Schedule Event Date: 21st January 2021
CSGCM – DEPT OF ENGLISH, WBSU: ACTIVITIES TILL FEBRUARY 2021
The Department of English, West Bengal State University has established The Centre for Studies in Gender, Culture and Media in 2019 with Professor Chandrava Chakravarty as the Founding Director. Dr Sneha Kar Chaudhuri is currently the Deputy Director of the Centre. It was inaugurated on 23rd December 2019 by our Honourable Vice-Chancellor, in the presence of invited external guests of our advisory board, faculty members from various departments at WBSU, undergraduate college faculty from colleges under WBSU, research scholars and our PG students. The focus of the Centre will be multi-disciplinary exploring the rich exchanges between literature, and culture, gender and media studies. It aims to host several academic events to boost the vibrant research environment of the department, and to contribute to the intellectual growth of the university.
The Centre has already launched two lecture series – “Perceptions” and “Many Facets of Sustainability”. The inaugural lecture of the lecture series entitled “Perceptions” was delivered by Professor Debashis Bandopadhyay of the Department of English, Rabindra Bharati University on 20th February 2020. His lecture was entitled “The Body as a Contestable Site for the Construction of Gender and Sexuality”. On the eve of International Women’s Day (8th March), a special lecture on the tradition of women’s writing from Jane Austen to Doris Lessing was delivered by Dr Swaty Mitra, Assistant Professor of English, Barasat Govt College on 6th March 2020. Then, the Centre hosted one of its most prestigious events, a special talk by Professor Geraldine Forbes, Professor Emerita, Department of History, State University of New York, Oswego on 13th March, 2020. The title of the lecture was “Not Respectable Women:” Working Women and Sexual Harassment in Colonial India”. After this due to COVID-19 the university premises closed indefinitely and rest of the lectures under this series were delivered online. Under the “Perceptions” online special lecture series Professor Ritu Sen Chaudhuri, Head, Department of Sociology, West Bengal State University, gave an online lecture entitled “Gupi Gayen Bagha Bayen: The Latent Contours of Caste” on 24th August 2020. This series concluded with a special online lecture by Professor Ramanuj Ganguly from the Department of Sociology, West Bengal State University, on 7th September 2020. Prof Ganguly’s lecture was entitled “Religious Practices and Perception of Religiosity among Hindus in India under Current Pandemic Situation: A Sociological Exploration”. All these lectures, whether in campus or online were widely attended by our students, research scholars and faculty members from different PG departments of WBSU and UG college departments under our university.
The Department of English and the Centre for Studies in Gender, Culture and Media, West Bengal State University in collaboration with the IQAC, WBSU has also organized an international webinar entitled “Empire and its Others” on 13th August 2020. Our eminent speakers for this webinar were Dr Sugata Nandi, Assistant Professor of History, West Bengal State University and Dr Samara Cahill, Assistant Professor of English, Blinn College, USA. Their lectures were entitled “Empire, Science and Subversion: R. H. Elliot and Indian Magic” and “Formed to Delight?: Johnson’s Perceptions on Women, Education and Empire” respectively. The international webinar has been a resounding success with 1200 registered participants and many other academics and students watching the programme live on YouTube.
Under the ongoing new lecture series “Many Facets of Sustainability” on 21st Jan 2021 two special lectures were delivered. The first lecture was by Dr Debashree Dattaray, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University and it was entitled “Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability: A Story from Okanagan”. The next lecture on the same day was given by Professor Amita Sinha, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. It was called “Myth and History in the Reclamation of Govardhan, Braj”.
The Centre has a very diligent and tech-savvy young team of current and ex-students of the Department who manage the YouTube channel of the Centre, and help in the smooth functioning of the online lecture series and webinars. The Centre now also has a Facebook page that is steadily gaining popularity in the social media, the URL is: https://www.facebook.com/Centre-for-Studies-in-Gender-Culture-and-Media-105746328158769/