CFP: MIDDLE FLIGHT (2319-7684) (Print)


   A  Peer Reviewed UGC Approved Journal of English Literature and Culture

Vol. 6        2017       Issue 1

Peripheral Identities in Performance, Film and Literature

To understand  literature, for that matter other  art  forms,  in terms of binaries – centre-periphery, colonizer-colonized, metropoles-colonies, corroborating-resistant, epistemological-representational, unisonic-polyphonic, orthoglossic-heteroglossic – is to belie the  ground realities which contain complex cultural eddies and interactions.  Rather the awareness of multiple centres and peripheries may help one understand the real nature of cultural flows. Still we have been thinking in terms of these relations of inequality since long back. There was, has been and will be the centre, and margin is, very often, a relative one and depends on power dynamics and hegemony. (Joseph Mcwan) The concept of peripheral identity is not new to us; since Ruth in the Old Testament found herself amidst “alien corns” as a perpetual outsider, or the non-Aryans in the Vedic literature got branded as ‘Asuras’ or ‘Raksasas’. In literature, we have such figures as  Grendel, Caliban, the ‘monster’ created by Frankenstein, the ‘invisible man’ whose identity is always at stake under the lenses of White America, the madwoman in the attic, ‘the Coolie’ or the ‘Untouchable’, the Parsee or the Jewish poet roaming across the roads of cosmopolitan Bombay, and many ‘others’ – whose peripheral identities often pose a threat to, and sometimes put questions to the ‘power’ of the ‘self’, the ‘centre’. We tend to think , to come back to point we were discussing, in terms of these relations of inequality because they suggest crucial areas of difference which are often useful and offer heuristic benefit (Makarand Paranjape). These writings offer to the writers a sense of belonging to one’s cosy culture.  One writes from the periphery because one’s concerns are different, one’s themes are diverse and one does not often conform to the mainstream canon.  Awareness of differences is a potent means to counter subjugation in terms of history, location, caste, gender, race, ethnicity, politics, opportunity, society, civilization etc.   effected by  interlocking system of power, and awareness of differences often leads to the emergence of the new as well as   rejuvenation of  the moribund cultural systems. It helps in the shift of literature and culture from ‘mono-systems’ to ‘poly systems’. (Makarand Paranjape) Literature and culture needs to resist both domination and sub-ordination by mapping out areas of hope and constructing alternatives. Resistance in literature and culture need not necessarily be ‘reactive’, locked in a ‘prison of protest’ (Ashcroft) , but can be ‘pro-active’ (Paranjape). It is not without reason that Althusser, Gramsci, Fanon, Foucault, Edward Said, nagugu and other personalities brought the question of marginality into prominence.   Moreover, there are discourses which neither ‘write back’ nor react to the dominant culture – after all, writing back is also a way of acknowledging the centre. There are societies that simply ‘do their own thing’ although in the process they implicate themselves in a larger world. This is what Bill Ashcroft has  termed as  engagement of local community with global culture. 

The emergence and consolidation of Dalit and tribal literature in India is not an isolated phenomenon; it is an off shoot  of the reversal of the centre-periphery relationship triggered by post-modernism, post-colonialism and identity-war. (Joseph Mcwan)  With modern and postmodern developments in performative and cinematic semiotics, the conflict between the centre and periphery has now been a pregnant area of critical discourse which engages with issues such as postcolonialism, psychoanalysis, partition and Diaspora studies, gender and queer studies, Dalit and tribal studies, engagement with cultural outputs of the slaves, indigenous people, Chicanos and Chicanas, criminals, eunuchs, transvestites  and other kinds of interdisciplinary ideas. The recent years have seen a rising interest in transnational cinemas, with a plethora of exciting and invigorating academic texts challenging the previously-held perceptions of monolithic national cultures. Subaltern performance traditions display a brilliant rhetoric of protest and assertion. Even in the late 20th and early 21st century a new wave of films on subaltern worldview unfolds a new aesthetic on the celluloid- redefining peripheral identity in the age of digital revolution. We are seeing the emergence of numerous films that focus on liminal identities and cultural groups that live in the interstices of conventional society, and who constantly transgress established boundaries. In such cultural production, the hierarchical relationship between the centre and the peripheries becomes replaced by instability, liminality, border-crossing and migratory movements. Peripheral literatures in India have been mirroring social changes, conflicts and cultural shifts of society.  They are connecting the dots to present a big picture and are also attempting to rid literature and culture of stereotypical images.  (Kishalay Bhattacherjee) The focus is shifting from the centre to the periphery and readers want to know of things that seem to be increasingly falling off the radar (Pranav Kumar Singh). Peripheral literature and culture is engaging readers in many different and new ways. According Aruni Kashyap the concept of pan-Indian literature is diluting and the shift is now towards the regional.

The focus of the present volume of Middle Flight is on cultural production of the peripheral identities in art, culture and literature, especially in cinematic, performative and literary media. The sub-themes may address, but are not limited to :

Peripheral identity and gender

Literature of the Dalits and Tribals

Race, ethnicity and performativity related to peripheral identities

On being peripheral: representation in film, literature and performance

Rumour, gossip and scandals in

shaping peripheral identities

Anthropology and the peripheral culture

‘Peripheral’ literary and performative genres

Dalit Diasporic writings


Editing Requirements:

    Send your paper in two word-documents (MS 2007) –

·        Word-doc. No.01:  Abstract, Keywords and the paper written in English language only

·        Word-docs. No.02 : Brief bio-note containing your name and designation (verifiable from your institutional website), complete mailing address, institutional address (with website details), Research area/Specialization (if any), mail-id, contact details and a duly signed declaration that yours is an original work and has not been sent anywhere else  in part or full for publication.

    Paper size: A4; Font type & font size: Times New Roman, 12; Spacing: 1.5; Margin:  1 inch on all four sides.

    Documentation: Authors are to follow the Seventh Edition of MLA handbook. This is important in view of the fact that many of the papers are rejected on grounds of poor documentation. A paper without a duly prepared works-cited list will not be accepted.  Don’t use Footnotes. Use Endnotes, if required.

    Word – range: 3000- 5000 words (including Works Cited List)

    It is imperative that authors follow strict ethics of writing papers and duly acknowledge borrowings in any form.

    Rejected papers won’t be sent back to the contributor. Only the message of rejection will be communicated through mail and it is not obligatory for the editors to send any detailed review report. The editors reserve the right to introduce any type of change in an accepted paper/reject any paper if it is not in harmony with the requirements of our journal.

    Send  (electronic version only) to no later than 31.10.2017  

       Papers submitted for publication are subject to Copyright Act. The paper contributors are to bear the consequences of violation of this act.


                 Debdas Roy                                                                                                         


                 Middle Flight   (ISSN 2319-7684) (Print)                                                                                                        

                 A  Peer Reviewed UGC Approved Journal of English Literature and Culture         


                Pritha kundu

                Assistant Editor,   

                Middle Flight    (ISSN 2319-7684) (Print)         

                A  Peer Reviewed UGC Approved Journal of English Literature and Culture