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Call for Papers / Posters

  • Concept Note
  • Themes
  • Organising Committee
  • Important Dates
  • Contact
  • References

The need for sharing stories has been as old as humanity. The mere opposite of silence is said to be the birth of a narrative. (Price, 1985). The ‘narrative turn’ in the last century heightened the awareness that narrativity is fundamental to all human existence (McAdams,, 2001, Bruner, 1986 and 2002). Consequently, attempts have been made to explore how narratives impose meaningful order in apparent chaos (see Bal 1997; Hinchman & Hinchman 2001), play a crucial role in delineating human subjectivity (Kerby, 1991), resist cultural oppression in telling such as Jean Rouch’s film Les Maîtres Fous (1955). Purposeful applications of stories by both researchers and field practitioners followed as reflected in employment of stories for learning and knowledge transfer strategies (Tyler, 2004), language competence building (Holing, 2006), health behaviour changes (Hammel, 2018), crafting signature stories in organisational context, facilitating culturally responsible interaction across borders and for creation of digital communities in movements such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo.

These constant reinventions in stories have increasingly expanded the conventional definitions of storytelling where “a teller projects mental and emotional images to an audience using the spoken word including sign language and gestures, carefully matching story content with audience needs and requirements” (Council on Storytelling, 8). Interestingly, fluidity and plurality, as manifested in varied genres, techniques, platforms, methodologies and expressions, have been defining features of storytelling in the India context. India, not only has storytelling traditions rooted in 22 official languages recognized in the 8th Schedule of Constitution, but also has oral tales in lesser known 780 languages enlisted in People’s Linguistic Survey of India. Multiple folk retellings and performative renderings of Sanskrit classics such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Jatakas, Kathasaritsagara and the Panchtantra serve highlight the incessant negotiations and transactions between mythology, legend, and history, between the high and the low traditions, between the oral and the written formats, between singing and telling, between education and entertainment. Some of these rich folk traditions display sophisticated understanding of the craft of storytelling. For example, the oral tradition in Konkani language identifies close to 200 categories of stories which could be narrated under specific conditions to specific audience in specific locales such as a pipal tree, grazing pastures, in temples, in the front yard of the home, in the backyard of the home, depending on the season, temperature etc. (Devsare, 2016).

Kathakari International Symposium at Anant National University seeks to capture this centrality of storytelling with the aim to discuss, deliberate and demonstrate how stories work, how we use them, how they move about, how they change and how they change us.
Kathakari celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the 2003 UNESCO Convention of the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Storytelling adds to the rich corpus of elements of the intangible heritage of humanity. UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development at AnantU promotes Kathakari International Symposium as a major activity in 2023.

This Call for Papers/Posters invites an expansive array of interdisciplinary topics on the cultural, political, historical, and contemporary aspects of storytelling including but not limited to topics listed under the sub-themes:


  • Content, Context and Functions within Oral Storytelling traditions

  • Continuities and Transformations

  • Oral Narratives and Performing Arts

  • Storytellers as Change Agents


  • Stories from the Margins: Gender/Caste/Race/Community/Sexuality

  • Erasures, Gaps and Absences

  • Storytelling for Protest and Collective Action

  • Power Politics in Storytelling: Lies, Distortions, and Manipulations


  • Stories in traditional arts/ crafts/ plastic arts/ Museums/ Photographs/ Architecture/ Installations/ 2D Art

  • Words and Visuals in Graphic novels/ Comic Books/ Comic Strips/ Cartoons/ Illustrations

  • Graffiti and street art in City Making


  • Adaptations across Media

  • The intersection of technology and culture

  • Storytelling and Principles/Elements of Design

  • Digital Media and filmmaking/Attention Economy


  • The business of storytelling

  • Stories that Heal: Therapy and Counselling

  • Storytelling and Principles/Elements of Design

  • Environmental Storytelling

  • Storytelling in advertising and marketing

1. Please submit a 350-word abstract/A3 poster mock-up and a 200-word biographical statement with the subject line, “Kathakari 2023_Abstract Submission” on or before 15th December 2022 to The selection of abstract/poster mock-up will be announced on 1st January 2023.

2. Final posters and full papers must be submitted on or before 15th February.

  • A. The full paper submissions must be no less than 1500 words and no more than 5000 words in length and must adhere to the APA 7th edition referencing style, with a font size of 12 in Times New Roman and must be double spaced. High-quality submissions would be considered for publication. More details will be announced soon.

  • B. Posters can either highlight research results dealing with the conference tracks or present their creative rendering. The poster should be in A3 size with 20+ font for titles; 12-point font or larger for text, using a sans serif font (e.g. Arial, Calibri, Geneva, etc.)

Conference Chair
Dr Anunaya Chaubey,
Provost, Anant National University
Ph.D. in English Literature, Patna University;
Salzburg Global Fellow,
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Co – Chair / Mentor
Prof Dr Amareswar Galla, PhD
Professor and Director, International Centre for Inclusive Cultural Leadership;
UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museums and Sustainable Heritage Development
Emeritus Faculty, The Australian National University, Canberra
Salzburg Global Fellow
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Dr Diti Vyas
Associate Professor;
Ph.D. in English Literature, IIT Gandhinagar
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Co – Convenor
Jasmine Gohil
Professor and Associate Dean, Academic Affairs;
Master’s in Urban Planning, Bhaikaka Center for Human Settlement, APIED
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Abstract Submission: 15th December, 2022
Notification of Acceptance: 1st January, 2023
Full Paper Submission: 15th February, 2023

Please feel free to direct any question or comment to:

Bal, Mieke (1997) Narratology: An Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. 2nd edn. Toronto: University of Toronto Press

Council on Storytelling (1980). Miscellany. The Yarnspinners 5.(4), 8.
Devsare, Hari Krishna (2016). भारतीय बाल साहित्य.. Trans. Indian Children’s Literature. India: Sāhitya Akademi.

Galla, Amareswar (2008). The First Voice in Heritage Conservation. International Journal on Intangible Heritage Vol 3, pp. 09-25.

Hammel, S. (2018). Handbook of therapeutic storytelling: Stories and metaphors in psychotherapy, child and family therapy, medical treatment, coaching and supervision. Routledge.

Hinchman, Lewis & Hinchman, Sandra (2001) Introduction. In Lewis Hinchman & Sandra Hinchman (eds), Memory, Identity, Community: The Idea of Narrative in the Human Sciences. New York: SUNY Press.

Honig, A. S. (2007). Oral language development. Early Child Development and Care, 177(6-7), 581-613.

Houston TK, Allison JJ, Sussman M, et al. Culturally appropriate storytelling to improve blood pressure: a randomized trial. Ann Inter Med. 2011;154(2):77-84.
Kerby, A. P. (1991). Narrative and the self. Indiana University Press.

McAdams, D. P., Josselson, R. E., & Lieblich, A. E. (2001). Turns in the road: Narrative studies of lives in transition. American Psychological Association.

Tyler, J. A. (2004). Strategic storytelling: The development of a guidebook for HRD practitioners using storytelling as a business strategy for learning and knowledge transfer. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 2004). UMI Dissertation Abst Price, R. (1978). A palpable God: Thirty stories translated from the bible: With an essay on the origins and life of narrative. Atheneum Books.