Call for Papers – Infantile Crisis: Youth in Contemporary South Asian Film and Media

This special issue of Studies in South Asian Film and Media invites scholars to look at new and counterintuitive aspects of contemporary childhood and youth pop culture in South Asia; to explore new directions, whether by looking at new materials or formulating new comparisons. It will be germane to ambitious and experimental work from scholars working on media and forms which have yet to be studied in great depth. And yet we invite scholars to debate and retheorize areas of childhood pop culture which have already been the subject of substantial scholarly attention; renewing and reinvigorating old conversations, and reflecting on the trajectory of childhood studies.

South Asia can be taken in a very large sense here, whether the globalized subcontinent of today’s SARC nations, or the broader South Asian diaspora. South Asia encompasses the dialogues between past and present integral to youth pop culture in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, etc., as well as the ongoing dialogues between South Asia and the world at large.

 Topics for papers may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Representations of the reorganized landscapes of childhood: schools, small towns and tutorial institutions for competitive exams
  • Representations of young people within changing family dynamics: the recasting of clearly gendered parenting roles
  • Representations of queer subjectivities
  • Representations of young people as workers in the parallel economy: the retail industry
  • Representations/creations of youth subcultures in media discourse
  • The criminalization of young boys and girls, and the creation of youth brigades and lynch mobs
  • The debilitating psychological effects of militarization and civil war on young people in Kashmir and the Northeast
  • The scope for students occupying and communizing in the reorganized topography of the corporate school and the neoliberal university
  • Libidinizing young people’s bodies, especially those of Dalits and Muslims in neo-realist films
  • New forms of protesting sexual and institutional harassment
  • Commodification of girl power and female friendships
  • High fashion’s fondness for the childish: e.g., the return of the frock for young and older women in the subcontinent
  • New media technologies and the algorithms of what goes “viral”
  • Fan culture and youth icons
  • The fate of postcolonial youthful affects in an environment of deep crisis

Dates and deadlines

Abstracts of 400-500 words along with author bio should be submitted by May 31, 2019.

In addition to critical essays of 6000–8000 words, this issue also welcomes shorter creative pieces of 2000–4000 words in the form of interviews, photo essays (B/W) etc.

The deadline for the first draft is November 30, 2019. All contributions will be peer-reviewed and the final submission will be due by March 31, 2020.

All copyrights are to be cleared by the authors. Guidelines to the Intellect house-style are available here.

Contact Info: Nandini Chandra, Assistant Professor, University of Hawai’i, Mānoa,