The English Literary Association
Our activities for this academic year commenced with a two-part workshop in July on Public Speaking.
It was conducted by our ex-student Alfred Lee who has experience working as a copy writer for reputed companies like O&M. In his trademark style that combines useful insights with quirky sense of humour, Alfred highlighted various aspects of Public Speaking, right from the kind of content that one should prepare to the manner in which one should deliver it in front of a large audience. Our students loved him and endorsed the fact that the sessions were both interesting and insightful.
Our ‘Poetry and Reading Circle’ sessions took off in August with two sessions on Modern Love Poetry and Shakespearean Drama respectively. Considering that our students have a penchant for writing romantic verse at this stage in their lives, we thought it a good idea to expose them to different kinds of love poems. The session on Shakespeare was conducted exclusively by out TYs who are engaged in studying his plays as part of their syllabus. Our sessions underwent a drastic change in January when they were taken up by Fiza (S.Y.B.A.-B) and Tanya and Thomas (SYBA-A). The trio infused new blood into our usually staid sessions by dramatisions that involved role-playing and witty exchanges between characters dressed in appropriate costumes. The two sessions conducted on Science Fiction and Paulo Coelho’s novels were as entertaining as they were informative, thanks to the sincere efforts put in by these students. The last session, on the novels of R.L.Stine, was as exciting as the ones that preceded it and was, perhaps, the most dramatic of all, and the presenters stopped at nothing to enhance the entertainment value of this session, including smearing the floor with (fake) blood – which was later cleaned up with some amount of reluctance!
In September, we had a one-day drama workshop conducted by Meghna Gandhi who has completed 8 grades in Drama from Trinity College, London and has a Performer’s Certificate in Communication Skills, also from Trinity College, London. The participants had a whale of a time letting their hair down, running all over the AV Room, dancing and showing off some groovy moves of their own, as Meghna cajoled them into letting go of their inhibitions and getting comfortable with their bodies.
September also saw the English Department hosting a one-day seminar on ‘Reality and Fantasy in Children’s Literature’ in conjunction with the Children’s Literature Association of India. A packed AV Room was witness to some fascinating papers on children’s literature. Presented in front of a host of teachers and students from different colleges across the city .
In January, our students attended a seminar on ‘Bharat or India: The Changing Face of Nationalism in Contemporary Indian Cinema’ held at Sophia College and came back suitably impresses with their experience of listening to some fascinating papers on Indian cinema.
The English Department organized its annual Film Week in February. The theme for this year’s Film Week was ‘Expatriate Films’ and we screened three films related to the experience of expatriation, namely ‘The Namesake’, ‘Salaam Bombay’ and ‘Bend It Like Beckham’. Students were particularly impressed with Mira Nair’s film, and for those who had watched the recent ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, the film provided interesting parallels. ‘The Namesake’ and ‘bend It Like Beckham’ were also appreciated for the manner in which they highlighted the conflicts faced by second generation immigrants in particular.
The English Department brought out its own newsletter ELAN ( English Literary Association Newsletter) in February.The newsletter provided our students a golden opportunity to showcase their creative writing skills and also give them a basic grounding in writing, editing, proof-reading and other processes that go into the making of a publication such as a newsletter.
The Department is proud to announce that Sonal Pinto (SYBA) won the First Prize at the Annual Declamation Contest organized by Rizvi College for her rendition of an extract from Arundhati Roy’s ‘The Algebra of Infinite Justice’.
Prof. Susan Lobo