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20 May

Two-Day Dan Thottakkara National Seminar on Body as Text at SH Thevara

Body as Text: Praxis, Politics and Polemics of Incorporation


(Affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam)


Two-Day Dan Thottakkara National Seminar

The Dan Thottakkara National Seminar was launched by the P.G. Department of English, Sacred Heart College, Thevara, in the year 2000 to revitalize the memory of the late scholar, Rev. Dr. Dan Thottakkara. Since its inception, the seminar has focused on frontier areas in literary studies and critical theories and has attracted scholars from all over India. This year’s seminar, titled Body as Text: Praxis, Politics and Polemics of Incorporation, is conceived to address the problematics of body cultures.  

About the Seminar

Body as Text: Praxis, Politics and Polemics of Incorporation

The body has become an ineluctable discursive domain in Cultural Studies. The acts of ‘incorporation’ (union with body) and embodiment are political through and through as bodies and their appendages are inscribed with ideologies.  Schopenhauer’s notion of body as ‘objectified will’ prefigures the polemical engagements with body cultures in the contemporary academic sphere. Modern man is destined to dwell on and interact with a heavily magnetized arena of semic opulence on and around human body. Henning Eichberg’s term ‘body culture’ has become a buzzword overladen with resounding implications infinitely germane to the globalised cultures.

Body is “historical and cultural agency in generating, shaping and interpreting changing meanings” (Simon Featherstone), and it is especially so within the contested space of postcolonial societies. The conventional notions of physical and economic materialism determining social identities has been interrogated by body-materialism as a decisive factor in determining cultural identities. Body is no more looked upon as object of cultural consciousness but as subject incessantly engaged in the act of constituting the postmodern condition. Simultaneously, commodified bodies become bio-bill boards propagating dominant ideologies. An unprecedented rate of cultural hybridization, as evidenced by acts like tattooing human bodies with heterogeneous icons, marks the contemporary metropolitan scenario. Technology remarkably augments this process by the breaking of the spatio-temporal barriers. Clifford Geertz’s notion of ‘deep play’ denotes the significant personal and social investment in sports by the acts of performance and spectatorship.  Irrational allocation of resources for embellishing and exhibiting body is not without political overtones and therefore worthy of cultural analysis.

The seminar sets the stage to explore the praxis, politics and polemics of incorporation, embodiment and many a related phenomenon in body cultures.


Mind and Body

Thinking through Body

Body, Text and Voice

Fetishism and Paraphilia

Theorizing the Body

Bio-power and Body Cultures

Incorporation and Embodiment

Body culture and Post-coloniality

Body: Matter and Manner

Race and Body

Body: Identity, Control and Differentiation

Body and Articulation

Body-centred Nano-Politics

Body and Public Sphere

Vitality and Imbecility

Skin Culture

Dance, Pop-music and Sport

Cinema and Body


Advertisements and Animations

Performance and Deep Play




Participants are requested to send the abstracts based on their original and unpublished research articles related to the above mentioned topics. The abstracts should not exceed 250 words. The names, affiliations, mobile number, email address and full mailing address of all authors must be mentioned. The abstracts are to be sent conforming to the latest MLA style of documentation. Send your abstracts to

Abstracts will be selected after a review by the select committee. Selected papers will be published in an edited volume with ISBN number.

Important dates

Last date for submission of abstracts: 15th November, 2016

Last date for submission of full paper: 30th November, 2016

Tentative date of seminar                    : 19th and 20th December, 2016

For queries please contact:         

                                                       Dr. C.S. Francis                           - 09446690336

                                                       Dr. Tom C. Thomas                   - 09995178566

                                                       Dr. Rajesh M.                              - 09447378587

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