Scroll down to see the guidelines for guest-editing an issue and our forthcoming issues/concept notes:
General Submission Guidelines:
1. We are ideologically neutral and invite submissions from the perspectives of all ideologies – right, center, left etc. – as long as a piece makes a reasoned argument.
2. While emailing your pieces, please write ‘Magazine Piece: Issue No.’ in the subject line. Send submissions and queries to email ids of individual guest editors listed with concept notes.
3. The pieces should be around 2000-2500 words. We are open to making exceptions to this rule, if a particular piece deserves more space.
4. We are open to audio-visual submissions (in the form of interviews, conversations etc.). The audio-visual files must not be more than 20 minutes in duration. Again, we are open to making exceptions to this rule in some cases.
5. We invite Photo Essays on the given topic of a particular issue. We will include a maximum of 15 photos in a Photo Essay.
6. In case the authors are making submissions to multiple magazines, blogs, and newspapers, they must inform Cafe Dissensus the moment the piece is accepted elsewhere. Once Cafe Dissensus accepts a piece and starts working on it, it cannot be published in another magazine, blog, and newspaper.
7. The materials on Cafe Dissensus are protected under Creative Commons License. Once a piece is published in Cafe Dissensus, we will retain exclusive copyright for a period of 30 days, from the date of publication. Within this period, the piece cannot be re-published elsewhere even in an adapted and modified form.Thereafter, it must be acknowledged that the piece was first published in Cafe Dissensus. Failing to comply with this and any unauthorized republication/reproduction of the piece will invite legal measures and prosecution.
8. We are a completely voluntary endeavor and we are unable to pay our authors.
Guidelines for Guest-Editing an Issue:
We invite our readers, teachers, scholars, students, journalists/media professionals, activists, professionals (practically, anyone who would like to!) to guest-edit an issue of Cafe Dissensus. Here are the guidelines for guest-editing an issue:
1. The Guest-Editor must send in a 150 word concept note/call for papers to the editors (Email: email@example.com) well in advance, describing the theme of the issue (along with raising some questions). We will put up the CFP/concept note on the magazine website and on the magazine social-media pages.
2.There must be at least 15-18 articles plus the guest-editorial.
3. Each article must be between 2000-2500 words. However, the guest-editor might include a few longer essays, if she/he feels necessary.
4. Since the magazine is geared toward non-academic readers, all footnotes and references must be taken out. The citations within the body of the articles must be minimal, in the form of the name of an author or an idea etc. Please keep this readability factor in mind while soliciting articles and editing them.
5. We expect at least some of the pieces to be personal narratives, wherever possible. One of our aims is to weave the personal with the public/political.
6. Audio-visual content is one of our distinctive features. The guest-editors must include at least 3-4 audio-visual interviews, conversations etc. in the edited issue. For example, interviews and conversations recorded as audio-video or audio. We can help with the logistics of recording and editing the content.
7. The guest-editor will be in charge of collecting, selecting, and editing the articles. All articles will go through a final-edit by the Editors of the magazine.
8. The guest-editor must write an 800-1000 word editorial.
2017 Cafe Dissensus Issues:
Issue 38: August 2017: India at 70: The Many Partitions [Last date for submission: 15 July, 2017; Date of publication: 15 August, 2017]
Guest-Editors: Bhaswati Ghosh, Author & Translator, Canada.
Concept Note: The history of the epochal cartographic shift brought about in 1947 by the Radcliffe Line, which divided India into two countries – India and Pakistan – is extensively archived and continues to be documented, both in academic works and anecdotally across a range of mediums – literature, art, and, films.
In 1971, the two nations became three as Bangladesh emerged out of Pakistan following a bloody war. India’s borders – on the east and the west – remain beset with tension and possibilities. India’s relations with its neighbours along these two borders swing – as do its equations with forces within its boundaries – with stock-market like fluctuations. Words like “War” and “Violation (of cease fire)” collide with those like “Azaadi” and “Self-determination” with exhausting frequency.
Indeed, if one were to turn the focus off the border areas and look within India, one could see the many fissures that kept erupting during the last seventy years. From demands for statehood to complete cessation from the state, from tribal and ethnic movements to uprisings to revolt against exploitation and persecution of minorities – these internal divisions have assumed different contours at different times.
Kashmir burns. Bleeds. Gets blinded and blindsided.
Adivasis are robbed of the land they have lived in and preserved for centuries.
Brash impunity humiliates, lynches, and butchers minority groups and voices of reason.
Dalits and lower-castes are hung from trees, university hostel ceiling fans, shoved down gutters.
Poverty flourishes in the ghettos of the poor, the rich walk away with fat subsidies and tax cuts that keep inflating their corporate empires.
Folks cheer for the government and the army when people across the border are surgically exterminated, then war amongst themselves over water, the nature of animal meat and territorial rights.
And so the partitions continue. The theme for August, 2017 Cafe Dissensus special issue is “India at 70: The Many Partitions.” In this issue, we aim to explore the Partition not only as a one-time event in history but the many ways it continues to rear its head, bifurcating space and dividing people.
We invite submissions in the following areas, which are not exhaustive by any means:
Research essays (sans academic jargon)
Book excerpts, reviews of recent books
(For this issue we aren’t accepting any creative writing.)
Last date for submission: 15 July, 2017. Date of publication of the issue: 15 August, 2017. Word-limit: 1500-2000 words. Email your submissions to Bhaswati Ghosh: firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue 39: September 2017: Narrating Care: Disability and Interdependence in the Indian Context [Last date for submission: 20 July, 2017; Date of publication: 15 September, 2017]
Guest-Editors: Dr. Nandini Ghosh, IDSK & Dr. Shilpaa Anand, MANUU
Concept Note: Care-giving and care-receiving are complex experiences that are only beginning to draw the attention of scholars and researchers working in the fields of social medicine, disability studies and medical anthropology. Care-giving, however, has appropriately been recognized as an important theme of research by the women’s studies discourse, focusing primarily on women as care-givers in contexts where care-giving becomes invisible or is considered part of traditional gendered roles. What has remained relatively unfamiliar, so also unknown, is the epistemic perspective of recipients of care. The concept of care has, in the last few decades, been problematized as ‘taking responsibility for’ people, who are assumed to need caring as they are unable to exert choice and/or control. Scholars have questioned the emphasis on independence and choice, for many persons with disabilities for whom both cognitive function as well as physical abilities may be highly circumscribed. While care highlights the concept of dependency, it also points to power dynamics within the carer-cared relationship. Care recipients are assumed to be subordinate to the caregiver, as s/he cannot perform daily activities for her/himself and that, as a result, makes the person become dependent on the caregiver. The risk of losing one’s human (and civil) rights has remained higher for those requiring greater levels of care, given that economic security, safety and dignity are threatened when individuals find themselves increasingly dependent on others (as many people with disabilities do) for personal care and formal as well as informal decision-making.
‘Interdependence’, consequently, has emerged as a key concept. It has become significant to recognize that, for disabled people independence is not so much about self-sufficiency as it is about equity, empowerment, choice, and control over their own lives. Defining care as an interdependent relationship also enables us to consider the vulnerabilities of the care-giver whose role may be devalued or dominated in certain contexts. Focusing on interdependence additionally animates reflections on mutually affective bonds that connect, knot, fasten, embrace, or fetter two people simultaneously.
Given that, in the Indian context, notions of care are subsumed within familial and communitarian ethics rather than in institutionalized settings, questions of care-giving and receiving require greater and closer examination. The paradoxes of such relationships become more complicated when we consider the intersection of multiple identities. Shared as well as normative understandings of caste rules, religious and cultural practices shape and govern the everydayness of care practices. In India, the family emerges as the primary site for not only care but also management of impairment. In such a context, caring and receiving care become conflicting experiences located at the cusps of in enabling/constraining relationships, often crafted by, love/duty curiously unaware of agency/dependence.
The proposed issue of Café Dissensus invites narratives of care from receivers and givers in the form of written and graphic texts, photo essays as well as video and audio entries. We are interested in descriptions that give primacy to receivers of care while also not making invisible experiences of care givers. Your entries may be of 1500 words in length (in case of written entries) and emailed to Nandini Ghosh (email@example.com) or Shilpaa Anand (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 20 July 2017. Submission of entries must include a brief bio-note of the author/artist in about 150 words.
Issue 40: October 2017: Remembering Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in Bicentenary Year (1817-2017) [Last date for submission: 30 August, 2017; Date of publication: 1 October, 2017]
Guest-Editor: Dr. Irfanullah Farooqi, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Aligarh Muslim University, India.
Concept Note: There is no dearth of scholarly works on the life and thought of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898). Given his interest in and contribution to diverse fields such as historiography, journalism, literature, translation, theology, religion, philosophy and science, his ideas have been a source of intellectual curiosity for many. Moreover, given his stature as the founder of Muslim modernism in colonial India (something that would subsequently take the form of Muslim nationalism), his reflections remain exceedingly significant for anyone interested in Islam and Muslims in South Asia.
As someone who attained reasonable success in reconciling the Muslim elite with the erstwhile ‘western’, Sir Syed provides significant scope with reference to what we now call the colonial experience. Acknowledging the need of the hour, he did not hesitate at all in leading a specific section of the Muslim community in order to get the British-Muslim equation right. On the one hand, he repeatedly asked men of his own community (for the most part elites) to join hands with the British; on the other hand, for quite a reasonable period of his service years, he remained somewhat keen on assuring the British of the loyalty of the Muslim community. In this respect – as he nurtured his belief that in modernity lay the prosperity of any community – British and modernity became one. At the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, set up by Sir Syed in 1877, the promotion of English language alongside a clear emphasis on refinement of character and dispositions was none but a result of that mistaken linkage drawn between the British as a nation/civilisation and modernity as a period, condition or way.
As specified right in the beginning, there is no dearth of writings on Sir Syed’s contribution to various fields. Verily he was an iconic figure who attended to each and every experience of his and, as he evolved as an individual located at a certain point in history, he ardently dwelt on every bit of that very corpus. His attention to and reflection on various important moments of his life have become the basis for a range of credible works produced by established scholars associated with various disciplines. However, an unusually one-dimensional understanding of an iconic figure and his ideas needs to be contested. Much to our misfortune, Sir Syed has become a serious victim of hero-worshipping. Specifically in the context of the times we live in, a lot of adulation of Sir Syed’s fans finds itself premised on disconcertingly restricted understanding of history, culture and politics. Much of the recent writings on his life and thought are hagiographies for they conveniently bypass the complexities and contradictions that make Sir Syed’s life unique and exciting. An uncommonly naïve understanding of inconsistencies, contradictions, and variations with respect to human life has led to this ruthless refining and polishing of Sir Syed as a subject of intellectual inquiry.
On the occasion of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s bicentenary year, it is pertinent to raise critical questions in relation to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan not just as a person but product of a situation. A critical understanding of his movement will take us a long way in appreciating his work and spirit in newer ways. Some of the questions that acquire significance in that respect are around the very idea of reform in a colonial situation, overlaps between religious, social and cultural within Sir Syed’s larger project of reform, conceptualization of both modern and traditional, politics of translation, writing and social activism, religion and morality, everyday sites of education, and so on.
For the October 2017 issue of Café Dissensus, dedicated to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s Bicentenary Year, we invite contributions in the form of essays or articles that present an informed engagement with Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in relation to questions around colonial experience, colonial modernity, ideas on nation and community, historiography, Urdu literature, translation and commentary of the Holy Quran, politics of reform in a colony, the many phases of the Aligarh movement, negotiation with the idea of tradition, women’s question, the politics of not doing politics, religion and morality, science and theology, and Islamic philosophy.
Last date for submission: 30 August, 2017. Date of publication of the issue: 1 October, 2017. Word-limit: 1500-2000 words. Email your submissions to Irfanullah Farooqi: email@example.com
Issue 41: November 2017: Digital Archiving in the 21st Century: Issues and Challenges [Last date for submission: 30 September, 2017; Date of publication: 1 November, 2017]
Guest-Editor: Md Intaj Ali, Doctoral Candidate, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India.
Concept Note: Archives are the repository of records and information which can help various enthusiasts, cultural historians, oral historians, folklorists, artists, and the participating communities to look back into their past at ease. The Digital Repository is one of the challenging issues for the humanities and social sciences disciplines due to their ever changing approaches towards digital preservation in the light of various and continuously evolving technological aspects. Cultural institutions, libraries, institutions of higher learning, national and private agencies are trying to curate and preserve different types of data in the form of digitized manuscripts, photographs, moving images, and audio-video material. Most of the cultural data has been created and preserved in the digital format that is why they have been called, ‘born digital’. The term ‘born digital’ refers to the materials or objects that were educed in a digital format.
This issue of Café Dissensus aims to explore the current practice and trends of archiving in this digital era. Digital archive attempts to showcase the cultural life and artifacts through different mode of communication. Methodology of archive is changing day by day. Due to different technical advancements, people are coming up with the latest and further enhanced equipment for documentation. In this scenario, this issue is an attempt to bring together digital archivists, researchers, librarians, oral historians, folklorists, photographers, musicologists, and curators to facilitate a discussion on many pertaining issues and challenges that lie before the process of preserving digitally archival materials in the 21st Century.
We invite the contributors to address the following themes, which, however, are not exhaustive:
Role of memory and Storage in Digital Archive
Archives, Multimedia, and the Internet
Standards in file formats and metadata
The Role of Digital Media
Open Access vs. Digital Rights Management
Use of Web 2.0 technologies
Social Networking Sites for Archiving
Family albums archive
Vernacular and the Digital
Conceptualizing 21st-Century Archives
Digital Conservation and Preservation: Tools and Techniques
Digital Archive: Theory and Practice
Oral History and Digital Archive
Last date for submission: 30 September, 2017. Date of publication of the issue: 1 November, 2017. Word-limit: 1500-2000 words. Email your submissions to Md. Intaj Ali: firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue 42: December 2017: Community Policing in Kerala [Last date for submission: 30 October, 2017; Date of publication: 1 December, 2017]
Guest-Editor: Mary Ann Chacko
Concept Note: Coming soon…
2018 Cafe Dissensus Issues:
Issue 44: March 2018: The importance of being a Flâneur today: Impressions, resonance, and the necessity of a pause [Last date for submission: 30 December, 2017; Date of publication: 1 March, 2018]
Guest-Editor: Maitreyee Chowdhury, Author, Bangalore, India.
Concept Note: Beyond every impersonal city lies the personal, but only if you have the time to stand and make it yours. Impersonal times, such as ours, deserve a personal observer, one would say. And who better to realise this than a flâneur – one who can look beyond that chaos and pin down the interesting in painting a picture that acquires dimensions beyond what our busy lives don’t allow us to see. By definition, the flâneur has no specific relationship with any individual or place and yet he/she seeks to establish a seemingly temporary, yet deeply intimate, relationship with all that they pass by, see, and attempt to internalise. A flâneur thus exhibits both abandon and aloofness, while on the streets and paints from memory, a collective kaleidoscope that gives an ordinary sight an extraordinary frame.
A happy twist in this tale comes in the form of organized walks world over. More and more people are discovering the joys of seeing a place on foot. Walks such as heritage walk, food walk, botanical walk, etc. are hot sellers. But what emerges from these walks beyond seeing a place and the sheer love of a relaxed pace? Does the average walker turn into a flâneur then? Beyond a basic understanding of being a flâneur, we would like to engage with some of the following questions (but not limited to them):
Does the job of a flâneur entail aimless observation and end with that?
Assuming that the depth of a flâneur’s connection with what they see on the roads necessitates some sensitivity, is the flâneur a threatened concept?
Can the flâneur of today bridge the gap between ‘aimless walking around’ and the ‘necessity of a pause’?
This issue of Cafe Dissensus seeks thought-provoking essays, audio and audio-visual pieces, and photo-essays that can collate experiences and question the premise set here. We await pieces that carry the resonance of walking around a city or town and are capable of painting a picture that can startle, reveal or make one pause on a thought process, otherwise not obvious.
Submissions should be of roughly 2000-2500 words. Some longer pieces would be considered, if they deserve more space. Submissions will be accepted till 30 December, 2017 and the issue will be published on 1 March, 2018. Please email your submissions to the issue editor, Maitreyee Chowdhury: email@example.com
Issue 45: April 2018: Art and Resistance [Last date for submission: 28 February, 2018; Date of publication: 1 April, 2018]
Guest-Editor: Chandrika Acharya, archivist, Delhi Art Gallery Modern, New Delhi, India.
Concept Note: From processions to pamphlets, vigils and manifestoes, the articulation of dissent could take any form. This issue of Café Dissensus intends to inquire into art-based interventions and their capacity for political movement. Critical art, by being contentious, can disclose alternate and previously subverted perspectives on the world. The past decades with its chronicles of economic and political crisis has seen art intersect as a key element of protest as it playfully or polemically opens up spaces of engagement and action. Through a variety of creative forms: street performances, giant art installations, protest music, dissenting cartoons, videos and images that go viral, it generates new modes of advocacy, interrupting older beliefs and imagining more equitable alternatives to the status quo.
As a demonstration of grievances, the strong performative aspect inherent in social movements allows people to manifest their position through which movements aspire to gain critical attention and form a sense of urgency.
In this regard, how does art-led activism, facilitate a way to mobilize people, perhaps even those previously disinterested?
Articles, poems, short stories, photo essays, and interviews are invited on but not limited to the following sub themes:
Art as a mode of knowledge production: Function of art in shaping public discourse and social meaning.
Inclusionary Art: Does Art have a capacity to provide sensory proximity to the life-world of others thereby manufacturing a sense of solidarity and commonality?
Documentation of specific instances of art led activism
State and culture control: How does the State interact with cultural resistance, whether through censorship or surveillance?
Digital Art and critique of the contemporary: New Media Art and Politics
Reflection of greater socially conscious contemporary art practices as reflected in Art Fairs and Biennales.
Submissions should be of roughly 2000-2500 words. Some longer pieces would be considered, if they deserve more space. Submissions will be accepted till 28 February, 2018 and the issue will be published on 1 April, 2018. Please email your submissions to the issue editor, Chandrika Acharya: firstname.lastname@example.org