Department of English
The new academic session 2010-2011 was ushered in with the Freshers’ orientation held on 20th July 2010 to familiarize the newly admitted first year students with the faculty and courses .After the initial process of settling down in the new academic environment,the new batch was introduced to the two senior batches in an informal get-together on 25th August2010 organized by the Literary Society of the Department .The theme of the event wasCarnival and in a fun- filled atmosphere the newcomers mingled freely with their seniors as they were now part of the Department community for the next three years.
Before the December break , the English Department and the Western Music society of the College came together to celebrate Christmas with Carols and cakes and a lot of mirth and good cheer.
The Deparment organizes regular screenings of films that are related to the courses taught and thus are a must watch for students of literature.This year, The Mill on the Floss,Pride and Prejudice and Elizabeth were screened between October and February.
To mark the 150th year of the birth of Rabindranath Tagore,The English Department and Shrinkhala (the superannuated teachers’ associatiation of KNC) jointly organized a one-day seminar titled Rabindranath Tagore:The Renaissance Man ,on 7th February 2011.The seminar focused on the different and variegated aspects of Rabindranath’s genius and had several eminent speakers and performers presenting on subjects ranging from his contributions to his own times and beyond through his political thought, social concern and philosophy of life rendered through his poetry, prose writings and lectures to his paintings, music and theatre. Translators of his works into Hindi and English also shared their experience with the audience with their erudite presentations.
Among the esteemed speakers were Former Secretary of Sahitya Akademi Prof. Indra Nath Chaudhuri, eminent historian Prof. Tanika Sarkar and renowned sculptor K.S. Radhakrishnan. Lecture -Demonstrations on Rabindranath’s theatre and music were presented by some well-known scholar-perfomers.
An exhibition of Rabindranath’s paintings and a book exhibition were also part of the seminar.
On the 8th of February,a documentary film Rabindranath Tagore made by Satyajit Ray in the year 1961 to mark Rabindranath’s birth centenary was screened in the college auditorium.
An in-house production of William Shakespeare’s famous Tragedy Macbeth was presented by the students of all three years of English Honours on 15th March 2011.The students themselves took care of the stage ,costumes,props and acoustics ,giving full vent to their creative and artistic urge and abilities.The play was directed by Ishita Ganguly,a student of English Honours 2nd year.
The Department newsletter White Noise provides another major platform for creativity and self-expression for the students . Its continuous growth and increasing popularity over the years is a matter of pride for the Department.
The English Literary Society of the college was engaged in a series of events in the past year. The students of all the three Honours classes undertook to produce Shakespeare's Macbeth. They staged a self-produced, self-directed and self-scripted version of Macbeth on 18th February 2011 in the College Auditorium for all the students and received praise and encouragement from the Principal for their initiative.
The new academic session began with enthusiasm as the older members of the society
hosted a Freshers' Welcome on 24th August 2011 for the first year students. They were warmly welcomed to the Department and were oriented to the goals and working of the Literary Society.
The First Term/ Semester activities began with the Tagore Series - a series of film screenings and a talk/discussion by Dr. Nirmalya Samanta. In continuum with the commemoration of Tagore's Birth Centennary Year, we organised screenings of Satyajit Ray's Charulata on 15th September 2011 followed by a screening of Ray's Home and the World on 16th September 2011. The series ended with a talk on 'Women,Nationalism and Cinema in the Indian Context' by Dr. Nirmalya Samanta on 20th September 2011.
The Literary Society also initiated a 'Literary Theory Series' for the benefit of the Honours students in October 2011. The Introductory Lecture, ' Why Lit Theory? ', was delivered by Ms. Sanam Khanna, Dept. of English on 20th October 2011 and she engaged the students with a lively and interesting presentation on the beginnings and rationale behind literary theory. The Second Lecture, held on 27th October 2011, revolved around the'Beginnings of Marxism' and was delivered by eminent academician, Dr. Badri Raina. The students and faculty of the English Department tasted the finesse and brilliance of the accomplished academic who enlivened his audience with his characteristic wit and knowledge.
In the Second Term, the Literary Theory Series continued with a lecture on Structuralism by Ms. Nidhi Bhandari and Post-srtucturalism by Ms. Gayatri.
‘The Text as Theatre’ was the title of an engaging lecture delivered by Dr. Indira Menon on 24th February 2012 to the students of the English department.
The highlight of the second term was our Annual Literary Festival, Litluminous, held on the 3rd and 4th of April 2012, which was a big success!
The theme for the festival, ‘Silenced Expressions’, was Censorship and Art. We explored and debated the issue of censorship, and the students and participants dialogued with this menace that is increasingly impinging upon the
freedom of expression in civil society today. Our agenda therefore, was to look at a wide array of texts, authors and artists in order to interrogate the status and significance of Art, in the contemporary Indian context, for the artist; the nation-state and the citizen; the consumer and market forces; and the individual.
The Inaugural Panel Discussion began at 10:00am on Tuesday, 3rd April in the
college auditorium. The eminent speakers were Sanjoy Roy, Teamwork Prodns.; Shoma Chaudhury, Tehelka; Arjun Ghosh, IIT Delhi and Bindu Menon, Dept. of Journalism, LSR College. This power-packed panel set the tone and spirit for the rest of the festival as we grappled with and debated ‘censorship’.
A Screening of Lalit Vachani's film on JANAM was held at 1:00pm following which leading theatre activist, Ms. Moloyashree Hashmi led a discussion on the challenges and aims of protest art and street theatre. The students were enthralled and inspired by her words and sheer presence.
The second day of the fest witnessed Student paper presentations in the morning. This was followed by an innovative Read-it-Aloud session in the beautifully decorated Chaupal, where students and teachers read and discussed excerpts from controversial texts.
The two-day fest ended with energetic and creative Performances by the college band, 'The Rumoured Project' and a silent play, titled ‘Silence Speaks’, by the students of Zakir Hussain PG College (E).
The highly successful festival this year was the result of the untiring efforts and creativity of the students (Ishanti Ghose, 3rd Yr and Vini P. Nair and all the Litluminous volunteers) and teachers of the English department.
- Nidhi Bhandari, LitSoc Convenor, Dept. of English