Thursday, 18 July 2013

Online version available

Dear readers,

An online version of the journal is now available. Please visit to access the same.

Thank you.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

From liminal spaces: androgyny/androgynous positions in literature and contemporary cultures

“Two powers preside, one male, one female; and in the man’s brain, the man predominates over the woman and in the woman’s brain, the woman predominates over the man. The normal and comfortable state of being is when the two live in harmony together, spiritually cooperating.”
- Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own (1922).
As Carl Jung adequately put it, “animus is within women as their repressed masculinity and anima is within male as their repressed femininity.” A classic, enduring example of this is the titular deity Ardhanarishvara, symbolising the amalgamation of Shiva and Parvait, the masculine and feminine energies of the universe, and demonstrating how the latter is inseparable from the former. This androgynous principle may also be located in the works of Virginia Woolf, a Modernist for whom androgyny serves as a metaphor to indicate acumen that is luminous, creative, and unconstrained by parochialism and grievances: for her, a purely feminine or purely masculine mind cannot create or generate a great work of art, a truly incandescent mind being one which is not limited by narrow prejudices.
Of course, far more than in so-called canonical or high culture, gender is being redefined – gender bending as it is known – in what is called popular culture. From the early 1920s, figures like Louise Brooks have been seen as popularising themselves as flappers by virtue of their bobbed haircuts and raw sexuality. Throughout the twentieth century, performance artists like Annie Lennox, Michael Jackson and Boy George have, through their works and the sheer preponderance of their persona, fused the masculine with the feminine in ways which have given an unsurprising leeway to the androgynous in contemporary urban vocabulary. In our own times, the likes of Justin Bieber and Kailash Kher – allowing for the injustice of this medley – too may be seen as gender bending in interesting and insightful ways.
Ultimately, it is this sense of bending, of fusion, which this issue of Literophile is interested in. For Issue 2, Volume 6, we invite original and annotated papers and/or semi-academic articles and commentaries of not more than 3,000 words on androgyny in literature and the performative arts in the century past and present by the 15th of July, 2013. Submissions, which must be mailed in MS word format to, may focus on, but need not be limited to, the following:
  • Androgyny and Bi: convergences, if any
  • Androgyny as (literary and/or performative) narrative technique
  • Ardhanarishvara: myth and comics        
  • Androgyny: third gender?
  • “Baby, baby, baby ohh!”
  • Cross-dressing and Comedy Circus: androgyny and typecast
  • Male gaze: gay = feminine ≠ androgynous?
Please note that papers must be annotated in accordance with MLA regulations. Contributors must also submit short bio-notes – not more than 300 words – along with submissions. Contributors will be intimated by last week of July regarding acceptance/rejection.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Depiction of ‘Gay’ in Literature and Cinema

In postmodern era when we are left with no centre to hold things together, emerges an anxiety to find some centres, pieces of glass to recreate the whole. The search even takes in account the cultures which existed, and exist but couldn’t find niche in the (re) productive society. 

As Foucault says, Sex is not modern, talking about it is. Gay culture is not a recent, sudden development in the progress of human civilisation, as scholars would argue, it had been in society from unlettered times. Same sex bonding – emotional, physical and intellectual – have always been integral to human interactions and have been documented as such. After Freudian impact, human identity gets defined in terms of sexuality and sexual orientation leading to the invention of new terms and terminologies, however it has its own inadequacies. Hoshang Merchant writes in preface to Yaarana, “Many educated Indians confuse ‘homosexual’ with ‘eunuch’.” Gay identity is misunderstood. Bollywood, through misrepresentation, further betrays gay identity. 

This issue of Literophile aims to generate comment on literature dealing with/discourse on Gay identity from this point of reference. Accordingly, our interest here is same sex male relationships – gay relationships – only, and we invite by Sunday, 7 th of April 2013 original and annotated papers and/or semi-academic articles and commentaries of not more than 3000 words on the same. We invite submissions on gay identities and experiences from in and beyond the subcontinent. Submissions may be built around, but not simply be restricted to, the following: 

 ‘Gay’: etymolog(ies)y and aesthetics 
 Engendering queerness: towards a gay narratology 
 Being gay: rights, activism and fiction 
 Criticism and the gay explosion 
Dost ‘dost’ na raha: same sex subtexts in normative cinema 
 Gay, effeminate: myths; practices 
 Cinema and homophobia 

Please note that papers must be annotated in accordance with MLA regulations. Contributors are also requested to submit short bio-notes (of not more than 200 words).