B. Basu, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York
2. “Toward a New Theory of Gender? Indian Feminist Fiction, 1993-2003,”
Josna E. Rege, Five College Women's Studies Research Center, Mount
Holyoke College.
3. “South Asian Feminism and Film,” Jaspal Kaur Singh, Northern
Michigan Univ.
4. “South Asian *American* Women's Lit,” Lavina Dhingra Shankar, Bates

Thursday, 30 December
762. Race, Caste, and Class in South Asian Literatures
1:45-3.00PM., Washington B, Loews
Presiding: Anushiya Sivanarayanan, Southern Illinois University
1. “Race and Class: Reflections on Chitra Divakaruni's Short Fiction
and Poetry,” Bruce G. Johnson, Univ. of Rhode Island
2. “Gopinath Mohanty's Paraja: An Intertext on 'Tribal Problem,'” Amiya
Bhushan Sharma, Indira Gandhi Natl. Open Univ.
3. “The Unspeakable Limits of Caste: A Reading of Bhabani
Bhattacharya's So Many Hungers and He Who Rides a Tiger,” Rajender
Kaur, Ridgefield, CT
4. “The Bhil Woman's Plums: Dalit Counter-Offerings in 'Times of
Siege,'” Cynthia Ann Leenerts, George Washington Univ.

Ok, got to go!