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20 | Leisure and Forms of Resistance to Labour in Modern and Contemporary South Asian Literature

This panel investigates leisure discourses in recent South Asian literature both English and vernacular. We will look at leisure scenarios in modern and contemporary fiction and at how leisure-related activities and moments of recreation are juxtaposed to stress levels of globalized work regimes.


· Monika Fludernik University of Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany)
· Hans Harder Ruprecht-Karls-Universität (Heidelberg, Germany)


· 07/28 | 15:30-17:00 UTC+2/CEST
· 07/28 | 17:30-19:00 UTC+2/CEST

Long Abstract

Leisure scenarios and leisure-work dichotomies are a recurring theme in modern and contemporary English-language fiction from South Asia. Leisure-related activities and moments of peace and recreation are opposed with new time regimes of modernity and contemporary modes of life determined by high levels of stress due to globalization-dependent work patterns. In regional language-literatures, representations of otium and reflections about leisure are frequently embedded in the representation of personal reflection and contemplation, taking recourse to the literary and the arts, socializing or travelling; they also portray practices that subversively undermine work efficiency and generally protest against the framework of contemporary conditions of work. A significant aspect of these themes are the ways in which time is perceived, experienced and felt. Many novels convey a decidedly nostalgic view of the past which is presented as having been more leisurely than the present. The panel welcomes contributions analysing work vs. leisure discourses in post-Independence South Asian literature (vernacular and English) and representations of leisure-related practices in texts. Papers that combine the leisure theme with a focus on gender issues, nationality, Partition, caste or postcoloniality are of special interest to the panel organisers. Furthermore, presentations that question or analyse the concept of leisure as a modern, contested category of postcolonial time are considered to be of significance to the panel.