Prasar Bharati CEO inaugurates Raw.Con 2014 and addresses young researchers at UoH

Jawahar Sircar1

Be open minded and work collaboratively said Mr. Jawahar Sircar CEO, Prasar Bharati, and former Secretary to the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, while delivering the inaugural address as the chief guest at the inaugural of the RAW.CON (Researchers at Work Conference) 2014 at University of Hyderabad (UoH) on 10th September 2014. His illuminating speech focused on how the new paradigms of Knowledge production are actually an extension of older modes. His lecture traced the recent phenomenon of digital books in earlier era of palm-leaves. For him technology will never surpass literature. But literature as the narrative will survive in different forms. For Sircar, SMS in Mobile Phone is just another version of Haiku poems. A radio play of earlier generation has just moved towards audio-book, he added.

The programme started with a welcome address by Prof. Tutun Mukherjee, Head, Centre for Comparative Literature, UoH. Prof. E. Haribabu, the in charge Vice-Chancellor of the university was the guest of honour. In his address he welcomed the participants to the city of Hyderabad and the campus and also praised the student-initiative to organize this seminar every year.

Prof. Amitabha Dasgupta, Dean of the School of Humanities thanked the Centre for Comparative Literature for organizing the seminar on a large scale for the last few years. He praised the department’s initiative and remarked that it is one of the most active centres in School of Humanities. Both the student coordinators, Mr. Arjaiah Mungamuri and Mr. Abu Saleh were present to give the formal vote of thanks to all sponsors who have been associated with the organization of this conference.

Gauri Viswanathan

Gauri Viswanathan

The Key Note address was by Prof. Gauri Viswanathan, Columbia University, USA who spoke on ‘Heterodoxy and Textuality’. Plenary Session began with Mr. Kingshuk Nag, Resident Editor, The Times of India at Hyderabad talking on ‘The Making of The Second Republic’ followed by Google Search Quality Team’s workshop on ‘Learning and Research with Google’. They demonstrated how Google features like Google Scholar Search, Google drive, Google forms, Google Moderator and Google Trends can expand the facility for researchers. They also requested researchers to create and disseminate knowledge in the digital domain.

Mr. Kingshuk Nag

Kingshuk Nag

After the Inaugural Session, Key Note Address and two Plenary Sessions, RAW.CON 2014 started paper sessions parallel in two halls of School of Humanities. The first session was on ‘Literature and Representation’ chaired by Nitish Bhooshetty. Deepali Yadav focused her paper on graphic biographies. Smitha Chandran presented on the autobiographies of two 21st century sportspersons. Watitula Longkumer focused his paper on the emerging trends of North Eastern literature. Somjyoti Mridha engaged with a study of Kashmiri Pandit Narratives in his paper.

Researchers at the Conference

The parallel Session on ‘Space and Performance’ chaired by Barath Nataraj also initiated discussion about the politics of performance. Dipakkumar Mangalbhai Barkhade’s paper explained the emergence of tragedy as a literary genre in Gujrati theatre. P. Muralidhar Sharma’s paper was on the representations of Amrapali in 20th century Indian literatures and cultures in order to locate the shifts in the identities of Indian woman performers in the changing discourses of colonialism and nationalism. Vinita Teressa engaged on Comedy Reality Shows in Malayalam Television Channels and the performance of gender. Ronojoy Sircar’s paper reads critically the daily lives of Khirki village as a case study.

The third paper session of the day chaired by A. Kishore Kumar Reddy was on ‘Body and Culture’. M. Raghavi Ravi Kasthuri presented her paper on cancer narratives. Another paper by Sheeja Rajagopal was also about breast cancer narrative in virtual world. Hashif.K dicussed on disability in Partition Narratives. Devaleena Kundu read her paper on Thanatology and thanato-ecoculture.

The fourth parallel session of the day chaired by Huma Kidwai on ‘Women and Subjectivity’ initiated the discussion on status/position of women in literature and culture. Chetna C’s paper was about Tarabai Shinde and Pandita Ranabai’s view on Indian women. Diki Bhutia studied in her paper the issue of Tibetan Women. Madhurima Majumdar discussed women in Festival space with particular case study of Durga Puja. Abhisek Bhagat’s paper was on Alice Munroe’s story and women’s psyche.

Courtesy – Abu Saleh and Intaj Ali