Beltangady: A national level workshop on ‘Cultural Context of English Literature’ was held organized by the Centre for Inter-disciplinary Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (CIRHS), SDM PG College at Ujire recently.
Participants deliberated on the challenges faced by students and teachers of English literature in India in the workshop held on February 4 and 5. The objective of the workshop was to highlight the hurdles that exist in our ability to understand literature that comes out of different cultural context, since the largest part of English literature syllabus is devoted to the study of the British literary canon.
The workshop brought together resource persons from India and Europe, with sessions by Dr Dunkin Jalki and Dr Sufiya Pathan from CIRHS, Dr Polly Hazarika, former assistant professor at SNDT University, Mumbai and Anne Cardinael of the India Platform from Belgium. Participants came from SDM PG College, SDM UG College, KSS College (Subrahmanya) and individual research students from Mumbai, Chennai and Thrissur. Since the larger focus was on understanding the cultural context of (European English) literature, a session on European classical music was included within the workshop.
English literature is the most popular post-graduate stream of study in the category of Humanities and Social Sciences in India as per All India Higher Education Institutions Final Report 2014-15. It is therefore even more important to focus on how this subject is taught and learnt in the Indian context. Dr Jalki, Director of CIRHS said, “If we ever hope that good research in the subject is to be contributed from India as well and not just from Europe, we will have to significantly rethink the way we study English literature today.”
Garima Raghuvanshy, a student participant said, “The workshop was really significant. The kind of insights that were shared here really need to be shared widely. I hope many more such workshops will be organised.”
CIRHS hopes to conduct more workshops related not just to English literature, but also on research methodology in Social Sciences in the months to come.
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