Now you can view this blog on your mobile phones! Give a try.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Feminist Criticism

Feminism is a diverse collection of social theories, political movements, and moral philosophies, largely motivated by or concerning the experiences of women, especially socially, politically, and economically. As a social movement, feminism largely focuses on limiting or eradicating gender inequality and promoting women's rights, interests, and issues in society.

Feminism as a self-aware, concerted approach entered literature in 1960’s. However about two centuries of struggle preceeds it. Beginning with Mary Wollsonecrafts – A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792), Margaret Fuller (Am)- Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845), John Stuart Mill – The Subjection of Women (1869)

Today feminist literary criticism closely linked to movement by political feminists for social, economic and cultural freedom and equality.

Virginia Woolf novelist, an important precursor feminist criticism, wrote numerous essays on women authors and on the cultural, economic, and educational disabilities within ‘patriarchal’ society that have prevented women from realising their creative possibilities. Her important work: A Room of One’s Own (1929)

Simone de Beauvoir (French) in her The Second Sex (1949) presents a critique of cultural identification of women merely as negative object or other to ‘man’ as the defining and dominating ‘subject’ who is assumed to represent humanity in general. She also dealt with great collective myths of women in the works of many male writers.

In US modern feminism began with Mary Ellman’s Thinking about Women (1968) through witty discussion of derogatory stereotypes of women in literature written by men. She also presented alternative, subversive points of view in some writings of women.

Kale Millets – Sexual Politics (1969)- ‘Politics’ – mechanisms that express and enforce the relations of power in society. She discussed how western social arrangements and institutions as covert ways manipulating power to establish and perpetuate the dominance of men and subordination of women. She attacked the male bias in Freud’s psychoanalytic theory and analysed selected passages by D H Lawrence showing how they aggrandise their aggressive phallic selves and degrade selves and degrade women as submissive sexual objects.

Since 1969 there has been explosion of feminist writings unparalleled in the previous history of critical innovation as it displays urgency and excitement of a religious awakening. However, there is no unitary theory of procedures in US, England and France and other countries. There is a lot of variety like psychoanalytic, Marxist and diverse post-structuralist with intense debate within them. Various feminism share assumptions and concepts that constitute common ground for the diverse ways that individual critics explore the factor of sexual differences and privilege in the production, the form and content, the reception and critical analysis and evaluation of works of literature.
o Subtypes of feminism
o Amazon feminism
o Anarcha-Feminism
o Anti-racist feminism
o cultural feminism
o ecofeminism
o equity feminism
o existentialist feminism
o French feminism
o gender feminism
o individualist feminism (also known as libertarian feminism)
o lesbian feminism
o liberal feminism
o male feminism or men's feminism
o Marxist feminism (also known as socialist feminism)
o material feminism
o pop feminism
o post-colonial feminism
o postmodern feminism which includes queer theory
o pro-sex feminism (also known as sexually liberal feminism, sex-positive feminism)
o psychoanalytic feminism
o radical feminism
o separatist feminism
o socialist feminism
o spiritual feminism
o standpoint feminism
o third-world feminism
o transnational feminism
o transfeminism
o womanism
o Certain actions, approaches and people can also be described as proto-feminist or post-feminist.

Common grounds:
1. Western civilisation is pervasively patriarchal – It is male centred, controlled, organised, conducted to subordinate women to men in all cultural domains: familial, religious, political, economic, social, legal, artistic.

Hebrew Bible, Greek philosophy to present: female defined by negative reference, to the male as the human norm hence the other, non-man, by her lack of the identifying male organ, of male powers, and of the male characters traits presumed to have achieved the most important inventions and works of civilisations and culture.
Women socialised to resign to patriarchal ideology (conscious and unconscious presuppositions and male superiority) and conditioned to derogate their own sex and to cooperate in their own subordination. E.g. NDTV ‘We the People’ Dress code.

2. Though sex is determined by anatomy the prevailing concepts of gender- of the traits that constitute what is masculine and what is feminine are largely cultural constructs. Created by the patriarchal biases of the civilisation. Simone de Beauvoir: ‘One is not born, but becomes, a woman … it is civilization as a whole that produces this creature…. which is described as feminine.’
Masculine identified as active, dominating, adventurous, rational, creative; the feminine by systematic opposition to such traits, as passive, acquiescent, timid, emotional, and conventional.

3. The patriarchal/masculinist /andro-centric ideology pervades great literary works mostly written by men. Highly regarded classics focus on male protagonists- Oedipus, Ulysses, Hamlet, Tom Jones, Captain Ahab, Huck Finn- embody masculine traits and ways of feeling and pursue masculine interests in masculine fields of action.

To them female characters are marginal and subordinate, complementary, opposite to masculine desires and enterprises. They lack female role models, are addressed to male readers. They either make woman alien outsider or make her take the position of the male subject, male values, and ways of perceiving, feeling, and acting. Critical theories, traditional aesthetic categories presumed to be objective, disinterested and universal are fused with masculine assumptions, interests and ways of reasoning. Rankings, critical treatments are gender-based.

Feminist critics in English-speaking countries attempt to reconstitute all the ways we deal with literature to do justice to female points of views, concerns and values.
They try to alter ways of reading of the past to make her a Resisting Reader (Judith Fetterley, 1978) to resist the author’s intensions and design in order by a ‘revisionary reading’ bringing to light and countering the sexual biases written into a literary work. To find ‘images of women’ in the novels and poems of men. They fall into two antithetic patterns. One side- idealised projection of men’s desires (the Madonna, the Muse of arts, Dante’s Beatrice, the pure and innocent virgin, the ‘Angel in the House’ that was represented by the Victorian poet Coventry Patmore). The other side: demonic projections of men’s sexual resentments and terrors (Eve and Pandora as the sources of all evil, destructive sensual temptresses such as Delilah and Circe, the malign witch, the castrating mother)
Though some decry literature written by men for its depiction of women as marginal docile and subservient to men’s interests and emotional needs and fears, male writers like Chaucer, Shakespeare, Samuel Richardson, Henrick Ibsen and George Bernard Shaw have managed to raise above the sexual prejudices of their time sufficiently to understand and present the cultural pressures that have shaped the characters of women and forced upon them their negative or subsidiary social roles.

Some feminists are not concerned with woman as reader but gynocriticism. Gynocriticism: Elaine Showalter- criticism concerns itself with developing specifically female framework for dealing with works written by women in terms of production, motivation and analysis, interpretation in all literary forms, including journals and letters.

Important books of this mode:
Patricia Meyer Spacks: The Female Imagination (1975), on major women novelists and poets in England, America, and France;
Elaine Showalter, A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing (1977)
Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic (1979) Stresses the psychodynamics of women writers in the 19th century.

The authors propose the ‘anxiety of authorship’ that resulted from the stereotype, that literary creativity is an exclusive male domain, effected in women writers a psychological duplicity that projected a monstrous counter figure to the heroine, typified by Bertha Rochester, the madwoman Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre; such a figure is ‘usually in some sense the author’s double, an image of her own anxiety and rage’.

Concerns of gynocritics-
1. to identify distinctively feminine subject matters in literature written by women – The primary issues e.g. the world of domesticity, the special experiences of gestations, giving birth, and nurturing or mother-daughter and woman-woman relations- in which personal and affectional issues, and not external activism is significant.

2. To uncover in literary history a female tradition expressed by a subcommunity of women writers who were aware of, emulated and found support in earlier women writers, and who in turn provide models and emotional support to their own readers and successors.

3. To show that there is a distinctive feminine mode of experience or ‘subjectivity’ in thinking feeling, valuing and perceiving oneself and the outer world.

4. To attempt to specify the traits of a ‘woman’s language or distinctively feminine style of speech and writing, in sentence structure, types of relations between the elements of a discourse, and characteristic figures and imagery.

Some feminists critically analyse women’s domestic and ‘sentimental’ novels, noted perfunctorily and in derogatory fashion in standard literary histories. These dominated the market for fiction and best sellers in the nineteenth century.
Examples seen in Elaine Showalter, A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing (1977) on British writers
Nina Baym Woman’s fiction: A Guide to Novels by and about Women in America 1820-1870 (1978)
Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, No Man’s Land: The Place of the Woman Writer in the Twentieth Century (2 Vols; 1988-89)

Often-asserted role of feminist critics is to enlarge and reorder, displace the literary canon- a set of works which by a cumulative consensus have come to be considered ‘major’ as the chief subjects of literary history, criticism, scholarship, and teaching.

Feminist studies have brought to forefront many of the sidelined women writers: Anne Finch, George Sand, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Elizabeth Gaskell, Christina Rossetti, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn Lady, Mary Wortley Montagu, Joanna Baillie, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and a number of African-American writers such as Zora Neale Hurston.

Some feminists have concentrated on lesbian writers.

American and English critics have engaged in empirical and thematic studies of writings by and about women. In France prominent critics have occupied themselves with the ‘theory’ of the role of gender in writing within the poststructuralist frame of reference, Lacan’s reworkings of Freudian psychoanalysis in terms of Saussure’s linguistic theory.

English-speaking feminists show demonstrable and specific evidences in which male bias is encoded in our linguistic conventions. E.g. ‘man’, ‘mankind’ for human beings, chairman or spokesman for people of either sex, he and his to refer back to gender neutral nouns like God, human being, child inventor, author, poet.

French feminists argue that all western languages are irredeemably male-gendered, male-constituted and male-dominated. According to Lacan Discourse is ‘phallogocentric’- It is centred and organised throughout by implicit recourse to the phallus (symbolic) both as its supposed ‘logos’ or ground, and as its prime signifier and power-source. Phallogocentrism manifests itself in Western discourse not only in its vocabulary and syntax, rigorous rules of logic, proclivity for fixed classifications and oppositions, and its criteria to choose valid evidence and objective knowledge. The basic problem for French theorists is to establish the very possibility of a woman’s language that will not, when a woman writes, automatically be appropriated into this phallogocentric language for such appropriation forces her into complicity with the linguistic features that impose on females a condition of marginality and subservience, or even of linguistic non-entity.

To evade this dilemma, Helene Cixous posits the existence of an incipient ‘feminine writing’ with its source in the mother, in that stage of the mother-child relation before the child acquires the male-centred verbal language. Thereafter, this prelinguistic potentiality in the unconscious manifests undermine and subvert the fixed signification, the logic, and the ‘closure’ of our phallocentric language, and open out into a joyous freeplay of meanings.

Luce Irigaray posits a ‘woman’s writing’ which evades the male monopoly and the risk of appropriation into the existing system by establishing as its generative principle, in place of monolithic phallus, the diversity, fluidity and multiple possibilities inherent in the structure and erotic functioning of the female sexual organs and in the distinctive nature of female sexual experiences.

Julia Kristeva posits a ‘Chora’, or prelinguistic, pre-oedipal, and unsystematized signifying process, centred on the mother, that she labels ‘semiotic’. This process is repressed as we acquire the father-controlled, syntactically ordered, and logical language that she calls ‘symbolic’. The semiotic process can break out in a revolutionary way as in avant-garde poetry, whether written by a women or by men- as a ‘heterogeneous destructive causality’ that disperses the authoritarian ‘subject’ that strikes free of the oppressive order and rationality of our standard discourse which as the product of the ‘law of the Father’ consigns women to a negative and marginal status.

In recent years a number of feminists have used poststructuralist positions and techniques to question the founding concepts of feminism itself. They point out the existence of differences and adversarial strands within the supposedly monolithic history of patriarchal discourse, and emphasise the inherent linguistic instability in the basic conceptions of ‘woman’ or ‘the feminine’ as well as the diversities within these supposedly universal and uniform female identities that result from differences in race, class, nationality, and historical situation.

The volume of literature both critical and creative as well women’s studies in academia a increasing by the day. The concern with the effects of sexual innovations of the last several decades, the concern with the effects of sexual differences in the writing, interpretation, analysis and assessment of literature seems destined to have the most prominent and enduring effects on literary history, criticism, and academic instruction, as conducted by men as well as women.


Abrams, MH. A Glossary of Literary Terms.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I BBM ‘A’ Sem. II Assignment - I

I BBM ‘A’ Sem. II Assignment - I
Please read the following poem by Marcie Hans and post your critical comments on this blog. You may consider the following points while commenting: the dichotomy between creation and invention of God and humans respectively, the contribution of the stylistic features of the poems towards enhancing the effect of the poem, the poem as anti-industrial or as a Romantic poem. You may also read the poem against the grain. Minimum word limit is 30. No upper word limit. Please do not give the summary of the poem in your comments. It’s the quality of your comments that matters and not the quantity. At the end of your comments please leave your register no. You may also leave your name (optional).Your comments have to be posted before 30 Nov 2005.

Evaluation: The assignment carries 20 marks. YOu will be marked based on the quality of the response, which includes the language, originality of thought, and the ability to assimilate classroom discussion of the peom with your critical insights of the poem.

by a million
wings of fire –
the rocket tore a tunnel
through the sky –
everybody cheered.
only by a thought from God –
the seedling
urged its way
through the thickness of black –
and as it pierced
the heavy ceiling of the soil –
and launched itself
up into outer space –

Monday, November 14, 2005


Department of Media Studies
Christ College, Bangalore

FEP II Semester
Phonetics and Applied Linguistics

Course Plan 2005-06 (sUBJECT TO CHANGE)

Name of the Teacher : Anil Pinto
Semester : II
Total No of sessions : 40
(As per academic Calendar)
Subject : Functional English
Paper : III (Phonetics and Applied Linguistics)
Books Recommended : Balasubramanian, T. A Textbook of English Phonetics for Indian Students. Delhi: Macmillan India, 1981.
Jones, Daniel. English Pronouncing Dictionary. 16 Ed. London: CUP, 2003.
Mortimer, Collin. Elements of Pronunciation: Intensive Practice for Intermediate and more Advanced Students. CUP,1985.
Topic No Topic No of sessions Dates
1 Word accent revision: Functional shift of stress, word with prefixes/suffixes-their stress pattern, accent in compound words, consonant cluster, syllable structure, 02 Nov: 14, 15
2 Contractions 01 Nov: 18
3 Allophonic variants: Plosives, lateral, frictionless continuant. 03 Nov: 21, 22, 25
4 Assimilation: Apocope, syncope. 02 Nov: 28, 29
5 Elision 01 Dec: 2
6 Rhythm: Content words, structure words, stress-timed rhythm, week forms 04 Dec: 5, 6, 12, 13
7 Intonation: Pitch, tone/tune shapes, tone group and tonic, falling tone, rising tone, falling-rising tone, passage transcription 07 Jan: 2, 3, 6, 9, 10, 13,16
8 Accent: General Indian English 03 Jan: 17, 30, 31
9 Accents: US, UK and Australian 04 Feb: 3, 6, 7, 10
10 Voice culture 05 Feb: 13, 14,17, 20, 21
11 Microphone training 03 Feb: 24, 27, 28
12 Effective Reading 06 Mar: 3, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14
13 Effective speaking 06 Mar: 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28
14 Feedback 01 Mar: 31

Each lecture-class will begin with exercises for 15 minutes based on the topics discussed in the previous session. Hence, please come to class having done your revision.
BBC, Cambridge, CIEFL audio and video cassettes and CDs will be made use of in the training process. Relevant exercise and reading materials will be provided from time to time. Voice culture classes will be conducted in the open air.
CIA-2a: Speech Analysis: Record a three-minute speech of any student of Christ other than FEP. Analyse the speech in terms of pronunciation, and stress. The assignment should have the subject profile, the speech in regular English orthography, and your analysis of the speech based on the given criteria. No minimum or maximum word limit.
Should possess the audio record of the speech.
Evaluation Criteria: Quality of the analysis, presentation, language.
Date for submission: Nov. 29, 2005
CIA-2b: Analysis of British, US and Australian English. Record three-minute speeches of British, US and Australian English from TV or Radio, for the first two preferably from Voice of America, and BBC Radio respectively. Analyse the three pieces in terms of pronunciation, accent, rhythm, intonation and vocabulary. No minimum or maximum word limit. Should possess the audio record of the three speeches.
Evaluation Criteria: Quality of the analysis, presentation, language.
Date for submission: Jan.13, 2005
CIA-3: Teach Phonetics Project. Choose a person who has not undergone training in pronunciation in English. Teach phonetics in about 20 sessions spread over a period of 20 to 30 days. Submit the report. The report should have the learner profile, sessionwise teaching plan/schedule with dates, continuous analysis of the learner’s progress, your learning and a letter from the leaner as a proof of your teaching the person.
Evaluation Criteria: Quality of the analysis, presentation, language.
Date for submission: Feb. 3, 2005
Guidelines for Submission:
• The covering sheet of the assignment should have the following details: Name of the college, assignment code, assignment title, your name, Reg. no, name of the teacher in-charge and date of submission.
• I prefer handwritten assignments with proper margins. You may use pictures, graphs and illustrations. Please write only on one side of the A4 size paper.
• You are free to take the assignment beyond the expected criteria. Such efforts will be appreciated.
• Do not submit the assignments four days prior to the date of submission unless you are going to be out of town. Those who are going to be out of town can submit the assignment online.
• Assignments submitted late by a day will be accepted. However, such submissions will be penalised. Submissions late by more than a day will be rejected.
• Avoid copying.
• Remember to give the reference at the end of your assignment of the books, articles and websites that you have referred to. The following pattern may be followed: Author’s name with the last name first, a period, name of the book underlined, a period, Place of Publication, colon, name of publication, year of publication, page no
o E.g.: Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand, My Experiments with Truth, New Delhi: Penguin, 1998.
o In case of a website give the complete URL of the site referred to.
o If you are directly lifting some lines quote them. If you are using some idea write it in your words but acknowledge it.
Class test: There will be one written class test. Peer evaluation will be done. However marks obtained will not be considered for CIA.
Mid-semester practical exam: Listening to a passage and transcribing, reading a passage in regular English Orthography, reading a transcribed passage, group discussion.
Mark division:
End-semester theory paper-50
End-semester practicals: 25
Mid-semester practicals: 10
Classwork: 10
Record: 05
Continuous Internal Assessment:
CIA-I: 25
CIA-II a, II b, III: 20
Attendance: 05
Total: 150

 Attendance is compulsory for all the sessions. Please be punctual.
 Sessions on Mondays are of two hours and involve practicals. Rest of the sessions are of 55 minutes.
 Good English pronunciation can be mastered only through continuous practice. Hence, try to speak English phonetically as much as possible in your day-to-day conversation.
 Listen to BBC, CNN, and VOA news on TV or Radio everyday. This will not only help you widen your knowledge but also expose you to good spoken English. (However beware of the politics of these channels)
 Update your record book regularly and submit it on the last working day of every month. You may place it on my table.
 Please take care not to pass comments or react negatively when your friends try to speak English phonetically. It may demotivate them. Instead help each other learn better.
 Please feel free to clarify your doubts, ask questions or give feedback in the class, department or through email. Email:
 While emailing please mention your name and class.
 Visit my blog for notices and announcements regularly.
 All the best. Let us grow together.

Anil Pinto

Monday, November 07, 2005

IBBM Grammar and Prose

This page includes material on the following topics in the order given.
1. Tenses
2. Passive Voice
3. direct-indirect speech
4. prepositions
5. Meeting of the Races: Rabindranath Tagore
6. Refugees

Tense and time are two different concepts. Time is a non-linguistic aspect. It has three divisions-past, present and future. Whereas tense is a concept related to language which represents our concept of time with the verb. Tamil, Hindi, Kannada and most of the Indian languages have three tenses. Where as English has only two tenses- past and present. English does not have future tense.

Both the past and present have their respective simple, progressive (continuous), perfect and perfect continuous tenses.

Simple Present
a. Used to talk about general truths
E.g. Earth revolves round the sun.
Two and two make five.
b. To talk about situations instantaneously. E.g. cricket, football commentaries, demonstration of things like functioning of a computer or cookery lessons on your TV.
E.g. Bola passes the ball to Shambu, who heads it to.
Take a glass of water, add some sugar to it….

c. Habitual use: To talk about thing we normally or regularly do.
E.g. I brush my teach everyday.
I come to college by bus.

Note: You can’t say ‘I am coming to college everyday by bus.’ Because it is a regular activity for you.

Simple past:
a. In a narrative to talk about sequence of events.
E.g. Tony Blair came to India, met the Prime Minister, gave an interview to NDTV and returned to England.
b. Major Khatri visited the hospital every day for two years.

Present Progressive
a. To talk about present state that is temporary.
E.g. He is working in the garden.

b. Sporadic repetitions.
E.g. The Children are always breaking windows.
Note: In the instances of ‘b’ above there is implied criticism. Such sentences need to make use of adverbs like always, constantly, forever.

Past Progressive

a. Used to talk about actions going on simultaneously.
E.g. I was watering the plants while my friend was watching the television.

b. to indicate a temporary state in the past.
E.g. I was watching television all evening.
c. For ongoing action in the past.
E.g. I was having ice cream just then.

Note: Stative verbs which indicate a state of being of knowing cannot be used in progressive.
E.g. know, like, prefer, understand, think, want, have, being

However they can be used to talk about something other than their direct meaing.
E.g. I am thinking of going to Chennai tomorrow. (The word thinking here refers to considering and not a mental process of thinking.)

Present Perfect

This is used to refer to an activity that is over in the past but whose impact is still felt or continues.
E.g. I have washed my hand (Meaning, I may have washed a long time ago but they are
still clean.)

Past Perfect

a. To talk about past in the past: where two actions occur in the past, one before the other.
I reached the college at 9.30 am, but the exam had already begun by then.

b. with verbs like hope, expect, think, intend, mean, want, to indicate that a past hope or expectation was not fulfilled.
E.g. He had intended to propose to her
I had hoped to improve my condition.

Present Perfect Progressive
Used to talk about an activity that began in the past and is still continuing.
E.g. I have been reading since 6 pm.

Similar use holds good for Past Perfect Progressive

The Future can be expressed in English using
- The Simple Present
- The Present Progressive
- Going to form
- ‘Will’ and ‘shall’

The Simple Present is used to talk about fixed programmes.
E.g. The end-sem exam begins on 7 November.
College will start on 14 November
What time does Chennai express arrive?

The Present Progressive is used to talk about personal arrangements for the future.
E.g. I’m seeing the vice-principal tomorrow.

The use of ‘going to’ refers to future based on present circumstances.
She’s going to have a baby. (I can see that she’s pregnant.)
It’s going to rain. (I see dark clouds in the sky.)

‘Will’ and ‘shall’ are used when we predict what we think will happen.
You will never fail if you study for an hour everyday.

To talk about decision at the moment we are making it.
I think I’ll go to bed.

‘Shall’ is used to make suggestions.
E.g. Shall I open the window?

Nagaraj, Geetha. Comprehend and Compose. Rev Ed. New Delhi: Foundation Books, 2005.
For more details and exercises please refer to you grammar text book.

Indirect/Reported Speech

When a previously made statement is reported in the speakers own words modifying the original statement it becomes reported speech.
1. Shambu said, “I met Bola today”.
2. Shambu said that he had met Bola that day.

When we convert a direct sentence to an indirect sentence following changes occur in the indirect sentence.
1. Tense change
2. Punctuation Change
3. Pronoun change
4. Adverbials of time and place, and demonstratives change
5. Reporting verb may change
6. Sentence type may change in the case of interrogative sentences and exclamatory sentences.

Tense Change:
Tense in Direct Speech Tense in indirect speech Examples
Direct speech Indirect speech
Simple present Simple past He said, “My brother cooks breakfast.” He said that his brother cooked breakfast.
Present progressive Past progressive She said, “He is writing a novel.” She said that he was writing a novel.
Present perfect Past perfect They said, “We have seen the Taj Mahal.” They said that they had seen the Taj Mahal.
Present perfect Continuous Past perfect Continuous He said, “Our milkman has been giving us very good milk.” He said that their milkman had been giving them very good milk.
Simple past Past perfect She said, “I heard the news over the radio.” She said that she had heard the news over the radio.
Past perfect continuous Past perfect continuous He said, “We were watching the game.” He said that they had been watching the game.

a. Modal auxiliaries are changed into their past forms
1. He said, “The teacher will help me.”
He said that the teacher would help him.
b. The past perfect and past perfect continuous tenses remain the same when converted into reported speech.
1. He said, “I had waited for an hour for the bus”
c. When we refer to natural laws or eternal truths the tense remains unchanged in reported speech
1. The teacher said, “The earth moves round the sun.”
The teacher said that the earth moves round the sun.
d. If the reporting verb is ‘says’ or ‘will say’ i.e. if the reporting verb is in the present tense form then no change is made in the tense of the verb in the spoken sentence.

Adverbials of time
Demonstratives and adverbials of time and place change when converted to reported speech.
Direct Indirect
This That
These Those
Here There
Now Then
Today That day
This afternoon That afternoon
Tonight That night
Last week The previous week
Tomorrow The next day/ the following day
Yesterday The day before
Ago Earlier, before
Next week/year The following week/year
Two weeks ago Two weeks before

Changes depending on the type of sentence.

Commands and requests are converted into reported speech suing an infinitive phrase, that is ‘to+phrase’. The reporting verb is changed form ‘said’ or ‘told’ to another one that expresses the tone of the sentence.
1. The boy said to the principal, “Please give me a scholarship”.
The requested the principal to give him a scholarship.
2. The king said to his men, “Put this man in prison.”
The king ordered his men to put that man in prison.


a. Yes/No questions are converted into reported speech with the following changes.
1. The question is changed into a noun clause or put it simply into a statement.
2. The conjunction ‘whether’ is used.
3. The question mark at the end is omitted.
1. “Is the train late?” the man asked the station master
The man asked he station master whether the train was late.
2. “Can you hear a noise?” he asked me.
He asked me whether I could hear a noise.
b. Wh-question can be converted into reported speech with the following changes.

1. The question is changed into a noun clause, in other words a statement.
2. The noun clause is introduced with the question word in the spoken sentence.
3. The question mark at the end is omitted.
1. Mr Das asked his wife, “Who is coming to dinner?”
Mr Das asked his wife who was coming to dinner.
2. “Which book are you taking?” the librarian asked.
The librarian asked me which book I was taking.

While reporting an exclamation the reporting verb must reflect the spirit of the spoken words.
1. “What a lovely garden!” my friend said.
My friend exclaimed what a lovely garden it was.
2. “Hello! Where are you going?” he asked me.
He greeted me and asked where I was going.

Reporting verbs for commands and requests.

advice, ask, beg, command, desire, forbid, order, request, urge.


Prepositions can be categorised into
a) Space/place prepositions: at, in, on, opposite, below, off, bhind, near, by, beside, under, over etc.
b) Movement/direction propositions: from, to, towards, into, onto, away, from, round, across, along etc
c) Time prepositions: at, in, on, before, during, after, till/until, by, for, since, from, to etc
d) Orientation prepositions: Beyond, across, over, past, through, down etc.
e) Means prepositions: with, by etc
f) Other prepositions: against, as, about, of, for etc.

Prepositions not used:

1. With expressions of time beginning with next, last, this, one, every, each, some, any, all.

See you next Monday.
This lecture is in Room 3 this afternoon.
You can see me any day you like.

2. In expressions with words like heights, width, length, colour, age, shape preposition is not used
She’s the same age as Mala, though she pretends to be younger!
The new Fiat has a very nice shape.
He’s the right height to join the Army.
What colour were his trousers?

Words with fixed preposition
Certain words go with certain fixed prepositions
Agree with
Agree about
Agree on
Agree to
Anxious about
Anxious for
Anxious + to infinitive
Apologise for
Arrive at
Crash into\die of
Difficulty with
Difficulty in
Dream of
Dram about
Example of
Look at
Look after
look for
Shout at
Suffer from
Wrong with
Matter with

Certain prepositions go before certain nouns in a fixed pattern.
At – the cinema, the theatre, a party, university
Come/go -for a walk, a swim, a drive, a run
In - pencil, pen
In – the rain, the snow
In - a loud voice, a whisper
In – a suit, a sari, a shirt, a raincoat
In – the end, ( of a story)
At - the end, ( of the street)
In – time
On – time
In – my opinion
On – the radio, TV, the telephone

Nagaraj, Geetha. Comprehend and Compose. Rev Ed. New Delhi: Foundation Books, 2005.
For more details and exercises please refer to you grammar text book.

The Meeting of the Races
By Rabindranath Tagore

“In this essay Rabindranath Tagore discusses the external influences on the spirit of humanity. He says that violence creeps into humanity because of the cloistered nature of the spirit. If the spirit can free itself and when man can adapt himself according to the changing time, he would be most suited to a happy existence. Everything outside man must function in order to help him live better and happily. Otherwise, there will be chaos.”

Tagore says that what is central to humans is the freedom of the soul. But owing to geographical condition they developed selfish mentality. They developed racist mentality, and shut their gods in temples and scriptures and remained far away from the true God. Now that the civilisation and races have been brought closer by technology and political changes, Tagore says, time has come to unite. The humankind can never again hide in their exclusive citadels of religion, race and nation. They must come out of their cozy narrow domestic mentalities and negotiate changes. Otherwise they may be forced to extinction.

According to him to enable the unification of the humanity they must be able to give up their cultural specificities however dearer they may be to them, if they come on the way of unification. In the animal world species that clung to their advantages have been completely wiped out at a later stage. Human society today is full of greed, selfishness hatred and suspicion. If it does not resolve these and the racial problem then it will drag them to death. When their existing resources get exhausted they will be forced to seek a deeper alliance of their soul with some other power.

Humans require spiritual power more than ever wherein lies their safety. In this chaotic world they need to yield to the freedom of spirit.

Tagore asks the people of simple faith to recognise humanity above all distinctions and unite. The demonic powers like fire gave way to life as they were doomed because of their very exaggerations. Therefore the dreamers of a unified world should keep their faith firm in life that creates and not in machines that construct.

Anil Pinto
Dept of Media Studies
Christ College.

By K A Abbas

The story Refugee is based on the India-Pakistan partition in 1947. The Indo- Pak partition resulted in one of the biggest displacement of people in the history of humankind. No time in history perhaps people have moved from one place to another as during the time of this partition. The story tries to throw light on the human side of the story where innocent humans who had nothing to do with the political developments suffered.

This story deals with the life of Manji first in Rawalpindi and then in Bombay. We find that in the story even though she was a land lady with servants around in Rawalpindi, here in Bombay though she undergoes a lot of emotional turmoil, she still remains hospitable. She does not lose her human nature in spite of having suffered much.

In Rawalpindi Manji lived in her double-storied house. She had given the lower floor on rent tenanted by mostly Muslim shopkeepers and artisans. (By the way Rawalpindi is in present-day Pakistan) She had a close bond with all the neighbours- Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs. The Muslim women called her Behenji and while the younger ones called her Maanji.

Manji loved Rawalpindi and all that Rawalpindi had to offer. So when newspapers published about the partition, it did not alarm her. She preferred to stay in Rawalpindi, and her Muslim neighbours promised to protect her and her property. But her faith was shaken when a group of people killed a tonga wallah along with his horse on the open street because he was Hindu.

She left her house just as it was, locked to Delhi and from there to Bombay, hardly being aware that she was never going to return.

At Bombay although she underwent a serious emotional turmoil, she hardly made that visible. But it took its toil on her health. Though she had to live like a very ordinary woman despite her status as a land lady in the past, she did not lose her pleasantness. But she kept being nostalgic about her Rawalpindi which according to her was far superior to Bombay.

Anil Pinto
Dept of Media Studies
Christ College

IFEP Phonetics patter

Communicative English I
Phonetics: Paper I

Time: 3 Hours Max. Marks: 50
Note: 1. All questions are compulsory.
2. Make sure you use the correct question number.
3. For all transcriptions use the symbols in the English Pronouncing Dictionary by Daniel Jones.

I. Read the following passage and answer the questions given below:
IA. Give phonetic symbol and the three-term label for the initial phoneme in the following words:

IB. From the passage pick out a word ending with each of the sounds described below:

IC. Give phonetic symbol and the three-term label for the initial phoneme in the following words.

ID From the passage pick out a word ending with each of the sounds described below.

IIA From the jumbled group of words given below, identify the pairs that contain identical consonant phonemes.

IIB. From the jumbled group of words given below, identify the pairs that contain identical vowel phonemes.

IIC. From the jumbled group of words given below, identify the minimal pairs.

IIIA. Give the plural forms of the following nouns and next to each word state whether the plural maker is pronounced /s/ or /z/ or /iz/. You need not transcribe.

III B. Give the past tense of the following verbs and next to each word state whether the past tense marker is pronounced /t/ /d/ or /id/. You need not transcribe.

IV. Fill in the blanks in the following sentences with a word or a phrase

V. State whether the following statements are true or false.

Friday, October 28, 2005

I FEP Notices


The following students should meet me before the End-semester examination.

Photograph :
05D2220 Rithika

Curriculum Vitae:

05D2266 Supriya

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What Postmodernism Means by Lawrence Cahoone

What Postmodern Means
Lawrence Cahoone

• Difficult to summaries postmodernism
– a. Disagreement among writers
– b. Postmodernists deny having any doctrine
• Idea of summary antithetical to Pm
• To understand - list
• Imp Ideas in pm works
• Different claims postmodernists make
• Issues dividing pms

Five prominent postmodern themes
Presence or presentation (vs representation or construction)
Origin (vs phenomenon)
Unity (vs plurality)
Transcendence or norms (vs their immanence)
Constitutive otherness

• =quality of immediate experience
• + the objects thereby immediately represented
• Traditionally presence contrasted with
– a, representation - sphere of linguistic signs
– b. construction – the products of human invention (hence whatever mediated by human factor)
• E.g.: Perception/sensation sense data – passage to reality, more reliable than mental contents subsequently modified, represented and altered by thought or language.
• Pm questions and denies it.
• Pm denies that anything is ‘immediately present’ hence independent of signs, language, interpretation, disagreement etc.
• Also presence presupposes representation
• Derrida- No thing as perception – immediate transparent reception of the given

• Postmodernists deny presence and analysis of representation
• Study The thing
• E.g. using intelligence systems in schools
• Postmodernists analyze use of term ‘intelligence’ by the tests proponents – implying the object or referent of the term never present
• It’s the history and political representations and their political use which is at issue
• We encounter the real world referents through texts, representations, mediation.
• We can never say what is independent of all sayings.

• = notion of the source of whatever under consideration
• A return to which is often considered the aim of rational enquiry.-
– An attempt to see beyond phenomena to their ultimate foundation.
• Modern philosophies of the self – existentialism, psycho-analysis, phenomenology, Marxism- attempt to discover self road to authenticity.
• Postmodernist argue – it’s not possible to have an access to self completely, it’s never available to us.
• No possibility of returning to, recapturing, representing the origin, source, deeper reality behind phenomena
• Casts doubts and denies existence
• Postmodernism is intentionally superficial. Surface of things, phenomenon don’t require any deeper reference.
• Author is dead - denies origin
• Because no meaning of text can be ‘authoritatively’ revealed through authorial intervention.
• They are not imp, have not privilege over other factors.

• Unity, single entity is plural
• Everything constituted by other elements
• Constitutive are plural
• Therefore individual plural
• Therefore no analysis is final
• E.g. Texts meaning are never complete/final
• Human self multiplicity of forces or elements.
• Not single unity, hierarchically composed, solid, self-controlled
• We have selves than self

Transcendence of norms X
• Norms- truth, goodness, beauty, rationality- not independent of the processes they serve to govern or judge
• They’re products of and immanent in those processes.
• Social justice product of social relations it serves to govern
• i.e. the idea was created at a certain time and place to serve certain interests and is dependent on certain intellectual and social contexts.
• Rejection of idealism
• Concept of ‘good’ and the act of calling something good not independent of the things we want to call ‘good’
• Therefore postmodernists show processes of thought, writing, negotiation and power which produced those normative claims

Constitutive otherness
• Complex application of the four themes
• Use of constitutive otherness in analyzing any cultural entity
• Cultural entities-human beings, words, meanings, ideas, philosophical systems, social organizations are maintained in their unity through active process of exclusion, opposition, opposition, and hierarchisation
• Other phenomena or units must be represented as foreign or ‘other’ representing hierarchical dualism in which a unit is ‘privileged’ or favoured and the other devalued in some way.
• Postmodernists find – privileged groups must actively produce and maintain their position by representing or picturing themselves- in thought, literature, in law, in art – as not having the properties ascribed to the underprivileged group
• Must represent those groups those groups as lacking the properties of the privileged groups.
• The self may feel compelled to represent itself as excluding sexual or aggressive feelings. They cannot be obliterated. So must be ascribed to chance situations E.g. “ I was not myself that day”
• Margins constitute texts
• Unities are constituted by repressing their dependency on and relations to others.
• Postmodernists analyse the excluded or ‘marginalised’ elements of a system or text.
• Pm in literature turn attention away from well known themes in text toward seldom mentioned, virtually absent, implicitly or explicitly devalued
• Presence constituted by absence.
• Real by appearance
• Ideal by mundane
• This apart from theme also applies to style.
• Postmodernist read metaphors with keen interest
• Process of exclusion false, unstable, immoral
• False= It’s a lie
• Unstable- Must be admitted some day
• Immoral- when becomes social oppression
• Repression in text when read carefully undermines its own message.
• Constitutive otherness shows the dependence of the privileged theme on the marginalized element.
• Social disenfranchisement, marginalization of sexual and racial group is moral and political case of this pattern.
• Some pm wish to remove such repressions, others admit no escape
• Render repressive forces more diverse and fluid- so none becomes monopolistic.

Types of postmodernism
• Three-part classification, overlapping
• Indicative of aims
– Methodological postmodernism
– Positive postmodernism

Methodological postmodernsim
• Rejects the possibility of establishing foundations, thus of ultimate reliability of knowledge.
• Shows that traditional philosophical distinctions b/w real and ideal, objective and subjective, reality and appearance fact and theory are problematic
• It problemetaises
– A. by criticizing the traditional theories of knowledge and linguistic meaning
– b. human interests evident in the construction of these distinctions
• It’s antirealist – claims knowledge is made valid not by its relation to its objects, but by its relation to our pragmatic interests, communal perspectives, needs, rhetoric
• Undercuts the philosophical attempt to justify realism
• Sometime undermines rational inquiry itself by subjecting notions of truth, rationality and meaning to critique.
• M pm is negative – claims or shows inadequacy or problematic nature of other forms of writing and talking and theorizing but offers no explicit alternative.

Positive pm
• Positive reinterpretation of any phenomenon
• It may reconceive the self or God or nature or knowledge or society or art given the critique of unity, origin, presence
• Refers to writing that applies general postmodern themes to particular subject matters in order to offer new vision or understanding.
• Offers alterative

Issues dividing postmodernist
• First
• Recognize whether pm is
– a. merely making a historical claim that modern ideas and methods are being superseded or abandoned in the present age
– b. questioning the validity of modern methods without making any explicit claims about their falsity or suggesting that they be abandoned
– c. claiming the inadequacy of the modern methods and inviting us to abandon them in favour of something else.
• Some postmodernists are wrongly accused of rejecting modern philosophy and society when they only question them.
• E.g. Derrida interpreted as undermining western thought.
• But he says there’s no alternative to ‘logo centrism’ or traditional foundationalism of West: It can’t be abandoned
• Result - tension b/w methodological and positive application of pm
• Most extreme case - Some postmodernists use elements of pm critique to reformulate fundamental conceptions of God and the universe
• This is in principle anathema to post-structuralism and antifounatinalism
• Second
• Pm may seem antithetical to recapturing any past. – not always true.
• While pm philosophers don’t have anything to do with those who wish to recreate past, such a return central to architectural pm.
• Pm architect incorporates ornamentation, banished by modernism.
• But its not premodernism pure, but pluralism.
• Uses premodern element in something that is completely modern
• Synthesizing, juxtaposing and ironically commenting on traditions is not traditional.
• To be traditionalist or premodernist is to be faithful to one tradition, not to all.
• E.g. pm= premodern, monogamy=many sex partners
• Pm and premodern share same enemy

• Third
• Question of political implication of pm.
• Its well-known political manifestation is the attempt to make contemporary culture acknowledge and respond to ‘difference’ or ‘otherness’ under the names of feminism very influential intellectual movement, multiculturalism, a phenomenon in the field of education.
• Both movements overlap with pm.
• Some feminists, multiculturalists are pm some are not
• Most poststructuralist, feminists and multiculturalists are associated with the left. Some others are not
• E.g. Richard Rorty- calls himself ‘postmodernist bourgeois liberal
• Leftists criticize pm opening reactionary forces blocking leftist political reforms.
• Habermas
• Political usefulness of pm is in criticizing any established authority.

Anil Pinto
Dept of Media Studies

To Sum up Postmodernism

To Sum up Postmodernism ……
-Anil Pinto, Dept of Media Studies

According to Lyotard Postmodernism has to do with scepticism about Grand Narrative; it is about heterogeneity.

According to Jameson, it must involve a way of mapping the new and confusing contours of our late capitalistic times.

According to Baudrillard, postmodernism is a flow of ultra-technological images in a consumerist hyperreality across a mediascape or mindscreen to which we can only passively surrender.

According to cyberpunk it is a world dominated by multinational corporations and the data they control. Yet cyberpunks advocate a hacker ethic, tapping into and using such data for personal ends.

According to Charles Jencks all these thinkers are describing late capitalism or late modernism. According to him authentic postmodernism involves double coding the artistic representation of modernism with something else, some Other.

All postmodern thinkers agree the world is shrinking. There is no one dominant worldview. Pluralism rules: traditional, modern, late modern and postmodern all rub elbows in the same culture.

Encroachment by the other upon what had once been our private space is central here.: The Other may be individuals, Other groups, Other species, Other races, the Other of “male,” the Other of “the West,” the Other of “Europe,” the Other of the conscious mind, the Other of the rational mind, the Other of modernism, the Other of modernisms, the Other of “ourselves” or in “ourselves”.

Through double coding, postmodern architecture, art and literature represent the other and thus present heterogeneity; by looking backward to the past, or sideways to a local culture. Thus while using modernist techniques they include the Other, humorously, ironically and playfully, rather than excluding it.

Post-modern (with hyphen) for Jencks, because postmodern has hybrid identities. Some supermyth or messiah uniting everybody under one umbrella no more exists.

Postmodern people resist grand narratives. That god is Yahweh or Allah or the goddess, that moon is made of such and such mass, that western medicine better than oriental herbal, that feminine equals sugar and spice and everything nice or that the Caucasian race is the master race – all these are man-made notions. They are social constructs / inventions. There is no one way of explaining things.

The grand narratives are replaced by hodge-podge of little narratives. Postmodern people therefore instead of believing that world will be united one day under Marxism or Christianity or Science are more interested in seeing the world as a kind of carnival of cultures- a tribal gathering.

The shining sun of universal truth and meaning is eclipsed by the colourful display of little dances, little stories, that don’t project a utopia.

Postmodern audience don’t demand that all the heterogeneous stories add up to some grand global, universal total sense, instead they celebrate the fact that it’s ok to stop making so much sense. Because of explosion of cultural messages we are beginning to understand that not only through stories but also our rituals, religious dogmas, myths, gender roles, self concepts, beliefs histories, and theories are cultural, social inventions.

We enjoy the man-made symbols but don’t want to be its slaves. We are quasi fundamentalist Christian, Muslim. We go to temples, mosques despite the doubts.

We may participate in more than one grand narrative- Buddhist Christian
It has liberated the concerns of the other. E.g. unlike Conrad who thought you could speak for the other.

Postmodernisms emphasis on the other has allowed formerly silenced Others such as women, gays, blacks, Orientals, etc to express their own stories in their own voices.

Just as postmodern societies reject grand narratives there is also an attempt to create them through cults and sects.

As the grand narratives of Christianity, Islam and Judaism have a difficult time dealing with differences, there are two major traditions-Buddhism and Hinduism. Buddhism is democratic, cool, practical, inexpensive, and also politically correct. (Because Chinese occupation of Tibet).

Vedic tradition of India- Hinduism- also accommodates differences, which tolerates a great variety of forms of worship and ways of attaining enlightenment.

Powell, Jim. Postmodernism for Beginners. Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 1998.

Modernism and postmodernism-MH Abrams

Following the the notes of my lectures on the essay by MH Abrams on Modernism and postmodernism.

Modernism and Postmodernism
-Anil Pinto, Dept of Media Studies


• Term used to identify new and distinctive features in the subjects, forms, concepts and styles of literature and the other arts in the early decades of the last century (20th) esp. after WWI(1914-1918)
• Features: Involves a deliberate and radical break with some of the traditional bases not only of Western art but of Western culture in general.
• Important Precursors: Friedrich Nietzsche (1890-1915) Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, James G. Frazer. (His Golden Bough stressed the correspondence between central Christian tenets and pagan, often barbaric myths and rituals.
• Location: Some locate it in 1890’s. High modernism came after WWI.
• 1922 appearance of modernist innovations – James Joyce’s Ulysses, Ezra Pound’s Cantos, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, Virginia Wolf’s Jacob’s Room + other experimental works.
• Reason: War had shaken faith in the continuity of Western civilization and raised doubts about the adequacy of traditional literary modes to represent the harsh and dissonant realities of the postwar world. ‘The inherited mode of ordering a literary work, which assumed a relatively coherent and stable social order could not accord the “immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history.”
• Eliot experimented with new forms and a new style that would render contemporary disorder, often contrasting with the lost order and integration that had been based on the religion and myths of the cultural past.
• In Waste Land (1922) Eliot replaced the standard flow of poetic language by fragmented utterances and substituted for the traditional coherence of poetic structure a deliberate dislocation of parts in which very diverse components are related by connections that are left to the reader to discover or invent.
• Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) & more radical Finnegans Wake (1939) subvert the basic conventions of earlier prose fiction by breaking up the narrative continuity, departing from the standard ways of representing characters and violating the traditional continuity, departing from the standard ways of representing characters and violating the traditional syntax and coherence of narrative language by the use of stream of consciousness and other innovative modes of narration.
• Gertrude Stein –experimented with writing that achieved its effects by violating the norms of Standard English syntax and sentence structure.
• Parallel experiments in Literature : Expressionism and surrealism
• Modernist paintings and sculpture: Cubism, Futurism and Abstract Expressionism
• Music: Violations of standard conventions of melody, harmony and rhythm by the modernist musical composers Stravinsky and Schoenberg et al.
• Prominent feature of modernism – avant-garde- a small self-conscious group of artists and authors who deliberately undertake, in Ezra Pound’s phrase, to “make it new”.
• By violating the accepted conventions and proprieties, not only of art but of social discourse, they set out to crate ever-new forbidden, subject matters. Frequently avant-garde artists represent themselves as “alienated" from the established order, against which they assert their own autonomy; a prominent aim is to shock the sensibilities of the conversional reader and to challenge the norms and pieties of the dominant bourgeois culture.


• Term applied to the literature and art after WW II (1939-45)
• Effects on Western morale of the first war were greatly exacerbated by the experience of Nazi totalitarianism and mass extermination, the threat of total destruction by the atomic bomb the progressive devastation of the natural environment and the ominous fact of overpopulation.
• Postmodernism: 1. Experiments of extreme modernism 2. Diverse attempts to break away form modernist forms which had become conventional, 3. Overthrow elitism of modernist “high art” by recourse to the models of “mass culture” in films, television, newspaper cartoon and popular music.
• Postmodern literatures by Jorge Luis Borges, Thomas Pynchon, Roland Barthes blend literary genres, cultural and stylistic levels, the serious and the playful that they resist classification according to traditional literary rubrics.
• Parallels in art: pop art, op art, musical compositions of John Cage and the films of Jean-Luc Godard
• Purpose : At times to subvert the foundations of our accepted modes of thought and experience so as to reveal the “meaninglessness” of existence and the underlying “abyss” or “void “ or “nothingness” on which any supposed security is conceived to be precariously suspended.
• Parallel in linguistics and literary theory- post structuralism
• Poststructuralists undertake to subvert the foundations of language in order to show that its seeming meaningfulness dissipates, for a rigorous inquirer into a play of conflicting indeterminacies, or else to show that all forms of cultural discourse are manifestations of the ideology or of the relations and constructions of power in contemporary society.


• Abrams, MH. A Glossary of Literary Terms, VI Ed. Bangalore: Prism Books, 1993, pp 118-121.