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Monday, September 29, 2008

I JPEng, IFEP topics for End Sem OE preparation

Some preparation around the following topics/concepts might be of use

  • Frame narrative
  • Characteristics of the Anglo Saxon poetry : 1. From Wiki 2. An excellent comprehensive ppt - copy and paste the following link in the URL :
  • Sonnet
  • Renaissance
  • Characteristics of Shakespeare's sonnets
  • Romanticism
  • Epic
  • Mock-epic
  • Elizabethan theatre
  • Restoration
  • Comedy
  • Comedy of manners
  • Restoration comedy
  • Tragedy
  • Shakespearean tragedy
  • Sentimental comedy
  • History of essay
  • Graveyard Poets
  • Characteristics of the poems of important English Romantics
  • Origin and gowth of novel genre

... and the good/bad news is ... NO QUESTIONS ON PRINT CULTURE - NATION-STATES!!!!!!

Abey has asked for material on the topics put up above. Do not know if time permits. Most of the topics like, tragedy have material in "A Glossary of Literary Terms" by MH Abrams. The reference section has a copy. UG section also might have. Look for the topics not on the content page or alphabetically. Instead look up in the index section at the end of the book.

Alternatively, you can also post your online finds in the comment section below. What say u?

PS: Passing of this info to your classmates might help them

Extra Innings!!!!!!!!!

The II Sem JPEng has asked me to spend more time on Alexander's Feast. We will meet to discuss this poem more on 4 Oct. at 9 am sharp in I JPEng classroom

Some V Sem FEP and PSEng students have asked for some time to clarify. I will make myself available in Room 109 at 2 pm sharp on 4 Oct. However, I wish that you post your questions/ areas to touch upon in the comments sections below (preferabley) or email me. I will take up those that are feasible.

Due to evaluation work, PG classes, and other academic work, I may not be able to entertain queries thereafter.

All the best.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

As we come to the end of the Certificate Course on Philosophy/Existentialism

We have come to the end of the Certificate Course in Existentialism/Philosophy which began on 30 June 2008. Come to think of it, we have spent three months engaging with the topic.

First of all let me thank all of you - UG and PG students, especially those who have been supporting all the certificate courses i organise, office and teaching staff of the University, and those from industry for having taken part in this course. I am extremely grateful to Dr Kachappilly for teaching the course. I am not sure but for this semester we could have ever been able to get him. I personally appreciate his down-to-earth attitude and scholarship.

I thank my colleague and friend Padmakumar for chipping in during emergencies, and being a constant support in all my activities.

I am grateful to Associate Dean and HOD-Media Studies, Mr Kennedy for helping me make the course happen, Certificate Course Co-ordinator, Mr George and Dean Prof Krishnaswamy for their cooperation, and the management for their regular support for such innovative activities.

A gentle reminder about the viva on Monday between 3 and 4 and 5 and 6. The last date for paper submission is 5 Oct. You may email your papers to me.

I am planning to organise a Certificate Course in Indian Philosophy which will be an introduction to the six systems of Indian Philosophy in the the first two weeks of December 2008. Will be in touch as it materialises. Those interested are welcome.

(Photoes : Swatilekha Doloi)

Site on Literary Theory and Criticism

Aneesha has sent sites on literary theory and criticism. Here they are...
1. Critical Reading: An Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism
2. Dr Kristi Siegel's webpage

Below are the one's I have come across for more extensive academic engagement.
1. Marxists Internet Archive
2. Semiotics for Beginners
4. Philosophy Study Guides from Sparknotes

'Paradise Lost' extract - notes

Siddarth has asked me to post material on the exact from Paradise Lost. Here it is.
1. From Sparknotes
2. From Pinkmonkey
3. A paper on invocation

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Announcement - Certificate Course in Philosophy

Next Saturday, 27 September 2008 will be the last day of the Certificate Course in Existentialism class. Dr Kachappilly will discuss Nietzsche on that day. Those interested are welcome.

There will be a photo session of the course participants after the class. Would request those who have digital camera to come with one as I do not have access to one.

On 28 Sept 2008, 2 pm onwards there will be viva for evaluation in Dr Kachappilly's office, DVK Auditorium Block near University car park.

Alternatively, those who wish to submit papers in the normal research paper format my do so latest by 5 October.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

'Tyger' and 'Lamb' by William Blake

The Lamb (1789)
1. From Wikipedia
2. Write up by Ralph Dumain

The Tyger (1794)
1. From Sparknotes
2. From Wikipedia
3. Lecture on Youtube
4. 'Understanding William Blake's "Tyger"'

'The Lamb and the Tyger: Binary Archetypes' by Dr Sebastian Mahfood

Note: I wanted to mention in the class today that Blake married Catherine Boucher, an illiterate, whom he taught to read and write, and to help him in engraving and printing.


Tomorrow between 11 and 12 there will be Optional English CIA 3 Test on Northanger Abbey. The questions will include objective types, fill in the blanks and true or false. There will be 20 questions in all carrying one mark each. All the best.

Friday, September 05, 2008

To Sir with Love Script

Please click here to view the complete script of To Sir With Love

Enhancing Quality of Answers - Presentation

What does a question test?
• Comprehension of the question
• Logic of answering- sentences, paragraphs
• Spelling, punctuation
• Expression within the given word limit

Common Mistakes/Errors


Appropriate Usage



actually, basically



Difficult, challenging

don’t, can’t

do not, cannot (Contractions)

called as


eg, for eg,


Yours Faithfully

Yours faithfully



• Difference between speaking and writing
• No religious symbols – Malpractice
• Draw margins and write question numbers outside the margin
• Make paragraphs for longer answers
• Do not write answers in points
• Single inverted commas for titles of poems or essays
• Underline titles of books, plays, films
• Names begin with capital letters
• Quote only if you know exactly
• Avoid use of green or red ink

To Sir with Love - Presentation

Why film?
  • Shift from print to visual culture
  • Different from other texts
  • Sidney Poitier- First African- American actor to win Oscars (1963)
  • Poitier in Blackboard Jungle (1955)
  • Sequel -To Sir With Love II (1996)
  • Based on the memoir of E R Braithwaite
  • Broke box-office records in 1967 in the US
The Film
Title: To Sir with Love (1966/7)
Director: James Clavell
Producer: James Clavell
Script: James Clavell (from the novel by E.R. Braithwaite -1959)
Cinematography: Paul Beeson

The Cast
Sidney Poitier -Mark Thackeray
Christian Roberts -Denham
Judy Geeson -Miss Pamela Dare
Suzy Kendall -Gillian Blanchard
Ann Bell -Mrs. Dare
Faith Brook -Grace Evans
Chris Chittell -Potter
Geoffrey Bayldon -Weston
Patricia Routledge -Clinty

The Story
  • Why does Mr Thackeray take to teaching?
  • His early experiences of the school, of students, and staff
  • “Ah, so you're the new lamb for the slaughter - or should I say, black sheep?” – Weston
  • The classroom experience
  • Mr Thackeray learns! Or students teach him (Thackeray loses temper)
  • The realisation and the change (books find a better place!)
  • The test of the new relationship
  • Too fat to jump - Thackeray becomes PT teacher
  • Seal’s mother dies
  • Pamela’s issue
  • The museum visit
  • Survival training
  • Thackeray gets a letter
  • The farewell party
  • The dance
  • The gift
  • ‘To sir with love’
  • The next term’s class – mission incomplete
DVD Chapters
1. The start
2. North Quay Secondary School
3. The staff
4. Mid-day dance session
5. Hackman’s classes
6. The silent treatment
7. Their proper places
8. Seales
9. Studying South America
10. Pranks & filthy games
11. Responsible adults
12. Questions and answers
13. Thackeray’s story
14. The museum trip
15. Miss Dare’s move
16. Surviving training
17. Mark & Gillian
18. Too high for Fats
19. Passing the hat
20. Mrs Dare
21. “I got me a job”
22. Counselling Miss Dare
23. A boxing lesson
24. The Seales’ funeral
25. The celebration begins
26. Ladies’ choice
27. A little remembrance
28. Next term’s class

  • Racial issues
  • Inspirational teacher
  • Education as a catalyst
  • Teenage angst
  • Mr Thackeray v students
  • Mr Thackeray v other teachers
  • Pedagogy
  • Leadership
Thackeray’s Battle
  • Against
  • Narrow-minded administrators
  • In-bred social ideas – race, difficult children
  • Pessimistic colleagues
  • Student crush
  • Many more….
Some Questions
  • How does Thackeray help his students to break out of the pattern of intolerance and roughness into which the society had placed them?
  • What are the preconceived ideas that Mark Thackeray and his students have of each other? What makes them change these ideas?
  • The concept of human beings able to alter their ways is a crucial element in the film. How far do you think is it possible in the case of rural as well as urban India marked by rigid social structures like caste, family tradition, parental pressure, and market driven society?
  • What could be the social and environmental conditions that are responsible for the condition of the children in the film?
  • In what ways can the film be adapted to the Indian situation?
  • Critics argue that the film portrays a simplistic, commercially palatable rather than a realistic image of the challenges of teaching, leading the viewer to a distorted perception of the implications of the various discourses employed. Do you agree with it?
  • What are the different notions of education (discourses) at work in the film?
  • Is the notion of education prescribed in the film problematic, practical or idealistic?
  • Thackeray’s character has been accused of making students conformists and not critical thinkers. Do you agree with this view? Did Thackeray have a choice?
  • Attempt a character sketch of Mark Thackeray?
  • Do we have such disadvantaged schools and children? What can we do to bring them to the mainstream?

  • Switch off the lights
  • Close the taps
  • Throw the cups in dustbins
  • Do not misplace books in the library
Grateful to…..
  • YOU
  • Rajan
  • Mr Kennedy, Ms Ramaswamy
  • The Dept of Media Studies
  • Vice-Chancellor, Dean
  • Other dept heads and teachers
  • Akshay Rajmohan
YOU become a TEACHER -with a difference.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

III PSEng Questions on Psychoanalytic Criticism/Essays

The III PSEng students may post their questions on the essays on Psychoanalytic Criticism here. In addition you may also try to respond to others' or your own questions.