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CFP: Virtual Conference on Narrativizing Tribal Life in the Context of Covid-19

Wednesday, July 8, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alexandra Sanchez

The Department of Tribal and Regional Languages of Kartik Oraon College, the Center for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusion Policy, the Department of Sociology of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, and the Asia-Pacific Indigenous Youth Network are pleased to announce its Virtual Conference on Narrativizing Tribal Life in the Context of Covid-19 (Emic and Etic Perspectives). The conference will be held February 25–27, 2021. 


About the conference:

The pandemic created by coronavirus (Covid-19) has affected every country worldwide. The magnitude of its impact has made it a human crisis that is beyond our imagination. The catastrophic and multidimensional consequences of the pandemic have engulfed every aspect of the social and cultural life of the people. In fact, this global and transnational disease has altered the way we perceive the world, affecting the everyday life of the people. The lockdown and other preventive measures resulting in the closure of economic activities, could be seen as having a larger impact on the people. While the instincts of the stranded migrant workers pushed them to leave for their home states, facing unimaginable risks and hardships, the indomitable spirit enabled them to walk many hundred miles barefoot without rest, water and food. Consequently, the pandemic laid bare many ills like social stigma, prejudice, discrimination and inequalities that have been nurtured inherently as part of the social and cultural life in India and also the invisibility of tribal people in dominant discourses.

This conference, in the context of Covid-19, aims to focus on the life of tribal communities which have little visibility in India. These indigenous tribal groups, already struggling with the issues such as social discrimination and marginalization, deprived of schemes and welfare programs, have faced the untold hardships during the lockdown period. Rarely do they come into the radar of the State and the post-lockdown period also may not be conducive for the marginalized communities as factors like the revision of labour laws, uncertainty over durable employment opportunities, spreading of coronavirus could end up as de-motivating factors for them. Given this disruptive context, a creative narrative of the life of folk artists, craftsmen, folk architect, traditional doctors, agricultural coronavirus, street vendors, skilled laborers belonging to the tribal and other marginalized communities must be explored.

This conference, Narrativizing Tribal Life in the Context of Covid-19 (Emic and Etic Perspectives), conceptualized on a broad, inclusive and self-explanatory theme, attempts to record the travails and tribulations of the tribal people during the exodus, the organization of society after the influx of these laborers and the forms of adjustments that take place in the lives of these discriminated, disadvantaged and marginalized people. The conference promises to provide a national academic platform for scholars interested in bringing out the perspectives on the experiences of the tribal and other marginalized communities during the COVID pandemic.

This documentation of their experiences could be deemed necessary as reliable and valid historic data that can play a vital role in the construction of their identity in the nation. Secondly, the conference wants to consolidate scholars’ perspective on the experiences of these marginalized communities and also their post-lockdown anxieties about the hardships so that suitable policies can be framed in future by the state authorities.

The sub-themes of the conference:

***Please note that the list of sub-themes are not exhaustive, that is, new areas can also be explored and the same issues can be applied to other marginalized communities.

I. Tribal Community and Identity

Social and Cultural Life; Health and Worldview; Cognitive Perspective on Disease; Disease and Worldview; Traditional Medicines; Social Institutions; Traditional Knowledge Systems; Tribal Culture; Tribal Communities; Tribal Language, Tribal Education

II. Modernity and Economic Life

Unemployment among Tribals; Gender; Agriculture Activities; Migration; Mining Activities in Tribal Areas; Creativity and Tribals; Tribal Arts and Crafts Industry; Tribal Communities and Entrepreneurship

III. Communication and Narratives

Memes and Tribal Communities; Tribal Society and Communication Multilingual and Multicultural Settings; the Role of Mass Media and Social Media; Oral Narratives, Different Forms of Expression

IV. Gender and Rights

Gender Issues; Ecofeminism; Human Rights Issues, Tribal Development and Women Empowerment, Tribal Women and Education, Tribal Women and Economy, Women and Domestic Violence, Tribal Women and Start-up Programs; Tribal Women and Entrepreneurship

V. Environmental Issues

Forest and Tribal Communities; Natural Resources and Sustainability; Environment and Cultural Life, Oral Literature and Environmental Reflections, Movements for Protection of Environment

VI. Tribal Politics

Resistance Movement; Revivalism; Tribals and Mainstream Politics; Role of Tribal Communities in the Mainstream politics, National Political Representation, Tribals and the Role of Political Power and Social Empowerment

VII. Tribal Folklore and Sustainability

Oral Literature, Material Culture, Rituals and Customs, Performing Arts and Sustainability, Tribal Arts and popular culture; Tribal communities and Creative Industries, Tourism and Tribal Communities, Ethics in doing Research on Tribal Folklore, Copy Rights, Intellectual Property Rights; Folklore Products and Royalty Issues; etc. Ownership Questions

VIII. Government Initiatives and Tribal Communities

Poverty Alleviation; Unemployment; Health; Language Development; Education Sectors, Agriculture, Start-up Programs, Self-resilient Initiatives and Tribal Communities

***IMPORTANT: Scholars are also encouraged to submit their papers that deal with the issues outside the purview of Covid-19 but having focus on the life of tribal and other marginalized communities.

Instructions for contributors:

  • This conference is designed to be a virtual one and the scholars are requested to submit their full papers on time.
  • The papers accepted will be published as book chapters by reputed national/international publisher.
  • Papers must be formatted with the following stylistic guidelines:
    • MLA style can be followed for the preparation of papers.
    • A4 size with 1.5 line space must be followed. No maximum page limit.
    • The soft copy of full papers in MS Word format must be sent to the respective email ids only. (Attach a PDF copy of the full paper for verification purposes.
    •  The language of full papers can be either in English, Hindi, Mundari, or Tamil.
    • Attach or send the details of the fonts used for Hindi, Mundari and Tamil papers.
    • Abstracts along with personal details must be sent in the Microsoft Office Excel File.
    • Provide details in the following order: Name, designation, department, institutions, address contact numbers, email, the title of the paper, abstract – must be entered in each column in the same order.
    • Articles will be published after thorough editing.
    • Authors are responsible for factual errors and plagiarism related issues.

Registration fee:

There is no registration fee. However, a nominal publication fee may be charged, in case of non-availability of funding.

Virtual/Regular Conference:

In case the situation is conducive, the regular conference will be organized at Kartik Oraon College, Gumla (Ranchi, Jharkhand). Otherwise, the virtual presentation pattern will be followed. The details about virtual presentation will be informed later.

Important Dates:

Abstracts: August 25, 2020

Full papers: November 25, 2020

Conference: February 25–27, 2021


Emails for Submissions: (English) (Hindi/Mundari) (Tamil)

Representative Contact Person:


Assistant Professor of Folklore
Department of Tribal Studies
Central University of Jharkhand, Ranchi (Jharkhand, India)
(+91 9199140340 / +91 9444868577

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