The charm that pulled us all on, a host of like-minded teachers, yonder all the way to Pune, Maharashtra was the legend Bill Ashcroft!
Well, it was indeed, an experience of a lifetime!
Bill Ashcroft is quite familiar to students of English Literature, especially with students who have had Postcolonial Studies as a Paper. The pioneering champion of postcolonial studies as a discipline, Bill Ashcroft's initiatives have borne much fruit since then! PoCo Studies has now established itself firmly in educational institutes all over the world. Thanks to his monumental and celebrated work Empire Writes Back way back in 1989 that set the foundation for this birth of postcolonial studies as a discipline in itself, and... there has been no turning back for Bill ever since!
He’s 71 years old, on paper, but it looks like 'age has not withered him,’ in any way whatsoever. He was pretty cheerful and enthusiastic all through, and he was in his elements both during his lecture, and also when he was surrounded by a jostling crowd of enthusiastic fans and research scholars alike, who made a beeline to him just to have their books autographed by him, and to have their ‘moment of fame’ clicking away to glory!
The auditorium was packed to capacity with litterateurs from all over the world – who had gathered in huge numbers and in rapt attention – to listen to what the wizard of postcolonial studies had to offer!
His 60-minute speech was really inspirational and indeed ‘transformative,’ too!
Bill spoke on how postcolonial writers have generated an Utopian spirit and how they have cultivated the spirit of resistance to colonial modes of dominance. He added to say that, resistance would always fail unless it is transformative.
The video of his whole lecture spanning 55 minutes (made by this blogger) is now available on YouTube HERE.
The next interesting lecture by Padmini Ray Murray – a Digital Humanties Academic - was on the most ‘up and happening’ thing in the humanities today – the Digital Humanities.
Ms. Padmini was indeed a revelation!
She spoke on “Making Culture: Locating the Digital Humanities in India.” She started off her thought-provoking lecture thus: ‘this lecture is NOT about the Digital Humanities – but about the future of the Humanties,’ and gave many live illustrations on the various projects that she’s doing in the field of DH.
To be contd…