Call for Papers





Notice


The upcoming issue of JBS (Vol 5, No 2) on the theme of "The Age of Bhadralok: Bengal's Long Twentieth Century" will be published in December instead of the previous schedule of publication in October. Inconvenience is regretted. The deadline for submission of articles, reviews, workshop now stands extended to 25th November 2016. For any query, please contact shoptodina@gmail.com

Durgapuja greetings and festive wishes to all our friends, readers and contributors.

---Editorial Board. 8 October 2016


After the proud publications of our issues on Ognijug, the age of revolutionary nationalism in Bengal (Vol.1, No.1), Bengali Cinema: Bengalis and Cinema (Vol.1, No.2), Bengali Theatre: Bengalis and Theatre (Vol.2, No.1), Science and Technology in History: Modern Bengali Perspectives (Vol.2, No.2), Literature and Movements: Bengali Crossroads (Vol.3, No.1), Kolkata (Vol.3, No.2), Bengali Music: Bengalis and Music (Vol.4, No.1), Microhistory: Bengali Perspectives (Vol.4, No.2), Foreign Encounters: Bengal and Abroad (vol.5, No.1) Journal of Bengali Studies (JBS), a peer reviewed interdisciplinary online academic journal (ISSN: 2277- 9426) having an Impact Factor of 4.596 for the year 2015, meant for scholarly discussions into the history and culture of the Indic Bengali people, is pleased to announce the Call for Papers for its tenth issue (Vol.5, No.2) on the theme of The Age of Bhadralok: Bengal's Long Twentieth Century, due to be published on the occasion of Kalipujo, 12 Kartik 1423, 29 October 2016. The final date for submission of article/review/workshop is 15 October 2016. Commentaries in JBS are accepted by invitation/commission alone. If you want to author a commentary instead of a regular article or review, or want to know how they are different, please get in touch with the editorial board beforehand at shoptodina@gmail.com

The Age of Bhadralok: Bengal's Long Twentieth Century

The theme of JBS Vol.5 No.2 is The Age of Bhadralok: Bengal's Long Twentieth Century

Eric Hobsbawm named his study of the twentieth century history of the western world as the Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century. He defines the twentieth century as having been inaugurated with the beginning of the first world war in 1914, and to have lasted till the fall of Soviet Union in 1991. He also defines the nineteenth century as the long nineteenth century, lasting from 1789 to 1914, in his trilogy Age of Revolutions 1789-1848, Age of Capital 1848-1875 and Age of Empire 1875-1914.

Applying the same logic, one can propose that the Bengali twentieth Century rather was a long century, and it has been an age of intense movements in politics, literature, culture and society dominated by the towering presence of the Bengali bhadralok. In Case of Bengal, applying Hobsbawm's paradigm, we can state that the twentieth century came to an end with the fall of CPIM led regime in 2011.

And the beginning of this long twentieth century can loosely be traced back to the Hindu Mela in 1867, or the formation of Surendranath Banerjee's Bharat Sabha in 1876, while it can be definitively argued that the dawn of Bengali consciousness characterising the age of bhadralok was crystallised with the Bengali response to the anti-Ilbert bill movement launched by the white colonialists in 1883, which made the Bengalis aware of the power of organised movements and this was when Bengali babu (a comprador) was steadily transformed into the Bengali bhadralok (a conscientious objector to British imperialism), armed with the writings of Bankim Chandra, the Ramkrishna Vivekananda movement, the intense intellectual and cultural ferment of Bengal Renaissance and Bengali Revival, and the spirit of nationalism.
The Bengali bhadralok started to assert himself and aimed for political power, and this is how the journey towards India's independence began. It later culminated in the British agenda of partitioning Bengal in 1905 and the subsequent transfer of Capital from Kolkata to Delhi in 1911, a process that continued till the decimation of the bhadraloks took place.

Bengalis responded by fierce anti-colonialism. There was the rise of Ognijug, which was simultaneously accompanied by constitutional struggle of C R Das's Swarajya Party. The emergence of Subhash Bose, the formation of Forward Bloc in the 1930s was followed by the first appearance of communist party among educated Bengalis, greatly aided by the favourable reception of communist ideology among erstwhile nationalist revolutionaries. The great Calcutta Killing and Noakhali Genocide of 1946 was followed by the partition of 1947 which brought tremendous human displacement in its wake. Then 1950s saw several waves of communist movements, while the intensification of communist movement was followed by the splits of 1960s, a decade that also saw the first United Front governments. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Bengalis of Assam suffered tremendous hardships. 1947 could be considered a watershed that earmarked the dissolution of Bengali power in India, which was followed by a series of unmitigated disasters. 1970s saw the Bangladesh war and the flow of refugees, emergency regime of Congress, formation of the first elected communist regime in Bengal. 1980s witnessed the overall stagnation of West Bengal and the beginning of Bengali decline. 1990s as a decade saw the emergence of Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress which finally dislodged CPIM led left front regime in 2011 through a series of movements centred around Singur and Nandigram. The fall of CPIM can be considered to have concluded the age of Bhadralok.
The year 2011 can be considered to have brought Bengal's Long twentieth century to a close, given that what 1991 was to western history, 2011 is to our history. And though we primarily talk in terms of the political scenario, we cannot forget that these decades of the long twentieth century saw tremendous flourish in all segments of cultural life, earning Kolkata the sobriquet of the cultural capital of India. Bengali theatre and cinema during the long twentieth century made their marks, and so did Bengali literature and other art forms.

This issue will focus on Bengal's cultural, political, social and and overall historical journey during this period. This period from 1867 to 2011 has seen the rise and fall of the Bengali bhadralok's power, the trajectory of which will be mapped in this issue.

The topics for contribution will include the following but will not be exclusively limited to the same:

The Revivalist movement and the rise of nationalism. Bankim Chandra.
The transformation of the babu into the bhadralok.
Ramkrishna Vivekananda Movement.
The later Brahmo movements of Keshab Sen and Shibnath Sastry.
Hindu Mela and Indian Association.
Surendranath Banerjee and the nation in making.
Aurobindo, Bipin Pal, C R Das, Jatindramohan Sengupta, Subhash Bose.
Ognijug. Khudiram to Surjo Sen. This is a galaxy and the names of those brave Bengalis who were sent to gallows, killed by British Raj or transported to Andaman can fill up thick volumes.
Formation of Muslim League in Dacca. Beginning of organised pogroms against Hindus in east Bengal. Satin Sen and the Patuakhali Satyagraha.
Appearance and reception of Communist Party. Political and cultural advancements of communists. Rise and fall of Naxalism. Naxal movement and Bengali literature. Nabarun Bhattacharya. Communist parties and Bengali culture. Rise and fall of CPIM. Communist party's hostility to the bhadralok (immediately coming to mind Ashok Mitra's famous statement: I am a communist, not a bhadralok) as well as submission to bhadralokism.
Theatre. Girish Ghosh, Amritalal, Ardhendu Mustafi. Danibabu and Shishirbabu. Nobanno and the rise of IPTA. Shambhu Mitra, Utpal Dutt, Ajitesh Bandyopadhyay. Rise of Group Theatre. Bratya Basu: the theory and practice of Company Theatre.
Hiralal Sen and early Bengali cinema. The first Bengali ventures into cinema. Ahindra Choudhury. Dhiraj Bhattacharya. The first matinee idols: Durgadas and Pramathesh. Kanan Debi. Chhabi Biswas, Bhanu Banerjee, Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen, Sabitri Chattopadhyay, Soumitra Chattopadhyay. Satyajit Ray and new Bengali cinema. Ritwik Ghatak and the tragedy of partition. Mrinal Sen. The setback of the commercial movies of 1980s and 1990s. The 2000s: promises and problematics.
Literary history of Bengali bhadralok during the long twentieth century. The tortuous trajectory from Bankim to Rabindranath Tagore. Kallol Jug. Jibanananda Das. The flourish of Bibhutibhushan, Tarashankar, Manik, Sharadindu. The comic sublime: Rajshekhar Basu and Shibram Chakraborty. Western influences on Bengali literary movements. Post-independence prose: Samaresh Basu to Samaresh Majumdar. Poetry of Sunil and Shakti: the Krittibas movement. The Hungryalists. The zero decade (shunno doshok) of Bengali poetry.
The rise and fall of nationalist media houses. Amritabazar, Jugantar. The emergence and dominance of the ABP group. Other media houses.
Bengali Music during the long twentieth century: From Bande Mataram to Bangla Bands.
Bengal's academic, philosophical, scientific and technological history during the long twentieth century.
Bengal's Art forms across the long twentieth century.
The industrial decline and financial stagnation of Bengal. The lack of a consolidated Bengali trading class.
The demographic change in the census reports from 1871 to 2011. The growth of Muslim population. Hindu cleansing in east Bengal, east Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Partition and the Bengali refugees from east Pakistan and Bangladesh. Marichjhapi massacre.
The gender question in Bengal's long twentieth century.
The Namasudra movement: A challenge to bhadralok hegemony. The subaltern beyond the bhadralok pale (subaltern studies ironically were started the Bengali bhadralok intellectuals).
Congress after Subhash. Bidhan Ray to Siddhartha Shankar Ray. The rise of Mamata within Congress. Formation of Trinamool Congress. Singur and Nandigram agitations and the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. 2011 Assembly election.
Quo Vadis, Bengal? Nostalgia for the bhadralok. Elegy for the bhadralok. After 2011, the post-bhadralok dynamics.

General details about submissions to Journal of Bengali Studies:
Journal of Bengali Studies (ISSN 2277 9426) is published in English and is an online journal. A contribution must be electronic and in English language. It should consistently and uniformly follow any one of these three scholarly styles of citation: MLA style, Chicago Manual of Style or APA style. Contributions must always be 1.5 line-spaced. An article, with manually typed (NOT auto-inserted) notes and bibliography (DO NOT use the footnote and endnote mechanisms of your writing software e.g. MS Word, and instead just manually type your notes, references and bibliography into the article), should not be more than 10000 words. In case of reviews, the upper limit is 2000 words; we welcome reviews of new books as well as old and out of print ones, not necessarily of books written in English alone; we accept reviews of books, artworks and any kind of texts (new and old alike) which are related to our theme. We also have a section called Workshop: Theory in Practice. This section features creative/critical fieldnotes which are related to our theme. Any kind of creative/literary writing that concerns the Bengali experiences in the long twentieth century is welcome in this issue; a priority may be given to fictions/plays/poetry exploring this theme, which may be originally written in Bengali, in which case it has to be in English translation, or it may be originally written in English. In either case, it should focus on our theme and be relevant to the CFP. The workshop may also include critical writings in the form of ground studies and field notes, for example, any first hand account of investigation into a particular twentieth century experience. Upper Limit of Workshop: 10000 words. We have no lower word limit for the contributions, the authors are free to use their discretion. Contributions should only be in MS Word, or Open Office, or RTF format and should be emailed to both of these two email ids: editjbs@gmail.com and shoptodina@gmail.com. Also, do not forget to attach a brief bionote about yourself while sending your write-up. Before submission, please see our Submission Guidelines and Terms and Conditions at http://bengalistudies.blogspot.in/. For further details about the objectives of our journal, please see the JBS Manifesto at http://bengalistudies.blogspot.in/. You may also visit our website at www.bengalistudies.com . For updates on facebook, please like our page at www.facebook.com/BengaliStudies
Editor: Dr Tamal Dasgupta
CFP © All rights reserved.

The quintessential bhadraloks
Image: Mrinal Sen and Satyajit Ray, the quintessential bhadraloks, in conversation in 1991.






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