Saturday, 25 June 2016
Thursday, 14 April 2016
Dr. Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, Reformation in Hindu Code Bill and Cartoons
Political cartoons deliver a punch. They take jabs at powerful politicians, reveal official hypocrisies and incompetence and can even help to change the course of history. But political cartoons are not just the stuff of the past. Cartoonists are commenting on the world’s current events all the time, and in the process, making people laugh and think. At their best, they challenge our perceptions and attitudes.
Analyzing political cartoons is a core skill in many social studies courses. After all, political cartoons often serve as important primary sources, showing different perspectives on an issue.
Saturday, 9 April 2016
#IndiaTomorrow: Short Films
- See more at: http://www.exchange4media.com/industrybriefing/india-today-premieres-india-tomorrow_63814.html#sthash.wDZL0OkC.dpuf
Five short films with a vision of changing for better - dealing with themes like:
1) Others - Transgender (Pradeep Sarkar)
2) Prostitute - the sense of stock market (Imtiaz Ali)
3) Rohith Vemula's Suicide note (Hansal Mehta)
4) Prime Time - a satire on news making by news channels (Rohan Sippy)
5) India. . . India - the miscelleny of road side hawker (Meghna Gulzaar)
I found Hansal Mehta's film quite tragic and poignant; Rohan Sippy's humorous; Saarkar and Ali's having strong assertion of other genders; Meghna's is fun to watch
Books on Changing Face of Education
- Not For Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities
~ Martha C. Nussbaum
|In this short and powerful book, celebrated philosopher Martha Nussbaum makes a passionate case for the importance of the liberal arts at all levels of education.|
Historically, the humanities have been central to education because they have rightly been seen as essential for creating competent democratic citizens. But recently, Nussbaum argues, thinking about the aims of education has gone disturbingly awry both in the United States and abroad. Anxiously focused on national economic growth, we increasingly treat education as though its primary goal were to teach students to be economically productive rather than to think critically and become knowledgeable and empathetic citizens. This shortsighted focus on profitable skills has eroded our ability to criticize authority, reduced our sympathy with the marginalized and different, and damaged our competence to deal with complex global problems. And the loss of these basic capacities jeopardizes the health of democracies and the hope of a decent world.
In response to this dire situation, Nussbaum argues that we must resist efforts to reduce education to a tool of the gross national product. Rather, we must work to reconnect education to the humanities in order to give students the capacity to be true democratic citizens of their countries and the world.
Drawing on the stories of troubling--and hopeful--educational developments from around the world, Nussbaum offers a manifesto that should be a rallying cry for anyone who cares about the deepest purposes of education.
2. The Fall of the Faculty:The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why It Matters ~ Benjamin Ginsberg
4. SLOW PROFESSOR: CHALLENGING THE CULTURE OF SPEED IN THE ACADEMY
Maggie Berg and Barbara Seeber
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2016
It is no longer clear what role the University plays in society. The structure of the contemporary University is changing rapidly, and we have yet to understand what precisely these changes will mean. Is a new age dawning for the University, the renaissance of higher education under way? Or is the University in the twilight of its social function, the demise of higher education fast approaching?
We can answer such questions only if we look carefully at the different roles the University has played historically and then imagine how it might be possible to live, and to think, amid the ruins of the University. Tracing the roots of the modern American University in German philosophy and in the work of British thinkers such as Newman and Arnold, Bill Readings argues that historically the integrity of the modern University has been linked to the nation-state, which it has served by promoting and protecting the idea of a national culture. But now the nation-state is in decline, and national culture no longer needs to be either promoted or protected. Increasingly, universities are turning into transnational corporations, and the idea of culture is being replaced by the discourse of “excellence.” On the surface, this does not seem particularly pernicious.
The author cautions, however, that we should not embrace this techno-bureaucratic appeal too quickly. The new University of Excellence is a corporation driven by market forces, and, as such, is more interested in profit margins than in thought. Readings urges us to imagine how to think, without concession to corporate excellence or recourse to romantic nostalgia within an institution in ruins. The result is a passionate appeal for a new community of thinkers.
If there is one sector of society that should be cultivating deep thought in itself and others, it is academia. Yet the corporatisation of the contemporary university has sped up the clock, demanding increased speed and efficiency from faculty regardless of the consequences for education and scholarship.
In The Slow Professor, Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber discuss how adopting the principles of the Slow movement in academic life can counter this erosion of humanistic education. Focusing on the individual faculty member and his or her own professional practice, Berg and Seeber present both an analysis of the culture of speed in the academy and ways of alleviating stress while improving teaching, research, and collegiality. The Slow Professor will be a must-read for anyone in academia concerned about the frantic pace of contemporary university life.
Saturday, 12 March 2016
What, Why and How of Studying Literature
As a part of student-reflection on learning, they are asked to add a page on their Digital Portfolio about:
- What is Literature?
- Why study Literature?
- How difference does it make?
To help students in this process of reflective learning, some useful blogs, vidoes, web-articles are shared here. As it is necessary to give line of thought or some starting points, so that students can realise what is expected, here are some resources:
- What Literature is for?
- What Books Do for the Human Soul: The Four Psychological Functions of Great Literature“Writers open our hearts and minds, and give us maps to our own selves.” (MARIA POPOVA)
- How English Literature Shaped me - Aravind Adiga
- IIT dropout finds B.A. English syllabus equally uninteresting (Pagal Patrakar)
- Life at Delhi University | 5 things every English Honours student goes through in college!
We can also ponder on the characters in literary texts in syllabus
Here are some noteworthy links:
Thursday, 10 March 2016
The publication of Memorabilia2016 is one of the many traditions of the Department of English, Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University. For last five years, students are publishing this booklet.
The booklet is collection of creative and critical writings of the students. Poems, short stories, paintings, pencil sketches, cartoons, posters, abstracts of research papers published by students, reviews of books / movies, critical observations of current affairs etc are some regular columns in this booklet. The Compilation and Editing, which is very difficult task, is also carried out by a group of students. They have to collect contents from students, compile it, edit it (where ever necessary), convert into common format and make it ready for publication on the Annual Function Day. The Memorabilia is released by the guest on this day. The Memorabilia is one of the many ways to evaluate students' creativity and critical acumen. It gives platform to students to publish their critical thoughts and creativity. That's fine. But what is more important is the ability of the chief editor and the team working for the Memorabilia. It is ultimate test of this group of students. From working in team (getting works done by each other, persistently requesting classmates to give their contributions, managing time from regular lectures and other learning assignments) to solving problems of compilation, editing and working on front page design to people-problems which are the most toughest nut to crack, these students have wonderful learning of 21st century skills. Yes, we, at Dept. of English, believe that the students in today's classrooms are going to work and live in 21st Century. Hence, the learning of these skills should be incorporated in daily activities and routine teachings at the Department. For this purpose, we have identified the 21st Century Skills Map which is the result of hundreds of hours of research, development and feedback from educators and business leaders across the nation (USA). The Partnership between 21stcenturyskills.org and National Council of Teachers of English has come up with interesting map of these skills. They are:
|Memorabilia2016 released by Dr. Jayant Vyas|
and Prof. Vinod Joshi
- Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
- Information Literacy
- Media Literacy
- ICT Literacy
- Flexibility and Adaptability
- Initiative & Self-direction
- Social & Cross-cultural Skills
- Productivity & Accountability
- Leadership & Responsibility. (Curios to know more about these skills, click here)
It is this group of students who work on this Memorabilia, who are not only tested on these skills, but it also provides them to hone these skills. This year, Poojaba Jadeja and group of students have done quite satisfactory work. You can have a look at Memorabilia 2015 here under. As it is embedded from slideshare.net, if it takes time in loading, you can click here to open Memorabilia 2015 in new window.
Memorabilia 2016 from Dilip Barad
~ Dilip Barad
None of the monks can teach concentration better than the cat-family-animal-in-wait-for-prey. The task to edit this Memorabilia 2016 is not even an iota less than this.
It requires similar sort of concentration, and
that too for quite a prolonged time. The persistence and perseverance with
which Bhumi Joshi and Pritiba Gohil have worked is amazing. Not only the number
of pages has crossed 100 but also the richness of content speaks for the
dedication of both of them. A special thanks to Ravi Bhaliya and Milan Parmar
for organizing content and printing this Memorabilia.
|The Concentration of the Cat is worth learning.|
Having birds-eye view of this Memorabilia is like walking back on the memory lane. Not all revisits of memory are traumatic. There are sweet fragrance of flowery incidents and event which are yet not grown into anecdotes. Not even it is true to say that for teachers, the batches of students is like a rock rolled over the mountain by Sisyphus, just to see that it rolled down, again and again. The journey of walking with various batches of students is like pilgrim’s progress. The journey may not be strictly religious or spiritual, or may be it is quite opposite of it, but it is surely academic, intellectual and enlightening. The ‘progression’ of thoughts, the widening of mental horizons, understanding the universality of ideas are some of the key things which remain as a memory of teaching various batches.
Same is true about batch 2014-16. It was yet another enriching experience. One of the best experiences was to see Vanita Tadha gaining tremendous confidence to perform in Daily Schedule as well as in project work. Along with her, the way Asmita Gond, Sonal Baraiya, Neha Mehta and Jayshree Solanki improved their level of academic involvement which got manifested in their project on Reading Habit is the real gain of education.
Vanita Baldania and Daya Gohel’s participating in Mountaineering tracking at Junagadh was quite unique. Both of them shall be commended for this. I do not recall in last 7-8 years if any girl-student has participated in such ‘so-called-tough’ adventure sport events. The best of the human character is displayed when one stands with other human in their down moments. Vanita Baldania has displayed this unique aspect of human character. I hope the Department will see many such participation in coming years. This surely will be an example to be shared with upcoming batches to inspire them to participate in adventure sports. Such events play very important role in building human of great character and indomitable spirit.
It was great to have creative poems from Ravi Bhaliya which enlivened Daily Schedule on several occasions. It would be great to see all poems compiled and published in book form. He along with Nikunj Bhatti, Kishan Kubavat and Sagar Ladhva has taken very good care of Laptop bank and all matters related to ICT. Their hard work shall be remembered by all as they took extra care for internet connectivity for other students and also managed things on public holidays.
Every year, we are fortunate to have a few students who take care of Library books with utmost care. If we get the student who really loves the books, we need not worry about library. This year, Nimesh Dave and his team managed library with extra care and consideration.
Daily Schedule is yet another very important feature of life at Department. Urvi Dave and her team, this year, looked after it with great affection. Baring a few days, the daily schedule was full of wonderful presentations.
Ranjan Velari and Urvi worked on very interesting projects also. They participated in Global Conference and presented their research. It is such researches and participation of students in academic events that give academic acknowledgement to the Department as the hub of academic activities.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of other students, there are many who silently worked for others. They are always ready to help the needy. They help and do not expect any recognition. I would like to put Radha Ghevariay, Devikaba Gohil, Vaishali Jasolia, Krupali Lewade, Pritiba Gohil, Nidhi Jasani (her winning position in Youth Festival for Mimicry was unique as it only she who got rank in this Rajatrang 2015) and Deepika Vaza in this type of students. This is not insignificant or trivial thing to have. Normally, people crave for recognition even if they have done nothing. To help and not to crave for recognition is ‘something’ really great.
We can’t forget beautiful identity cards for which Sagar Ladhwa and his team worked very hard. Sagar should also be remembered for enriching general knowledge in Daily Schedule on new schemes of Government of India. That is something very important.
Looking back in the memory gives some moments of regrets as well. It is remorseful when some students with talent do not perform owing to circumstances beyond their control or sometimes they themselves are the biggest hurdle for them, Jankiba Rana was toubled by her health and her mother’s and that resisted her from performing at her level best. Praful, Mayuri, Nisha and Hitesh should have been actively and willingly involved in academic and co-curricular activities. Even a single student left out unmotivated and not involved in academic activity is a failure of a teacher, in particular and of academic institute, in general.
Well, the golden moments of any education system is live interaction of students with teachers. Though the class did not have many students who participated in discussions or raised disturbing questions, yet the contribution of Nimesh Dave, Dipti Vaghela, Milan Parmar and Bhumi Joshi cannot be ignored. They were ready to respond to the questions tossed in the class or were ready to ask the questions which were deeply inquisitive in nature and displayed curiosity of an ideal learner.
Bhumi Joshi needs special mention for her participation is co-curricular activities, performing at her best in these activities, winning a few laurels and earning good name of the Department and leading with great conviction. She proved that the ‘leaders never complain’, leader see to it that the tasks on hand, however, difficult it may sound, must be completed. Along with it, her presence in classroom, active participation in discussion also makes stand apart, and well ahead of others.
The real education is the one which stands by this stanza from Brihadaranyaka Upanishads (1.3.28):
असतोमा सद्गमय । From ignorance, lead me to truth
तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमय । From darkness, lead me to light.
The mark of such an enlightened and truthful mind, the educated mind (in real sense), is the mind that stands nor for but against hegemony, against power, against privilege positions. The mind which is not ignorant and as such not in metaphorical darkness, is the mind which stands for powerless, poor and the underprivileged.Needless to say that I wish for the better future of the students and it goes without saying that I hope for the life full of restlessness and agitation, as it is in such struggles that we enjoy the life, the most!
With the sense of an ending of the journey of Batch 2014-16, I stand satisfied for, if not in all, at least in a few of students, this has been realised.
With the sense of an ending of the journey of Batch 2014-16, I stand satisfied for, if not in all, at least in a few of students, this has been realised.
~ Dilip Barad
Tuesday, 1 March 2016
Harry Potter: Think and Write
Web quest: Harry Potter (Students’ Handout)
Wwyp, carry out following tasks with the help of internet search engines:
1) Find at least three good web resources for the following topic/s.
2) Find key arguments for the discourse on the given topic/s
3) Note down illustrations from Harry Potter for the arguments
Blog Task: With the help of web resources and arguments worked out by various group, you shall think critically to develop an argument on any three of the following topics. Give your response in the 'Comment' section under this blog post.
Topics for web quest:
1) Feminist reading of Harmione’s character in Harry Potter: How do the character portrayal of Harmione and other female characters support feminist discourse?
2) Discourse on the purity of Blood and Harry Potter: How do the novels play with the thesis of pure blood (Master Race) giving an anti-thesis by belonging protagonists to half-blood / Mud-blood? What sort of synthesis is sought in this discourse in Harry Potter series?
3) Confronting reality by reading fantasy: How does reading Harry Potter make us confront the reality of our everyday existence?
4) Self-Help culture and Harry Potter: How does it stand by an argument that Self-Help Culture serves as a tool of social control: it sooths political unrest . . . one blames oneself for not getting better off is society and remains in one's own pursuit of self-invention, blaming oneself for the failure rather than the systems?
5) The discourse of Power and Politics in Harry Potter: How does Ministry of Magic control the resistance? How do they prosecute the ‘Other’?
6) Children’s Literature and Harry Potter: How far does J K Rowling transcends the canonical confines of children’s literature and claims the heights of ‘real’ literature?
7) Speculative literature and Harry Potter: What is speculative literature? How far Harry Potter qualifies for the same? Does J K Rowling transcends the confines of speculative literature and claim the heights of ‘real’ literature?
8) The theme of Choice and Chance: How does Harry Potter discusses the antithetical concepts of ‘choice’ and ‘chance’?
9) The theme of Love and Death: How does Harry Potter make use of age old theme of Love of the dead as well as living as protecting armour? How does Harry Potter deal with the concept of Death as something inevitable?10) Moral and Philosophical reading of Harry Potter: How does the concept of ‘evil breeds evil’ unfold in Harry Potter? What is the significance of Harry being one of the Horcruxes?
Think critically and develop an argument on any three of the following topics.