Call for Papers

Indian Caribbean Visual and Performing Arts

Between 1838 and 1917, the British transported millions of indentured laborers from India to work in agriculture and industry around the world. Today, descendants of these Indian migrants make up significant populations in the Caribbean, Africa, and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In part to commemorate the one-hundred-year anniversary of the abolition of Indian indentureship in 2020, MARLAS seeks submissions for a special issue on Indian Caribbean performing and visual arts as detailed below.

The Indian Caribbean diaspora has long been characterized by both creative retention and (re)invention of Indian cultural practices. Though art, dance, and music are often invoked in scholarly writing as quintessential examples of Indian post-indenture identities, few studies have undertaken serious transnational analyses that create space to legitimize the multifaceted and intertwined ways in which the visual and sonic legacies of colonization, slavery, and indentureship have been and continue to be performed. Rather, much of the literature focuses on continuities with India rather than endogenous Indian Caribbean creativity and the complex fusions that characterize music, dance, and visual cultures in the Indian post-indenture diaspora.

For this special issue of Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies, we welcome proposals for research articles, essays, and research notes on all aspects of Indian Caribbean visual and performing arts, particularly from Caribbean and diasporic authors currently underrepresented in the academic literature. We especially invite articles that provide deep structural analyses of performative practices and/or critically address the following questions:

  • By what means is Indian identity expressed and debated by cultural stakeholders in the Caribbean and its diaspora?
  • What can a comparative analysis of creative practices reveal about continuity, change, and exchange across the Indian Caribbean diaspora?
  • How are racial and cultural alterities resolved within a “creole” and/or multicultural framework?
  • How are orientations to India, citizenship in diaspora, and transnational belonging expressed and processed through visual and performing arts?

Submissions are accepted electronically here: Before submitting, ensure that works conform to the Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies formatting and structure guidelines. Deadline for submissions is January 12, 2020. Selected authors will be notified by February 9, 2020. Expected publication date is June 30, 2020.

Please direct questions to the issue’s guest co-editors:
Christopher L. Ballengee (Anne Arundel Community College),
Darrell G. Baksh (University of the West Indies, St. Augustine),