International Conference of the Literary Society of Pakistan

International Conference of the Literary Society of Pakistan
“Getting our Bearings Right: Literature, Society and Prosperity”

Two-day International Conference of the Literary Society of Pakistan“ Getting our Bearings Right: Literature, Society and Prosperity” was jointly hosted by the Department of English and Iqbal International Institute for Research & Dialogue at the Quaid-i-Azam Auditorium Complex, Faisal Mosque Campus, International Islamic University Islamabad, on 26th and 27th April 2019.

Around 100 scholars from across the country and abroad presented their research papers on different themes of the conference. Six International speakers including world renowned novelist and activist, Arundhati Roy, Prof. Cara Cilano, Dr. Esra Santesso, Dr. Madeline Clements, Dr. Rahul Bjorn Parson and Dr. Snehal Shingavi also participated in the conference.

In conversation with Muhammad Sheeraz Dasti, Arundhati Roy talked about her recently published novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and said that it’s part of a writer’s job to resist oppression. Dr. Cara Cilano presented her research paper on what she called the “corrupt texts” reflecting on how discourses are controlled by the imperialists who use discursive means of control. Dr. Esra Santesso highlighted the works depicting Female Heroes and theme of Social Justice in Graphic Narratives.Dr. Rahul Bjorn Parson presented his findings on “Confluences at the end of the Ganges: Neo-liberal Reform and Kolkata’s Literary Resistance”. Dr. Madeline Amelia Clements gave her keynote on “Making Sense of Conversion to Christianity in Twentieth-Century Pakistan: Two Muslim Women’s Co-Authored Autobiographies as Crafted Accounts”. Dr.Snehal Shingavi presented his paper on “Nation, Class, and Gender: Joginder Paul’s EkBoondLahu Ki and the Crisis in Nehruvian Socialism”.

Along with international speakers, some of the leading national intellectuals also participated in the conference. They includedDr. Asif Farrukhi, Prof.Dr.Shahid Siddiqui, Prof.Dr.Safeer Awan, Dr.Shaheena Ayub Bhatti, Dr. Rashid Hameed, Prof.Dr.WasimaShehzad, Dr.NukhbahLangah, Dr.SalahuddinMengal, Dr. Abdul GhafoorMemon, Dr.SibghatUllah Khan, Prof. Dr Mazhar Hayat, Dr. Hamid Ali Baloch, Dr.Arhsad Mahmood Nashad and Dr. Abdullah Jan Abid.

With four keynotes, two plenary sessions, one conversation with the author, one interactive session and fifteen parallel sessions, this inaugural conference of the Literary Society of Pakistan provided scholars with a platform to delve into literary representations of the conditions of the millions of people living in the impoverished Global South. It investigated how literature and literary criticism can be helpful in starting debates that can ultimately influence policies in favour of the deprived by suggesting how prosperity and literature could be interlinked.Prof.Dr.AyazAfsar was the conference chair, Dr.Husnul Amin was the conference coordinator, and Dr. Muhammad Sheeraz Dasti was the conference secretary while the core team of organizers included Dr. Akhtar Aziz, Dr. Arshad Mahmood Raja, Mr. Farrukh Nadeem, Dr. Khalid Mahmood, Dr. Ameer Sultan, Syed Rashid Mahmood, Mr. Muhammad Ismail, Mr. Mahmood-ul-Hassan, and Mr. Muhammad Numan.