Trending News…  On our web log - we bring you a ‘three-month comprehensive strategy’ to tackle the ‘NET/JRF in English for Professors’ to be held on Sunday, 22 January 2017, for all NET Aspirants - Brought to you by Benet, Rufus, Remya, Rebecca Susan and Thomas. NET Aspirants! Gear up! start rightaway! Get going!

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

International Conference 
Environmental Justice 
[the place where the first environmental justice movement (Chipko Movement) began]
 24 & 25 March 2017
Dr. K. N. Modi University
Newai, Tonk, Rajasthan, India

Monday, 5 December 2016

Entrenched, Rooted and Grounded in the Chola heartland!

A historical romance that pre-dates a thousand years,

A work of epical proportions that brings to life in ‘flesh and blood’ the historical valour, culture, love and might of the Tamils from the glorious Chola empire, in all its charm,

   Vaanar Kulathu Vallavarayan 'Vandhiyathevan'
A work that in over 2400 pages spread over five volumes of ‘well-wrought’ ‘mighty lines’ of Kalki, and celebrated as one of the finest modern works in Tamil Literature, has an impact that outlives its milieu,

A work that, [like Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities mixes fact with fiction], blends fact with fiction with such ease and alacrity that Poonkuzhali, Murugaiyan, or Nandini or Mandakini ‘transfix you for eternity’ like the factual ones do, in the novel!

When such a legendary work comes alive on stage in your own backyard, who on earth would want to give it a miss?

Periya Piratti and Madurantaka
Well, YES… we – a bevy of besties - were all in attendance at the Vani Mahal even an hour before the start of the play this last Sunday evening – a pleasant day at that – when the weather gods were kind enough not to play truant – and blessed us with their cosy evening ‘winter winds’, that we were promptly cajoled into taking a quick ‘detour’ to the next door Pothys for a hot cuppa filter coffee to drink of the caffeinic delights thereof down ‘to the lees’!!!

After coffee, we walked down Vani Mahal, and we were doubly delighted to see the eponymous ‘students’-saviour’ aka ‘Rain Man’ Ramanan who was also part of the spectacular array of spectators. The moment he was ‘spotted’ by his enthusiastic fans amongst the crowd, curious eyes and smiling faces made a beeline to him and vied with one another to get themselves clicked for ‘posterity’! One lady – a part of the ‘frenzied groupies’ who had gathered around him – says, ‘Sir, we miss you. You shouldn’t have retired!’ He acknowledged her gracefully and replied with his trademark smile, ‘Everyone has to retire someday, Isn’t it?’

Sunday, 4 December 2016

A book lover and her doting spouse!

When I decided to give away a section of my modest collection of books [owing to the burgeoning space crunch for books back at home], and advertised the same on a few online websites like olx and quickr, I got many responses, and quite a few interesting ones too. There were students who were asking for good books on Literature, a private Arts & Science College librarian asking for books to ‘fill up’ their College library, a couple of schools enquiring if i had books for school children and to give the same to them for a subsidized price. 

One particular response startled me! It said, ‘Sir, please I want to get the books from you. Will you please have it with you till next week?. I love reading books sir pls.. I shall take them from you next week for sure, as right now, we’re running short of the new currency!’

I was quite impressed, as it was a message that radiated a great love for books. Moreover, since I was giving a whopping collection of my favourite books at a very nominal (token) sum, I didn’t want them to land in the hands of commercial-minded people!

So choosing to ignore the other messages of enquiry in my inbox that made a beeline for the books, I replied to this particular lady,

‘Okay mam! Sure. I can wait for a week, if it’s for your own personal use and not for commercial purposes!

And as she had promised, she called back a week later, and asked if they could come and have a look at the books!

I invited them over to have a look at my modest collection this last Sunday.

Confy on Women & Power @ The American, Madurai

International Conference 
Women & Power: Challenges and Opportunities
06, 07 January 2017
The American College, Madurai
Last date for submission of Abstracts: 12 December 2016

For the Confy Brochure, kindly click HERE
Images of American College:

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Preparation for NET/JRF - 14

Topics so far –

Now –

14. The Age of Classicism

Next –

15. The Transition Age
16. The Romantic Age 

The Age of Classicism – 1702 to 1740

The literary career of Pope forms the axis of this age. One might therefore consider it as roughly ending a few years before his death, about 1740. From 1702 to 1740 there reigns the relative unity of a literary age. Its general traits originate in those of the Restoration, which they continue, accentuate and also in reaction modify.

The Classical School of Poetry: Pope

Alexander Pope was, like Dryden after 1685, a Catholic, and therefore an outsider in the Protestant-dominated society of the early eighteenth century. The two men were, however, of totally different generations and background. Pope was 12 when Dryden died, and was suffering from the spinal disease which left him deformed and sickly for the rest of his life.

Pope had, in common with Dryden, considerable success in translating Greek and Latin classics – especially Homer – into English, and also prepared a noted, if flawed, edition of Shakespeare, in 1725. But he never engaged in serious political, philosophical, and religious debate on the scale that Dryden achieved. Perhaps because of his poor health, Pope was something of a recluse, but he was very involved in high society, and took sides on most of the political issues of his day. His satires are full of savage invective against real or imagined enemies. Pope’s sphere was social and intellectual. The Rape of the Lock (1712–14), written when he was in his mid-twenties, is the essence of the mock heroic. It makes a family quarrel, over a lock of hair, into the subject of a playful poem full of paradoxes and witty observations on the self-regarding world it depicts, as the stolen lock is transported to the heavens to become a new star. ‘Fair tresses man’s imperial race insnare’ makes Belinda’s hair an

Monday, 28 November 2016

Literary Rendezvous at JBAS College, Chennai

At [long] last! The long and patient wait is finally over!

After an uphill task spending sleepless nights for the past three weeks over pages and pages of manuscripts, for an error-free and a pleasant reading experience, we made sure the manuscripts got their delightful due in printed form, with a beautiful cover design, ready for a grand release at the International Conference in JBAS College for Women, Chennai.

We invite you all for this wonderful confy which hosts two great International speakers, among an ensemble of our own eminent literary stalwarts, coupled with the much awaited book release event too! 

The first book is titled, Critical Explorations in Canadian Literature, while the second book, Multicultural Inclusivity in Literary and Social Media: Critical Explorations is a festschrift in honour of Professor N. Natarajan, Head, Department of English, Pondicherry University.

To all of you who gave us a helping hand in the typo-check, proof-reading, etc, and to the wonderful people at the DTP, who were so obliging in every stage of the development of these books, and to all our friends, colleagues, students, and well-wishers, who made this endeavour possible, thank you so much!

We also profusely thank Messrs G. K. Publishers, Chennai, for their wonderful and exemplary work in the elegant cover design, vibrant page layout and excellent formatting/typesetting.

These two books, among a host of three other books will be released on 29 November 2016 by
Dr. Daniel Drache,
Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University, Canada
Dr. Sigma Ankrava, Head, Faculty of Humanities, University of Latvia, Latvia

in the presence of
Mr. Moosa Raza
Mrs. Shabina Fareed
Professor N. Natarajan
Professor Noel Joseph Irudayaraj
Dr. T. Marx
and a host of other eminent literary stalwarts.

Lectures by eminent stalwarts will be delivered on the following topics:
Racism and Multi- Culturalism in Canada
Human Mind: Freud, Levi Strauss and Lacan
Formation of Latvian Literature as Indigenous Literature

Sunday, 27 November 2016

PhD Programme for Students @ Aberdeen

AHRC-sponsored PhD Programme for Students @ Aberdeen

French and Francophone Studies at Aberdeen welcomes applications for studentships to pursue PhDs, through the AHRC-funded Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities (SGSAH).

The SGSAH offers the opportunity to work with a range of partner organisations, including BBC Scotland, and Scotland’s National Galleries, Library and Museums. The University of Aberdeen will also be offering its own fees-only Elphinstone PhD Scholarships for 2017/18.

Aberdeen has research expertise across French and Francophone Studies, including:

Cultural and intellectual history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries
Literature and science in the nineteenth century
Visual culture, film and photography from the early twentieth century to the present
Urban space and the cultural history of French modernity
The politics and culture of identity and migration in contemporary Francophone culture

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Poetry with Prakriti in November

Poets Translating Poets is a two-year-long project initiated in July 2015 by the Goethe-Institut-Mumbai, in collaboration with Literaturwerkstatt Berlin and in Cooperation with Deutsche UNESCO, with an aim to create a platform for poets from South Asia and Germany to translate each other’s works.

Poetry festival in Mumbai and Chennai in November 2016

Contemporary poetry from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka will be translated into German by well-known German poets, while German poetry will be similarly translated into South Asian languages during the course of the project. By bringing together 51 poets including 17 German poets from across 20 languages through literary encounters in several South Asian locations, this project promises to stimulate new literary networks and open new avenues for transcultural understanding. The project will also include readings, book fairs, photo essays and a sound installation in South Asia and Germany, and will culminate in a Poetry festival in Mumbai and Chennai in November 2016.

@ MCC: The Annual 'Poetry with Prakriti @ MCC' will be held on 29, 30 November & 01 & 02 December 2016 in the Selaiyur Hall Indoor Theatre, between 10 am and 11.30 am.

For more details on the Poets for 29th & 30th November 2016, at the University of Madras, Chennai, click HERE

Confy Call for Students/Research Scholars @ St. Xavier's

The Research Dept. of English of St. Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu, is organizing a National Conference on 6th & 7th February 2017 in order to help Research Guides and Research Scholars provide a theoretical framework to their research projects. The topic is “Texts as Con-Texts: The Hermeneutic Circle Today.”

The Resource Persons will deliver lectures on critical theory; the Participants will present papers on literature written in any part of the world, providing a theoretical framework to their arguments.

A comparative study of two or more authors/works is appreciated. The ultimate aim is to transcend narrow boundaries, perceiving a universal poetics based on confluence of cultures.

Confy Brochure Part I HERE
Confy Brochure Part II HERE
Conference Regn Form HERE

This invite is on behalf of - 
Dr. V. S. Joseph Albert
Deputy Principal & Associate Professor of English
St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous)
Tamil Nadu

Friday, 25 November 2016

On 'Digital Narratives' @ University of Madras

Dear Colleagues, Students and Friends,

One of our dynamic faculty friends from the UK will visit us and deliver a lecture on Friday, 02 December 2016. 

You are most welcome to join us in the Department of English, University of Madras, at 2 pm.

Topic of the Lecture: Digital Narratives: The Changing Face of Creative Non-Fiction

In the last decade, creative non-fiction — known also as literary journalism or simply ‘longform’—has seen significant changes. 

Much of the genre is published online today, as digital narratives, and stories traditionally told by way of the written word have come to include more and more multimedia elements. The emphasis now is on providing the reader an ‘immersive experience’. This lecture looks at that evolution, juxtaposing it against the transmedia storytelling playing out particularly in the world of fiction.

About the Speaker: Dr Chindu Sreedharan is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Journalism, English and Communication at Bournemouth University, England. He holds a PhD in Conflict Reporting. He is interested in social media and creative non-fiction, and is particularly fascinated by the intersection of journalism and literature. 

A former journalist, Dr Sreedharan is an experimental storyteller, interested in digital narratives, particularly in stories on social media. While his current projects relate to 360-degree stories and multimodality on Steller, he is best known for Epic Retold, an experimental novel written on Twitter, and published by Harper Collins. Dr Sreedharan heads Connect India, BU’s global outreach hub for engaging with South Asia.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Department of English
Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women
(Autonomous) Chennai - 600 018
[College with Potential for Excellence]
in collaboration with
Centre for Canadian Studies
& the Department of English
University of Madras
cordially invite you to the 
International Conference 
Imaging and Imagining Literatures and
Cultures: India, Canada and Latvia
29 November, 2016 at 10.00 a.m.

in the JBAS College Auditorium, Chennai
For more details, click on the link HERE

Preparation for NET/JRF English - 13

Topics so far –

Now –

13. The Restoration – 1660 to 1702

Next –

14. The Age of Classicism – 1702 to 1740

The Restoration – 1660 to 1702


In restoring the monarchy with King Charles II, the Restoration replaced Cromwell’s Commonwealth and its Puritan ethos with an almost powerless monarch whose tastes had been formed in France.

It also replaced the power of the monarchy with the power of a parliamentary system – which was to develop into the two parties, Whigs and Tories – with most of the executive power in the hands of the Prime Minister. Both parties benefited from a system which encouraged social stability rather than opposition.

Hence the post-Restoration period is often set up as the converse and antithesis of the previous Elizabethan age. It is called classical, as opposed to the Elizabethan romanticism. Though the contrast between the two epochs need not be over-emphasized, yet the differences are very great.

Three historical events deeply influenced the literary movements of the time: the Restoration of the year 1660; the Roman Catholic controversy that raged during the latter half of Charles II’s reign; and the Revolution of the year 1688.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Friday, 18 November 2016

A memorable Eco-tour down the Coastal highway!

The moment our trekkers' collective 'collectively' decided and agreed upon a coastal zone eco-tour for our ‘trip of the month’, spanning the coastal zone of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, we were promptly watsapped an extensive list of to-do’s by our 'concerned' tour coordinator Ms. Deepa that included packing good footwear – watershoes and sandals included - swimwear, sunscreen lotions, sunglasses and hats, with handy towels and of course some good snacks that can keep your appetite on check!.

Geared up thus, we were ‘on the go’ on a dawny morn this last Monday, mazing our way through a meandering and dazzling array of beautiful villages that gifted us all the way through with its rich, breezy and spotless air, that was therapeutic and invigorating in every way.

We meandered our way through beautiful bridges, bungalows and beaches, all along our coastal drive through hickety hedges, vulnerable ditches, bullock carts chugging away on the roads, cattle with sparrows perched regally on their backs grazing in the sylvan meadows and yes… added to all these was the charm of having a cuppa hot coffee and local delights from the village chaai wala who gave you the local taste in all its grandeur.

through the mangroves
After a four hour scenic drive with joyous pitstops at regular intervals, we finally reached our first eco-tourist locale – the delectable Pichavaram Mangrove forests of yore. These mangrove forests are - wonder of wonders – the second largest mangrove forests in the entire world, and in the backwaters that take in water from the ocean during the day and let out water during the evenings, watersports, rowing, canoeing are quite popular.

When you go on an Eco-tourism drive, especially to such an awesome locale, the most important thing you’ve got to look out for, is the guide – a person who could interact with you as a good long-time friend, giving you all the required information on the ecological marvels that are unique about the place, and the factors that have contributed to the preservation of the locale.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Conference on Transgenders @ Gandhigram

The Gandhigram Rural Institute, Dindigul, is organising a conference on “Literature of the Transgenders” on 30, 31 January 2016.

The conference aims at foregrounding the literatures of the transgenders that is emerging in recent times. The need to acknowledge the emerging gamut of writing from transgenders both by the academia and by the society becomes inevitable as the texts reflect the most vulnerable segments of the society. This has led us to contemplate on the need for the conduct of this seminar. The immediacy of the issue and the radical articulation of the transgenders did encourage the organisers to call for this seminar.

Crucially, what the organisers found most pressing was the western thought of bringing into one umbrella the issues of transgenders along with the Lesbian, Gay and Bi-sexual. This co- mingling of varied spheres needs addressing, while the Lesbian, Gay and Bi-sexual is an orientation in their behaviour due to various reasons, the Transgenders have a greater need to be seen differently as it is not their sexual orientation that demands attention but the lack of choice in their being transgenders that is most important.

Hence this seminar aims at called for focused discussions and academic and activist interactions along with writers to enable the academia, the student community and the society to reorient themselves positively towards the transgenders.

For the brochure click HERE
Concept Note HERE

and the Registration Form HERE

Wednesday, 16 November 2016



Original Research Papers are invited for a Refereed anthology on Eco-literature/Ecocriticism. The volume will be published with an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) by a renowned publisher. Authentic, scholarly and unpublished research papers are invited from researchers, Lecturers, Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professors from all over the world for this volume. The researcher should apply eco-theory to a select Author.

The following are to be adhered
Ø  Paper size: A4
Ø  Title of the paper: Sentence case (Capitalize each word), centered.
Ø  Font & size: Times New Roman 12.
Ø  Spacing: 1.5.
Ø  References: Please follow MLA Handbook strictly. Don’t use Foot Notes, Use End Notes
Ø  Titles of books: Italics.
Ø  Articles should be submitted as MS Word attachments only.
Ø  The paper should be around 15-20 pages in 1.5 spacing.
Ø  Each paper must be accompanied by

Preparation for NET/JRF English - 12

Topics so far –

Now – 

12. Shakespeare’s Successors

Next –

13. Restoration Period in Literature

12. Shakespeare’s Successors

[DRAMA, PROSE & POETRY under Charles I & The Commonwealth Period]

Drama under Charles I & The Commonwealth Period

The playwrights of whom we still have to speak belong to the reign of Charles I and should therefore have place in the next book of this history. But they are so entangled with their predecessors that they cannot easily be separated from them. To study them is to continue the earlier subject. It therefore seems bet to pursue the study of the dram uninterrupted until the theatres were closed.

Philip Massinger – The playwright who, after Fletcher, dominated the stage by the number and quality of his plays, had long worked with him as a subordinate. Massinger was a composite of Fletcher and Johnson.

Massinger began his career as a collaborator with older, better-known dramatists, and especially with Fletcher, whose influence over him was strong. Among his best-known plays are his comedies, A New Way to Pay Old Debts and The City Madam, and his tragedies, the Duke of Milaine and The Unnatural Combat. His finest qualities are the fluency and vitality of his blank verse, the clarity and strength of his plot construction, and his fine theatre sense. His characters (with one or two notable exceptions, like Sir Giles Overreach in A New Way to Pay Old Debts, and Luke Frugal in The City Madam) are usually types rather than individuals, and in situation, theatrical device, and characterization, he has a fondness for repetition which is a serious weakness. The shallow, boldly drawn characters often place too great a strain upon our credulity--his villains are villainous, and his women shameless, to an incredible degree. Predominantly serious in temper, Massinger often deals with the political issues of his day. He seems to lack real humour, and the comic garb can sit rather uneasily upon him. Philip Massinger’s A New Way to Pay Old Debts (1625–26) remained one of the most popular social comedies for more than two hundred years. The theme of class superiority (the upper class, and the rising mercantile middle class) begins to be popular here, and will assume greater and greater prominence in the literature of the eighteenth century.

With characters like Greedy and Frank Wellborn, Massinger’s play brings the city comedy (here set near Nottingham) to new heights; in Sir Giles Overreach – ‘a cruel extortioner’ – it created one of the great comic roles.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Preparation for NET/JRF English - 11

Topics so far –

Now –

11. Shakespeare’s Contemporaries

Next –

12. Shakespeare’s Successors
13. The Closing of the Theatres
14. Literature under Charles I and the Commonwealth

11. Shakespeare’s Contemporaries

Shakespeare’s contemporaries wrote plays mostly in collaboration with their peers. The prominent contemporaries of Shakespeare are –

George Chapman
Ben Jonson
John Marston
Thomas Dekker
Thomas Heywood
Thomas Middleton
Cyril Tourneur
John Webster
John Fletcher

George Chapman

Dramatist, poet, and distinguished translator, George Chapman embodied the Renaissance ideal of the sophisticated man of letters. Many critics consider his translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey his most important achievement.

With Prince Henry as his patron, Chapman continued composing dramas, including his last major comedy, Eastward Ho, [written in collaboration with Ben Jonson and John Marston]. The play’s sarcastic political insults against policies favored by James I resulted in swift imprisonment for Chapman and Jonson, though both were soon released. Afterward, Chapman turned to writing tragedy. His best-known works from this period are Bussy D’Ambois and the two-part The Conspiracy and Tragedy of Charles, Duke of Byron.

His translation of the first twelve books of the Iliad appeared in 1609, prefaced by a dedication to Prince Henry, who had endorsed the work with a promise of three hundred pounds and a pension. However, when the young prince died suddenly in 1612, the prince’s father failed to fulfill Henry’s promise to Chapman.