International Conference of
the Literary Society of Pakistan

Transcultural Literature/Literary Transculturalism: South Asia and Beyond


A concept developed by the Cuban anthropologist and humanist Fernando Ortiz in the 1940s to describe the process of re-creation and adjustment arising out of the convergence of different cultures, transculturalism seeks to acknowledge and embrace the human values and acts as a unifying force that, by bringing together the different cultures, creates a ground for a new common culture to flourish. This novel cosmopolitan culture, while respecting divisions and diversity, tries to build human communities that are mindful of the human dignity. For Arianna Dagnino, an Italian author, transculturalism is “a mode of reflexive identity [as well as] a critical perspective that sees cultures as relational webs and acknowledges the transitory, confluential, and mutually transforming nature of cultures.”

Transculturalism also looks towards the ways in which language conducts and shapes our perceptions. At the forefront of this paradigm are writers and artists who have experienced the demands and effects of such transnational patterns and who in their works have expressed and captured an emerging transcultural mood. Thus, be it the outcome of the ever increasing globalizing forces shaping our social, economic and cultural landscapes or the transnational variants including postcolonial, diasporic or migrant literary discourses, there is an ever increasing demand and significance of a transcultural literature that overcomes the different dichotomies and acknowledges the mutually transforming power of the cultures.

In South Asia, because of its diverse cultures, there are also many overlapping timelines, but they do meet and intersect each other harmoniously at different points in history. Despite the earlier close-knit and homogenous cultures, a space for cultural association and fusion also happened to exist. Be it the case of the Buddhist Gandhara civilization, Hindu Vedic period or the Muslim Mughal period, innumerable instances support the claim that syncretism and cross-cultural associations existed and flourished. Also, we find artists who moved beyond the confines of cultures and displayed in their works a brilliant transcultural milieu. More importantly, in the current scenario, as societies have no longer remained homogenous, transculturalism becomes a way of approaching the world, but side by side there are forces that propagate and use fascist ideology to manage, control or even destroy individuals and assemblages. To be transculturally competent means addressing these and other such problems and acknowledging and embracing human values whilst at the same time respecting diversity pervading around us, because as always, it enriches humankind. The presentations, featured speeches and keynotes at the second international conference of the Literary Society of Pakistan “Transcultural Literature / Literary Transculturalism: South Asia and Beyond” are expected to discuss the literary representations of transculturalism and explore the directions contemporary literature maps out for a peaceful coexistence.

The conference also seeks to bring to light literatures and literary studies in local languages of Pakistan by focusing on ways in which these literatures debate transculturality in the region. Relevant papers on literature in Balochi, Brahvi, English, Pashto, Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi, Urdu, and other languages are welcome.

Abstract proposals are solicited from writers, critics, academics and graduate students on topics related, but not limited, to:

  • Transculturalism and South Asian Literature
  • 1947 Violence and Transculturalism
  • South Asia after 9/11: Literature, Culture and Society
  • Sufi Literature and Cultural Harmony
  • Literature on Gender Justice across Cultures and Classes
  • Cultural Diversity and Mob Policing: The Contemporary Condition of Minorities
  • Journalism and Transculturality
  • Literary Reflections of the Economic Disparities
  • Regional Literatures in Translation and Transculturalism
  • Transculturalism and Science Fiction
  • Transculturalism and Crime Fiction
  • Transculturalism and Nationalism in South Asian Literature

Deadline for Abstract Submission: 

5 February 2020

Submit your abstracts to:

International Speakers

Dr. Sibel Bayram
Dr. Claire Chambers
Mr. Aamer Hussein
Dr. Rahul Parson
Dr. Snehal Shingavi
Prof. Robert Anthony Siegel
Dr. David Waterman

National Speakers

Dr. Zia Ahmad
Dr. Ghulam Ali
Dr. Waseem Anwar
Dr. Safeer Awan
Dr. Munawar Iqbal Gondal
Dr. Saiqa Imtiaz
Dr. Nasir Jamal Khattak
Dr. Nasir Abbas Nayyar
Dr. Nukhbah Langah
Dr. Shahid Siddiqui
Dr. Muhammad Khan Sanghi
Dr. Wasima Shehzad
Dr. Aalia Sohail
Dr. Fatima Syeda
Prof. Dr. Mazhar Hayat
(Conference Chair)

Dr. Muhammad Sheeraz Dasti
(Conference Co-Chair)

About Department of English Literature, GCUF

The Department of English Literature is one of the leading departments of the University with a rich history of excellence, quality teaching and research spanning over decades. The Department has always been committed to the symbiotic relationship of teaching, research and the larger concerns of society. The Department of English seeks to provide the diverse needs of its students by offering them the opportunity to read widely understand and enjoy what they read, and to express themselves both orally and in writing with ease, force and clarity. The English Department maintains its strong commitment to traditional areas of study, while also supporting groundbreaking research and teaching in new and interdisciplinary approaches to literary studies.

The Department grants BS, MA, M Phil and PhD degrees. We are one of the largest departments in the university with 30 faculty members. The Department of English caters for the needs of other departments related to English language, hence maintaining close ties with other departments. English Department teaches across the whole range of English literature and language studies. Our aim is to provide students with a stimulating environment in which to develop skills in all areas of English.

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About Government College University Faisalabad

Government College University, Faisalabad has emerged as a leading center of learning and research in a short span of time. The University with its dynamic faculty and innovative syllabi has become a catalyst of intellectual, social and industrial change. It caters to the diverse needs of society by imparting education in almost all the major fields of learning.

The Government College University’s journey started as a primary school in 1897 in the present building of Govt. College for Women, Karkhana Bazar, Faisalabad. It was promoted to High School and Intermediate College in 1905 and 1924 respectively. It was elevated to the degree level in 1933 and postgraduate disciplines were introduced in 1963. The long journey that started with the humble beginning reached its climax when it was granted the status of University in October 2002.

The Government College University, Faisalabad has a long history of excellence and distinction as an institution. Renowned scholars and eminent personalities have served this institution in various capacities at various stages of its history. It has produced outstanding personnel who have earned great fame not only for themselves but also for the nation.

The luminaries like Mr. Abdul Hameed, Mr. W.H.F. Armstrong, Mr. Lala Chattan Annand, Mr. Hashmat Khan, Mr. Taj Khyal, Mr. Namdar Khan, Mr. Karamat Hussain Jafari, Mr. Mukhtar Mahmood Qureshi, Dr. Asif Iqbal Khan and Dr. Arif Zaidi have served this institution.

The university is situated at the Jhang Road not far from the historical Clock Tower. The main campus is spread on 37 acres and the construction of new campus has been started on an area of 200 acres some 3-4 kilometers away from the main campus at Jhang Road.

The University is offering educational degrees in different disciplines. The University is a hub of educational, social and cultural activities with a close liaison with industry.

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About Literary Society of Pakistan

Founded in October 2017 as a non-profit organization, the Literary Society of Pakistan aims at promoting literature in Pakistan. It also aims to celebrate Pakistani literature produced in Pakistani languages including but not limited to Balochi, Brahui, Pashto, Punjabi, Saraiki, Sindhi, and Urdu. The Society is equally proud of Pakistan’s Anglophone literature.

The Society is committed to providing platforms (website, social media groups and pages, conferences, reading sessions, seminars, symposia) where Pakistani writers and writing can be published, read, discussed, and appreciated. From writers, we mean all the creative and academic practitioners, and from writings we mean all genres and styles of literary and critical works. The Society also regards translators and sees translation as a significant means of engaging in cross-cultural dialogues within Pakistan and abroad.

We work with an understanding that literature produced in different regions of Pakistan builds and is build out of a wide range of geographical, social, cultural, and historical contexts that add to the richness and beauty of this world.

Literary Society of Pakistan’s membership is open to anyone interested in literature: poets, novelists, writers of short and flash fiction or creative non-fiction, scholars and literary critics, and students and teachers of literature.

About Faisalabad

Faisalabad is the largest industrial and metropolitan city of Pakistan. Faisalabad is quite diverse with respect to its culture. The culture of Faisalabad is quite diverse because it is an industrial city and people from all over Pakistan come to work here, few component of Faisalabad culture are as follow:

The reason Faisalabad is called Manchester of Pakistan because it’s the biggest textile city of Pakistan and all the industries here related to textiles and same is Manchester in UK so these cities are also named as Twin cities.

After Lahore, Faisalabad is famous for its food. The most common snack item samosas of Faisalabad are considered the best in Pakistan. Desi foods and snacks like dahi bhally, gol gappy are the specialities . Biryani and pulao are also very well-known. Moreover no city can boast of a better Dal Chawal serving than Faisalabad. It’s one of the favorite foods here. The parathas available at Ghanta Ghar are very famous and a large crowd comes to attend all night long. They come in different fillings such as potatoes, mixed vegetable, chicken etc. As far as drinks are concerned Rabri, Sugar cane rusk, limo pani and lassi are the most favorite drink of the people of Faisalabad. Lassi is being liked by most Punjabis.

Like all other cities, cricket is the most popular sport in the Faisalabad. The oldest and only venue for international cricket matches is Iqbal Stadium is situated here.

Other popular sports in the city are hockey, weightlifting, association football, kabaddi, table tennis, billiards and snooker, squash, and horse racing. Sports like badminton, volleyball and basketball have also started to gain popularity as western influences have affected the locals. The city also has facilities for hockey such as the Faisalabad Hockey Stadium on Susan Road which mostly hosts field hockey matches. Faisalabad, with its affluent culture and cheerful manifestations welcomes all to visit the Manchester of Pakistan and praise the beauty that resides in it as well as its people.

The Punjabi dresses are considered as the traditional clothes of Faisalabad. Punjabi dress for men comprises Pagri, Kurta and dhoti. Punjabi women wear Shalwar Kameez and Dupatta. Traditional Lacha and Bangles and Paranda are also used. Moreover all of these Punjabi women dress items can be embroidered to add more to grace and beauty of clothing. But with the passage of time Faisalabad women has started to adapt new styles, some of which are the combination of Pakistani and western clothing. Like women wear embroidered kurta with jeans and trousers. Faisalabad is well recognized for its cloth and related items throughout the world. It is the best market to buy home furnishings (bed sheets, curtains, towels etc.), personal clothing, and hosiery wear.

There are lots of recreational places found all around Faisalabad which are a source of attraction for visitors and native people. The Faisalabad clock tower is famous over the world and is one of the oldest monuments still standing in its original form since British rule. It was constructed in a special way by placing the clock at the center of the eight markets which, from the top it looks like the Union Jack flag of the United Kingdom. Other recreational spots includes Happy Land Water Park which is an international level park built as a complete entertainment center for families and contains biggest water slides in Pakistan. It is also equipped with amazing swings for both children and adults. Rex City is a big computer market where once can find computer sales and service shop easily. Jinnah Garden is also a beautiful park in the city commonly known as “Company Bagh”. Canal Park located at the west bank of Rakh Branch Canal is also a good outing place for families. The majestic Chenab Club standing in the shades of trees and complemented by vast lush green lawns, is located in the beautiful surroundings of “Jinnah Garden” is great attraction.

Faisalabad has always been a hub of literature. Renowned poets and prose writers belong to this city. Sahir Ludhianwi, the great poet of the sub-continent, belongs to Faisalabad. The other important writers are Afzal Ahsan Randhawa, Shehzada Hassan, Adeem Hashmi, Riaz Majeed and Dr. Waheed Ahmed.

Literacy rate is higher than average. Faisalabad has the distinction of being a seat of world famous Agricultural University and equally renowned Agricultural Ayub Research Institute beside the Punjab Medical College there are several other colleges like Commerce College, Textile College, Superior Science College, Poly Technical College and others. Literacy rate is higher than average.

Almost 95% people speak Punjabi. But being in center of Punjab, people speak many other languages as well like pothohari ,pahari, shah puri The other languages such as Urdu being national language is spoken and understood. English is also understood and spoken by the sizable educated people.

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