Sunday, 5 July 2020

Webinar Series in Literature


National Webinar Series in Literature

PG Department of English & Research Centre
St. Xavier's College for Women 
Aluva, Kerala

13 - 16 JULY 2020

 Platform: Google Meet
No Registration Fee
Registration deadline: 10-07-2020
Registration Link:

Session 1 

1.30-3.00 PM
"Bioregional Literature: An overview"   
Dr. Samuel Rufus
Department of English
Madras Christian College (Autonomous)
Chennai, TN

Session 2  

1.30-3.00 PM
"Semiotic Analysis of Gender Representation
in Indian Advertisements"   
Dr. J. A. H Khatri
School of Liberal Studies & Education
Navrachana University

Session 3 

10.30 AM-12.00 PM
South African Literature:
“The Flares of Political, Social and Cultural
Dimensions in Fiction”
Dr. R. Janatha Kumari
Sree Ayyappa College for Women,

Session 4 

 10.30 AM -12.00 PM
"Tools and Techniques of
Literary Research in India"
Dr. Manoj Kumar
Department of English & Foreign Languages
Central University

Saturday, 4 July 2020

7-Day International Online Workshop

Seven Day International Online Workshop
English Language Teaching and Literature:
Current Issues, Trends and Challenges

08 to 14 July 2020

Organised by

Department of English,
Mannar Thirumalai Naicker College, Madurai

in collaboration with the

University of Madras, Chennai, TN,

Mother Teresa Women’s University, Kodaikanal, TN


The Society for Literature and Culture

Resource Persons

Prof. G. Baskaran,
Professor & Head,
Department of English,
Gandhigram Rural Institute

Prof. S.Prabahar,
Dean, School of English and Foreign Languages,
Manonmaniam Sundaranar University

Prof. P. Kannan,
Department of English,
Karnataka State Akkamahadevi Women's University
Dr. K. Ganesh,
Former Associate Professor and Head,
Department of English,
Madras Christian College

Prof. T. Ravichandran,
Department of Humanities & Social Sciences,
IIT Kanpur

Prof. T. Marx,
Department of English,
Pondicherry University

Prof. Shikhumbuzo Mngadi
Head of the department of English,
University of Johannesburg,
South Africa

Prof. Krishnan Unni,
Department of English,
Deshbandhu College,
University of Delhi

Dr. R. Latha Nayar,
St. Theresa’s College,

Prof. N. Elango,
Former Associate Professor of English,
The American College

Dr. S. Samuel Rufus,
Department of English,
Madras Christian College

Dr. Yasmin Sultana-Muchindu,
Director of E-Learning,
Rusangu University,

Dr. Urvashi Kaushal,
Applied Mathematics and Humanities Department,
Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat

Dr Sushma V Murthy,
Department of English Studies,
Christ University,

Dr. Habeeb C,
Department of English,
Farook College,

MCQ Test and Feedback submission are mandatory.

Interested faculty, Research scholars and PG students can apply on or before 07-07-2020

Registration Fee: Rs. 500/- (Rupees Five Hundred Only)

Payment Mode 1: You can pay via G-pay, to 9842163687

Payment Mode 2: Transfer to Bank Account

Account No: 30267379647
Bank: State Bank of India, Pasumalai, Madurai
IFSC code: SBIN0002254

Deadline for submission of Google form for registration: 07/07/2020

Thrust Areas

v Post modernism
v Indian Aesthetics
v Pandemic Literature
v Gender Studies
v Cultural Studies
v Science Fiction
v Diasporic Studies
v Prison Narratives
v Disability Studies
v Subaltern Studies

The Online Workshop will feature invited lectures by reputed resource persons across the country and abroad for a period of seven days with 1.5-hour sessions each (1 hour lecture and 30 minute interaction.)

The Morning session will be from 11 to 12.30 and the evening session will be from 3 to 4.30. We will be delivering the lectures on Zoom online platform for all the registered participants. All the zoom lecture and interactive sessions will be simultaneously streamed live on YouTube as well. After the lectures, we will also provide the topical points of the lecture through email with additional resources for further reading.

Registration will be done using Google forms. Feedback forms will be distributed and received online. A final MCQ test will also be conducted based on the lectures delivered. An e-certificate will be issued to the participants.

Attendance is MANDATORY for all the sessions.

E-certificate will be provided to all the participants at the end of the programme

Link will be sent to the participants via WhatsApp Group and Telegram group. Hence, joining the group after submitting form is necessary to get further updates.

Interested Faculty, Research Scholars and PG students can apply on or before 07-07-2020

Registration Fee: Rs. 500/-

Payment Mode 1

You can pay via G-pay, to 9842163687

Payment Mode 2

Transfer to Bank Account

Account No: 30267379647
Bank:  State Bank of India, Pasumalai, Madurai
IFSC code: SBIN0002254

Once the payment is transferred, kindly attach the screenshot of UTR Reference transaction in Registration form.

Deadline for submission of Google form for registration: 07/07/2020

For updates please contact us at:


Prof. Vaidehi Vijayakumar, Vice-Chancellor, Mother Teresa Women’s University, Kodaikanal.

Shri. M. Vijayaragavan,
Secretary, Mannar Thirumalai Naicker College, Madurai

Organizing Secretaries
Prof. S. Armstrong, Professor & Head,
Department of English, University of Madras                                                                                                                                                                               
Dr. P. Jeyapriya, Associate Professor & Head,
Department of English, Mother Teresa Women’s University

Dr. A. RamaSubbiah, Department of English,
Mannar Thirumalai Naicker College

Dr. R. Dhayala Krishnan, President,
Society for Literature & Culture

Monday, 22 June 2020

The Lecture Series...

PG & Research Department of English
Queen Mary’s College (Autonomous)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA

Invites you for

The Lecture Series on

Literature in Times Like These

03 July – 06 July 2020

9. 30 am to 11 am

The Lecture Series titled, ‘Literature in Times Like These’ is an endeavour to reach out to the student community during this pandemic COVID 19, to find strength in the human response to similar situations in the past, be it the Great Plague or the Spanish Influenza.

The feelings of insecurity that gnaw at us when one amongst us falls through disease may be seen even in War Literature, for even this pandemic is ravaging along the lines of armed conflict.

Displacement is also one of the fallouts of this war with Corona Virus. Heart-wrenching images and stories of migrant labourers have left indelible imprints on our minds. The employment scenario is bleak with wage cuts: many have lost their jobs due to the lockdown.

Isn't this reminiscent of the Great Depression? The existential crisis looms large before us not only because of the economy but also due to disease and death.

And yet, Literature has always served as a place of refuge for the human spirit, an ocean where we may sink our griefs, a springboard from which we can liberate our spirits.

In times like these we cannot help remembering “the fever and the fret” that Keats lamented and his ability to transcend it as well, the “negative capability” which unleashed from him a tribute to a tiny, but significant form of life, the nightingale of whom he said, “Thou wast not born for death, Immortal Bird. No hungry generations tread thee down.”

He literally took flight on the wings of the little bird when he said, “Away for I will fly with thee. Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards. But on the viewless wings of poesy.” That is transcendence!

The Lecture Series on Literature in Times Like These, will have experienced and eminent professors, address students on Literature in the context of -

Displacement of human communities

This crisis has witnessed a commendable response in terms of human beings bonding together online.

May we keep this spirit going by bringing together our students from different colleges to listen together and think together about life as it has been dealt to us today.

Monday, 8 June 2020

With a View to Enhancing the Standard and Quality of Research...

Research in Literature & Language | Book

What are the basic factors I should bear in mind while choosing a research topic?

What should I choose first: author or approach?

How do I find out if research has already been done on a particular author/topic?

What is research gap and how do I identify it?

When does a researcher arrive at the final title?

What are the differences between Bibliography and Works Cited?

What should the introductory chapter contain?

Which chapter should I write first?

These are just a sample to the 200 FAQs given in such an easy-to-understand format for research scholars working on Literature and Language for their Doctoral/Post-doctoral studies, in the book titled, FAQs on Research in Literature and Language.

The very fact that the book has been written by a Professor of English – Dr. A. Joseph Dorairaj – who has adjudicated more than 75 PhD theses (and counting) in English Language and Literature for quite many Indian universities, and has sat on dozens of viva voce in English and in Humanities, - gives the book its added cachet and credibility.

‘I would like to share with the academic community some of my observations with a view to enhancing the standard and quality of research in English Language and Literature and Humanities in general so that our PhD theses approximate international standards’,

says Dr. Dorairaj, on the purpose behind the book.

True to its purpose, the book gives a profound insight into the various facets of a good literary research, the dos and the donts to be noted, the guidelines to be followed, the deadlines to be observed, the methodology to be adopted, etc., in such a simple and engaging style that can appeal to all and sundry.

From the first chapter titled, ‘What is Research’, where Professor Joseph Dorairaj elucidates on the definition of research and the various types of research, to the second chapter that discusses a frequently confusing question that plagues quite a lot of researchers – How should I choose my Research Topic? to an elucidation on the research concepts and tools, up until the grand finale - the Viva Voce, you get to have a comprehensive insight into every aspect of research in such a legible, graded, structured, coherent and easy-to-understand format. 

And yes! Please don’t forget to read the Appendix to the book!

Written in three parts, the Appendix to the book feels more like Dr. Joseph Dorairaj himself engaging in a scholarly tête-à-tête with you in his inimitable gentle way.

I very strongly recommend this Researcher’s Handbook of FAQs for anyone who is planning to do / doing his or her research in Literature and Language.

Thanks to Ms. Nalini Olivannan, the Emerald Publishers, Chennai have done quite an excellent work in giving the book its present delightful shape and form. The vibrant cover design and the good quality of the paper have an equal say in enhancing the readability of the book.

Copies of the book are available with Emerald Publishers, Chennai on their website.

PS: A few copies (very few copies) of Dr. Joseph Dorairaj’s book titled, Myth and Literature (2001) and Interventions: Essays in Philosophy and Literary Theory (2006) are available. If you are in real, serious need of the books, you may contact Professor Joseph Dorairaj at his email id.

Now for the Blurb to the Book –

This book is in the form of Questions and Answers. 200 questions vital to research have been raised and answered in an easy-to-understand manner. While the existing Handbooks and Manuals focus largely on the mechanics of writing and documentation, this book covers almost all aspects of research – right from choosing a research topic to the viva voce. Significantly, most research queries have been answered from the researcher’s point of view.

About Professor Joseph Dorairaj –

Joseph Dorairaj is a Professor of English & Dean, School of English and Foreign Languages, Gandhigram Rural University, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu. 

He was the Vice-Chancellor (Acting) of Gandhigram Rural University in 2013-14. 

He was a Fullbrighter in 2014 and an Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar at KU, Leuven, Belgium in 2015. 

He has authored three books: Myth and Literature (2001), Interventions: Essays in Philosophy and Literary Theory (2006) and Philosophical Hermeneutics (2011). He has edited two books: Critical Essays on Indian English Poets (2015) and Essays on Gandhi (2019). 

He is the Founder-Editor of Gandhigram Literary Review, a peer-reviewed journal.

Monday, 1 June 2020

'A gift that cannot move loses its gift properties!...'

The Gifts of Reading | Book

A gift that cannot move loses its gift properties,

says Hyde, Lewis Hyde, in his motivational book titled, The Gift.

[you may want to read our past post on The Gift here].

In simple terms, if say, for example, I share a gift - (could be a book!) ;-) - with my friend, and my friend in turn shares it with their friends, who in turn shares it with their friends, the gift thus shared has a great transformative appeal to it, enriching and enlightening manifold times, both the receiver and the sender in the process!

Now, let’s quick fast-forward together, to this last past week, May 2020! 

Well, I was reading my way through Robert Macfarlane’s book titled, Underland: A Deep Time Journey, [again, gifted to me by my lovely cousin], a book that’s touted to be ‘an epic exploration of the Earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself’.

After having done with reading through this delightful book, I was busy checking out on more of Macfarlane, Robert Macfarlane’s books, for the weekend, when I chanced upon a priceless little treasure that he’d written, exclusively for charity sake!

And it’s titled, The Gifts of Reading.

‘This story, like so many stories, begins with a gift. The gift, like so many gifts, was a book – and the book was given to me by a man called Don, with whom I became friends in Beijing during the autumn and winter of 2000’,

he begins the book, and adds,

A book was given to me by a man called Don, with whom I became friends in Beijing during the autumn and winter of 2000. Don and I were working as English literature teachers in a University.

Don had been his able ‘friend, philosopher and guide’ during his pretty little stint at a University in Beijing. Now, after his tenure in Beijing is up, Robert Macfarlane heads back to Cambridge to work on his PhD in Victorian Literature.

Interestingly, Don comes over to Cambridge to visit Robert on a short sojourn of sorts. And while departing, he leaves behind a few presents for Robert Macfarlane on his table. The presents include, a copy of Snyder’s Mountains and Rivers Without End, and a paperback copy of a book by Patrick Leigh Fermor titled, A Time of Gifts!

Says Macfarlane, Robert Macfarlane on the book –

A Time of Gifts is filled with gifts and acts of giving – it is a book, we might say, that is rich with generosity. Among its gifts is the gift of time:

Leigh Fermor did not publish it until 1977, forty-four years after beginning his walk, and a result of that long and thoughtful delay is a narrative voice which possesses both the joyful wonder of youth, and the wisdom and perspective of later age.

And among those wisdoms is its reflection on the nature of gift: what it might mean to give without expectation of recompense, and what types of kindness might stand outside the reciprocal binds of the cash economy.

One of the first things Leigh Fermor is given in A Time of Gifts is a book: the first volume of the Loeb edition of Horace. His mother (‘she was an enormous reader’) bought it for him as a farewell present, and on its flyleaf she wrote the prose translation of an exquisite short poem by Petronius, which could hardly have been more appropriate as a valediction to her son:
Leave thy home, O youth, and seek out alien shores … Yield not to misfortune: the far-off Danube shall know thee, the cold North-wind and the untroubled kingdom of Canopus and the men who gaze on the new birth of Phoebus or upon his setting.
The journey of A Time of Gifts is set going by the gift of a book – and it is a book that has in turn set going many journeys,

says Robert Macfarlene.

Reading through A Time of Gifts, was an invigorating experience, he adds.

‘It made me want to stand up and march out – to walk into adventure’. The comforting rhythm of his journey – exertion, encounter, rest, food, sleep; exertion, encounter, rest, food, sleep – rocks its readers into feelings of happiness and invulnerability. I could do this, you think, I could just start walking and keep going for a day or two, or three, or four, or more.

Again, poring over Lewis Hyde’s The Gift was a transformative experience, says Macfarlane –

I was given a copy of Hyde’s The Gift – and I don’t have that copy any longer, because I gave it to someone else, urging them to read it. Gifts give on, says Hyde, this is their logic. They are generous acts that incite generosity. He contrasts two kinds of ‘property’: the commodity and the gift. The commodity is acquired and then hoarded, or resold. But the gift is kept moving, given onwards in a new form.

I am particularly moved by his deep interest in what he calls ‘the gift that, when it comes, speaks commandingly to the soul and irresistibly moves us’. 

The outcome of a gift is uncertain at the time of giving, but the fact that it has been given charges it with great potential to act upon the recipient for the good. 

Because of the gratitude we feel, and because the gift is by definition given freely, without obligation, we are encouraged to meet it with openness and with excitement. 

Unlike commodities, gifts – in Hyde’s account and my experience – possess an exceptional power to transform, to heal and to inspire, 

says Macfarlane.

Today, Macfarlane is known the world over, for his enthralling books on landscape, language, nature, places and people.

However, it was the sweet impact of that one book gifted to him by his friend Don, that had quite turned his life a full 360 degrees for the better - for a richer and a fuller life! 

Exactly what Lewis Hyde says, about the power of the gift

Only when the increase of gifts moves with the gift may the accumulated wealth of our spirit continue to grow among us, so that each of us may enter, and be revived by, a vitality beyond his or her solitary powers.


So let me put it this way, this simple way –

Patrick Leigh Fermor was gifted the first volume of Horace: Odes and Epodes, by his mother, which acted his spontaneous spur and immediate impulse to become one of the best known travel writers from around the world.

Robert Macfarlane was gifted a book on Patrick Leigh Fermor by his friend Don, and titled, A Time of Gifts, which in turn had motivated him to develop an engaging and rewarding relationship with the landscape.

Rufus (me) ;-) was gifted this Robert Macfarlane’s book titled, The Underland, by my cousin, which in turn motivated me bigtime to write this post!

And.... well... the gift moves on and on and on!

So yup!

Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the ‘present’.

How have you been using/sharing your gifts?

Remember, Lewis Hyde says: A gift that cannot move loses its gift properties!

So why wait?

Start using your gifts!

Right away at that!

Before it loses it properties! ;-)

Bonne chance!
image: amazondotcom