A two-day international conference titled, “Moments, Movements, and Meanderings: Re-examining ‘Northeast’ India” hosted by Naga Scholars’ Association (NSA) in collaboration with Kohima College concluded on October 28.
A press release by Kohima College stated that valedictory programme featured distinguished speakers and highlighted the success of the conference.
In a valedictory keynote address, retired associate professor, department of English, Kohima College, Dr. Kevileno Sakhrie underscored the need to challenge the prevalent stereotypes and misrepresentations of Nagaland and its people.
She pointed out how Nagaland has been misunderstood and misrepresented by many well-meaning writers from outside the Northeast, emphasizing the need to move beyond the clichés of insurgency and militancy to understand the region’s unique history, culture, and aspirations.
Dr. Sakhrie also delved into the evolution of Naga literature, particularly in English, which is a relatively recent phenomenon, and acknowledged the role of pioneering Naga women writers in shaping the literary landscape of the region. She elaborated on how Naga literature has transitioned from post-colonial to decolonial, with a new generation of writers challenging existing literary norms and narrative forms.
She also highlighted the challenges faced by Naga literature, including the underrepresentation in mainstream academic curricula and linguistic challenges. Dr. Sakhrie called for a narrative space that allows Naga writers to tell stories of everyday experiences, culture, and tribal worldviews, emphasizing the importance of indigenous voices in shaping the cultural mosaic of India.
In a conference report, Dr. Theyiesinuo Keditsu informed that 123 registered participants representing 19 institutions from across Nagaland, as well as 13 regional and national institutions including the University of Delhi, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, IIT Guwahati, and Jamia Millia Islamia, among others were part of the conference.
The conference also witnessed participants from four international institutions, including the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (UK), the University of Edinburgh (UK), the University of York (UK), and CITAP, UNC, Chapel Hill (USA).