Speaking the Unspeakable

Speaking the Unspeakable

19 December 2011

The ‘act’ of speaking calls the world into being; what is not said does not exist. Meanings are moulded, refashioned and regurgitated to suit the established order of things. In the process of resistance and negotiation of power, they set the limits of our thought and imagination. The ‘unspeakable’ refers to non-articulation, an exclusion from the peculiar process of the creation of meanings. It is not just that which is not spoken, but that which ‘ought’ not to be spoken, an exclusion even from resistance.

In art, literature, media, culture and politics, the ‘unspeakable’ is compelled to assume the form of the ‘incognito’. It surfaces at moments of rupture, through modes that speak to the realm of affect, emerging within the spaces of the non-rational and the deviant. It follows that much is at stake in maintaining a distance from the nebulous regions of what is neither seen nor heard. What governs the unspeakable? What grids of exclusion are used to define the unspeakable? What disciplinary mechanisms work to reproduce the site of the unspeakable? Whose politics makes it unspeakable? Is the distinction between the speakable and unspeakable more amorphous than we imagine? How does the unspeakable manifest itself in the everyday and in the realm of art and culture? How are certain arenas and speech deemed to be unspeakable as in the case of sexuality for instance? How does the law engage with the unspeakable in relation to hate speech or accusations of obscenity for example?

This seminar calls for papers that will interrogate that which is unspeakable in the various worlds around us and seek to understand the production and reproduction of the unspeakable. The seminar will also look at voices that are not heard because they transgress the codes that govern the articulation of the speakable.

Papers can be submitted addressing the themes below but need not be restricted to them:

The city and its unspeakable(s)

Imagining India: speaking the unspeakable

‘Modern, secular, democratic’: unspeakable(s) of a neo-world

The unspoken and the unspeakable in Indian media

Artistic expression and the unspeakable

Literary/poetic voice and the unspeakable

Censorship and the disciplining of the unspeakable

The unspeakable in cinema

Speaking the intangible: affect and faith

Sexuality, obscenity and the regulation of speech

Gender, violence and subterfuge of silence

“New” media/ Digital technologies: contouring spaces of silence and speech

Abstracts invited from current post-graduate (M.A., M.Phil, Ph.D) students only.

Last date for sending abstracts – October 28, 2011

Please send your abstracts by email along with your contact details (email, phone no, postal address) and current institutional affiliation to the following email ID: for.cmcs@gmail.com

Selection of abstracts and intimation via email –1st week of November, 2011

Last date for sending papers -November 28, 2011

The seminar updates will be posted on our blog http://forcmcs.wordpress.com/.

For any queries, Please Contact : 9022952539 (Ufaque), 9820387103 (Anurag)

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