Monday, 13 August 2012

PhD Viva voce of Prof. Sivaraman

Prof. Sivaraman defending his thesis
It was a day of enlightenment for the audience who had gathered to listen to Prof. Sivaraman defend his thesis "Metadrama in Girish Karnad's Hayavadana, Nagamandala and The Fire and the Rain" at Nortan Hall, Pachaiyappa’s College, today, 13 August 2012 at 11 am.

The Supervisor and Convenor of the Viva-Voce Dr. U. Sundararajan praising his ward and doctor-designate V. Sivaraman, said, “Sivaraman submitted his thesis one day in advance of the scheduled date of submission, and he was very particular about that. His Guru Dr. Vishnu Bhatt, (a great role-model for English professors), introduced Mr. Sivaraman to me. Even though I was skeptical about the topic of the thesis, Mr. Sivaraman convinced me about the scope of the thesis, and from then on, it was no turning back for him”, he added. 

The External Examiner Dr. Felix Moses was equally enthusiastic in showering praise on his proud student. Excerpts from his observations:

“It is indeed a privilege to be the external examiner for one of my best students. It is a very well-written thesis. In short, it is a model thesis. There are many candidates who might be doing your MPhil or PhD. I request that you go through this thesis to get ideas. Everything has been clearly outlined by Sivaraman. The reasons why it is a model thesis are:

Firstly, the hypothesis has been very clearly spelt out. There’s no ambiguity about the hypothesis. Secondly, the methodology employed to prove the hypothesis and the theory on which the methodology is based is in a very direct and simple manner. Most of us are put off by theory. But Siva has made it as simple as possible. Thirdly, the selection of the text to prove the hypothesis to demonstrate the method is very apt. Fourthly, the analysis is thorough and comprehensive. Finally, the dissertation is very scholarly," he said. 

The doctor-designate Sivaraman outlined the hypothesis and explained the rationale behind the thesis. Elucidating on the methodology used, he said that the thesis has proceeded in three different phases:

1.       Close scrutiny
2.       Discovery of features of Metadrama
3.       Trends in Post-independence Indian theatre.

Arguing that, Post-independence playwrights are

Vehemently political, consciously experimental and overtly theatrical, he said that, drama holds a mirror upto itself. The playmaking process is foregrounded, and so a play is no more a product but a process. 

Apart from the findings, Sivaraman also suggested scope for further research in the field.

The defending champion signed off on a very confident note, by highlighting his rendezvous with the great Girish Karnad on 11 December 2011 at Chennai. “When I showed my dissertation to him, he was very happy, and he said that, so far nobody seems to have worked on the concept of metadrama” he said, to big applause from the audience.

Dr. Felix Moses, the external examiner in his concluding remarks observed, “What’s praiseworthy and noteworthy about Dr.Sivaraman’s thesis is that, the dissertation is an attempt to decolonize English literary studies”.

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