Centre for Development Practice and Research, Patna

Migration in Literature: Special Issue of Journal of Migration Affairs


Date and time: Dec. 30, 2020 12:00AM - Oct. 15, 2021 11:55PM

Journal of Migration Affairs

Call for Papers for a Special Issue on

Roots/Routes and Memories Thereof: Migration in Literature

The 2020 Pandemic has foregrounded the otherwise neglected vulnerable lives of migrants, especially internal migrants, who live within the perimeters of the country but move from rural to urban areas not of choice but for very survival.

Migration, for several decades now, has been a site of inquiry and interest in academia. Existing studies on migration and migrants’ experiences are largely shaped by social scientists, with sociologists, economists, anthropologists and political scientists debating the causes and effects of global migrations. However, migrant narratives in the form of conventional literary works as also the newly emerging genre of blogs/vlogs, films and documentaries have the capacity to empathetically and affectively relate to the complex, multi-layered lives of migrants.

Literary narratives read the phenomenon of migration from different perspectives, be it as a result of wartime crisis, political repression, religious/ethnic persecution, lack of economic possibilities, the stigma associated with gender and/or sexual orientation etc. Such narratives help locate the migrant at the very complex interface of race, gender, sexuality, class, caste, religion, ethnicity, able-bodiedness, age, language, legal status, even climate politics.

Literary narratives on the experiences of the Atlantic slave trade, for example, highlight the excruciating pain of forced migration that distorts a migrant’s sense of self, language and identity. The idea of the “slave migrant” that emerges in such narratives can definitely help the reader untangle the present-day intricate relationship between labour and migrant workforce that caters to the development of international economy and inevitably transforms the migrants’ living conditions and lifestyles.

Certain literary narratives document stories of original inhabitants of countries, whose land, resources, cultures and economies stand ravaged by settler colonialism. The arrival of the colonizer/migrant and his subsequent settlement in the colony (both voluntary) inflicted immeasurable and often irrecoverable changes in the lives of the indigenous people of the colony/country. Migration, thus, is not unilateral but a phenomenon both multidirectional and inconsistent.

However, migrant narratives can also be sites of resistance and resilience. Such narratives may highlight fusion cultures; interchange of languages and experiences may manifest in cultural artefacts like new forms of music, poetry, food, new political ideologies to name but a few. 

Scholarly articles are invited for a special issue of the Journal of Migration Affairs (www.migrationaffairs.com) that might address, but are not limited to:

·         Literary Representations of Internal Migrants

·         Pandemic and the Migrant Experience in Literature

·         Class, Caste, Ethnicity and the Migrant Experience in Literature

·         Refugees, esp. Dislocated and Traumatised Women and Children in Literary Narratives

·         Violence and Migration in Personal Archives

·         Vlogs, Blogs, Photographs, Films and Documentaries of Everyday Life of Migrants

·         Literary Narratives of Borders, Citizenship and Ethnic/Religious Minorities

·         Gender, Sexuality and the Migrant Experience in Literature

·         Intersectionality and Experiences of Migration in Literature

·         Migrant Narratives of Resistance and Resilience

·         Nation, Identities, Religion and the Migrant Experience in Literature

·         Cli- fi, Climate Justice, and Climate Refugees in Literary Narratives

The paper should be restricted to 6000-8000 words. Articles under Commentary Section may contain 2500-3000 words. The Journal of Migration Affairs is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal. This usual review process will apply.

The papers may be sent to migration.affairs@tiss.edu with a copy marked to the Guest Editor, Dr Shreya Bhattacharji (bhattacharjishreya@gmail.com).

The last date for sending the paper for this issue has been extended to 15th October 2021.