Call for Book Chapters: “Refrigerated Culture and Pluralism: A Literary Perspective”

"No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.” - Mahatma Gandhi

‘Diversity is strength, not weakness,’ is an idea rapidly fading away. There are several thousand cultures and several hundred belief systems in the world. However, only a few communities with their socio-cultural, geographical, and racial positions dominate; the rest exist in socio-cultural outskirts. The saying, ‘majority Wins’ has dangerously become, ‘minority wears away.’ While this tendency is flourishing at the cost of secularism and pluralism at a collective level, it is causing dehumanization, hate, and violence, at the individual level. Covert racism, socio-cultural hegemony, nationalism, and partisanism are paving the way for totalitarianism.

Nonetheless, there are several minority cultures that survive the cultural hegemonic confrontations and persevere. Such cultures can be termed as ‘refrigerated cultures.’ These refrigerated cultures have preserved and refrigerated their values and ways of living. These cultures are unable to survive the climate of hegemony, and as a result, recourse to constricted space. In the worst scenario, these cultures are either mummified in the memories of a few individuals or archived in the history of human civilizations. Assimilation and acculturation are progressive principles, but the preservation of every culture is also equally indispensable. The cultures like–Rohingya, Khoja, Maori, and other aboriginal groups can be called refrigerated cultures. Pluralism in society is an essential aspect of humanity all over the world. It requires – being different, but living as one. It is an optimistic way forward, and literature has also thematized this.

The proposed anthology seeks to discourse on the challenges of minority cultures in contemporary times and argue how socio-cultural pluralism is the need of the hour. The proposed book will be divided into three parts – where the first part will discuss the refrigerated minority cultures which continue to exist in their original habitat as minorities, whereas, initially, they used to dominate. As a result of either Colonialism or Expansionism, they have been victimized by circumstances. For example, Native Americans in America, aboriginal cultures in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Dalits and Adivasis in India. This part will also focus on minority groups that have become a minority because of political upheaval resulting in exclusion and displacement across borders like Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan and Afghanistan and Arabs in Israel.

The second part will delineate the troubles of the communities, which became a minority due to the geographical dislocation either willingly or inadvertently. For instance, Africans in America and Europe and Russia; Jews in Europe; and South Asians in Europe and America.

The third part will deal with the idea of human beings coexisting despite differences. This part will illustrate pluralism, multiculturalism and harmony between races, cultures and communities.

Topics may include:

  • How minorities are presented in literature with stereotypical definitions.
  • How minorities redefine their identity through literature.
  • How violence is used to suppress and sabotage the minorities, as represented in literature.
  • How minorities are excluded from Politics, Economics, Religion and Narratives, as represented in literature.
  • Idea of Homeland and golden past among minority groups, as represented in literature.
  • Migration and Nation as defining factors for minority groups, as represented in literature.
  • Exile, trauma, and terror as controlling factors for minorities, as represented in Literature.
  • Harmony and coexistence among various cultural groups, as represented in literature.
  • Idea of Love and sacrifice beyond races, cultures and communities, as presented in literature.

Deadline for submissions: October 20, 2020

How to submit your proposal:

Page last updated on October 7th 2020. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.