The Legacy And Influence Of French Literature
The Legacy and Influence of French Literature was an event conducted by International Relations Office, Kristu Jayanti College and the Department of English (PG) in partnership with the Office of International Education and Development, Appalachian State University. The event was held on April 27, 2021 at 11.30 am IST, on the Zoom platform. The speaker was Ms. Rebekah Spurgeon, Cultural Ambassador, Appalachian State University. A detailed profile and introduction of the speaker was shared with the audience at the beginning of the programme. The welcome address made everyone feel especially welcome by inviting the Principal, Rev. Fr. Dr Augustine George, the Director of IRO, Fr. Emmanuel and the Coordinator of the IRO, Prof Ratheesh P. along with the Head of the Department of English (PG) Dr Krishna Prabha, Faculty member, Prof Stephen, Faculty Coordinator of the event Dr Lyola Thomas and the student participants.
Ms. Spurgeon discussed various aspects of French literature and its influence. She elucidated on the various aspects of French literature from various ages in history by quoting examples from famous literary texts namely Albert Camus' The Plague, and Guy de Maupassant's Le Horla enumerating on the texts and her personal interaction with the texts as a French National. She also spoke about the contextual relevance of both the texts. She then drew upon George Orwell's novel 1984. Ms. Spurgeon spoke about Literature after the Second World War, in that she elaborated about the resistance, silence of the Jewish community and the reality of what actually went on behind the scenes and between the lines. She further also spoke about aspects in English Literature with respect to the genre of Dystopian novel.
The webinar was an enriching one. The session ended with the concluding remarks by the Head of the Department, Dr Krishna Prabha who spoke about the importance of such cultural exchanges and how these exchanges can add to the knowledge and experience of students.
Sheba, a final year student, shared her experiences “As students of English Literature, we learn to assimilate diverse cultures, by learning about its origin, journey, influence and significance in forming human civilization…the webinar gave us insight and information on the legacy and influence on French Literature and it was really enriching. I would like to thank the organisers for this well planned and well executed academic exercise!” There were 61 participants including faculty members and students from both the batches of MA English literature.
The Poets League
The Department of English (PG) hosted the fourth edition of The Poets League, an intra-departmental activity, to inspire poets and provide a space for poetry on March 31, 2021. This event was arranged exclusively for budding poets in the Department. The event took place from 3:30 pm in A310 of the Admin Block. The poems recited covered themes of women, love, healing, happiness, loneliness etc. The poems were written on wooden planks and exhibited. The students shared their sense of gratitude towards the Department of English (PG) for giving them a platform for the budding poets to grow and showcase their talents.
Sheryl, a first-year student opined, “Listening to others speak and recite their tales and poems, I am extremely rejuvenated and feel blessed to have been a part of the event. I thank my Department for such an inspiring opportunity for the budding poets of our department and wish we can have more such events in the future.”
There were 30 participants along with the two Class Animators who also shared their views and insights at the end of the event.
Theatre Production And Krysalis Release
The release of the Department in house publication ‘Krysalis’ and Theatre Production ‘Inside Out’ was organized by the Department of English (PG) of Kristu Jayanti College on March 16, 2021. The Non-CGPA Credit Course offered by the Department of English to second year PG students awards two credits and provides them with a choice for opting between In-house Publication and Theatre Production.
The third edition of Krysalis was released by Rev Dr. Augustine George, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous). The contents of the magazine and the underlying theme was revealed to the audience. The theme of the magazine ‘Rhythm’ and its significance was presented by Dr. Lyola Thomas, the faculty coordinator of Krysalis. The Krysalis editorial team was introduced and applauded for their tireless efforts and the Principal addressed the gathering, marking the end of the inaugural session.
The next event was the release of the play- ‘Inside Out: The Battle Within’. The chief guests for the event were Ms. Nirmala Govindarajan, novelist and journalist, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel P.J, Director, Kristu Jayanti College of Law and Dr. Mohan R Bolla, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College of Law. Dr. Lyola Thomas conducted a question-and-answer session with the guest through a Zoom meeting that was broadcasted live to the audience following which Rev. Fr. Emmanuel P.J inaugurated the theatre production by clicking the play button. The play of a duration of thirty minutes was projected after which the theatre team was introduced. Rev. Fr. Emmanuel and Dr. Mohan R. Bolla appreciated the performance and Prof. Stephen, the faculty coordinator for theatre presented his insights on the play. The event came to an end with Dr. Krishna Prabha, Head of Department of English (PG) giving her remarks on the magazine and the play.
A Day with an Author Series Book Launch and Interactive Session
A Day with an Author series was organized by the Department of English (PG) on October 12, 2020 which also incorporated the book launch of The Zoo in my Backyard by the eminent author Mrs. Usha Rajagopalan. The book launch was then followed with an interactive session between the author and a poet, writer Mrs. Maitreyee B Chowdhury.
The book was launched by Rev. Dr. Augustine George, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College (Autonomous) and the first copy was handed to the HOD of Department of English (PG). During the book launch, Rev. Dr. Augustine George expressed his thoughts on the book and how he could relate to it as it took him back to his childhood days.
The interactive session put forth by the department showcased several relevant queries by Mrs. Maitryee B Chowdhury which started off with the inspiration Mrs Usha had for writing the book The Zoo in my Backyard. She talked on how relevant it was for young minds, specially focussing on the urban kids who are not acquainted with the rural lifestyle alongside nature.
Mrs. Usha Rajagopalan very enthusiastically answered all the queries. She explained how her childhood experiences influenced her to write this book. “This book is a tribute” she mentioned while explaining that a number of people moulded her to the person she is today. Mrs. Usha further discussed the importance of childhood exposure in one's personal growth and pitched on the conservation of nature. Further, the author mentioned how her book would be an eye opener to the people who are not acquainted with the distinctive rustic life. Through her narration the readers got an opportunity to walk through the pastoral world. When questioned about her future works or sequel to the book, she expressed her plans to pen down the humorous experiences she had near the Puttenahalli Lake (Bengaluru).
The session concluded with advice and tips for the students to keep in mind while authoring or editing any piece of writing. Both the dignitaries pitched in information about the importance of reading, writing, and editing. Finally Mrs. Maitryee B Chowdhury put forth a writing formula- to read like a critic and edit like an enemy.
Alka Gopi, a final year MA student shared her experience- "It was a really wonderful session. Usha Rajagopalan ma'am took me back to my cherished childhood days. We got a chance to know more about two excellent authors. Both of them put forward so many insightful ideas to mull over. Overall it was an enlightening session.”
“It was good to see a writer talk about her book, how it was inspired from her childhood memories .I was inspired by Madam’s urge to conserve the environment.” opined Nandini Nagar, a first year MA student.
70 participants including the Principal, the faculty members, the students of the English department (PG) , invited guests and the alumni were mesmerized by the weave of words that swathed them in the author’s narrative
THE POETS LEAGUE - 2nd Edition
The Department of English (PG) hosted the Second Edition of The Poets League, to inspire poets and poetry lovers of Kristu Jayanti college on August 10, 2020. The central theme of the event was ''Uncertainty in the time of Pandemic'' and the poets expressed their emotions and thoughts during the lock down days.
The occasion was graced by Dr. S Padmapriya, an eminent English writer from Tamil Nadu, along with faculty members and students from various departments. When the whole world is locked and shocked due to the pandemic, COVID – 19, the Department of English (PG), Kristu Jayanti College set a platform for the budding poets to come together and share their creative impetus. The poetry recitation delighted the participants as they could recite their own poems as well as listen to poetries of other fellow participants.
The event was organised on the Zoom digital platform, with the graceful presence of Rev. Dr. Augustine George, Principal, Kristu Jayanti College. Dr. Augustine congratulated the department for creating an opportunity to explore new ways for refreshing the minds of people in the new ‘normal’ world, when all are confined within their own limited space. He stressed on how poetry plays a crucial role in connecting the world with the society.
Dr. Padmapriya, the chief guest of the day, shared her deep and abiding passion for English literature, though she holds a Doctoral degree in Economics. She elaborated on the importance of ‘intensity’ alongside the play of ‘aesthetic sense’ in poetry. She further quoted famous poets like Rabindranath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu and substantiated how their poetry served as a major influence on the minds of young Indians. It specifically directed to the elements of nationalism and romanticism that stems from these great poets.
Keeping in sync with the central theme of The Poets League, the poems could be categorised into the expression of the minds during pre-pandemic, initial pandemic days and severe lockdown days. There were poems those even expressed the feeling of hope in the minds of people. The event was a perfect illustration that the people haven't lose their hope for a peaceful world even after this depressing scenario. Dr. Padmapriya commented on every poem that was recited by the participants, which was an encouraging gesture from her part towards the budding poets.
Jyothis Koshi, an outgoing student of the department of English (PG), was honoured in the meeting, for publishing three of his poems in an anthology. He is a blossoming poet and the participants were really enthralled by his recitation of one of the published poems – The Injured Soul.
Riya Merin, a final year student expressed that, “The event provided a sense of tranquillity, listening to those powerful words, woven with rhythm and thick with emotion.”
There were more than fifty enthusiastic participants including faculty members and students of the college.
THE POETS LEAGUE
The Department of English (PG) hosted The Poets League, to inspire poets and poetry for poetry lovers on March 11, 2020. The occasion was graced by Professor Stephen Deepak, an eminent poet and faculty of the Department of MBA, Kristu Jayanti College along with other faculty members of various Departments from the College. Poems were written on pieces of wood and placed aesthetically at the venue. Besides, poetry recitation enthralled the programme with variety of poems recited by the students of the Department of English and other Jayantians. Faculty members from other Departments also recited poems and Professor Stephen recited his poems written both in English and Kannada. His interest in poetry enriched the audience who participated enthusiastically at The Poets League. The poems recited covered themes of love, healing, happiness, loneliness etc. The poems up cycled on the wooden pieces seem to have left a landmark on the hearts of those who penned them down hence it was displayed at the Chavara Square were the programme was conducted. The poetry discussion was an altogether different experience not only for the students of MA English Literature but also for others who took part in it because of the strength of poetry, in its ability to shed sideways light on the world, so the truth dawn on everyone. We thank the Department of English (PG) for coming up with a new platform for the budding poets to grow and showcase their talents.
Esther Jayakumar, a final year student opined, “The Poets League, was definitely a start for something beautiful, as I was presenting a poem of mine titled “When love was what it cost”, I was overwhelmed with tears of joy to see audience staring at me with smiles and eagerness to know what next, and looking at them gave me encouragement, and inspired me to go on for such events in the future”.
There were more than 100 participants across the college campus who not only shared their poetry and recited them, but also enjoyed the session with rapt attention.
Book Release at Visthar, Bengaluru
On the occasion of the release of the book Cultural Labour: Conceptualizing Folk Performance, Visthar held a panel discussion on 6th of September 2019. The discussion had a panel of discussants – Ms. Sammitha Sreevathsa, Freelance writer and Art critic with The Hindu, Ms. Shashikala, a Fulbright scholar and Dr. Manila K, Postdoctoral Fellow, Witwatersrand University, South Africa. The session was chaired by Dr. Brahma Prakash Singh who is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, while Ms. Kirtana Kumar who is an actor, director and film maker by profession, moderated the session. The students of the Department of English (PG), Kristu Jayanti College Autonomous were also invited to be part of the event.
The discussion was based on his recent book Cultural Labour: Conceptualizing Folk Performance. Dr. Brahma Prakash gave an insight into his book, while explaining how his basic premise rested on the idea of performance arts and their union with literature today. The title of the book puts out varying major focal points with distinct perspectives, which piqued the interest of the reader. The book is also the first of its kind in South Asia and India. Dr. Brahma Prakash gave a brief introduction of the individual chapters of his book while elaborating on personal life incidents that triggered this publication. The book sought out a cultural analysis frame, showing the effect of decolonisation and it's after effects. He also expressed his discomfort with modern education system as it tampers with the true essence of folk and culture.
Kirtana Kumar, the moderator, expressed how traditionalism and revivalism can be as much a part of the so-called contemporary and modern theatre. Ms. Shashikala added how "It's an interesting intersection of diverse concepts that have been battling historically for quite some time". The discussion also touched upon the underlying issues of the alteration of folk performance from its true form, the effects of modernization and the loss of authenticity. The discussion was an open door to everyone to explore the vivid world of folklore. The entire discussion ended with a Q/A session which helped the audience interact with the author better and understand his perspective on a firsthand basis.
"It was an amazing and interesting discussion; it gave us an insight into the field of folklore, art, labour and culture. We had the opportunity to interact with famous literary figures and theatre artists. To witness an author actually talk about a book that is the first of its kind in India was worth cherishing" opined Jeeva, a first year student.
There were 22 students from the Department of English (PG) who were a part of this fascinating discussion along with other external participants.
Bengaluru Poetry Festival, 2019
“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” — Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Bengaluru Poetry Festival is the city’s only literary event dedicated to poetry. It was organized by the not-for-profit Bengaluru Poetry Festival (BPF) Trust. The fourth edition of the festival brought poets and poetry from across the country, with substantial regional and ethnic flavours to the audience. It was a fruitful event with the participation of many poets, musicians, lyricists, actors and famous personalities. The programme included individual performances, panel discussions, workshops and readings. The final year students of the Department of English (PG) were accompanied by Dr. Krishna Prabha, Head of the Department, to attend the Bengaluru Poetry Festival (BPF) held at The Taj West End, Race Course Road, Bengaluru on 20 and 21 July, 2019. As a part of experiential learning, the students had the opportunity to witness the august presence of famous poets and artists across India. Out of the 20 students who attended the Fest, 15 students had the privilege to volunteer at the Fest. Aishwarya M, one of our student volunteers opined, “Volunteering at the Bengaluru Poetry Festival was a great opportunity to meet and interact with some of the distinguished poets of the country. The fest provided us not just experiential knowledge about poetry but also instilled in us a great team spirit and also provided us with a chance to work with people from different colleges and occupations”.
Apart from volunteering, the students also had the privilege to interact with famous personalities like Hoshang Merchant, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Swaroopnath Bhatra, Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury, Andrea Jeremiah, Siddhant Chaturvedi, Tenzin Tsundue, Anushka Ravishankar, Ranjit Hoskote, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Jeet Thayil, Raj Shekhar, Irshad Kamil and many more.
Hoshang Merchant, poet and retired professor, with twenty books to his name, kept his audience spell bound in “The Body is also in the Soul” session. As a gay poet, he has edited India’s first gay anthology Yaraana: Gay writing from India (1999). He further opined that coming out as a gay person should be “as natural as coming out of your house”.
In one of the sessions, Anushka Ravishankar, shed light on the process of writing children’s books. She propounded that “Writing a book for children is no child’s play. You need to be at your interactive best.” She added that – while writing a book for children, one must imagine oneself to be the child and understand the child's mind and psyche.
Siddhant Chaturvedi – actor, rapper, musician and the Gully Boy star, spoke about his tryst with poetry. “Even before I was an actor, I used to write poetry,” he said. Speaking like a true poet, he quipped, “I can write poetry anywhere, even in the kitchen.”
In “The Metre and Mysticism”, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev in conversation with poetess Arundhathi Subramaniam, put forth a totally new perspective about poetry. “When you want to convey something that is not logically correct you use poetry” revealed Sadhguru. It was perhaps one of the best sessions of the BPF.
Another entertaining session was Majnu Ka Tia, a poetic performance in Hindi by lyricist Raj Shekhar who was accompanied by Swaroopnath Bhatra on the guitar. Shekhar recited poetry in Hindi including Jantar Mantar Lohri, a lullaby for the activists who sleep in Jantar Mantar at night before facing a new day of protest and “hope for a new change”. The discussions on rebel poetry with Jeet Thayil and ‘Love in Unreal Times’ with Ranjit Hoskote were equally enticing.
“Usually, poetry follows music, but for me, poetry is the mainstay, music complements it”, poet and Hindi lyricist Irshad Kamil said, ahead of his captivating performance with Inkband – India’s first poetry band.
One common string that bound all these creative personalities together was that, all of them spoke about the essence and power of poetry. They encouraged the use of poetry in our day to day lives and even encouraged the audience to write poetry fearlessly because poetry has a very rare power of its own.
Ragi Sebastian, another final year student showed her exuberance and gratitude by proclaiming – “I always look forward to meet people who could think beyond the mere physical existence. People who could delve deep into the inner recesses of human souls have always held me captivated. Bengaluru Poetry Festival was a great exposure which was beyond our expectations. We are thankful to the organisers for inviting us.”
The Fest exposed our students to poetry of various cultures, languages and historic periods. They returned with more knowledge about poetry and their love for poetry was strengthened. They also bought books written by the popular Indian authors and got their books autographed. This was a golden opportunity not only for those who were a part of the volunteering team but for all those who attended the fest. The students were enthralled to be a part of such an efficacious and purposeful literary festival.
Classes: IInd and IVth Semester M.A. English Literature
Venue: Mini Audi I, MBA Block
‘Ad Astra’, the 2019 edition of the farewell function for the graduating batch was conducted on 11 March 2019 in Mini Audi I, MBA Block. It was planned out creatively by I MA students under the able guidance of the class animator, Dr. Lyola Thomas. The program began with a formal session with the Principal as Chief Guest on the dais, and other faculty of the Postgraduate Department of English in attendance. Rev. Fr. Principal delivered the presidential address expressing his happiness over the theme chosen for the farewell and wished the graduating students all the blessings in their future career and life. He also used the opportunity to welcome the outgoing students as alumni to the college.
In the unofficial segment that followed, much entertainment unrolled. Through many activities, the outgoing students were aptly recognized and felicitated by the juniors for their talents and contributions made to the department. The faculty also gave their wishes and shared their pleasant experiences with the batch. The outgoing batch gave gifts to the teachers and juniors as a symbol of their love and affection. The farewell function ended with a sumptuous dinner and sessions at the photo booth.