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Speak Up Pakistan Conference
“If we know what way society is unbalanced, we must do what we can to add weight to the lighter scale…” demands Simone Weil. While the emergence of the postcolonial (resistance) literature and critical responses to it have helped voice the issues of the marginalized societies to a remarkable extent, the emphasis has largely been on the cultural instead of the economic. To debate the reasons for and implications of this ‘unbalance’, the Department of English at International Islamic University Islamabad, in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, is hosting an International Conference of the Literary Society of Pakistan on “Getting our Bearings Right: Literature, Society and Prosperity” on 20-21 March 2019.
This inaugural conference of the Literary Society of Pakistan aims at providing scholars a platform to delve into literary representations of the conditions of the millions of people living in the impoverished Global South. It also investigates 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.
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 express the prevailing economic disparities. Relevant papers on literature in English, Urdu, Punjabi, Saraiki, Balochi, Brahvi, Pashto, Sindhi and other Pakistani languages are welcome. The medium of presentation, however, would be English.