Sunday, 5 December 2021

Parkinson's Law

 What is Parkinson's Law of Productivity?

If you want to read more on time management and Parkinson's Law, click these links. . . 

A Beginners Guide To Parkinson’s Law: How To Do More Stuff By Giving Yourself Less Time

One more interesting video on Parkinson's Law

Monday, 29 November 2021

Introduction to Digital Humanities

Introduction to Digital Humanities


Video Recording of the session with the students of Amity University, Jaipur

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Metaphysical Poetry

Metaphysical Poetry

1. Metaphysical Poets:

Metaphysical poet, any of the poets in 17th-century England who inclined to the personal and intellectual complexity and concentration that is displayed in the poetry of John Donne, the chief of the Metaphysicals. Others include Henry VaughanAndrew MarvellJohn Cleveland, and Abraham Cowley as well as, to a lesser extent, George Herbert and Richard Crashaw.

Their work is a blend of emotion and intellectual ingenuity, characterized by conceit or “wit”—that is, by the sometimes violent yoking together of apparently unconnected ideas and things so that the reader is startled out of his complacency and forced to think through the argument of the poem. Metaphysical poetry is less concerned with expressing feeling than with analyzing it, with the poet exploring the recesses of his consciousness. The boldness of the literary devices used—especially obliquity, irony, and paradox—are often reinforced by a dramatic directness of language and by rhythms derived from that of living speech.

Esteem for Metaphysical poetry never stood higher than in the 1930s and ’40s, largely because of T.S. Eliot’s influential essay “The Metaphysical Poets” (1921), a review of Herbert J.C. Grierson’s anthology Metaphysical Lyrics & Poems of the Seventeenth Century. In this essay Eliot argued that the works of these men embody a fusion of thought and feeling that later poets were unable to achieve because of a “dissociation of sensibility,” which resulted in works that were either intellectual or emotional but not both at once. In their own time, however, the epithet “metaphysical” was used pejoratively: in 1630 the Scottish poet William Drummond of Hawthornden objected to those of his contemporaries who attempted to “abstract poetry to metaphysical ideas and scholastic quiddities.” At the end of the century, John Dryden censured Donne for affecting “the metaphysics” and for perplexing “the minds of the fair sex with nice speculations of philosophy when he should engage their hearts . . . with the softnesses of love.” Samuel Johnson, in referring to the learning that their poetry displays, also dubbed them “the metaphysical poets,” and the term has continued in use ever since. Eliot’s adoption of the label as a term of praise is arguably a better guide to his personal aspirations about his own poetry than to the Metaphysical poets themselves; his use of metaphysical underestimates these poets’ debt to lyrical and socially engaged verse. Nonetheless, the term is useful for identifying the often-intellectual character of their writing. (J.E. Luebering)

The term Metaphysical poets was coined by the critic Samuel Johnson to describe a loose group of 17th-century English poets whose work was characterised by the inventive use of conceits, and by a greater emphasis on the spoken rather than lyrical quality of their verse. These poets were not formally affiliated and few were highly regarded until 20th century attention established their importance. (Click here to read more)

2. Explore Metaphysical Poetry

3. Video Resources


About John Donne


4. Analysis of Poems

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Academic Writing - Essay Type Descriptive Answers

 Academic Writing in English for Examination Purpose

In this post, you will find two videos. These videos are prepared for the students of English Studies. These students are supposed to write descriptive essay type answers in their term-end university examinations. With an objective to improve the quality of their essay type descriptive answers, these guidelines from suggested.

Video 1: Qualitative Error Analysis and Suggestions to Improve the Quality of Writing Essay Type Descriptive Answers

In this video, teachers are discussing common errors made by students in writing essay type descriptive answers. 

Following topics are discussed in this session:

Error Analysis & Suggestions to improve the quality of Essay Type Descriptive Answers. 1. Correctness of English Language: (i) No grammar errors. (ii) No spelling errors. (iii) Apt vocabulary. (iv) Apt sentence structure. (v) Apt punctuation marks 2. Content of the Answer (i) Quotes from original text. (ii) Quotes from critics. (iii) Apt illustrations from the text. (iv) Do not write summary 3. Organisation of the Answer (i) The question is properly justified and exemplified. (ii) The trajectory of the answer is very well worked out. (iii) The arguments are well justified with illustrations from the text. (iv) Logical sequence is maintained. Introduction to conclusion – all well synced. (v) Apt connectors used for the ease of flow of thoughts from one para to another. 4. Handwriting (i) Cursive, larger, clearly visible, clean and tidy. (ii) Legible. No difficulty in identifying alphabets.

Chapterization of Video 1:

0:00 Introduction 4:35 Vaidehi Hariyani 26:30 Dilip Barad 1:16:09 Suggestions to Improve the Quality of Writing

Video 2: Quantitative Analysis: How Much Shall I Write in Essay Type Descriptive Answers?

Quite often, the students come with the question - How much are we supposed to write in essay type descriptive answers? or - How many words shall an essay type answer consist of? or - In how many pages an essay type answer is supposed to be written?

In this video, we have reviewed several guidelines and have suggested a sort of 'golden mean'.

Chapterization of Video 2:

0:00 Introduction 2:18 The Context - Students' anxiety - How much shall we write? 5:26 Quality matters . . . so also quantity. 6:48 Murray and Orii's Automatic Essay Scoring 8:22 Perelman criticized over-privileging length of answer 10:04 Average speech of hand-writing 12:48 Length of answer does have some association with marks 17:35 Calcutta Uni - Pattern 18:40 Students' sample write-ups 22:55 Final Outcome and Recommendations 34:35 Conclusion 35:30 Students responses
Following points are taken into consideration in this video:

Tom Benton [Cambridge Assessment, Research Division]: “I remember this question being asked by someone in the class nearly every time… Despite the ubiquity of the question, clear answers are hard to come by.”
Previous research has shown that the length of responses does have some association with achievement and also provided some norms around the possible writing speed.
Tom Benton’s study shows that –
“Nearly all responses of fewer than 200 words resulted in a grade U, suggesting that whilst very long answers are not necessary for a good mark, candidates must write enough to make sure that the examiner can recognize their knowledge at all.”
With this in mind it would be a good advice for all candidates, even those who are not expecting to achieve the highest grades, to ensure that they write at least a significant number of pages in response to an English Literature exam question allowing 30 minutes to write descriptive answer.
But exactly how long shall a student write?
How many words shall an answer consist of?
How many pages or lines shall be produced in writing descriptive answer?


It is expected that these videos will help students in qualitative as well as quantitative analysis of their academic writing for the purpose of essay-type-descriptive answers. If students will work on the guidelines and suggestions discussed in these videos, we are hopeful that our learning objective i.e. improve the quality of answers and academic writing, shall be achieved.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Introduction to Research Methodology

 Introduction to Research Methodology

Points covered in this session are:

  • Research Attitude & Aptitude
  • Research Method & Methodology
  • Review of Related Literature – The Backbone of Research
  • Deciding on a Research Topic
  • Turning a Topic into an Argument
  • Research and Publication Ethics

Presentation with embedded Videos on Literature Review:

Video Recording of the Session with the students of Auro University:

Video Recording of the session (Amity University, Jaipur, Rajasthan)

Auro University, Surat, Gujarat
Amity University, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Monday, 20 September 2021

Education and Technology in NEP 2020

 Education and Technology in NEP 2020

Video Recording of the Session:

NEP: Education and Technology: MKBU

Video Recording of the Session:

ICT for Research in Humanities

ICT / Digital Technologies for Research in Humanities

Highlights of the talk:

ICT (Information and Communication Technology) or Digital Technology.
From using ICT tools for Research to researching literature generated by digital technologies.
From using ICT as tool to researching Digital Technology as an object of study.

Video Recording of the session:


Saturday, 18 September 2021

Pedagogical Shift from Text to Hypertext: Language & Literature to the Digital Natives

 A #Pedagogical Shift from Text to #Hypertext:

Language & Literature to the Digital Natives

#Hypertext #DigitalNatives
Video recording -
An International Faculty Development Programme on
A #Pedagogical Shift from Text to #Hypertext: Language & Literature to the Digital Natives.
Silvio Gaggi has argued in 'From Text to Hypertext: Decentering the Subject in Fiction, Film, the Visual Arts, and Electronic Media' that
-It is a tenet of postmodern writing that the subject—the self—is unstable, fragmented, and decentered.
In considering electronic media, Gaggi takes his argument to an entirely new level.
Besides recognizing how the computer has enabled artists to create works of fiction in which readers themselves become decentered, Gaggi also observes the impact of literature created on computer networks, where even the limitations of CD-ROM are lifted and the notion of individual authorship may for all practical purposes be lost.
We can use this argument to say that:
The very tenet of Digital Pedagogy makes the subject unstable, fragmented, and decentered.
Here, the 'Subject' is 'Core Content, the teacher and the taught'.
This decentering of #learners and the notion of #Teachership may for all practical purpose be lost.
Thanks to Xavier Pradheep Singh and Ajantha ParthaSarathi for this opportunity.14 Sept 2021.


Click to open presentations:

Part 1

Leadership and Communication: eFDP - Mainpuri - UP

 Leadership and Communication: 

Understanding Language

dilip barad
It is necessary for the leader to understand the nuances of language.
And at the same time, it is also necessary to see that when we celebrate powerful communication skills among the leaders, we do not miss a point that all those who get success through their leadership qualities and communication skills, may not be considered as leaders worth celebrating by history. It is also necessary to see what sort of society are they creating for fellow humans. Can we celebrate communication skills of a leader who discriminate on the grounds of religion or gender?
I was invited by The Rajkiya Government Engineering College, Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh to share views in this ongoing Online Faculty Development Programme. 9 Sept 2021

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Marxist Criticism

Marxist Criticism

Marxist criticism, in its diverse forms, grounds its theory and practice on the economic and cultural theory of Karl Marx (1818–83) and his fellow-thinker Friedrich Engels (1820–95), and especially on the following claims: 

1. In the Marxist literary analysis, the evolving history of humankind, of its social groupings and interrelations, of its institutions, and of its ways of thinking are largely determined by the changing mode of its “material production”— that is, of its overall economic organization for producing and distributing material goods. 

2. Changes in the fundamental mode of material production effect changes in the class structure of a society, establishing in each era dominant and subordinate classes that engage in a struggle for economic, political, and social advantage. 

3. Human consciousness is constituted by an ideology—that is, the beliefs, values, and ways of thinking and feeling through which human beings perceive, and by recourse to which they explain, what they take to be reality. An ideology is, in complex ways, the product of the position and interests of a particular class. In any historical era, the dominant ideology embodies, and serves to legitimize and perpetuate, the interests of the dominant economic and social class (Abram, M.H. A Glossary of Literary Terms)

Click here to read about the contribution of following Marxist thinkers in the Marxist criticism:

What Marxist critics do

1. They make a division between the 'overt' (manifest or surface) and 'covert' (latent or hidden) content of a literary work (much as psychoanalytic critics do) and then relate the covert subject matter of the literary work to basic Marxist themes, such as class struggle, or the progression of society through various historical stages, such as, the transition from feudalism to industrial capitalism. Thus, the conflicts in King Lear might be read as being 'really' about the conflict of class interest between the rising class (the bourgeoisie) and the falling class (the feudal overlords). 

2. Another method used by Marxist critics is to relate the context of a work to the social-class status of the author. In such cases an assumption is made (which again is similar to those made by psychoanalytic critics) that the author is unaware of precisely what he or she is saying or revealing in the text. 

3. A third Marxist method is to explain the nature of a whole literary genre in terms of the social period which 'produced' it. For instance, The Rise of the Novel, by Ian Watt, relates the growth of the novel in the eighteenth century to the expansion of the middle classes during that period. The novel 'speaks' for this social class, just as, for instance, Tragedy 'speaks for' the monarchy and the nobility, and the Ballad 'speaks for' for the rural and semi-urban 'working class'. 

4. A fourth Marxist practice is to relate the literary work to the social assumptions of the time in which it is 'consumed', a strategy which is used particularly in the later variant of Marxist criticism known as cultural materialism. 

5. A fifth Marxist practice is the 'politicisation of literary form', that is, the claim that literary forms are themselves determined by political circumstance. For instance, in the view of some critics, literary realism carries with it an implicit validation of conservative social structures: for others, the formal and metrical intricacies of the sonnet and the iambic pentameter are a counterpart of social stability, decorum, and order. (Berry, Peter. Beginning Theory)