SPECIAL PANDEMIC ISSUE
Guest Editors: Dipra Sarkhel & Nisarga Bhattacharjee
“They did not bother to see that the grave was properly dug or deep enough or not. They had so many more to dig.” (Ali 170).
Re-reading Ahmed Ali’s 1940 novel Twilight in Delhi, at a time when the second-wave of the Pandemic has battered millions, overwhelms us with a sentiment of mutuality – a feeling of being on the shared visceral-experiential plane with others. Apart from posing an agent for transmitting the affective resonances of a past that almost makes more sense now than it did then, these literary texts perform one thing in common – they effectively expunge any kind of associated hubristic exceptionalism. In The Corona Crash (2020), Grace Blakely notes the evaporation of capitalism’s air of unassailability as the corporate world seeks the nation-state’s assistance upon becoming vulnerable to the threats of secular stagnation, populism and climate breakdown. Within the resultant techno-feudal society created from voluntary partial expropriations, the majority of precarious bodies are relegated and squeezed to the margins. Upon revising the history of neglectful treatments, we thus attain some sort of an epiphany regarding the repetitive course of history or, in other words, the Nietzschean ‘eternal return’. But, provided the techno-futuristic times we live in, where should we put the emphasis? On the philosophical repetition of past, or on the failure of the Capitalocene and its stultifying agendas? Quite ironically, in The Burnout Society (2015), Byung-Chul Han pronounced the end of the immunological age. What happens when this techno-capitalist promise of utopian invulnerable bodies fails?
We have all experienced how the first viral blow and the subsequent lockdown measures brought in a flood of ‘Pandemic Literature’, with people from different backgrounds reading a wide range of literary works from Boccaccio to Colson Whitehead, connecting historical sentiments and temporalities. However, this is not limited to literature; journals like Critical Inquiry have also issued “special pandemic editions” with critical engagements from scholars like Slavoj Žižek and Bruno Latour. What is important, then, is to understand the significance of memorialising a traumatic event like the pandemic through the pluralistic lenses of hermeneutics; connecting-commenting-critiquing various facets informing and informed by crucial social, economic, political and religious factors. The demographic alterations by pandemics have always triggered historical changes, whether now or then. Chaucer saw how the Black Death brought about the decline in the number of clergies and the rise of labour wages, thus enabling social mobility, which would ultimately fast-tracked England’s transformation from a feudal to a modern nation-state. We witness the current lockdowns resulting in drastic but probably exiguous signs of recovery in the ecosphere.
This special issue of New Literaria, hence, invites effective engagements with the pandemic, especially the current second wave of Covid-19, that would interrogate the different implications of memorialising the events vis-à-vis the current Neo-Liberal capitalistic datascape, its bioengineered affairs and disciplinary consequences.
Some of the issues that may be addressed in relation to the pandemic could be, but are not limited to:
• Pandemic and literature
• Critical implications of narrativizing the pandemic
• Covid-19 and ecopolitics
• Covid-19 and thanatopolitics/necropolitics
• Non-human Agency, Anthropocene, Capitalocene
• Narrating the Future and “Lost Futures”
• Historiography and memorialization of pandemics
• Ecocriticism and ecofeminism amidst the disease
• Contamination, dystopia, apocalypse, and science fiction narratives
• Biopolitics, disciplinary power and Neo-Liberalism in the time of Corona
• Corporatocracy and ‘work-from-home’ during Covid-19
• Economic exploitation and declining rates of employment during Covid-19
• Pandemic and health sectors
• Domestic and psychological violence during Covid-19
• Technocracy, pandemics and immunology
• Techno-feudalism, pandemics, and the nation-state
• Virocene and the New Earth
• Biosphere and crisis capitalism
• Contamination and glocalization
Reviews (1,000-1500 words) of recently published books on the said areas will also be considered for publication.
Please send abstracts with full papers, with a supporting bio note of 100 words, to [email protected]
Words limit should be 3500-5000
Submission Guidelines can be found here:
And detailed guidelines about how to make your paper ready can be found here:
Contributors are required to check off their submissions compliance with all the terms and conditions stated by the journal. For details visit:
The last date for sending papers is 2nd July, 2021.