Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Survey: The Networked Teacher

Dear all,
I would request you to take this survey on 'The Networked Teacher'. It will help you to know if you are really a 21st century teacher or not. It has been increasingly demanded on the part of teacher to be 'networked' with various stakeholders. Teacher has to be interlinked with peers and leader for professional development; with learners / students for 'engaging' them with learning, 24X7; with parents for updating them; with educational institutes (both brick n mortal and online) for disseminating their learnings; with society for their accountability and responsibility. All these interlinking is possible if teacher is used to internet. If s/he is effective user of social media and other web tools, s/he can very easily and efficiently build bridges among all stakeholders.
The Typical Teacher Network and The Networked Teacher are two diagrams created by Alec Couros from the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina as part of his doctoral thesis to signify the different ways in which teachers network in the 21st century. Source:

Well, this survey will also help you to learn what are the potentials and possibilities that as a teacher, you can explore, adopt, adapt and thus, be an adept teacher in using technology, both as teacher and as well as learner.
The questionnaire / survey is embedded from Google docs on this blog. At times, owing to slow internet connection, browser problem or cache related issues, it may take some time in displaying the questionnaire / survey on this blog. After waiting for a minute or so, if it does not display here, please visit this link to fill in the online questionnaire / survey.

Click here to get diverted to the questionnaire / survey

The raw outcome will be available on this blog after handful of survey responses are gathered. It will remain up to 'YOU' to interpret and analyse the data of this survey.
We are thankful to following teachers/scholars for their responses. We request you to motivate your friends to fill in this questionnaire. A very warm, heart-felt regards for your help.
Robin Bulleri
Sachin Ketkar
R Harrison
Jen Baker
Dilip Bhatt
Amit Keraliya
Ranganayaki Srinivas
Pradip Sarikhada
Jay Mehta
Dr. Nikhil Joshi
Mayur Agravat
Rakesh Patel
Natália Guerreiro
Ashok pandya
Ashok pandya
Devang PAtel
Nilesh Sulbhewar
Cherry Philipose
Alexandra Volker
Gautam Dua
Janki Thakker
Parul Popat
ketan patel
zakia firdaus
Rucha Desai
Prachee Waray
Hardik Sharma
Sunil Sharma
Pushpa Dixit
Sanjay Ghodke
Smaina Boxwala
Ulupi Mehta
Kishori Chandarana
Ansar Khan
Dilip Sutariya
Suresh Rajratna
Imran Khan M Yusufzay
Mansi Agravat

KETAN Pithadia
Heera Rajwani
Trivedi Kiran
Parth Bhatt
Yogesh Kashikar
Sachin Matode 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Comparative Literature Studies

Comparative Literature: World Literature
Let us not intent to indulge in the debate of nomenclature. Call it Comparative literary studies or comparative studies or comparative literature or all put together, comparative literature studies; the area is very fertile so far as research is concern. In the times when the interest is growing from single disciplinary study to multi and inter-disciplinarity, no field allows for freedom in research as Comparative Studies.

Engraving each other: Comparative Study
 Yes, i have deliberately dropped the word 'literature or literary'. As the potential to yield rich harvest lies with comparative studies, i think it is not advisable to chain it by the term 'literature'. The term literature, in its narrow canonical definition, will not give us freedom to expand our research arena in the fields of television, films, advertisements and popular culture, let alone music, art, painting, dance and sculpture. If the political phenomenon in the twenty first century looks strongly towards democracy and globalization, how can literary research remain free from it. Why shouldn't research in literature be democratic in spirit and be global in terms of breaking the boundaries and narrow borders of canons? Isn't it the sure way to make literature 'world literature' - the dream of great visionaries like Goethe, Tagore and Northrop Frye.

At the same time, it becomes necessary to see what the leading comparatist think about the definition of comparative studies. This presentation which was made in the Refresher Course on Comparative Literature at Academic Staff College, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) deals with:
  • What is comparative studies?
  • Why compare?
  • What to compare?
  • How to compare?

Comparative Literature Studies
Presentation Transcript
  • 1. Goethe (1749-1832) : ‘Weltliteratur’ 1827 Tagore (1861-1941) : ‘Visva Sahitya’ 1907
  • 2. Comparative Literature / Studies What is it? Why Compare? How to Compare? What to Compare? 14 November 2013 Refresher Course ASC, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad Dilip Barad M.K. Bhavnagar University, Gujarat
  • 3. Let us discuss ‘definitions’ (?) Comparative Literature • Firstly, let us identify the ‘centre’: is it literature or comparison?
  • 4. Comparison ? Literature Translation Studies Cultural Studies / Religious Studies Film / Media Studies So Psy DH H AS PCl Gen
  • 5. Wikipedia • Comparative literature (sometimes abbreviated "Comp. lit.," or referred to as Global or World Literature) is an academic field dealing with the literature of two or more different linguistic, cultural or nation groups. • While most frequently practiced with works of different languages, comparative literature may also be performed on works of the same language if the works originate from different nations or cultures among which that language is spoken. • Also included in the range of inquiry are comparisons of different types of art; for example, a relationship of film to literature. • Additionally, the characteristically intercultural and transnational field of comparative literature concerns itself with the relation between literature, broadly defined, and other spheres of human activity, including history, politics, philosophy, and science. • Wikipedia contributors. "Comparative literature." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
  • 6. Henry Remak (1916-2009) • “Comparative Literature is the study of literature beyond the confines of one particular country, and the study of the relationships between literature on one hand and other areas of knowledge and belief, such as the arts (e.g. painting, sculpture, architecture, music), philosophy, hi story, the social sciences, (e.g. politics, economics, sociology), the sciences, religion, etc., on the other. • In brief it is the comparison of one literature with another or others, and the comparison of literature with other spheres of human expression.” • Remak, Henry Comparative Literature: Method and Perspective (1961)
  • 7. Nelson Lowry (1924-1994) • "Comparative Literature is … the whole study of the whole of literature as far as one’s mind and life can stretch. By its very scope Comparative Literature … is a presumptuous study.” • Nelson, Lowry. Poetic Configurations (1988)
  • 8. Haun Saussy (1960 - ) • “The premises and protocols characteristic of [comparative literature] are now the daily currency of coursework, publishing, hiring, and coffee-shop discussion. … • The ‘transnational’ dimension of literature and culture is universally recognized even by the specialists who not long ago suspected comparatists of dilettantism. .. • Comparative teaching and reading take institutional form in an ever-lengthening list of places. … • Comparative literature … now … is the first violin that sets the tone for the rest of the orchestra. Our conclusions have become other people’s assumptions.” • Haun Saussy, Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization (2006)
  • 9. Roland Greene (1957 - ) • "Comparative literature is the laboratory or workshop of literary studies, and through them, of the humanities. • Comparative literature compares literatures, not only as accumulations of primary works, but as the languages, cultures, histories, traditions, theo ries, and practices with which those works come." • Greene, Roland. "Their Generation," Comparative Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism (1995)
  • 10. Sandra Bermann • “A more transnational, interdisciplinary, and responsive humanities is, I believe, poised to emerge – • such a humanities may well contribute to a new sort of global consciousness, one that would bring a keener sensitivity to the languages, cultures, and peoples of our polyglot planet and begin to draw us all into a broader, more responsive conversation – • Comparative literature and translation studies – best suitable for it. (cont)
  • 11. Sandra Bermann • “Comparative literature regularly joins literary texts from different languages and cultures. It also regularly connects, say, a poem with dance, a film with the novel, photography with the essay. It even relates different disciplinary languages and modes of thinking.“ • Bermann, Sandra. “Working in the And Zone: Comparative Literature and Translation,”Comparative Literature 61, no. 4 (2009):432-446
  • 12. Descartes (1596-1650) • All knowledge which is not obtained through the simple and pure intuition of an isolated thing is obtained by the comparison of two or more things among themselves. And almost all the work of human reason consists without doubt in making this operation possible. Descartes, Regulae ad directionem ingenii (1684) Cited In Claudia Brodsky, “Grounds of Comparison” World Literature Today 69 (1995).
  • 13. April Alliston • "A rigorous definition of comparative literature should always include the study of texts across languages; this multilingual aspect can only become more crucial to distinguishing comparative literature as national literature departments also develop greater emphases on postcolonial and interdisciplinary studies. • In the new Millennium, I hope we will pursue the study of Weltiliteratur in the spirit of Goethe, albeit in ways he could never have imagined: challenging a world order that is already very different from the one his ideas subverted by helping to bring about a cosmopolitan community in which national, disciplinary, and linguistic demarcations may become less rigid." • Alliston, April . “Looking Backward, Looking Forward: MLA Members Speak.” PMLA. 115, no. 7 (December 2000): 1987
  • 14. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek • “In principle, the discipline of Comparative Literature is in toto a method in the study of literature in at least two ways. First, Comparative Literatures means the knowledge of more than one national language and literature, and/or it means the knowledge and application of other disciplines in and for the study of literature and second, Comparative Literature has an ideology of inclusion of the Other, be that a marginal literature in its several meanings of marginality, a genre, various text types, etc. (Cont)
  • 15. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek • Comparative Literature has intrinsically a content and form, which facilitate the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary study of literature . . . • Predicated on the borrowing of methods from other disciplines and on the application of the appropriated method to areas of study single- language literary study more often than tends to neglect, the discipline is difficult to define because thus it is fragmented and pluralistic.” Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, Comparative Literature: Theory, Method, Application (1998)
  • 16. Gregory Reid • "Any two texts can be compared, but a comparison works when there is a sufficient basis for comparison; that is, a strong number of similarities, which allow us to isolate particular striking, revealing, informing, epiphanic and ultimately untranslatable differences. … • These untranslatable differences which are the product of language, culture, history and environment as well as the semi-autonomous evolution of art forms and the talents and experiences of individual artists invariably pronounce themselves in what is called style." • Gregory Reid, "A Prolegomenon to Comparative Drama in Canada : In Defense of Binary Studies" (2005)
  • 17. Why Compare? ~ David Ferris • Problem with name of comparative literature > world literature - Goethe • Crisis: Rene Wellek • World and comparative = wider connotations in ‘comparison’ • Aristotle: imitation = comparison; comparison is a form of knowledge rooted in likeness. Two types of comparison > historical ‘as it is’; possibility ‘ought to’; second is blinded by the limits of first > thus, freedom in CL has its own limitation, lack of definition is limit not unbound horizon. • Plato > allegory of Cave (8:00) > new, real outside world, habituation, real world in comparison to the unreal past experience within cave creates knowledge > ridicule > cave and world > • “What then is really at stake in this allegory which twice enacts comparison by curtailing its temporality into is what Plato calls habituation? • And, why is it that the world, in Aristotle as well, is consistently called upon to embody a comparison that the world is powerless to affirm?” (cont)
  • 18. Why Compare? ~ David Ferris • A reflection on comparison that is capable of interrupting its own unfolding in a mode other than the coercion of crisis would be a start so that our present can make a claim on why and avoid the endless repetitions of what and how. • The natural sciences may ask about what is in our world, the social sciences may measure how we are in that world, we, at least, can ask why - and that is why we compare.
  • 19. Rene Wellek: Crisis of Comparative Literature • Published in 1959, this article by René Wellek, written in strong, forceful words,criticizes the French school of comparative literature for its confined system and obsolete methodology. • Wellek's allusion to a crisis was not meant to refer to the discipline as practiced in the United Statesbut he was in fact pointing an accusing finger at the “rotten” French part of the metaphorical apple. • Wellek spent many paragraphs criticizing Paul van Tieghem • reminded us of the origins of comparative literature; that it arose as a reaction to narrow-minded nationalism prevalent in 19th Century France. How ironical it is that only half a century later (at the time of Wellek's writing), French comparative literature was being criticized for putting lopsided emphasis on influence studies and what Wellek labeled as “cultural book-keeping” as the French had a way of drawing attention to high levels of achievements in their literature of the preceding centuries. • defense of the open, multidisciplinary approach of the American school and its emphasis on criticism sounds so prognostic, that is, as we now look back at how comparative literature inAmerica has developed in later decades • a crisis is an opportunity to reflect, and for reform and repositioning of one's priorities
  • 20. How to Compare? • Mechele Foucoult • There exist two forms of comparison, and only two: the comparison of measurement and that of order. • One can measure sizes or multiplicities, in other words continuous sizes or discontinuous sizes; but in both cases the use of measurement presupposes that, unlike calculation, which proceeds from elements towards a totality, one considers the whole first and then divides it up into parts. • one cannot know the order of things ‘in their isolated nature’, but by discovering that which is the simplest, then that which is the next simplest, one can progress inevitably to the most complex things of all. • University Handout for students • Descarte and Goethe
  • 21. What & How of Comparative Literature Koelb and Noakes saw shift in CL studies From To . . .the center of theoretical concern, such as the history of criticism, period/movement designators as romanticism or symbolism (matters that have been cloistered essential to the understanding of the history of literature as a great and unified cultural enterprise – movements, themes, periods, the history of ideas . . . . . . theoretical implications of diverse literary phenomena (issues that range around the frontier – ‘emergent’ literatures, relations to other disciplines, women’s studies, marginalized forms of reading: “pre-reading”, “female-reading” - There is, by and large, a kind of decentering in progress, both in terms of notions of reading and of canons prescribing what is to be read.
  • 22. • ‘National Literature’ cannot constitute an intelligible field of study because of its arbitrarily limited perspective: international contextualism in literary history and criticism has become a law. • Comparative literature represents more than an academic discipline. It is an overall view of literature, of the world of letters, a humanistic ecology, a literary weltanschauung(world view), a vision of the cultural universe, inclusive and comprehensive … Comparative literature is the ineluctable result of general historical developments. • The Comparative Perspective on Literature: Approaches to Theory and Practice by Claton Koelb and Susan Noakes. 1988. Cornell University Press What & How of Comparative Literature?
  • 23. A Case Study: What to compare? Always keep in mind ~‘why’ ~ inter-disciplinary approach • Let us view these ads, poems, folk lit, image and try to do Comparative Studies: – View this lesson form the school book – study language – car ad – Poem by Kamala Das: An Introduction – Poem recited by poet Meena Kandasamy (2:00) – Hindi Poem: Raavan – Hindi poem: Prasoon Joshi : mohe lohar ke ghar dijiyo, meri zanjeere pighlaye – Women Bond – Lok Sahitya : Beti – bahu (4:00) – Tu hi tu – Star Ad (3:44) – Fair and Lovely – Airhostess (1:00) – Fair and Handsome (.37) – Sunsilk – Malaysia (1:00) – Tanishq – Marriage (1:37)
  • 24. Bibliography • Wellek, René. “The Crisis of Comparative Literature.” Comparative Literature: Proceedings of the Second Congress of the ICLA. Ed. W. P. Friederich. 2 vols. Chapel Hill: U of Carolina P, 2:149-59. • Saussy, Haun, ed. (2006). Comparative literature in an Age of Globalization . Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. • Randel, Don (2010). What about the humanities? Society for the Humanities, Invitational Lecture, Cornell University. 30 March 2010. • Ferris, David. (2006). Indiscipline. In Haun Saussy, ed., Comparative literature in an Age of Globalization. pp. 78-99. Baltimore: Johns CHopkins University Press. • Stallknecht, Newton P, Horst Frenz. OMPARATIVE LITERATURE: Method and Perspective Ed.Southern Illinois University Press CARBONDALE Questia Media America, Inc. • Dev, Amiya. Rethinking Comparative Literature • Das, Sisir Kumar. Comparative Literature in India: A Historical Perspective • Majumdar, Swapan. Comparative Literature: Indian Dimensions • Bose, Buddhadeva. “Comparative Literature in India”, Yearbook of Comparative and • General Literature, 8, 1959 also included in Contribution to Comparative Literature • Germany and India, ed. Naresh Guha (Jadavpur 1979). • Dev, Amiya Dev, "Comparative Literature in India" page 5 of 8 CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 2.4 (2000): • Koelb, Claton and Susan Noakes. The Comparative Perspective on Literature: Approaches to Theory and Practice. 1988. Cornell University Press.
  • 25. Thank you • This presentation will be available on • It will be followed by quiz based on this presentation. • •

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Teaching Literature through Technology: Play / Drama

As the use of technology in classroom is increasing day by day, it becomes important to make some serious observations on its usage and impact on the learners. I wish to write a trilogy of blog posts on poetry and fiction, as well. This is the first one one Play / Drama. 

Gujarat University, Ahmedabad

 I make extensive use of technology in my literature classes. The statement is not made in self-eulogy or from a sense of pride. I know, all teachers these days are using technology in their classrooms. So, it is neither new nor unique. Mine is just a humble attempt to see how far it works in the literature classrooms. And if I get some success with it, I am happy to share it with other teachers. This presentation was made for/in the Refresher Course in English Literature, organised by Academic Staff College, Gujarat University.
These were the points discussed with the help of various videos and select scenes from the stage performance of the plays:

Happy-Sad: Twin Masks
  • Literature is made up of words. Colours, visuals, musical notes etc have no space in the aesthetic delight which literature gives through words to the readers.
  • The use of visual mars the free play of imagination which words are capable of.
  • There should be no medium between the words and the reader - if the literature is to be relished.
  • But when it comes to plays, it becomes necessary to understand that plays are not meant to be read as poems or fictions are.
  • Plays are to be performed and visuals of the performance is to be relished. Words on the page are not enough to give the beauty of play - the aesthetic delight lies in viewing the performance, rather than in reading it. Though, reading a play is also equally satisfying.
  • To prove this point an interesting example is given in the presentation: refer to the slide on which Tom Stoppard and performance of 'The Tempest' is discussed.
  • Well, some interesting scenes from 'Doctor Faustus' by Christopher Marlowe, 'Hamlet' by Shakespeare, 'Waiting for Godot' by Samuel Beckett, "The Birthday Party' by Harold Pinter were presented with important points. 
    All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players
  • It was proved that the nuances of plays lies in the acting, dialogue delivery, pauses, silences, stage spectacle and several other stage devices. Reading a play, never gives the satisfaction which viewing a performance gives.
  • However, in the classroom, while teaching the plays as texts, we cannot take students to the theatre to view the plays. Henceforth, we have bring in the video recordings of the play performances.
  • Hey, there is a rub! There is a problem. The problem is inherent in video recordings of the performance which happens through 'camera'.
  • This limitation is discussed in the slide on 'Camera as Technopoly'.
  • Your queries, observations, suggestion are welcome in the comments below this blogpost.

Dilip Barad: In deliberation with participants of RC, ASC, Guj. Uni

Questions on session by Dilip Barad on ‘Teaching Drama through Technology’.

1.      The word ‘theatre’ has Greek theatron < theasthai at the root of its meaning. What does it mean?
a.       To read
b.      To watch
c.       To peform
d.      To act
2.      Which of the following gives appropriate difference between ‘Play’ and ‘Drama’?
a.       Play is a literary composition consisting of dialogues between various characters, epilogue, monologue, prologue and an end. Drama is the set up of the play, which includes the theater, the hall, the accessories, the green room, costumes, music and the like.
b.      They are synonymous without any difference as such.
c.       Play is ‘performance text’ and Drama is ‘play text’
d.      Drama is a literary composition consisting of dialogues between various characters, epilogue, monologue, prologue and an end. Play is the set up of the play, which includes the theater, the hall, the accessories, the green room, costumes, music and the like.
3.      With reference to which play, Tom Stoppard explained the difference between the performance text and play text to prove the point that visual/spectacle of the play is more important than textual reading?
a.       The Tempest
b.      Othello
c.       Hamlet
d.      Ariel
4.      In movie adaptation of which of the following play director has replaced curtains with mirror?
a.       The Birthday Party
b.      Waiting for Godot
c.       Doctor Faustus
d.      Hamlet
5.      In which of the following play, the menacing effect of silence and pause is generated with the help of tearing sound of newspaper and no dialogue or background score?
a.       Hamlet
b.      The Tempest
c.       The Birthday Party
d.      Doctor Faustus
6.      In which of the following play’s stage performance the fight between Good Angel and Bad Angel is presented quite dramatically?
a.       Doctor Faustus
b.      Waiting for Godot
c.       The Birthday Party
d.    Hamlet