A lecture series titled “Voices and Visions: Exploring Language, Media, Equality and Equity in the Modern Landscape” commenced at the School of Humanities Auditorium on 12th February 2024 under the guidance of Dr. Shree Deepa, Associate Professor, Centre for English Language Studies, University of Hyderabad. The series aimed to initiate discussions regarding issues related to disability, social ostracization and inclusivity by highlighting the importance of language in media and its role in shaping perceptions and attitudes to lay the groundwork for fostering equity and equality.

On the day of the inaugural lecture, Dr. Deepa started the program with an opening speech that eloquently framed the overarching theme of the lecture series and set the tone for the upcoming talks.

The first session of the lecture series featured three lectures by three guest speakers.

Kiran Nayak, Trans and Disability Social Activist and Saathii Fellow. He spoke on his topic, “Language and Media as Mirrors: Reflecting on sexuality, Disability, and the Experiences of trans men.”

Rachna Mudraboyina, Social Activist on Transgender Rights, spoke on “Impact of binary and non- binary language.”

Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli, Transgender Human Rights and RTI Activist spoke on “Language choices: Othering of us, our lives and genders.

The session started with a talk by Kiran Nayak, setting a precedent for a day of insightful conversations. Throughout the event, esteemed speakers such as Rachna Mudraboyina and Vyjayanti Vasanta Mogli shared their expertise on topics ranging from the impact of language on marginalized communities to the role of media in shaping societal perceptions. Following each talk, the attendees enjoyed a brief interlude with refreshments. As the first series drew to a close, participants departed with a heightened awareness of the transformative potential of language and media in shaping societal attitudes.

Two Indian sign language interpreters Bezawada Keerthana and Anita Anil Gandham graced the first three sessions with their presence and expertise to make the events more inclusive. They interpreted the whole event in Indian Sign language.

In conclusion, Dr. Shree Deepa thanked all attendees and encouraged continued engagement with the topics discussed beyond the lecture series. The lecture series catalyzed meaningful discourse and introspection, inspiring participants to advocate for a more inclusive and equitable society.

The first three sessions hosted about 75 participants from different academic backgrounds, which made the sessions inclusive, Multidisciplinary in the truest sense.  The fourth and fifth lectures will be held on 20th February 2024.

Dr. Shree Deepa expressed her gratitude for the service of all the students and research scholars involved in the organising committee, especially Shadab Khan, Amartheja Ambati, Rameshori Chanu, Prakash, Smriti Asha and Maseera Firdous.

Contributed by: Rameshori Chanu, Ph.D. Student & Klayani P S, Masters Student, CELS