The Department of English and Humanities at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) organized its first Graduate Student Seminar on August 26, 2021. Five graduate students, selected by respective course teachers, presented their papers and projects which they worked on in the spring semester.
The seminar started with a short yet enlightening speech by Professor Kaiser Haq. He emphasized on the importance of this seminar saying that it will allow the students to exhibit their ability to present lectures and research papers.
The first presenter of the seminar was Mohammad Ishtiaque Khan, a student of Applied Linguistics and TESOL track, who presented his paper on “Linguistic Imperialism.” After a brief introduction to imperialism he demonstrated how linguistic imperialism operates in many spheres, and its role in spreading English “as a world language.” He ended his presentation by explaining whether the English language is a “Lingua Franca” or not.
The second presenter, Minaal Nauman Choudhury, of the Creative Writing track, gave an intriguing lecture based on her paper titled “Sari Shwadeshi: A Postcolonial Perspective.” Minaal started her argument by tracing the five thousand year old history that reveals the origin of the sari as a long piece of cloth, and went ahead to explain how it evolved and became a South Asian cultural and ethnic phenomenon during this long span of time.
Sirajum Monira Joti, the third presenter from the Linguistics track, showcased her project titled “World Englishes in Periphery Classrooms: Reflection on Suresh Canagarajah`s Concerns.” She first explained the chapter which includes Canagarajah`s concerns regarding the global pedagogical tools used in different regions of the world in terms of methodologies of teaching the English language. Moreover, she discussed the question of whether the teaching methods and pedagogical paradigms developed in the context of the West are really suitable for developing countries such as Bangladesh, and if not, what other strategies can be adapted for successful learning.
The paper titled “Transnational Turn in Literature” was presented by the fourth presenter of the seminar, Md. Jalal Uddin, a student of Literature and Cultural Studies. After a brief introduction, he explained how transnational literature evolved from national literature and world literature. He finished his presentation by reflecting on a few thematic turns that are commonly found in transnational literature such as “Disentanglement,” “Fluidity,” “Transnational Crime,” etc. He also added that transnational literature not only entertains us, it offers us valuable insights into the ongoing grave socio-political issues around the world.
The last presenter of the seminar, Zannat-E-Nur, a student of Creative Writing, presented her work on two renowned feminist poets, Adrienne Rich and Gertrude Stein. After giving a brief introduction regarding each of the poets and their works, she went on to discuss how both of them have used poetry as a means of self-expression, though their approach towards poetry greatly varied from each other. Her presentation included a beautiful recitation of Adrienne Rich`s “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers,” and Gertrude Stein`s “If I Told Him, A Completed Portrait of Picasso.”
The program came to an end after a brief yet compelling question and answer session where the participants of the program asked various questions to the presenters, which was followed by concluding remarks from Ms. Arifa Ghani Rahman, Head of the Department of English and Humanities. The seminar was organized by the MA Coordinator, Dr. Sohana Manzoor, and hosted by Neha Ghose, a graduate student of the Literature and Cultural Studies track.
Reported by Farzana Afroj (203055015)