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Sunday, March 29, 2009

British Literature: Late Victorian to Present - Question paper pattern

Section A
Answer any 5 of the following: (5x5=25)

Section B
Answer any 3 of the following in 250-300 words. (3x10=30)

Section C
Answer any 3 of the following in 350-400 words (3x15=45)

Wold Literatures Model Questions

Section A POETRY

Explain how ‘A Prison Evening’ is a beautiful blend of political struggle and lyricism?

Who is the artist The Joy of Writing describes? Why does the poet describe writing as the revenge of the mortal hand?

Section B NOVEL (Night / Elie Wiesel)

In his ‘Preface’ to Night, what does Wiesel say about the purpose of writing?

Night is more of a social document than a work of art. Discuss.

Section C Essays

Compare Camus’ and Solzhenitsyn’s views on the Truth and Art.

According to Camus, how is the responsibility of his generation of writers different from those of the previous?

Section D Drama

Is the development of Nora’s character consistent? Justify.

What is patriarchy? How does patriarchy get represented in A Doll’s House?

Note: For the model of question paper, please click here.

Click here for a answer pattern link by Adarsh. For Adarsh's comments on the link please refer to the comment section below.

Good News: Adarsh is joining as a contributor!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Night by Elie Wiesel - notes

Here is the link to the notes on Night by Elie Wiesel, sent by Nilisha of III Yr PSEng.

Wiesel, Elie. Night. Notes

Facilitator Certification in HRD

Facilitator Certification in HRD
13 through 22 May 2009

(cost Rs 12,000. But worth it)

Click here for the details

British Literature : Late Victorian to the Present - Consolidated Notes

Please inform your other classmates, and PSEng students, so that they can also benefit from this post.


1. Ulysses
2. My Last Duchess
3. Dover Beach
4. Second Coming
5. A Prayer for My Daughter
6. God's Grandeur
7. Thought Fox
8. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 1, The Love Song .... 2, The Love .... 3

1. Look Back in Anger
2. Arms and the Man
3. The Importance of Being Earnest

1. Hard Times1 , Hard Times 2
2. Animal Farm 0.1, Animal Farm 1, Animal Farm 2, Animal Farm 3

Essay - A long one
2. A Room of One's Own

Some Questions...
Click here for the post on question and terms that might of use...

1. Tips to score better in the exam

Friday, March 27, 2009

BA, MA , MPhil, Certificate - Literature, Communication, Research Syllabus

Following are the links to various courses I have developed for Christ University, Bangalore and other institutions where I have been a guest teacher,  for the undergraduate literature, undergraduate communication and masters literature, masters communication and Master of Philosophy programmes. I make them available here for the use of teachers who might wish to refer to them or wish to incorporate them in their respective institutions. If you are incorporating these syllabi in your institution do let me know. I will be happy.

Bachelor of Arts - English Studies (English Literature)
British Literature: Anglo-Saxon to Early Victorian
British Literature: Late Victorian to the Present
Introduction to Literary Theory (2009)
Cultural Studies

Bachelor of Arts - Communication and Media Studies
Media and Society (2009)
Phonetics and Communication

Master of Arts in English with Communication Studies
Translation Studies
Writing and Research Heuristics (2009)
Culture and the Disciplines
Paper Publication and Presentation (2010)
Dissertation (2009)

Creative Writing (2011)
Translation Studies (2011)

Master of Science (MS) in Communication
Communication and Media Theories
New Media Communication

Master of Communication and Media Studies
Creative Communication
Creative Communication (2010)

Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in English Studies
Critical Theory and Critical Approaches in English Studies
Postcolonial Studies
Research Methods and Writing
Translation Studies
Gender Studies
Academic Writing

Certificate Programme
Public Speaking
Understanding Visual Culture
Translation Studies
Cultural Studies

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Modernity, World Literatures Paper

  • What is a nation? It is an imaginary idea which rests in time but not in space, which consists of a specific geographical location. Therefore, while the State has a specific geographical locality, which is material and tangible, a nation is only an imaginary entity.
  • The idea of a state is a product of modernity, which has given birth to nation-states. The idea of a nation state stands counter to that of the nation-state. While the universal is a consistent identity that stands for the interests of everyone, and is supposedly common to everyone, a nation has a specific identity and subjectivity of its' own. Hence, the World Literatures paper seeks to consilidate specific identities of specific nations. This is a result of the colonial and postcolonial legacies.
  • There is only an imagination that we are moving away from the nation-state identity issue when we speak of a "world literatures". It only transcends in the imagination only, and not in the practicality of the issue. We are still, for all the technically important reasons, under the nation.
  • Then, what is modernity?
Features of modernity:
  1. Rise of Capitalism
  2. Make use of surplus labour to increase capital.
  3. Marked by industrialization
  4. Increased interest of the state in the individual.
  5. Democracy
  6. New technologies for the self
  7. The idea that the world can be transformed through inventions.
  8. Rise of political institutions
  9. All modern societies live in the future.
  10. Sacrificing the present to make the future secure (Rama Sena draws upon the past to change the future and sacrifices the present in order to secure the feature; and in this sense there is nothing old or ancient about what the Rama Sena was trying to do; it was a very modernist stand/act.
  11. Obsessed with validity, visuality, visibility and evidence.
  12. Seeing becomes believing instead of hearing as believing. However, 78% of grapevine is always true. This example comes to prove seeing need not be believing and that the fact that seeing has to be believing is not a fact but a construct.
Literature is a product of modernity.Therefore, World Literatures is a political act that need not necessarily revolve around bringing about changes in understanding what literature is or to bring about harmony in the world through literature, but as a response and reaction to postcololiality and coloniality only.

Therefore, questions like "role of an artist in literature" or "how does a community represent itself through an artist" are not as important as questions regarding how many communities are represented and how the entire act of a world literatures is actually a political act with certain meanings attached to the way in which it represents the communities it represents and which communities it represents.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Experiments with Learning and Technology

Ever since I first started a dept website for the English Dept in my previous college (St Aloysius College, Mangalore) way back in 2004 with the help of Abhaya Simha, I have come a long way. My entry into Christ took me to numerous possibilities with technology, largely thanks to the vibrant and receptive students community here. I should sometime soon make a list of the experiments!

I have been thinking of taking these initiatives further by moving to podcasting my classroom lectures. Mohan Pillai has been helping and encouraging me a lot. I did plan to do that about a year and a half ago. But the digital voice recorder which bought for the purpose got lost in the main auditorium (It cost this poor man Rs 6000!) I am now planning to by a Philips 2 GB/20 hrs recorder so that from the next academic year I can start podcasting. The continuation of that experiment will depend on the reception for that in the cyberspace by my students and thousands others who keep visiting this blog.

Planning to buy a digital camera too, to see how i can integrate photographs into my classroom lectures and online teaching.

I want to revisit the two-time experiment which I first did in 2006 and repeated in 2009 - of teaching novels and other texts online. I taught a few MPhil classes online recently. It was quite a success. I may use it more this year.

I am also planning to create a website to integrate teaching -learning into it.

If you have any further suggestions, you are welcome.

Arms and the Man Chat Transcription and Links

Following is the link to the online text chat I had with a few FEP students and one JPEng student on 15 March evening.

Arms and Man chat script

A link on the same play
Marden, Marti. 'Arms and the Man Study Guide.'
From Wiki

Letter to my former Christ students

Two years ago I began writing a letter to all my former students at Christ, soon after the even semester. I have kept that going and so far have written three. The idea was to keep myself connected to them and them to their precious memories. Following is the recent email I wrote on 14 March to all those former students whose email ids I had.


Hi All
I guess this is my third mail to you all updating about the developments at Christ. Today was the last day of the even semester. Hence, thought of writing to you all.

As I had mentioned (or so I think) Christ became a university as per ministry of HRD letter dated 22 July 2008.There are already significant changes. But my own hunch is that the universitiness might take another four-five years to become very clear. Following are some of the developments I have seen.

* Christ has opened another campus on Kengeri road in Bangalore. The campus will house Engineering and Management programmes. The inauguration is on 19 March 2009.
* I have heard that two other campuses are coming up in Pune and Delhi. (not too sure of the second one) There were also rumours of two more in Dubai and Singapore. Not sure what has happened to it after the recession.
* There is a ladies' hostel that has come up on campus. (if i have missed it in my previous mail.)
* In the old car park a twelve storied building is coming up. Already the basement, I and II floor are up. the basement will be used for car park. The entire building might get ready in the next one and a half year. Although I am told it might take two-three years.
* Mr Kennedy has been promoted as the associate dean. Abhaya has taken over as the overall dept coordinator. Shaila is coordinating Communicative English programme, Abhaya- Optional English, Shobhana- MA English, Naresh- Journalism, Suparna (Naresh's wife)- MS Communication. I am co-ordinating the MPhil and PhD programmes in Media Studies and English.
* Christ is starting MPhil and PhD programme in about a dozen disciplines. (website has details)
* Some of the programmes are chaging their names. Communicative English - Communication and Media Studies, Optional English - English Studies, General English - English.
* We are 20 in the dept now. Next year the number might rise to 25-26!
* From this year we are starting honours in Media and English Studies. There will be three major systems for the first two years of studies. In the final year students can specialise in one subject. However, the three major will continue in final year for those who do not prefer honours.
* One Mr Subramanian is the University Registrar.
* With the University status, the institution comes under the complete control of the central government and the state government loses all control.
* (I am told Jain College and Dayanad Sagar are also becoming universities)

On the personal front
* In the last four years that I have been here, I had organised nine certificate courses mostly with experts from outside: Cyberculture, Philosophy (twice), Indian Philosophy, Semiotics, German, Visual Culture, Existentialism, Film Analysis. Apart from this assisted in co-orinating the course in Cultural Studies (three times), Gender and Culture, Rethinking media laws (twice) and Psychology after Lacan. I guess I am puttting a full stop to them this year due to increased workload and my own desire to train me more in reasearch + complete my PhD. A big thank you to all of you who took these courses and kept me going.
* This year I completed my MPhil and a UGC project. Both on Konkani literature. Presented two research papers and published one.
* The experiments with blog which began in 2005 thanks to the then FEP-JPEng final year batches (with the active help from Ashwin, Vicky, Ajay Ram and their friends) has gone far. I have lost count of the number of newer and unique experiments that have happened.
* Do have a look at and The blog has an average of 85 visitors per day which swings between 80 and 150 per day from over 40 countries.
* And, yes, I am still happy (read un*******)

By the way, a lot of mail that i send to you - i had made a group of the email ids I had of you way back- bounce back. Could one of you volunteer to collect the new and frequently used email ids of all your classmates and email me, so that I can update my lists? Also, please see that this mail reaches to all your classmates and juniors who studies here between June 2005 and June 2008.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009



The Culture: Industries and Diversity in Asia (CIDASIA) Programme, Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS), Bangalore announces posts for interns and research assistants for Masters degree holders and students of humanities, social sciences and new media technologies.

CSCS is an institution for higher education in the humanities and social sciences, engaged in developing innovative and inter-disciplinary approaches to researching culture in Asia. The CIDASIA Programme at CSCS is involved in the study of the restaging of Culture as linked to Rights, the Economy and Governance, and its consequences for the present. The programme collaborates with the industry and donors to extend the relevance of cultural theory into the working of both business and philanthropy.

Some of the research initiatives at CIDASIA include: Culture Industries, Cultural Diversity and Cultural Policy in the Time of Globalisation; The Cultural Last Mile and Cultural Production and Livelihoods in the age of the Entertainment & Media Industry. For more information about CIDASIA visit the link at the CSCS website:

For the Internship graduate and post graduate candidates who are interested in the programme and want to work with any of the initiatives can apply. Interns are expected to work for a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of eight weeks. All interns are eligible for a stipend which will vary in accordance with the work undertaken during the period. Suitable interns can be absorbed into the programme after the course of internship.

For the post of Research Assistant post graduate students/degree holders preferably but not necessarily from the Communications department and who want to work on the Cultural Last Mile: Internet & Mobile Phones in Undergraduate Spaces project can apply. The project will research and devise an implementation strategy for the use of internet and mobile phones for educational purposes. All research assistantships are for a minimum period of six months that can be extended further. A salary of Rs.12,000-Rs.15,000, depending on the candidates eligibility will be offered.

Interested candidates are requested to write in to or with ‘Application for Intern/Research Assistant Post’ in subject line. Please send in your curriculum vitae with a short note (less than a page) on your interest in the initiative.

Conference on Queer Thoughts

Queer Thoughts

A Conference organized by Sappho for Equality

10 – 11 April 2009


Queer Thoughts is a conference organized by Sappho for Equality encouraging young persons all over India to come up with their thoughts, ideas, concerns, analyses and expressions on the theme ‘Queer’.

Sappho for Equality is an organization engaged in sexuality rights movement in general and LBT rights movement in particular. It is an open forum for activists who believe in and strive to attain a world free from homophobia and sexual orientation based discrimination.

Queer Thoughts is envisaged as a two-day conference divided into four sessions. Each session would have a distinct key theme and 2/3 papers on each theme will be presented in the sessions.

The four key themes are:

  1. Defining queer (how to define the term queer, who is a queer, socio-political and gender-sexual understanding of queer)
  2. Living queer (living as a queer in this country, queer experiences, triumph and turbulence of queer existence)
  3. Expressing queer (queer as a theme expressed though literature, film, theatre, painting, sculpture or any other art form)
  4. Politicizing queer (emergence of queer politics, queer as a political identity, queer rights movement and its politics)

Each of these sessions will be chaired by noted personalities, nationally and internationally acclaimed academicians and activists engaged in queer studies and queer rights movement.

Queer Thoughts as a space primarily for young persons will generate many fresh, dynamic, path breaking and stimulating ideas, discussions and action points. Sappho for Equality expects to bring out new, thought provoking and challenging concepts on the theme ‘queer’ through this conference that if incorporated, will help the queer rights movement.

We invite original, interesting and substantial papers, within 3000 words, from young persons between 20 to 28 years on any of the four key themes indicated above. An abstract of approximately 300 words should be emailed to by 15th of March, 2009. Those whose abstracts are selected will be invited to present papers at the conference. Please attach short curriculum vitae along with the abstract and contact numbers. Papers should be in English only. Outstation participants will be provided with train fare (to and fro) and board and lodging in the city for the conference days.

Sappho, Support Group for Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Women

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Extra questions for report writing- for the 2nd semester FEP writing skills paper

Hey everyone!
These are the additional practice questions ma'am sent Komal. Hope they are useful.

1. Assume that you work for a small medical insurance company concerned with the rising number of medical claims being submitted by your customers. To combat this, your company has initiated a campaign designed to entice your customers to adopt healthier lifestyles, and has begun sending brochures and personalized letters to customers. Some customers have expressed concern that this is an indication that the company will become more reluctant to pay their claims.

2. Write a trip report to your boss, Monica Jenkins, CEO of Jenkins Marketing Specialists, Inc. Your goal in writing a trip report is to inform management about new procedures, equipment, or laws, or to supply information affecting products, operations, and services. Ms. Jenkins supported your request to attend the Business Etiquette Conference, sponsored by the Business Management Association and held at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, at Broom Hall, College of Business. The six-day conference was held April 18–23, 2006. Your goal is to let Ms. Jenkins know that you gathered valuable information that will benefit the company.
a. Write an introductory paragraph in which you identify the event (exact date, sponsor name, conference theme and name, and location) and preview the topics to be discussed in your report.
b. In the body, summarize three to five main points from one presentation you attended each day at the conference. State how you benefited from the conference and how what you learned will also benefit the reader and Jenkins Marketing Specialists, Inc.
c. Express appreciation, suggest action to be taken, or synthesize the value of the trip or conference.
In your report, highlight interesting and important facts using typographical tools such as boldface, headings, and bullets. Itemize your expenses on a separate page as an attachment to your report.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Question paper pattern-Writing Skills

Hey guys! This is the question paper pattern that Abhaya ma'am gave me.Hope it is useful!
P.S.- No need to go through the rest like bibliography etc. because ma'am said there would be no time to attempt short and long questions simulataneously. Moreover, Komal Sarvi has extra practice questions. Please contact her or mail ma'am for the questions.

10 Marks- 5 questions- no choice

1.Converting a paragraph into a flowchart.
2.Graph analysis
4.Report Writing (Memo)
5.Rewriting a passage in outline

All the best!

II Sem General English End SEM Question paper Pattern

Section A: Perspectives

Answer any SIX of the following in about 150 words: (6x5=30)










Section B – Perspectives

Answer any THREE of the following in about 250-300 words: (3x10=30)






Section C – Towards Communicative Competence




4. Comprehension Passage

World Literature End-Sem Examination - Question Paper Pattern and Guidelines for Answers

Question Paper pattern


i) Answer any 5 of the following in 400-500 words. choosing one compulsorily from each section (A,B, C, D). The 5th essay may be from any section.
ii)Your answers must have a thesis statement that aptly reflects your argument.

Section A: Poetry
Section B: Novel
Section C: Essays
Section D: Drama

I have spoken to the question bank in-charge and evaluators concerned and following is the guideline for answering.

1. Before you start answering, please jot down your thoughts in points format in the beginning of the answer. And then develop the answers.

2. Answer the question asked. Look closely if the question is asking you to defend the statement made, to discuss, elucidate, or trace the history. Accordingly develop your answers.

3. Every answer must have a thesis statement which should reflect your central argument.

If there any clarifications you wish to seek, please feel free to key them in the comment section below.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Works of Cha. Fra. - A Study

Following is the link to the report of the UGC Minor Research Project I had done on a Konkani playwright and poet Cha. Fra. (Charles Francis D'Costa) between 2005 and 2008 -Works of Cha. Fra.: A Study. The study happens to the first formal research in Konkani literature in Kannada Script. I also used the research outcome to write my MPhil thesis entitled Konkani Christian Psyche in the Plays of Cha. Fra.: A Semiotic Study.

Pinto, Anil. Works of Cha. Fra.:A Study. Research Report. University Grants Commission. New Delhi. 2008.

Creative Commons License
Works of Cha. Fra.: A Study by Anil Joseph Pinto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Monday, March 16, 2009

The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad: Admissions 2009

The Courses on Offer for the Academic year 2009-2010

-Five-year Integrated M.A. in English, Arabic, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Japanese and Mass Communication and Journalism. (Eligibility: Intermediate/10+2.Those who wish to apply for foreign language programmes need not possess any knowledge of the language concerned.)
- Two-year M.A. Programmes in English, Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish and Japanese.
- B. Ed in English
- Post Graduate Diploma in the Teaching of English (PGDTE)
- Post Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of English (PGCTE)
- Post Graduate Diploma in the Teaching of Arabic (PGDTA)
- MPhil and PhD in Linguistics & Phonetics, English Language Education, English
Literature, Cultural Studies, Comparative Philosophy and Aesthetics, Comparative Literature, Translation studies, Media and Communications, Mass Communication and Journalism, Film Studies and Visual Communications, Hindi Literature, French, Arabic, German, Russian.

Selected candidates will be provided accommodation and mess facility with a nominal room rent and mess fee.

NB: Students of the B.Ed programme may not be provided accommodation, but can avail
themselves of the mess facility in the hostels.

Scheduled Castes 15%
Scheduled Tribes 7.5%
OBC - As per Government of India/UGC rules applicable to Central Universities
Physically/Visually challenged candidates - 3%
Kashmiri migrants 1%
Wards of Defense Personnel - 1%

Fee Concessions
a) No tuition fee shall be charged from SC/ST students. In addition, they can also expect free accommodation and a stipend up to Rs. 1000/- per month towards other expenses.

b) Differently-abled (physically challenged) students will be exempted from payment of all fees.

c) All needy students (economically backward), if they apply and make a case for assistance, will be given adequate stipends for meeting a major portion of the expenses on board and lodging.

a) All MPhil and PhD students will be getting a fellowship of Rs. 3000/- and Rs. 5000/- respectively per month, if they are not recipients of other scholarships. (This fellowship is likely to be enhanced in the current academic year).

b) MPhil and PhD students belonging to SC and ST categories are eligible to apply for the UGC sponsored Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship. The selected candidates will get a sum of Rs.12,000/- per month in addition to Rs. 3600/- towards House Rent Allowance (HRA), every month.

Admission to all courses will be based on entrance tests held across the country. Interested candidates can send a mail to or a self-addressed envelope (5x11size) with a postage stamp of Rs. 10/ pasted on it to Dr. A. Hariprasad, Chief Coordinator, EFL-U Talent Search 2009, The English and Foreign Languages University (EFL-U), Hyderabad - 500605. The candidates will be intimated on further details regarding admissions. Kindly mention on top of the envelope or in the mail, the course you wish to apply for, and the category (SC, ST, OBC, etc.) in case you are
entitled to avail yourself of any reservation. The last date for receiving requests will be April 20, 2009.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Arms and the Man chat class

It was decided to have Arms of the Man discussion on yahoochat at 4 pm today (Sunday). However, some felt that I should have it tomorrow at 4. What do you feel. I am keen on having it today, instead of tomorrow. But if majority of you feels that it should be tomorrow, that should be fine. Please indicate your preferences in the comments section below by 12 noon today. Will clarify by 12.30 pm. My yahoo id is :

since, many were absent yesterday, can you inform all your classmates, either through sms or emial?

Since there are only three responses, I will have the chat session at 4 today (sunday)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lacan and 'A Doll's House'

Notes by Kanasu, III yr FEP

The Four Kinds of Discourses of Lacan.

What does one mean when they say that something is a woman’s play? It means that the play should evoke the female symbolic. It needs to create a woman’s world. It should not re-emphasize the male world and therefore, evoke the male symbolic.

  1. Discourse of the Master
  2. Discourse of the University
  3. Discourse of the Analyst
  4. Discourse of the Hysteric

Each of these discourses is characterized by an equation. The numerator on the left hand side of the equation holds the most dominant position, and it constantly endeavors to achieve the will of the numerator on the right hand side of the subject.

Each of these discourses is characterized by an equation. The numerator on the left hand side of the equation holds the most dominant position, and it constantly endeavors to achieve the will of the numerator on the right hand side of the subject.

The S1 stands for the conscious subject.

The S2 stands for opposite of the conscious subject (the other of the conscious subject) and is always trying to usurp the position of S1.

$ stands for the unconscious subject.

a stands for the object that wants or needs to be possessed. It is the object of desire. It is something that can never be fathomed but will always be longed for.

1. Discourse of the Master

In the master’s discourse, the conscious subject is the master, and what he says becomes the dominant discourse. The unconscious subject is pushed down, and the master’s discourse is constantly absorbed by S2. Here, the master’s discourse is accepted without question.

2. Discourse of The University

Here, you accept the other as it is. The concept becomes more important than the unconscious subject. The unconscious subject is pushed to the last position. No suppressed feelings or ideologies are encouraged in this discourse. It is least important. There is a constant endeavor to understand the concept, ‘a’ in this discourse. Moreover, the knowledge becomes more important than the person seeking the knowledge itself.

3. Discourse of the Analyst

In the discourse of the analyst, the unconscious is not confronted face to face. However, the unconscious is not suppressed but asked to open up to the analyst. The conscious subject S1 is pushed to the last position. Here, there is no ideology that is being mapped onto the unconscious. It is only an attempt to discover the unconscious.

4. Discourse of the Hysteric

Here, the unconscious subject comes to the dominant position. The dominant position becomes important and almost becomes the conscious subject. The structures of S1 and

S2 are not recognized. The unconscious does not recognize the structure of S1 or S2 which are both part of patriarchy (in the case of Doll’s House). It is least bothered about the other.

The Hysteric, then, becomes the female symbolic.

Is Doll’s House then, a woman’s play?

It can only be a woman’s play if it evokes a female symbolic, if it tries to evoke the hysteric (in this case), and not necessarily about the suffering of women.

Keeping these things in mind, if it is a woman’s play, then how? If it is not a woman’s play, then how?

Pinto, Anil. Class Lecture. Is there a Woman's Play. Christ University. Bangalore, India. 07 Mar 2009.

Towards a New Poetics of Practice: Rethinking Feminist Response to the Mangalore Pub Attack

Towards a New Poetics of Practice: Rethinking Feminist Response to the Mangalore Pub Attack - A Discussion with Lata Mani

Venue: Alternative Law Forum, No. 122/4 Infantry Road, Bangalore- 560001
Date: Friday the 13th (yes I know :), March 2009
Time : 6 PM

Lata Maini's note: "In this brief note I raise questions that are posed by the nature and form of feminist response to the attack on women in the Amnesia pub in Mangalore and to the spirited defence of Valentine’s Day that followed Sri Ram Sene’s vigilantism. The creative momentum generated by these events suggest that we may be in a moment in which new activist formations can be forged in response to Right Wing lawlessness. However, the exclusive recourse to a liberal discourse of rights and the refusal to engage questions of culture and ethics have restricted the scope of our interventions and left urgent sociocultural and economic tensions unaddressed. If we are to “seize the time” we would need to engage these difficult questions and be willing to set aside various sacred and secular cows in the process."

Since the intent is to initiate dialogue, Lata Mani will speak for 15 minutes. Du Saraswathy will respond and the floor will then be opened for discussion.

Class 1 on Lacan and A Doll's House

Notes for the class on using Lacan to destabilize the existing idea of Doll’s House as a Feminist Play

  • Lacan and Iregary are the two people we are going to touch upon in this respect.
  • Background of Lacan: He was kicked out of the psychoanalytic association and he was thrown out of the hospitals he was teaching in because he took client’s time only for 3 min or 2 min instead of the allotted one hour.
  • He started lecturing everyday. He had students of the likes of Foucault and Derrida.
  • In India, we have only retained Freud and we have never looked at Lacan seriously. Freud came before colonialism.

  • Lacan introduced three concepts
    1. Real
    1. Imaginary
    2. Symbolic
  • For Lacan, language belonged to the symbolic as against the real out there.
  • He said that there was always a tension between the symbolic and the unconscious.
  • Notion of the subject is one who suffers, and one who always has to deal with suffering as opposed to the individual, who is more marked by his actions. Individual tends to believe that he functions from a space outside society, and that he can establish or bring about change. This idea emerges post Protestantism and Industrialisation.
  • All spaces mark you as something or someone. You are the person, therefore, who is suffering that construct that the space puts upon you.
  • You are produced constantly and this gives you coherence.
  • The symbol of the tension between the symbolic and the unconscious creates a tension; a tension that challenges the “I think, therefore I am”. There is a gap between the symbolic which is the “I think” and the “I am” which is the unconscious. Therefore, you are not formed before you think.
  • All representations do not represent reality but only in a specific urban tradition.
  • Slumdog uses the realist tradition to represent the real. It is mot the real.

Iregary: Symbolic is male. All that we produce is the male symbolic. Necessary other to the male and hence outside the male symbolic is the female symbolic. Therefore, the only sex that is there is male. The female is only outside the male self.

Now, then, is Doll’s House then a feminist play in that it seeks to address or speak about the female symbolic? Or does it still speak of the male symbolic itself?

Independence-she walks out- male symbolic

Economic freedom- male symbolic

Where is the female symbolic then?

It is only mimicking the male to draw attention to the male itself in order to destabilize the male symbolic.

[Education and media are the two main ideological apparatus that of the state that perpetuates the male symbolic]

By mimicking, then, they just point to the gap between the male symbolic and the unconscious and are not really creating a female’s play.

Having said all this, is Doll’s House then, a woman’s play?

Pinto, Anil. Class Lecture. Is there a Woman's Play. Christ University. Bangalore, India. 06 Mar 2009.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Fourth Summer School on Philosophy for the Social Sciences and Humanities

Centre for Philosophy
National Institute of Advanced Studies
Fourth Summer School on Philosophy for the Social Sciences and Humanities
(Sponsored by ICSSR Western Regional Centre, Mumbai)

A three-week summer school for MA, MPhil and PhD students from all over the country will be held at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.
Dates: Monday, June 8, 2009 – Friday, June 26, 2009

Who Can Apply
MA, MPhil and early PhD students working in the broad areas of social sciences and humanities (including philosophy).

How to Apply
Send a CV (with marks, email, phone and contact address details) along with an essay/working paper that you have written. The last date for receiving the complete application is March 15, 2009.

Accommodation and Travel
Selected students will be reimbursed for their outstation travel by non–AC, sleeper class train or bus fare (to and fro) and will also be provided accommodation free of cost at NIAS during the course period.

Contact: Send your application as an email attachment to Centre for Philosophy, NIAS, email: or mail a hard copy to the address below.
Centre For Philosophy
National Institute of Advanced Studies
Indian Institute of Science Campus
Bangalore - 560012
Telephone: +91-80-22185000
(For more information, see


Guidelines for the group assigned to me (08D4401 – 4418):

  • Prepare a proposal in about 100 words and email it to me. The proposal should include name and address of the newspaper where you would be doing your internship, a brief write up on that newspaper, reasons for your choice of that particular newspaper, your plans during the internship and your opinion on how the internship will help you develop as an effective media person. The proposal should reach me on or before 15 March 2009.
  • You are to collect a diary from Mr Kennedy by showing the receipt for Rs 30 paid at the admission office. Make entries into the diary on day-to-day basis. Your diary entries should include the assignments you were given, details of how you went about doing the assignments, new things you learnt about the field, about yourself and your abilities that day. After a few days, the diary entries will look similar, clichéd and monotonous. It is up to you to find newness and creativity in your internship everyday.
  • During your internship in the newspapers, try to get as many by-lines as possible. They will carry a lot of weight on your CV later. However, you will soon realise that it is not easy to get them. Most of the time the news briefs or news stories that you write will be published under the title ‘From our staff correspondent’ or ‘_____ News Network.’ Do not lose heart.
  • Try to build as many contacts as possible both within the organisation and with people you meet in the field. You will realise the value of it during the internship and later as you try to climb the professional and social ladder.
  • Try and do challenging news stories or features. See if you can come up with your own topics for features or news stories. Remember journalism is literature in a hurry and has a very short life span. Therefore, timeliness of an article or news is the most crucial value that will prove your talent and ability. Your genius is not what will make you valuable but your consistency.
  • Compile the copies of your published works regularly, be they briefs, news stories or features in a file. You will have to submit them along with your on-the-job reports when the college reopens.
  • If you want some guidance, want to share your success or failure feel free to email me anytime
All the best

Sunday, March 08, 2009

MA in English with Communication Studies

Christ University offers MA in English with Communication Studies in four semesters. The programme is first of its kind in India in that it broadens the English studies programme to include the newer fields that have emerged within the English studies domain in the last few years. It is also the first Maters programme in English to introduce compusory internship.

Facilities: The programme gives access to a very good library which is updated almost every week. There is also access to online journal databases such as JSTOR, EBSCOR, ICFAI Journals. The campus is fully wi-fi enabled.

The University has an MOU with CSCS (Centre for the Study of Cutlure and Society, Bangalore) . CSCS offers regular certificate programmes in Cultural Studies, Media, and Gender Studies.

Following are

Semester I

British Literature: Genres & Ideas
Reading Twentieth Century European Art, Culture & Society
Literary Criticism
American Literary Thoughts & Ideas
Professional Communication

Semester II
Gender Studies
Contemporary Theory
English Language Teaching
Mass Communication

Internship (Educational institution, Research centre, Media House)

Semester III
Indian Literatures In Translation
World Literatures
Research & Writing Heuristics
Postcolonial Studies
Theatre Studies

Semester IV
Contemporary Indian Novel (In English)
Cultural Studies
Film Studies
Popular Culture
Translation Studies (Elective)
Script writing for Radio, Television & Film (Elective)

The Department also offers MPhil and PhD programme.

For further details you mail email to or post your questions in the comments section below.

Rethinking English Studies.

When one of my colleagues asked me to give a list of possible courses that could go into the proposed BA English Studies (honours) programme at our University, following the list that I emailed to her. I am posting it here so that those who are looking for rethinking their English Studies curriculum can benefit from it.

1. Gender and English studies
2. Gender and Culture
3. English language and linguistics (Strongly recommend it.) - A common course in most Continental and Asian university honours curriculum.
4. Latin American Literature
5. South Asian literature (very potential. The field is already emerging with conferences being organized and books being published. Strongly recommend.
6. African literature.
7. South Indian literature/Dravidian literature (We will be the first to offer this paper? Wanna make history?. I am all for it. Strongly recommended.)
8. Reading, Reading Practices and Critical Theory.
9. Children's literature. (not so popular in India as yet, but a rage on either sides of the Atlantic.)
10. Literature and other disciplines (philosophy, theology, history, sociology, anthropology, music, paining, journalism- to look at their engagement with literature both in disciplinary theory and practice)
11. Popular literature
12. Colonial literature in India (literature produced in India during the colonial periods by the orientalists, Colonizers, nationalists and others - as this laid the foundation for literary production in India as also set numerous problematic discourses rolling. An area that has remained only as domain of history and culture studies research. Needs to be brought to the academia.
13. Convert American literature to North American literature more as a postcolonial/postglobalisation strategy.
14. Please avoid Canadian and Australian. I seriously do not see any merit compared to the papers we already have and those that I have suggested. They largely managed to push themselves though funding - a political agenda. And we failed to so seriously look at African literature or Latin American literature as an area to be engaged with - they were cash starved and going there was below dignity and there were no 'good' scholarships.
15. Folk Studies
16. World literatures in translations
17. Canonical Classics in Translation
18. Queer literature

Let not our fears and our inability to give up uncontested traditions stop us.



TIRF (The International Research Foundation for English Language Education) welcomes Doctoral Dissertation Grant (DDG) proposals for 2009. The deadline for submitting a proposal is 1 May 2009. For successful DDG proposals, USD 5,000 is the maximum award. Full information about the requirements can be found at

The DDG funding is intended to support worthy applicants who have advanced to candidacy in their doctoral programs (i.e, have completed their required coursework) and whose dissertation research will address topics which TIRF has prioritized.

This year Doctoral Dissertation Grant (DDG) proposals will be considered on any of the following research priorities topics: (1) the age issue, (2) the proficiency of English language teachers, (3) technology in language learning and teaching, (4) effective grammar instruction, (5) bilingualism and plurilingualism in business and industry, and (6) language assessment.

(We regret that we cannot fund research on other topics at this time.) For full details on what these topics encompass and for information about submitting applications, please visit TIRF's website:

Monday, March 02, 2009

Welcome Upendra to this blogspace

Dear Readers and Visitors of this Blog,
Upendra Chidilla from Forum on Contemporary Theory, Vadodhara, Gujarat, has joined this blog as a contributor. While I extend him a warm welcome to this space and wish him good luck, I request you to repsond to his posts, as posts in blog sustain only with feedbacks.

Upendra is pursuing his PhD in Philosophy. His posts will largely relate to philosophy.

With Upendra's entry this blog makes a major shift in its long list of experiments. I am curious to know how it will unfold and lead to further experiments.


Extracts from 'The Art of T.S. Eliot'

These are a few extracts from “The Art of T.S. Eliot” by Helen Gardner. This might be of use for students who want to know more about the poet and understand the poem ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ and his other works better. This is not from examination point of view but it might be very helpful for that too. Although the book has not been issued from the library since 1997, it is a very interesting book for all those who love literature and its criticism. It is available in the U.G. library of Christ University, Bangalore.


Our age with its undigested technical vocabulary, its misuse of metaphor, and its servitude to cliché, cannot be regarded as propitious for a poet. It is a part of Mr Eliot’s greatness as a poet that he has accepted for poetic transformation the idiom of his own day. He has done so deliberately, for he said:

I believe that any language, so long as it remains the same language, imposes its laws and restrictions and permits its own a licence, dictates its own speech rhythms and sound patterns. And a language is always changing; its developments in the vocabulary, in syntax, pronunciation and intonation-even, in the long run, its deterioration- must be accepted by the poet and made the best of. He is turn has the privilege of contributing to the development and maintaining the quality, the capacity of the language to express a wide range, and subtle gradation, of feeling and emotion; his task is both to respond to change and make it conscious, and to battle against degradation below the standards which he has learnt from the past (The Music of Poetry 1942).

Mr. Eliot was from the first a poet with a remarkable range of diction, and with a natural gift for the vividly memorable phrase. He was always consciously aware of the varied resources of English poetic diction and delighted to place an exotic word exactly, or to give us the sudden shock which the unexpected introduction of a commonplace word or phrase can provide. The development in his mature poetry is a development in naturalness: a more ‘easy commerce of old and new’; a mastery of transitions on the large and the small scale, so that change and variety now ‘give delight and hurt not’; and a capacity to employ without embarrassment the obviously poetic word and image. In his earlier poetry he showed a certain distaste for words with poetic associations, which suggested a limitation in his temperament and a certain lack of confidence in his art. Avoidance of the obvious is not the mark of the highest originality of the genuinely bold artist. The change in Mr. Eliot’s poetic style which begins with The Hollow Men in 1925 is accompanied by a change in his metric. The change is the metre is possibly the fundamental change, for it is the new metre that has made possible his new freedom with the language of poetry.

The characteristic metre of Prufrock and Other Observations (1917) is as irregularly rhyming verse paragraphs in duple rising rhythm, with more or less variation in the length of the lines. Rhyme is used as a rhetorical ornament, not as part of a regular pattern; it is decorative and makes for emphasis, but it is not structural. There is, beside the variety in the number of stresses in the line, considerable variety in the amount of co-incidence between speech stress and metrical stresses; but all this we are accustomed to in verse from the seventeenth century onwards."
-From chapter 1-Auditory Imagination.

"Mr. Eliot is, in his own words, ‘occupied with frontiers of consciousness beyond which words fail, though meaning still exist’. Mr. Eliot has not at the back of his mind an idea or an argument which could have been expressed quite simply, and which he is purposely disguising. His poems do not begin from an intellectual position, or a truth. They begin with a place, a point in time, and the meaning or the truth is discovered in the process of writing and in the process of reading. Each poem gathers up into itself all that has been said before, and communication becomes easier as the whole poem proceeds.

Part of the difficulty of Mr. Eliot’s early works arose from what he has described himself as ‘an intense and narrow taste determined by personal needs’. this early taste let him to later Elizabethan dramatists for a style of great rhetorical force, and to the French symbolists for a manner that allowed him to express an intensely individual view of life with the minimum of direct statement. The personal need was in his temperament-ironic, diffident, at war with his surroundings; sceptical, preferring understatement, hints and suggestions; fastidious, reserved, acutely sensitive to beauty and ugliness, but even more to misery and happiness. This temperament made the symbolists congenial, for their method of finding an ‘objective correlative’ for emotional states gave him an opportunity to write with a clarity, precision and expressiveness which satisfied his poetic taste, while it allowed him to escape from the lyric poet’s necessity of speaking either for himself or for all men. J. Alfred Prufrock’s love song is neither personal, nor general, though in it the poet expresses a personal vision, and defines what is perhaps a general predicament. The originality, however, lies in the blend of this oblique manner with a highly passionate and dramatic style, which constantly escapes from the region of wit, irony and sensibility into a dramatic intensity if feeling. This tension between treatment and style, which gives the early poetry much of its disturbing power and beauty, was one of the things which made it difficult for the ordinary reader to see what the poet was ‘getting at’. The difficulty, however, lay not only in an unfamiliar manner and an unlimited linguistic daring. A more serious difficulty was the poet’s assumption that his readers could supply from their own experience, and particularly from their reading, what he chose to leave unsaid, or only hint at."
-From chapter 3-Poetic Communication

"In the early poems, as throughout Mr. Eliot’s poetry, images of taste and smell are remarkably frequent. Taste and smell are the most immediate of our senses, and the least translatable into intellectual terms by the conscious mind. They are also the most at the mercy of the external world, for we can avert our eyes, stop our ears and refrain from touching more easily than we can escape a smell which is haunting and pervasive. Such images are natural to a poet whose subject is something ‘beneath both beauty and ugliness’

The question that Mr. Prufrock dare not ask is only superficially the kind of question which one ‘pops’. there is another question all the time which every other question depends on:
Let us go then, you and I, When…………………………talking of Michelangelo.

Why not? One must talk of something and Michelangelo is a cultural topic. The absurdity of discussing his art, in high pitched feminine voices, drifting though a drawing room, adds merely extra irony to the underlying sense of the lines: the escape into nany kind of triviality, implied by the phrase: ‘Let us go make our visit’.

In Mr. Eliot there is a kind of prim pedantry, the pedantry of the New England lecture-room, suggesting not the bar, but the cultured voice and the card-index of the professor. Both works juxtapose boldly a modern world described with the most complete realism, and a world of romance, epic and high tragedy."
-From chapter 4-The Dry Season

"Although all Mr. Eliot’s poetry is the expression of a certain kind of apprehension, the change in his rhythms and style, which has been discussed, and the and the change in his imagery, is the result of a profound change within this apprehension. In the earlier poetry the apprehension is a kind of glass through which he views the world; it is a dark glass through which life is seen with a strange clarity, but drained of colour and variety."
-From chapter 5- The Time of Tension


Gardner, Helen. The Art of T.S. Eliot. Cresset Press, 1949.