CFP - 2013 AAS: Narrative Lit & Historiography

A.M.Cerulli acerulli at UCHICAGO.EDU
Sun Jun 24 11:57:53 UTC 2012

Dear Indologists,

Below please find a CFP for the 2013 AAS conference in San Diego (21-24
March).  We welcome abstracts of *250 words* from anyone interested in
presenting a paper.  We envision having 4-5 papers on the panel, among
which one will be from the panel conveners.  If interested, please submit
an abstract to both *Laura Desmond (**ldesmond at and Anthony
Cerulli (cerulli at by 6:00pm, Monday, 16 July.

Thank you,

Laura Desmond, St. Lawrence University

Anthony Cerulli, Hobart & William Smith Colleges


The proposed panel follows two lines of inquiry into the relationship
between South Asian narrative literature and historiography.

The first line examines emic models of history that are expressed and
constituted by South Asian narrative texts.  Here papers might consider
questions such as: To the extent that narrative literary works are
historical acts, i.e. acts of saying something in a particular time and
place, how do they represent themselves in relation to other forms of
historical action?  To this end, panelists might probe the ways in which
texts present their own historicality, as well as that of their subjects.  Are
there markers or triggers in these works that allude to paratextual reality?
Are there markers to encourage certain kinds of historical interpretation
or ways of hearing a story, while discouraging others?  In asking these and
other related questions, this panel explores relationships set up by a text
between its own narrative and paratextual reality, and the ways in which a
particular text (or collection of texts) facilitates the ability of an
audience to reproduce those relationships.  This line of inquiry enquires
if some South Asian literary genres, periods, or bodies of literature link
themselves more explicitly to paratextual reality than do others, and
whether or not some genres lend themselves more readily to historical
interpretation.  A paper might therefore look at the different ways that
texts evince different degrees of interest in facticity.  How do these
texts create “reality effects,” for example, to relate their own envisioned
historicity or the historicity of the events they narrate?

If the first line of inquiry asks what questions of history are raised by
South Asian narrative texts themselves, the second line seeks to explore
how these texts might answer the questions that we today bring with us when
we read them: How can South Asian literary/narrative genres best be engaged
as useful sources for historians?  Does a wholly imaginative work of
literature, if there can be such a thing, nevertheless contain data useful
for the construction of something like a “historical record”?  We
anticipate that this line of analysis would include reflection upon the
assumptions, methods, and limits of modern historiography and how these
might be not only challenged by the South Asian literary corpus, but also
supplemented or otherwise reenvisioned.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list