SEMINAR 2: “Sufism and the Lacanian Mystic”
The second DEH Summer Seminar Series featured Untara Rayeesa with her talk on “Sufism and the Lacanian Mystic.” The program was held on Monday, July 7, 2020.
Untara’s talk focused on analyzing the place of God within Lacan’s framework to contextualize how Sufi mysticism in particular exemplifies the complexities of love, desire and jouissance. She used examples from Rabi’a al-Adawiyya, the oldest and best-known female mystic of the Sufi order, who spoke of Muhabbat, the intense love for God to the exclusion of all others, in her poetry as well as in the anecdotes about her life. Untara concluded her talk by stating that “The connection of God to Woman and feminine jouissance as elucidated by Lacan in this way becomes crucial to deeper understanding of the experiential and psychical dimensions of Sufi mysticism.”
Untara is a former faculty member of DEH, ULAB. She has recently completed her Masters in English from Boston College and will start her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon from Fall 2020.
SEMINAR 3: “Rhetoric and Composition in Context: Teaching of Literacies and Writing in US Universities.”
The third session of the DEH Summer Seminar Series was held on Friday, August 7, 2020 on “Rhetoric and Composition in Context: Teaching of Literacies and Writing in US Universities.” The speaker for this session was Dr. Shakil Rabbi, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Language, Literature and Cultural Studies at Bowie State University, USA. Dr. Rabbi has published in journals and edited collections on graduate students’ literacies, rhetoric of intellectuals, and multilingualism and cosmopolitanism. Crossing Divides, one such collection, won the Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize from the Modern Language Association in 2017. He received the 2020 Bowie State Presidential Teaching Award and a 2015 International Writing Center Association President’s Future Leader Award.
Dr. Rabbi began with the history of rhetoric and how it has developed into a field of study. He also spoke about strategies with which to enhance students’ practice of writing. An interesting and Q & A session followed the presentation where experiences and strategies were also shared by the audience members. The program was attended by the faculty members and students of ULAB as well as several guests from other universities across Bangladesh and abroad.
Both events were organized by the Summer DEH Events Management Committee, led by Dr. Sohana Manzoor, and hosted by Dr. Shamsad Mortuza, Pro-Vice Chancellor of ULAB and Head of DEH.