Wednesday, 31 August 2016

UGC Refresher Course in English 9-29 August 2016

Brian receives his certificate at the hands of Varun Sahni, Vice Chancellor of Goa University
Human Resource Development Centre, Goa University, Goa while Professor Bhat (r) Course Coordinator, and Professor Pai (l) Course Director look on.
29 August 2016 


by Brian Mendonca

It is difficult to believe
I won't be staring at the sea from my seat.
It is difficult to believe
this mini-India will soon dissolve.
It is difficult to believe
that Goa will remain a memory.
For some.


From here have we been unified in purpose
From here have we been strengthened in resolve.
To transcend boundaries, nations, cultures, cliches.
To remain in strength, in solidarity
In academia, ever marching onward.

So fare thee well
Traveller of the moment.
Ours is but a turn of the sun.
A little shade, a little succour
Tarry a while in GU's green-clad glade.

Freedom to live. Freedom to fly.
Must we all reach back to our nests.
With spirit renewed
and soul at rest.
Each woman
each man
do strive
to do thy best.

(HRDC, GU, 29 August 2016)


Refresher Course in English
9 - 29 August 2016

WEEK 1: 9-13 August

The Refresher Course started on Tuesday the 9th of August 2016 with Dr. Pai, Course Director, welcoming the participants. Professor Sripad Bhat, Course Coordinator, urged the participants to enjoy their stay in Goa and be sincere in fulfilling the requirements of the course. The day was divided into 4 sessions, sessions I and II pre-lunch and sessions III and IV post-lunch.

In his opening lecture ‘Mapping Culture Studies’ after the inaugural session Bhat introduced the course theme of Culture Studies. Rajendra Chenni spoke about British Cultural Studies, the next day. The afternoon was spent with Prakash Desai taking us through the Narratives of Nation.

Bollywood film was the subject of Prof. Chenni’s presentation on 11th morning. Session II by Rajendra Chenni was on Indian Cultural Studies and the work of Vandana Shiva. The afternoon was reserved for a feast of the theatre of the world presented by Isabel Vas in the session titled, ‘Theatre as a Site of Counter-Cultural Discourse.’

Participants were given a glimpse into Goan history by Kiran Budkuley in her talk ‘Culture and Goan Society’ on Friday, 12th August morning. The post-lunch sessions were reserved for presentations by the participants. Neena Caldeira was the observer.

Bhat took the stage again on Saturday the 13th with his presentations on Multiculturalism and Popular Culture. Participants made presentations post-lunch with Caldeira as observer.

WEEK 2: 15-20 August

Independence Day saw the participants assemble outside the main building of the Goa University for the flag hoisting at 08.30 A.M. They put up a fine performance with the song Hum Honge Kamyaab.

Derrida had his day with Prafulla Kar holding forth on Deconstructionism on Tuesday 16th August. Post-lunch, A.K. Joshi enlightened us on his work on Social Reforms in Maharashtra. He was also kind enough to be the observer for the presentations by the participants in session IV.

‘New Historicism and Cultural Studies’ was the fare served by Kar on 17th August. Post-lunch Joshi spoke on Ambedkar and Social Reform. The last session of the presentation by participants was observed by Joshi.

Anuradha Wagle spoke on the Semiotics of Culture followed by a discussion of Barthes’s Mythologique on 18th August. Post-lunch saw Sripad Bhat unpacking Indian modernity.

On Friday 19th August Professor Craig Brandist introduced us to the Bakhtin Circle while Paromita Chakrabati crossed borders post-lunch with diasporic literature.

Week 2 drew to a close on Saturday 20th August with Brandist unravelling Gramsci. Needless to say, a session of library work was declared post-lunch to recover.

WEEK 3: 22-29 August

Rahul Tripathi opened the week on 22 August with his thoughts on ‘New Social Media and New Political Culture.’ In session II Pranab Mukhopadhyay spoke on ‘Globalization and Culture.’ Post-lunch was declared for library work to complete the book review and project which were due the next day.

‘Interrogating the Body’ and ‘Gendered Culture’ were the themes for Parinitha Shetty on 23 August. Vijay T discussed Subaltern Studies post-lunch.

Parinitha elaborated on cross-dressing with special reference to Shakespeare and the Elizabethan age on 24 August. Vijay T.P. discussed Identity Formation, post-lunch.

Meena Pillai spoke on Culture Studies and Women in Indian Cinema on 25 August. Gopa Kumar, Librarian, Goa University threw light on e-resources for research.

Pillai continued her inquiry into visual pleasure on 26th August and how women are narrated by the nation. Professor Pravesh spoke on self and violence post lunch.

Pravesh Jung continued his discourse with an examination of the Enlightenment, Kant and Nietzche on Saturday 27th August. At 2 p.m. participants sat for the exam.

The valedictory function was on 29 August 2016. The Honourable VC, Prof. Varun Sahni addressed the gathering. Prof. Pai and Prof. Bhat summed up the course. Participants were invited to offer their feedback. The participants then received their certificates at the hands of the VC.

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