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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Types of academic writing (Masters in Psychological Counseling 2011-13)

This is a useful link in identifying some types of academic writing required and accepted. Please feel free to post more links..
(with respect to the Academic Writing course assignment)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Western Aesthetics - Pre-modern, Modern and Post-modern Eras.

Given below is a brief explanation of the three different Eras into which the Western World (more specifically, the United States of America and certain European countries) divide the history of the world.

The Pre-modern Era:
The Pre-modern Era generally refers to the period prior to industrial revolution, when production and distribution were on a small scale, and more importance was given to religion and spirituality than to materialism. As sacred as religion, was tradition, which was strictly enforced on the common people. Society had a rigid hierarchical structure and, essentially, was divided into three estates: The Clergy, the Nobles and the Common People.At one point, Feudalism was believed to be the law of the land, which basically gave the nobility and the clergy power over the serfs (the peasants). The feudal system was constructed mainly for the sake of security - the delegation of power to the nobles helped the kings ensure that control was maintained over their far-reaching kingdoms. Food production was entirely organic and the food for the lord and his serfs was produced in the fields of the manor farm. Feudalism worked well for hundreds of years. However, during the medieval era of the middle ages, there was a decline in feudalism due to the crusades, the Plague in Europe, the revolt of the peasants, the centralization of the government and the movement from a land-based economy to a money based economy. The final blow to European feudalism came with King Henry VIII (king of England from 1509-1547) breaking away from the Church in his quest to find a consort who would bear him a male heir.

The Modern Era:
With the decline of feudalism, and the determination of people to better their social and economic situation came the Modern Era. Portions of the Modern World revalued the importance of religion and the power of the monarchy. There were advancements made in almost all fields of human life, including politics, economics, communication, transport and technology. Science and technology began to play an important role. There was mass literacy, leading to the rise of mass media. Industrialization, individualism and urbanization also played a major role in the transformation of society.

The Post-modern Era:
The post-modern era is believed to refer to the period after the Second World War. This period is characterised by Europe's loss of faith in the popular understanding of science. With the war, people began to feel a serious breach of their fundamental right to voluntarily not participate in the war, and this led to a distrust of the State. The post-modern era is, essentially, the coming together of the pre-modern and the modern era to produce ideas that celebrate plurality and diversity.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Western Aesthetics - The History of Art

Despite the fact that there have been evidences of the existence of paintings even before the Neolithic Era, "Art", as a concept, is, probably, no older than 350 years. What distinguishes mere painting from art is the aura that surrounds art - the ability of the painting to command awe and respect from the viewer.

Art, as we know it, began with the birth of oil painting. Prior to this, all paintings were in the form of frescoes, which generally do not last for long periods of time, as a result of which, most of them are lost today - the only ones remaining are those that have been periodically renovated (For example, the frescoes on the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome). Oil paintings go all the way back to 650 CE. Oil paintings originally started out as having three panels - a fairly broad central panel, flanked by narrower panels. The central panel generally depicted a religious scene, with a painting of the patron on either one of the side panels.

With the emergence of guilds, Nationalism, Industrialization and Capitalism, there was a shift in art as well. Art was no longer centred around religion and money began to play a more important role than it did earlier. In short, art no longer had a ritualistic or communal function. Canvases shrunk from three panels to a single panel and the main focus of the painting was either the patron or the artist, himself. Almost at the same time as this change in the economics of society came the renaissance, which caused a lot more attention to be paid to art.

From the fourteenth century to the seventeenth century, art aimed at verisimilitude (the quality of realism), which was eventually achieved by Rembrandt, who studied the play of light on objects and worked towards capturing the object and the shadows, exactly as they fell, on canvas.

From the seventeenth century CE, art began to move into the Abstract Phase. By the nineteenth century, artists, such as Monet and Manet, had contributed largely towards abstract art. Edvard Munch made the transition from Abstract Art to expressionist art with several of his paintings, the most famous, probably, being The Scream.

Not too long after, with an understanding of the fact that reality has a number of dimensions to it, came Pablo Picasso and Cubism. What cubism seeks to do is bring out the emotional and psychological side of a person as opposed to merely the outer form of the subject.

By 1939, objects began to disappear from new paintings and colour played a more prominent role. This was due to the belief that colour, itself, can create emotions in the viewer and there is, therefore, no need of a subject as such.

During the time of the Second World War, the various forms of art disappeared. However, after the war, painting picked up once more, with all the styles merging, to form today's version of Art.

Western Aesthetics - Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

The term, "aesthetics" is derived from the Greek word, aisthetikos (sensitivity) which, in turn, was derived from the Greek word, aisthanomos, meaning "to perceive" or "to understand". The actual concept of aesthetics was first given by Immanuel Kant.

Kant was a German philosopher from Konigsberg (today known as Kaliningrad of Russia). He was educated at the University of Konigsberg, where he studied philosophy under Martin Knutzen, a rationalist, who introduced him to the ideas of Newton. Kant's magnum opus, the Critique of Pure Reason , first published in 1781, was a critique on the theories put forth by Newton. Kant understood that human beings were, basically, made up of Hydrogen and Nitrogen, as were all other things on Earth. He sought to find an explanation regarding the possibility of a Hydrogen-Nitrogen Being studying other objects made of different densities of the same substance.He eventually came to terms with the idea by explaining that it was indeed possible to do so, however, only through momentary glances.

In 1788, Kant wrote Critique of Practical Reason, which was a critique on the theories formulated by Bentham, Mill and Berkley, all of whom were British empiricists. Kant emphasised the fact that the social world is known through human experiences. This critique has had notable influence over subsequent practices in the fields of ethics and moral philosophy.

In 1790, Kant wrote his third Critique, titled,Critique of Judgement. The first half of this Critique deals with the idea of Aesthetics and the four "reflective judgements" (the agreeable, the beautiful, the sublime and the good). It is this that has led to today's idea of aesthetics. The second half of the Critique of Judgement discusses teleological judgement, which is the way of judging things according to its end.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Locating Internets: Histories of the Internet(s) in India — Research Training and Curriculum Workshop: Call for Participation

Deadline for submission: 15th July 2011-06-08; When: 19th - 22nd August, 2011; Where: Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, Ahmedabad; Organised by: Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore and CEPT University, Ahmedabad.

LOCATING INTERNETS is an innovative, multi-disciplinary, workshop that engages with some of the most crucial debates around Internet and Society within academic scholarship, discourse and practice in India. It explores Where, When, How and What has changed with the emergence of Internet and Digital Technologies in the country. The Internet is not a singular monolithic entity but is articulated in various forms – sometimes materially, through accessing the web; at others, through our experiences; and yet others through imaginations of policy and law. Internets have become a part of our everyday practice, from museums and archives, to school and university programmes, living rooms and public spaces, relationships and our bodily lived realities. It becomes necessary to reconfigure our existing concepts, frameworks and ideas to make sense of the rapidly digitising world around us. The Internet is no longer contained in niche disciplines or specialised everyday practices. LOCATING INTERNETS invites scholars, teachers, researchers, advanced research students and educationalists from any discipline to learn and discuss how to ask new questions and design innovative curricula in their discipline by introducing concepts and ideas from path-breaking research in India.

Comprised of training, public lectures, open discussion spaces, and hands-on curriculum building exercises, this workshop will introduce the participants to contemporary debates, help them articulate concerns and problems from their own research and practice, and build knowledge clusters to develop innovative and open curricula which can be implemented in interdisciplinary undergraduate spaces in the country. It showcases the research outputs produced by the Centre for Internet and Society’s Researchers @ Work Programme, and brings together nine researchers to talk about alternative histories, processes, and bodies of the Internets, and how they can be integrated into mainstream pedagogic practices and teaching environments.

Knowledge Clusters for the Workshop

LOCATING INTERNETS is designed innovatively to accommodate for various intellectual and practice based needs of the participants. While the aim is to introduce the participants to a wide interdisciplinary range of scholarship, we also hope to address particular disciplinary and scholarly concerns of the participants. The workshop is further divided into three knowledge clusters which help the participants to focus their energies and ideas in the course of the four days.
  • Bridging the Gap: This workshop seeks to break away from the utopian public discourse of the Internets as a-historical and completely dis-attached from existing technology ecologies in the country. This knowledge cluster intends to produce frameworks that help us contextualize the contemporary internet policy, discourse and practice within larger geo-political and socio-historical flows and continuities in Modern India. The first cluster chartsdifferent pre-histories of the Internets, mapping the continuities and ruptures through philosophy of techno-science, archiving practices, and electronifcation of governments,to develop new technology-society perspectives.
  • Paradigms of Practice: One of the biggest concerns about Internet studies in India and other similar developed contexts is the object oriented approach that looks largely at specific usages, access, infrastructure, etc. However, it is necessary to understand that the Internet is not merely a tool or a gadget. The growth of Internets produces systemic changes at the level of process and thought. The technologies often get appropriated for governance both by the state and the civil society, producing new processes and dissonances which need to be charted. The second cluster looks at certain contemporary processes that the digital and Internet technologies change drastically in order to recalibrate the relationship between the state, the market and the citizen.
  • Feet on the Ground: The third cluster looks at contemporary practices of the Internet to understand the recent histories of movements, activism and cultural practices online. It offers an innovative way of understanding the physical objects and bodies that undergo dramatic transitions as digital technologies become pervasive, persuasive and ubiquitous. It draws upon historical discourse, every day practices and cultural performances to form new ways of formulating and articulating the shapes and forms of social and cultural structures.

Workshop Outcomes

The participants are expected to engage with issue of Internet and it various systemic processes through their own disciplinary interests. Apart from lectures and orientation sessions, the participants will actively work on their own project ideas during the period in groups and will be guided by experts. The final outcome of the workshops would be curriculum for undergraduate and graduate teaching space of various disciplines in the country.

Participation Guidelines

LOCATING INTERNETS is now accepting submissions from interested participants in the following format:
  1. Name:
  2. Institutional affiliation and title:
  3. Address:
  4. Email address:
  5. Phone number:
  6. A brief resume of work experience (max. 350 words)
  7. Statement of interest (max. 350 words)
  8. Key concerns you want to address in the Internet and Society field (max. 350 words)
  9. Identification with one Knowledge-cluster of the workshop and a proposal for integrating it in your research/teaching practice (max. 500 words)
  10. Current interface with technologies in your pedagogic practices (max. 350 words)
  11. Additional information or relevant hyperlinks you might want to add (Max. 10 lines)
  • Submissions will be accepted only from participants in India, as attachments in .doc, .docx or .odt formats at locatingInternets AT
  • Submissions made beyond 15th July 2011 may not be considered for participation.
  • Submissions will be scrutinized by the organisers and selected participants will be informed by the 20th July 2011, about their participation.
  • Selected participants will be required to make their own travel arrangements to the workshop. A 2nd A.C. return fare will be reimbursed to the participants.  Shared accommodation and selected meals will be provided at the workshop.
  • A limited number of air-fare reimbursements will be available to participants in extraordinary circumstances.
Chairs: Nishant Shah, Director-Research, Centre for Internet and Society Bangalore; Pratyush Shankar, Associate Professor & Head of Undergraduate Program, Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University
Supported by: Kusuma Foundation, Hyderabad
Experts:Anja Kovacs, Arun Menon, Asha Achuthan, Ashish Rajadhykasha, Aparna Balachandran, Namita Malhotra, Nithin Manayath, Nithya Vasudevan, Pratyush Shankar, Rochelle Pinto and Zainab Bawa
See the announcement on CIS website here
Distribute and share this as widely as possible.
Thanks and Regards,
Prasad Krishna
Publication Manager
Centre for Internet and Society
prasad AT
#194, Second 'C' cross
Domlur Second Stage

Postcolonial Literatures - Expectations from III JPE

Thank you Shradha Iyer for the write up.

What the JPites want to learn can be broadly categorized under 3 perspectives of looking and understanding the post colonization text:

1) Political
  • Understand the political movements and situations that existed before, during and after colonization.
  • Understand the politics of both – the colonizers and the colony at a large.
  • Get an in depth knowledge on how the political movements were carried on by the colonized to achieve ‘freedom’.
  • How the colonizers used different techniques of politics for smoother rule over their colony.
  • How political boundaries were formed and changed.
  • The current political situation persisting in the countries, both of the colonizers and the colonized.

2) Historical
  • Go back in time and understand every detail that made up the entire process of colonization.
  • Learn not only about post-colonization, but also pre colonization and colonization for a better understanding.
  • How history has influences the meaning and understanding of post colonization.
  • State of affairs today that has been influenced by history.

3) Emotionally
  • To understand the psyche of the colonizers.
  • To understand the psyche of the colonized.
  • Learn about slavery, slave trade and the emotions that were followed.
  • To understand how the post colonial writers wrote and with what emotions.

How we want to lean Post-colonialism
  • Self-research and reading
  • Documentaries and movies
  • Discussions
  • PPTs
  • Your regular teaching methodologies

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Academic Writing - MSCom Presentation Christ University

Following is the presentation I made for II year MS Communication students on 11 June 2011 from 10 am to 12 noon at Christ University, Bangalore. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Postcolonial Literatures - Expectations from III CEP

Following are the expectations from III CEP class for the portion I am handling. Thanks Asha for preparing the notes. 

What to learn
  • Historical perspective of colonies to contextualise a text
  • More literature than academic
  • Literature-specific
  • Not many essays
  • Styles of writing - precolonial, colonial and post-colonial comparison
  • Effect of history/culture on writing
  • Compare writings of different colonies
  • Polity after independence
How to learn
  • Films
  • Presentation
  • Articles
  • Visual
  • Interactive
  • Time managament
  • Comics
  • Concise
  • Textual interpretation
  • Application
  • Interactive
  • Objective
  • No tests
  • Presentation
  • Multiple choice questionnaire

Faculty Recharge Programme’s website

Faculty Recharge Programme’s website

Thursday, June 09, 2011

CALL FOR PAPER Ontology Of Consciousness

    *ISOL Centre for Consciousness Studies* happily announces the National Workshop On *“Ontology Of Consciousness”: Integrating Mathematics, Physics and Spirituality” during December 15-17, 2011* in Delhi India. This National Workshop is built on the strength of “*National Workshop on Integrating Mathematical Science and Spirituality” held at University of Delhi, December 21-23, 2009.* The proposed workshop intends to initiate discussions on logical approach to understand the nature of consciousness, interconnected and inseparable patterns of energy and the mathematics of quantum physics and its relations to spirituality and cosmic self. Recognizing the importance and place of the outer and inner sciences, the workshop will make the participants learn to integrate both to create harmony in our lives at all levels. The thematic discussions will focus on: 1. Development of Indian Mathematical Science in the context of Spirituality. 2. Mathematical Science as a Form of Spirituality and Spirituality as a Type of Science. 3. Mathematical Science and Supra-mental Consciousness. 4. Mathematical Science and Mystical Experience. 5. Cognitive Framework of Consciousness Mind. 6. Relevance of Vedantic Models of Mind into Artificial Intelligence. 7. Mathematics of Infinites: Insights from Wisdom Traditions. 8. Quantum Approaches to Consciousness. 9. Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics. 10. Mind and Matter: Interconnectedness between Epistemological Assumptions and Neurophysiological Levels of Description. *The details are available at:* * or* *The last date of abstract submission is: October 31, 2011.* I humbly request you to also forward this email to your colleagues to contribute a paper on any topic of their choice. The Registration Form is attached herewith. Please feel free to contact me for any queries, if you have. Looking forward to welcome you. -- Sunita Singh Sengupta, Ph.D. Founder & Convener ISOL Centre for Consciousness Studies (A Unit of ISOL Research Foundation) C-17, Raj International Business Center, Gurunanak Pura, Laxminagar, Near Scope Minar Delhi - 110 092, India <> Contact No. 9873167484 Email: sengupta.sunitasingh AT gmail.comsunita.singhsengupta AT *Hopes of Today are Realizations of Tomorrow*