CES, SLL&CS organises a conference on 'Unwritten Languages, Oral Literatures, Tribal Cultures'

Event From Date: 
Thursday, 15 March 2018
Event End Date: 
Friday, 16 March 2018
Event Title: 
CES, SLL&CS organises a conference on 'Unwritten Languages, Oral Literatures, Tribal Cultures'
Event Details: 

International Symposium on

“Unwritten Languages, Oral Literatures, Tribal Cultures”

Organized by UGC-SAP-DSA-I, Centre for English Studies

Jawaharlal Nehru University

15-16 March, 2018

Room 131, SLL&CS-II, JNU, New Delhi



Day 1: 15 March, 2018

10.00-11.30 – Inaugural Session

  • Welcoming the delegates: Udaya Kumar
  • Opening Remarks: Saugata Bhaduri
  • Inaugural Address: Ganesh Devy – Being Tribal: The Culture and the Future of Bhashas

11.30-11.45 – Tea

11.45-13.15 – Session 1: Expressions in Unwritten and Endangered Languages

Chair: Rita Banerjee

  • Anvita Abbi – Loss of Literary Form in Unwritten Languages: The End of the Beginnings
  • Indranil Acharya – Question of Identity and the Endangered Tribal Languages of Bengal: An Inquest

13.15-14.15 – Lunch

14.15-16.15– Session 3: Orality and the Epic Tradition

Chair: Dhananjay Singh

  • Roma Chatterji – Myths, Similes and Memory Traces: Images of Abduction in the Ramayana Universe
  • Molly Kaushal – The Bharata Story in Text and Performance
  • Purushothama Bilimale – An Epic and its Hero: A Study of Bobbarya Epic from Tulunadu

16.15-16.30 – Tea

16.30-18.00 – Session 2: Orality in Time and Space

Chair: Makarand Paranjape

  • Papia Sengupta – Ignoring Oral Narratives as History
  • Simi Malhotra – Studying the North-East: Issues and Concerns

19.30-22.00 – Conference Dinner at the Faculty Lounge, JNU

Day 2: 16 March, 2018

10.00-11.30 – Session 4: Subalternity and Orality in Literature

Chair: GJV Prasad

  • Anna M. Horatschek – “Living has happened for too many days”: Subaltern time and Western historiography in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide and Mahasveta Devi’s “Statue”
  • Justus C. Gronau – “I would like to disappear into those vowels”: The Phenomenology of Auditory Knowledge Production in Selected Poems by Sujata Bhatt

11.30-11.45 – Tea

11.45-13.15 – Session 5: Transmedial Metamorphoses of Oral and Folk Traditions

Chair: Saitya Brata Das

  • Surajit Sarkar – Metamorphosis of an Oral Tradition: Visual, performative and spoken word among Gond and Korku communities in Central India
  • TS Satyanath – Folk and Popular Performing Traditions and Transmedial Translations

13.15-14.15 – Lunch

14.15-15.45 – Session 6: Nature and Orature

Chair: Milind Awad

  • Nirmal Selvamony – The Nature of Tamil tiNai Orature
  • Nina Sabnani – Voices from the Margins: Working with Bhil Artists

15.45-16.00 – Tea

16.00-18.00 – Concluding Session: Students’ Panel on Their Ongoing Research on Folk Culture

Chair: Navneet Sethi

  • Sangeeta Kumari – Women and Agency in Folk Songs from South Haryana
  • Banani Barman – Toto Folktales: A Sociocultural Analysis
  • Titas Bose – Aesthetics and Politics in Select 20th-Century Bengali Folktale Anthologies for Children
  • Shikha Singh – Why look at pictures in a book? Encountering Tribal and Folk Art as Book Narratives



  • Prof. Ganesh N. Devy, formerly Professor of English at MSU Baroda, founder director of the Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, Vadodara, Head of the People’s Linguistic Survey of India, and leading tribal languages and cultures scholar and rights activist
  • Prof. Anvita Abbi, formerly Professor of Linguistics at JNU, formerly Director of the Centre for Oral and Tribal Literature, Sahitya Akademi, currently Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, and leading scholar of endangered languages
  • Dr. Indranil Acharya, Associate Professor of English at Vidyasagar University, West Bengal, and scholar of folk and tribal cultures and endangered languages
  • Prof. Roma Chatterji, Professor of Sociology at the University of Delhi, and noted folklore and tribal cultures scholar
  • Prof. Molly Kaushal, Professor and Head, Janapada Sampada, IGNCA, and noted folklorist
  • Prof. Purushothama Bilimale, Professor of Kannada at JNU, and noted folklorist and scholar of Tulu literature
  • Dr. Papia Sengupta, Assistant Professor of Political Science at JNU, and scholar of linguistic and cultural diversity, minority rights, and heritage studies
  • Prof. Simi Malhotra, Professor of English, & Director, Centre for North-East Studies and Policy Research, at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and scholar of folk and popular culture
  • Prof. Anna M. Horatschek, Professor and Head, Department of English, Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany, and scholar of identity and alterity with relation to gender, ethnicity and religion
  • Dr. Justus C. Gronau, Assistant Professor of English Literature, Christian Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany, and scholar of hermeneutic and post-hermeneutic aesthetics and poetics
  • Dr. Surajit Sarkar, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Centre for Community Knowledge, Ambedkar University Delhi, and scholar of urban oral histories and narratives
  • Prof. T.S. Satyanath, formerly Professor of Kannada at the University of Delhi, and noted scholar of folklore and comparative literature and culture studies
  • Prof. Nirmal Selvamony, Professor and Head of English at the Central University of Tamil Nadu, leading ecocritic, and President, OSLE (Organization for Studies in Literature and Environment) - India
  • Prof. Nina Sabnani, Professor of Design, IIT Bombay, and noted filmmaker, animation artist, illustrator, and scholar of folk and tribal art
  • Sangeeta Kumari, Assistant Professor of English at Govt. College for Girls, Gurugram, is in the final stages of her doctoral research on women’s agency in folk songs of southern Haryana
  • Banani Barman has submitted her MPhil dissertation on folktales of the Toto people, an endangered community of northern Bengal
  • Titas Bose is in the final stages of her MPhil research on select twentieth-century Bengali folktale anthologies primarily aimed at children
  • Shikha Singh has completed her MPhil on, and is now at the initial stages of her doctoral research on, the use of folk and tribal art and artists in illustrating urban children’s books Chairs, etc.: