Tuesday, 11 March 2014

"Truth in Drama"

Dr.Radmila Nastic, Professor of Philology and Arts, Serbia, gave a talk on “Truth in Drama” to our students, today, from 10.45 am to 1.30 pm.

Excerpts from her talk:

Nobel laureate Harold Pinter is one of the greatest modern dramatists, who “cleaned the gutters of the English language, so that it ever afterwards flowed more easily and more cleanly”. His Nobel Prize acceptance speech titled, “Art, Truth & Politics” was in a way, a manifesto for his literary career. He says: 

There are no hard distinctions between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false. I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?

Truth in drama is forever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an image or a shape which seems to correspond to the truth, often without realising that you have done so. But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Talk on Postmodernism, Media Studies and Subaltern Studies..:

Dr. Marx delivered a thought-provoking and spell-binding talk today, from 9.50 am to 12.50 pm, on Postmodernism, Media Studies and Subaltern Studies, to an ardent and enthusiastic audience, comprising students from III BA, I MA, II MA, M.Phil & PhD Scholars. 

Excerpts from his talk:

To Fanon, silence is dishonesty. Although there are millions of angles and thousands of opinions available to get a perspective of an object or a person, we always prefer to go by the binary, wherein one is prioritised over the other. The first problem of any language is knowability. It is seemingly knowable, but in reality it is not knowable. What then, is real? Reality is relative. In Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, we have a clear case of different versions of truth given to the police by different people. 

A typical rainy day at MCC (today):

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Inter Hall Sports Meet - 2014

Our Principal with Shri K. Baskaran
The Inter-Hall Sports Meet 2014 got off to a rousing start with the customary Commemoration Meet. Dr. Stephen Jebanesan, Head, Department of English gave the commemoration address. The Chief Guest of the Sports Meet was Shri K. Baskaran IAS., District Collector, Kanchipuram, an illustrious alumnus of our College. 

Monday, 20 January 2014

Professor J. Vasanthan - A Tribute

I am stunned when I look with respect and awe at a picture of Prof. J. Vasanthan. The fire in his eyes, the grace in his looks, the nobility in his visage, the determination in his firm lips, his royal bearing and his majestic posture compel me into a wild guess of what an enigma of a professor he must have been!

Loved all, loved by all, hated none, and hated by none.

J.Vasanthan, started his teaching career at Madras Christian College, and later retired as Professor of English with the American College, Madurai. His passing away recently in Madurai, has created a void which cannot be replaced now or in the future. Such was his style! such was his verve! such was his commitment to his vocation!

JV (as he was fondly called by his students and admirers) was a versatile personality - a professional cartoonist, writer, actor, professor all rolled in one. He also had a wonderful sense of humour and an artful way with words. One could sit with him, at his dinner table, and listen to him recollecting fond memories of days past in MCC, or talk about Tom and Jerry, or bring out the aesthetic and the sublime in Shakespeare, or Milton or Wordsworth, or Keats, with abundant verve and gusto. He was teacher to famous stalwarts in academics, like Dr.Nirmal Selvamony, Dr.Benet, Dr.Premila, Prof.Daniel David, to name a few, and eminent politicians like Prakash Karat, etc.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Chennai Book Fair - 2014

The Chennai Book Fair is getting better and better, by the year, going by present indications. The YMCA Grounds that played host to the Fair this year, was a lot more effective in crowd management and parking management. Unlike last year, when volunteers from BAPSI controlled the parking lots using their own volunteers, this year saw the traffic constables and SIs doing a really commendable job in traffic management and parking management. They facilitated neat parking of cars and bikes.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Celebrating the Eternal Woman...

Dr. Dasan delivered the key note address on “Celebrating the Eternal Woman:  A Note on the Heroism of the Feminine Psyche” at the National Seminar on Women’s Writing in English, held at St.Mary’s College, on 10 January 2014.

Excerpts from his address:

This keynote address aims at the figural portrayal of the female self. While attempting to highlight the contrasting perceptions between the ‘female self’ as a biological and natural construct and ‘the woman’ as a social construct, it underscores that ultimately it is the paradoxical differences in gender sexuality, differences which simultaneously reiterate the beauty and richness of the biological complementarity ingrained in the very act of the creation of man and woman, which prevail in terms of true humanity. I am one of those who subscribe to the view that the social construct of woman, woman as objectified Other, ‘reified as a sexual and linguistic commodity fixed, written about and traded among men’ by the metaphysical Self, ought to be dismantled and deconstructed, and the natural construct of the female self, attuned to the biological and the eternal feminine, should prevail as a liberating force.

Monday, 30 December 2013

DONATE BLOOD..! SAVE LIFE..!

Ring in the New Year with a Noble Deed!
DONATE BLOOD! SAVE LIFE..!
1st January 2014 (Wednesday)
9.30 am to 3.30 pm
Venue: Lotels Serviced Apartments,
No: 6, 4th Main Road, 
Jayachandran Nagar, 
Jaladampet, 
Chennai.
Ph: 43304252/53
In Partnership with:
LOTELS: SERVICED APARTMENTS
INDIAN RED CROSS SOCIETY
VERVE

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Back in Shelf..:

Dear Students of III BA English Lit., Copies of Achebe's Things Fall Apart are now available at Landmark, Spencer's. 
Clicked at Landmark, Mount Road

Monday, 16 December 2013

Release of the Sixth Issue of Eclectic Representations

Dr. Ranga Narayanan receiving the first copy of ER
Dr. G. N. Devy, Chairperson, Bhasha Research and Publication Centre, released the sixth issue of Eclectic Representations, on Monday, 16 December 2013, in the Media Centre, Madras Christian

Friday, 13 December 2013

APHASIA IN THE 21st CENTURY


The Department of Humanities and Social Science (DoHSS), IIT Madras is conducting its third Academic Conference structured around the theme Urban Spaces. The Conference is inter-disciplinary in nature, with the Call for Paper proposals open in the three streams of Economics, Development Studies and English Studies.

Taking place in the February of 2014, between 7th and 9th, the Conference will have a session on each of the streams, featuring leading thinkers in their respective fields of work and research while also offering an array of events including paper presentations, movie screenings, and workshops. Paper-proposals are open to undergraduate, post-graduate and PhD students.
For more details, click HERE

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Prakriti Poetry Fest @ MCC

Kabir Kala Manch performing...

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Monday, 25 November 2013

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Elizabethan Age - Lesson Outline - I


[Click on the slideshow to enlarge]

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Hearty Congratulations to Prof. Udayaraj, on receiving the 'Top Notcher' Prize and Certificate from the Vice-President of India, for excellence in his MA English Programme here at MCC. We wish and pray that you win many more laurels in the years to come. God bless you!
Photo Courtesy: Dina Thanthi (scanned picture)

Monday, 11 November 2013

All geared up..!

A security blanket has descended on the salubrious portals of Madras Christian College, even as inquisitive eyes in grey and white corduroys strut across the length and breadth of the campus, with walkie talkies to assist them in their zealous mission. Barricadings in vantage positions  have been strategically placed to help usher in the dignitaries to the venerated venue. 

Interestingly, 'chaos' of all hues and colours, has been asked to fall in line for the big show, and for once, the id card got its respect at the entrance points. For absent-minded professors who happen to have lost their id cards, solace is nearby. They could now sport any 'one' from among the govt. issued identity cards like passport, driving licence, voter’s id etc. on D-day.

Yes, the reason for the season is that, MCC's  D-day is at hand. Wednesday, 13 November 2013 - the day that celebrates the 34th Graduation Day and the Valedictory of the 175th year celebrations. Distinguished dignitaries who are expected to adorn the hallowed dais of the Anderson Hall on this memorable day include, the Vice President of India, the Governor of Tamil Nadu, the Deputy Chairman - Rajya Sabha, and the Minister for Higher Education. Students and staff, past and present, are expected to throng the venue in large numbers, to reminisce their eventful days in their alma mater. God bless MCC. 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The sod-turning ceremony to mark the start of the ultra-modern indoor sports stadium, was performed by the retiring staff members in an august ceremony conducted near the Pavilion today at 10:45 am. The event also saw the dedication of the RO Drinking Water Purifiers, which are strategically placed, one on each side of the Arts and Science blocks respectively for the benefit of the student community. Dr. Stephen Jebanesan, Head, Dept of English was given the honour of inaugurating the RO Purifier located in the Arts Block, while Dr. Ramesh Sundar, Head, Dept of Pol. Science inaugurated the RO Purifier in the Science Block.  





Monday, 21 October 2013

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Withdrawn books for Sale at British Council

The withdrawn book sale is being organised from Sunday 20 October till Thursday 24 October between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the British Council Division.

All books which BCD had in their IT, Science, Medicine, Engineering, History and India Collection will be on sale. Junior books and magazines will also be on sale. 

The books are priced between Rs.50/ and Rs.500/- based on their value and condition.

The sale will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Since the sale is extended only to library members, you are requested to carry your membership card with you. There is no restriction on the number of books an organisation (in the case of institutional membership) can buy.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Seminar @ Madurai - A Report

Dr. Ganesh was the Chief Guest at the UGC-Sponsored National Seminar on Indian Writing in English, organised by MTN College, Madurai, in association with TJELLS on Saturday, 28 September 2013. His brilliantly absorbing and thought-provoking talk was on “Indian English Literature: Shifting Terrains”.

Outlining the broad framework of Post-Independence Indian Literature in English (ILE), he classified the post-Independence ILE into two broad generations of writers – the 1950–mid-1980s and late-1980s–current, respectively.

Identifying the general trends in the Poetry of the First Generation of Writers, he outlined the shift in themes and techniques, from idealistic nationalism  and romanticism to personal engagement with the problems of a newly formed, extremely diverse nation, wherein national identity came into conflict with personal experiences.

Praising Amitav Ghosh as a novelist with substance, he said that, Ghosh belongs to a relatively new genre of novels called the research novel.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Theatre @ WCC..:

Women's Christian College, Chennai, played host to the staging of two brilliant plays – Mahesh Dattani’s "Where there is a Will" which revolves around improving interpersonal relationships, and the other, “Jokumaraswamy” which centres on the superstitious life and schemings of a village zamindar named Gowda. The fund-raiser plays were staged on three consecutive days (26 Sep. to 28 Sep.) to a packed hall of enthusiastic spectators.

Both the plays were directed by our former professor Dr. Rajani, whose ‘director’s touch’ was palpable not only in the brilliant performance of the actors but also in the carefully made-up stage props as well.  

Both the plays were fine(time)-tuned to 50 minutes duration each, and the characters made themselves endearing to the audience by their passionate performances which led to thunderous ovations and applause all along. 

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Research Methodology Workshop: A Report

Dr. Joseph Dorairaj, Professor of English, Gandhigram University, conducted a workshop on Research Methodology today, (04 September 2013) for our MA, MPhil and PhD scholars. The workshop started with the invocation by Dr. Ann Thomas, followed by Dr.Stephen’s welcome address. Dr. K.Ganesh introduced the resource person of the day, Dr. Joseph Dorairaj. The first session of the workshop touched upon the theoretical framework of Research, and its various nuances, while the second session highlighted the best practices in research.

Defining Research as a “systematic activity that is directed toward discovery and the development of an organized body of knowledge” (Best and Kahn), he also outlined the three elements or components, namely: (1) a question, problem, or hypothesis, (2) data, and (3) analysis and interpretation of data,” respectively.

A good research, then, is “expected to make a contribution to knowledge. It is expected to be ‘original’. . . It does not have to be ‘original’ in the much more daunting sense that it springs fully armed from the head of the  researcher without reference to any previous account”, but, “on the contrary, in fact: it is much more likely to involve assembling ideas that have not been brought together in quite that way before. And it does not have to shift the paradigm: the contribution can be quite small, a piece of the jigsaw”. Citing Belsey, he said, that, “research is expected to make a difference to the standard account of a topic, whatever the topic might be”. Dr. Dorairaj also outlined the three basic concepts in Research Methodology, like the Research Tools, Research Methods and Research Methodology, and the three domains of Research activity, which are broadly divided into: Physical and Life Sciences: (experimental – laboratory-based),     Social Sciences: (empirical & numerical – quantitative and qualitative), and, Literature: (textual analysis).

Professor then proceeded to detail on the various types of research, namely, Pure/Basic/Fundamental and Applied Research, Experimental (lab-based) research, Deductive and Inductive Research, Quantitative and Qualitative Research, Diagnostic Research, Intervention Research, Action Research, etc.

On choosing a topic for one’s research, Dr.Joseph Dorairaj quipped that, most research starts with a hunch, or, an inspired guess. Moreover, it should be interesting, and one should be passionate about it. The work should not only be original, but also preferably non-canonical, and that which contributes to the existing body of knowledge. Most of all, it should have a usefulness or relevance to society. He also suggested around five key texts like Research Methods for English Studies, which  would provide a frame of reference for the research scholar. 

The session ended on a happy note, with feedback by Sebastian (MPhil), Ajil (II MA), Lemma (I MA) and the Vote of Thanks by Prof.Phebe Angus.

Our sincere thanks to our Photographer Mr. Jagadeesh Kumar (BA English, MCC), and to our Videographers Mr. Albert and Mr. Naseem of the MA Communication Department, MCC.            

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Seminar Review:


walking with the leader...
The two-day National Seminar on “Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis: The Scope of Postcolonial Theory and Literature” organized by the Research Department of English St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu, on 2nd & 3rd September 2013, was informative and thought-provoking by all means. All the plenary sessions and satellite sessions were well-organized and resulted in rich exchange of ideas. Plenary Sessions on Postcolonial Studies, Diasporean Literature etc were very informative and challenging to both teachers and researchers in these fields. Dr. K. Ganesh gave a brilliant talk on Diaspora Literature, while Prof.A.S.Dasan and Dr.Joseph Albert spoke extensively on Postcolonial Studies. to be contd...

Friday, 23 August 2013

And the rich legacy continues to live on...

Legendary (late) Dr.Vishnu Bhat's grand daughter little Isha's (II Std) spontaneous short story on caring for mother Nature, that appeared in Young World, The Hindu, Bangalore Edition, recently. Three cheers to little Isha. We, at MCC are so happy that the legacy continues to live on... God bless.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Petition the Speaker for a Noble Cause...:


As India finished celebrating sixty six years of Independence, political parties in the country are making amendments to the Right to Information Act (RTI) in order to keep themselves out of its purview. The Central Government has acted  in a hasty manner by introducing the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill, 2013 in the Lok Sabha and it is likely that the amendments would be passed next week.

This would in effect: Exclude all political parties from the purview of the RTI Act…

As Citizens of this country, we all have an equal stake in saving the RTI Act as it ensures that organisations working in the public interest are answerable to the people.

I encourage you to sign  this petition and demand the Speaker to facilitate widespread public consultation on the RTI (Amendment) Bill, because, without the freedom of information, our Independence would mean nothing…

PS: As told to me, by our alumnus, Vidya Venkat. This post is on her behalf, and on behalf of every responsible Indian. To petition the Speaker, click HERE

Friday, 26 July 2013

Plants, Politics and Society - Past and Present


Dr.Narasimhan’s lecture was on Plants, Politics and Society, and how plants have been used as economic and political tools in the past as well as in the present. Excerpts from his speech:


There’s an interconnection that exists between every field of study. However, we don’t have the eye to see this interconnection among the various subjects of study.

A holistic approach is very important today but unfortunately it is missing in our present curriculum, because we have the habit of looking at subjects as water-tight compartments. If we look at history even Before Christ, plants have always been resources for building kingdoms and empires. Wars, especially Kalinga Wars, and Alexander’s were fought mainly to access land resources, especially fertile lands to feed the growing population and vast armies of their countries. And, whenever they went for a war, they also took along with them a section of people as slaves. Hence, agreement and slavery are inseparable. In India, our slavery system is caste-based.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Dr.Rajeevnath Ramnath delivering the lecture on Applied Linguistics

Friday, 19 July 2013

Guest Lecture - Invite

Dear Students of I MA/II MA English Literature,

You are invited for a lecture by Dr.Rajeevnath Ramnath, Associate Professor of English, Assumption University, Thailand, on the topic, "Why not an "app" for Applied Linguistics?", on Monday, 22 July 2013 between 9.30 and 11.30 am in the M.Phil Classroom.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Inauguration of the English Literary Forum

The English Literary Forum was inaugurated by Dr.V.Rajagopalan, former Head, Dept of English, MCC, to a packed Anderson Hall which listened with rapt attention to his spellbinding lecture on 'Appreciating Literature.' 

Good literature, according to him, should deal with the tension between good and evil. Knowledge has to be demystified and subjects defamilarised, he said, and added that the burden of his address was to validate the classics. 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Global Reunion 2013

Join us at MCC for the Gala Global Alumni Reunion 2013 on 27, 28 July 2013. 
You can register online by clicking on this link HERE.
Email: mccglobalalumnireunion2013@gmail.com
Mobile: +918056195510

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Postponed by a Day:

The MA English Lit entrance test scheduled for 21 June 2013 has been postponed by a day. It will now be held on Saturday, 22 June 2013, at Selaiyur Hall Indoor Theatre, due to unavailability of the Exams Office on that day.
Kindly look up the Dept Notice Board for the shortlisted candidates.
for The Head

Friday, 14 June 2013

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Entrance Exam - MA English: Reg

All candidates who have applied for MA English Literature are required to sit the entrance test to be held on Friday, 21 June 2013 at the Examinations Hall. The test will comprise an essay question [25 marks], and  25 objective type questions [25 marks]. All questions will be based on the BA English Literature syllabus.
For more details, you are requested to follow the 'announcements' put up periodically on the Department Notice Board or, contact the Head, Department of English.
With all best wishes, 
for The Head

Gone are the days when one had to hop from one leading library to another looking for that one book that has been eluding you all along. And, if the OPAC gives the word ‘OUT’ against your favourite book, you are bound to go wild with disappointment, more so, if you’re a passionate bibliophile!

Today, thanks to the burgeoning online portals that specialise in renting textbooks, you may heave a great sigh of relief.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

the latest cutie pie from our garden... [click to enlarge]

Oh what needless pain we bear..!


A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As he raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on his face, he inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

He replied, “The absolute weight does not matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm.  If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralysed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

How to Pursue a Medical Administrative Position [Guest Post Exclusive]


If you are looking for a career change and are interested in medicine then a career in medical administration may be what you are looking for. The first thing you need to do is understand what medical administration entails. Medical or healthcare administration is a specific field which involves the maintenance of relationship within a medical environment such as clinics, hospitals and health centers. As with anyone who works in a hospital or medical center, such individuals are considered to be health care professionals. Medical administration encompasses a wide range of different tasks. These include the management of different departments to ensure a smooth-running establishment, the analysis of different hospital policies, taking care of finances and dealing with accounting. There are also some medical management professionals who are going to specialize in specific areas of the industry.

Certification

In order to be qualified for medical administration it is pertinent to get a bachelor's degree within the field. While it is possible to be certified with such a degree, this is not always going to be enough. Many people consider the standard credential to be a Master's degree. As a result, it is

Monday, 3 June 2013

Back in the Reckoning and how!


It’s official now. English Literature has rightfully regained her regal ranking as the royal choice for applicants to the arts and the humanities courses. For the first time in many years, MCC witnessed an epoch-making event when, the admissions office, ‘admitted’ that, this year, application sales for BA English Literature far exceeded the demand that usually lays in store for the BCom Course. Once regarded as the hot pick among Chennaiites, the coveted BCom course in MCC had for long held monopoly as far as demand was concerned. Indeed, applications this year showed a remarkable trend. There were as many as 35 students who had scored above 1110/1200 and were all eyes on taking up English Literature.

One of the most established and widely recognised courses in the realm of academics, the English Literature course per se has evolved a lot over the decades, and today, it holds a preeminent position among the arts and humanities. There are quite a few interesting reasons as to why English Literature is and has always been a great course for study.

First of all, the efficiency of the course lies in its elasticity. I wish I don’t sound out of place when I pull off T.S.Eliot’s term ‘compatability’ to come to my rescue here, in order to augment my point better. Dictionaries the world over have a more or less similar definition for the word ‘compatible’, meaning, the capability to exist or perform in harmonious, agreeable, congenial combination, with efficient integration. Indeed, English Literature has the capacity to absorb the various literary schools and philosophical movements into its rich repertoire and thereby engage the students with a wide variety of texts (both literary and non-literary), in a lively and supportive learning environment.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

One more year..!

snippets from our little garden...

When we moved into our new house, the first things that met my eyes were the trees and plants around our house that were in a ‘withered, withering, about to wither’ condition. The coconut trees were almost dying as they were not properly cared for. In short, the whole garden was  kinda chaotic.

So, with the help of two good gardeners, we had the coconut trees pruned, and had the flower-bearing ones cut to size. The crotons, the lily plants and the rose plants were given a ‘facelift’ and then, with a long garden hose to assist us, we began the regular routine of watering them. Soon, the plants began responding with gusto to the water-treatment. Moreover, watering the plants had by now become a profoundly therapeutic exercise, and the results were there for us to see.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Adieu! Adieu!

Dear II MAs and III BAs!

You were a great and awesome class. Some of you were here with us, in the Department of English for five long years, while some of you joined us two years ago, and some others joined us three years ago, and yet, you made your stay in MCC impactful and memorable.

For the past one week, the department was witness to scores of grateful students coming in, and bidding adieu to each and every staff member. We are so proud of you guys.

We, the faculty wish you the best in all your endeavours, and remember, the Department of English is always open to you, as you are a part of the grand old English department family, and we all join in wishing you all a very Bright and Prosperous Future filled with Happiness, Peace and Joy.

As a proud and cheerful student of MCC, go out into the world, and make a mark for yourselves in whatever you do! Dare to be different! Make a mark! And… always stand up for what is right.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Unexpected behaviour:

A boy was born to a couple after eleven years of marriage. They were a loving couple and the boy was the apple of their eyes.

One morning, when the boy was around two years old, the husband saw a medicine bottle open. He was late for work so he asked his wife to cap the bottle and put it in the cupboard. The mother, preoccupied in the kitchen, totally forgot the matter. The boy saw the bottle and playfully went to it and, fascinated with its colour, drank it all. It happened to be a poisonous medicine meant for adults in small dosages.

When the child collapsed, the mother hurried him to the hospital, where he died. The mother was stunned; she was terrified. How would she face her husband?

When the distraught father came to the hospital and saw the dead child, he looked at his wife and uttered just four words.

“I Love You Darling”.

The husband’s totally unexpected reaction is proactive behaviour. The child is dead. He can never be brought back to life. There is no point in finding fault with the mother.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Gemini Ganesan and his College Days

[Excerpts from THE MCC Magazine]
By Ms. Narayani Ganesh

The Madras Christian College used to be located at Parry’s Corner, close to where the High Court stands today. First established in 1837 by British missionaries as a school, the institution was upgraded to a college in 1865, and renamed ‘Madras Christian College’. A hundred years later, the College acquired four hundred acres of what was known as the Selaiyur forest estate in Tambaram. The institution shifted here in 1937, in a move that is still referred to as the ‘great migration’. Here, Appa studied Chemistry and after graduation, worked as a lecturer-demonstrator for some time before changing tracks.

Other reputed colleges in Madras then were Presidency College, Loyola College and Pachaiyappa’s College, all exclusively for boys. M.C.C was co-educational. Appa was a good student and sportsman and enjoyed the good things of life. The diary he maintained in 1942 has a few gems that reveal the kind of life he led as a college student. M.C.C encouraged extracurricular

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Poverty, Evil and Crime - Amartya Sen - Critical Summary

Introduction:

Amartya Sen, who is fondly known as the Mother Teresa of Indian Economics, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1998, for his contributions to welfare economics and interest in the problems of the poorest people in society. This speech titled, “Poverty, Evil and Crime” was delivered to the United Nations Programme for Development, New York, on October 5, 2007.

According the George Bernard Shaw, “the greatest of evils and the worst of crimes is poverty”. Based on this premise, Amartya Sen divides his speech into two parts.  The first part of his speech deals with the relationship between poverty and evil, and the second part deals with the relationship between poverty and crime.

Relationship between Poverty and Evil:

Sen argues that poverty is the cause of all social evils. The world today is filled with millions of people who are unable to afford even the barest minimum necessities of life. It is this poverty that leads people to indulge in criminal activities like robbery, looting, arson, etc.

If poverty is an evil, then there must be some wickedness behind poverty that allows such wrong-doings to occur. This raises the immediate question: Who are the wrong-doers? But, identifying the wrong-doers is not our task. Our focus has to be on removing wrong-doing rather than going on the wild-goose chase of catching the wrong-doer.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Assignments - Reg

Dear Students,

For all of you who have your assignments with me, kindly send me an e-copy of your abstracts/assignments. I shall get back to you shortly. Some of you have sent me your assignments  and am yet to reply you, as i am out of station. Shall get back to you all shortly. 

And, for those of you who are yet to submit your abstracts, you are expected to work on your full-length paper only after your abstracts are approved by your course teacher (SR).  

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Postmodern Articulations:

The Two-day National Conference on “Post-modernism and Progressive India: Literary Articulations and Non-Literary Interventions” organised by Garden City College, Bangalore saw a host of luminaries inspire the myriad-minded scholars of all hues and shades drawn from 78 cities from across the country.

One of the salient features of the Conference was the excellent hospitality provided by the host institution which remains and will remain etched in our hearts in a long long time to come. Be it the hospitable volunteers at the reception desk, or the affable and affectionate staff members at the conference venue, or the catering students at the food department, or the gala entertainment provided by GCE students on both days of the Conference - it was ‘relishing’ all the way!

The first day saw a varied intellectual treat by scholars drawn from diverse fields. Dr.Poile Sengupta, one of the topmost promising English playwrights in India, spoke on women in theatre, from a linear, chronological point of view, tracing it down from the time of the Natya Shastra’s treatise on theatre way back in the 3rd century BC. Although theatre has a solid 68% of women in the audience, when it comes to representation, it is a minimal 2:1 ratio, she opined.

The nature of women was 'stereotypically' classified into three types viz:
1)      Uttama (superior woman, calm, bears no malice, most excellent)
2)      Madhyama (jealous of her rivals, gets angry easily, intermediate)
3)      Adhama (inferior type of woman, harsh, angry for no reason, bears grudges always, evil, indifferent, neutral)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Celebrating Tribal Literatures across the World


The National Conference on “Tribal Literature: Across Continents and Cultures” organised by TJELLS and V.O.C College, Tuticorin, on 7 & 8 March 2013, was a pioneering attempt to study and to showcase the life and culture of the indigenous peoples around the world. Dr. Eric Miller from the World Story Telling Institute, in an interactive talk with the audience (along with Mr. Murugan Kani a tribal representative), kept the audience spell-bound by his depiction of tribal life and culture in Tamil Nadu.

Eric Miller’s talk was titled “Tribal Peoples as leaders of Society in a Future in which Fossil Fuels might be Scarce, with Special Reference to the Kani Tribal People of South India”.

Key Ideas from his talk:

The world's supply of 'Fossil Fuels' (oil, gas, coal etc) is depleting. It seems production of these resources in usable form has passed its peak, and these resources may become increasingly scarce and expensive in the coming years. The 'Hydrocarbon Age' began in the mid-1800s, with the coming of the wide-spread use of electricity and the "Industrial Revolution". It reached a peak around the year 2000, and we may now be on a downward slope. One estimate is that 30 years from now, we will have approximately half of the current supply-flow, and less and less after that. The term, "Peak Oil" refers to this idea. It seems the heart of the "Hydrocarbon Age" might be 1900-2100. In the coming time of possible "Energy Scarcity", Mainstream society and culture might do well to learn from Tribal society and culture regarding methods of recycling and salvaging resources, and living sustainably with nature. Tribal people tend to be expert in these areas. 

Biological, Linguistic and Cultural Diversity are valuable, and support each other.

Tribal methods of conserving and nurturing nature, living sustainably with nature, and recycling and salvaging materials, include

For residential huts, and also for huts for watchmen in fields of kilangu and other crops – strips of plants, bark and vines can be used to lash poles and beams together.

Areca-nut tree leaves, Bamboo leaves, Plantain leaves – can be used as toys (as a car that is pulled); for beating rice; and for thatch (tutti), woven for baskets, walls, roofs, doors, mats,

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Honouring Distinguished Alumni @ MCC

The first edition of the Distinguished Alumni series got off to a grand start at the Anderson Hall to a bright-eyed audience, bubbling at the brim, breaching barricades to see their best and brightest alumni honoured by their alma mater - two illustrious alumni of our college – Mr.T.N.Seshan IAS, and Ms.Chandrika Tandon. Others present included Dr. Besant C. Raj, Ms.Savithri Devanesan, Dr.Francis Sounderraj, Mr. K. Mammen and other well-wishers of the College.

The Principal welcomed the gathering and said that MCC has the oldest alumni association in the India. He praised the Alumni Association of MCC, which was 'founded in 1891 by Rev.Dr.William Miller' and has  seen some of its greatest luminaries including the President of India and the Chief Election Commissioner in its Hall of Fame. Lauding the achievements of our alumni, he said, “Prestige and esteem come to people who are in good positions, but our alumni have given prestige and esteem to the positions that they have occupied”.

Dr. Besant C. Raj commended Ms. Chandrika Tandon for donating a whopping $ 100,000 to her alma mater MCC, and also had a word of praise for Mr.T.N.Seshan. "A college which had a mere 15 women in its rolls in its founding days, now has women students outnumbering their men counterparts in all disciplines, which is a meteoric rise, and well-deserved", he added.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Indian Cinema - K.M. Munshi - Critical Summary

Introduction:

K. M. Munshi is the founder of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. In this essay, “Indian Cinema” he talks about the evils that have plagued Indian cinema, and expresses dissatisfaction at the growth of cinema in India. He choses the Hindi movie titled “Hunterwali”, a 1935 film featuring Nadia as the heroine, as representative of the malady of Indian cinema, and how Nadia makes a mockery of Indian womanhood in the film.

Sweet Sixteen without its Sweetness:


This wandering homeless orphan girl, though by appearance thirty, tries to play the pranks of ‘sweet sixteen’ but without its sweetness, charm or modesty. She rushes about on horse-back, and then goes around performing stunts like jumping over a moving carriage and then defeating 20 soldiers in one sweep with an irritating style.

Disgusting and Indecent:

A zamindar’s son, also looking about thirty, attracted by her, acts like a vagabond. They are shown as making love to each other, but without charm, grace or dignity. Their love-making takes the form of shameless freedom of bodily contact, difficult indeed to find in real life, except among the ill-bred. They both jostle each other, throw each other down, fling sand in each other’s eyes. In short, they do everything which would be enjoyable if they had been a boy and girl of eight; it is disgusting to adults, and unthinkable as a normal relation between men and women of decent upbringing.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

An Evening with Arvind Mehrotra

Arvind Mehrotra addressing the gathering at MIDS

Arvind Mehrotra, eminent poet, translator and literary critic, based in Mumbai, was in the city to give a series of lectures on Indian Writing in English. This evening at MIDS, he spoke extensively on eminent poet Arun Kolatkar within the framework of bilingual writers in India.

Tracing Arun Kolatkar’s tryst with poetry in the early 50s, Arvind Mehrotra said, “In the year 2004, he (Arun) gave me the list of poems he tried to write in both languages – Marathi and English, a line of Marathi followed by its English translation alternating in each line, which made Arvind Mehrotra himself marvel at this strange creature called “Arvind Mehrotra.” Hadn’t he written his English poetry, he’d have been a great artist

Friday, 8 February 2013

Noble Ideas from Great Minds...

I happened to read Economy of Permanence by Dr. J. C. Kumarappa, [Mahatma Gandhi’s economist], who is credited for coining the term ‘Gandhian economics’, a remarkable school of thought based on Gandhism. This book was a sweet grab at the Chennai Book Fair this year, as I was simultaneously working on an ecocritical reading of an author close to my heart.

I was attracted more by the subtitle of this book which reads: “A quest for a social order based on non-violence”. Ecoenthusiasts, ecocritics and nature lovers alike have constantly emphasised the need for the creation of an ecocentric social order/world view that would be an alternative paradigm for the environmental problems of today. In the same vein, an alternative economic-social order based on non-violence merits a serious reading in itself, and more so, because, in today's world scenario, no economist would dare talk or write on such a topic, which, for him would be tabooo to the core!

The highlight of the book, is that, the great M. K. Gandhi himself has written the foreword for his close friend, with his signature affixed below it, and the words “On the train to Bombay, 20-8-1945” beside it.

Now, a few thoughts started disrupting my reading process. And, it so happened that, I discussed my thoughts on this book, at length with a few of my good colleagues, who augmented my 'apprehensions' in this regard. Hence this blogpost!

First of all, the plethora of knowledge emanated by these two great  visionaries and captured in these books, reflect, the sincerity and commitment of two great minds of the past, towards the cause of nation-building. In days when telephones and other communication facilities were quite a rarity, here are two great