Monday 29 April 2024

Poor Things and Laapataa Ladies

Exploration of Cultural Variances and Narrative Dynamics: A Comparative Analysis of Laapataa Ladies and Poor Things     

Laapataa Ladies Film Poster

Poor Things Film Poster


This research article delves into the realm of comparative literature through an interdisciplinary lens, exploring cultural variances and narrative dynamics in the cinematic landscape. Utilizing Champoux's Observational Model and Horton and McDougal's theoretical framework, the study conducts a comparative analysis of two films: Laapataa Ladies directed by Kiran Rao and Poor Things directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. Through this analysis, the article unveils intriguing insights into the evolving socio-cultural landscapes of contemporary India and Victorian England, shedding light on themes of identity, societal expectations, and the human condition depicted in these cinematic narratives. The comparative method helps in illuminating previously unknown aspects of one text, which can be better highlighted through comparison with another text.


Comparative literature, narrative dynamics, cinematic analysis, Laapataa Ladies, Poor Things, socio-cultural landscapes


Comparative literature, as an interdisciplinary field, transcends geographical and cultural boundaries to explore the rich tapestry of global literary traditions. (Bassnett) Scholars in this discipline aim to redefine the concept of literature by integrating literary experiences with broader cultural phenomena. This research article delves into the cinematic realm, utilizing Champoux's Observational Model (Film Remakes As A Comparative View Of Time) andHorton and McDougal's theoretical framework (Introduction) to analyze two films, Laapataa Ladies directed by Kiran Rao (2023) and Poor Things directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. (2023)The comparative method helps in illuminating previously unknown aspects of one text, which can be better highlighted through comparison with another text. Through this comparative analysis, we unveil intriguing cultural variances and narrative dynamics, shedding light on the evolving sociocultural landscapes of contemporary India and Victorian England.Antecedents and Historical Context:The origins of comparative literature can be traced back to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's concept of "world literature" and the contributions of Russian Formalists like Alexander Veselovsky. (Damrosch) In India, Rabindranath Tagore advocated for Vishva Sahitya,emphasizing the importance of transcending national boundaries in literary studies. (Tagore)Similarly, the cinematic realm offers a platform to explore cultural nuances and societal norms through visual storytelling. 

(PDF) Exploration of Cultural Variances and Narrative Dynamics: A Comparative Analysis of Laapataa Ladies and Poor Things. Available from:

Watch Trailer of Laapataa Ladies:


Watch Trailer of Poor Things:

Wednesday 24 April 2024

AI Assisted Self Assessment of Essay Type Descriptive Answers

AI-Assisted Self-Assessment of Essay Type Descriptive Answers

[Video recording of the live session]

Transcript for the "Essay Type Answer Writing | Error Analysis & AI-assisted Self-assessment | Academic Writing Workshop" by Merlin and organised by Chat GPT

Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to another installment of our academic writing workshop series. These workshops have become a tradition, occurring at the close of each semester following our internal tests. It's a time when teachers meticulously review your answer scripts, pinpointing common errors for discussion. But beyond this, it's a chance for you to engage in a crucial aspect of academic growth: self-assessment.

Self-assessment involves more than just glancing over your work; it requires a deep dive into your writing, identifying both obvious mistakes and subtler nuances that often escape notice. Consider creating PDFs of your answer books, allowing for ongoing reflection and improvement, whether you're at home or in the hostel. While AI tools can assist in this process, it's essential to remember that they're just that—tools. Our ultimate goal is to maintain and enhance our own writing abilities, not to become overly reliant on technology.

As we transition into discussing the role of AI in our workshops, it's important to strike a balance. While AI offers valuable insights and can even serve as a personalized tutor, it's not without its limitations. Over-reliance on AI runs the risk of diminishing our own linguistic capabilities. Our workshops aim to harness the benefits of AI while ensuring that human judgment and creativity remain at the forefront.

In analyzing sample answers, we aim to bridge the gap between proficiency and excellence. By leveraging both AI insights and human discernment, we can identify areas for improvement and chart a course towards advanced levels of writing proficiency. Practical exercises are integral to this process, allowing you to apply feedback and refine your approach iteratively.

As we conclude today's workshop, I encourage you to continue honing your writing skills beyond these sessions. The journey towards academic excellence is ongoing, and your commitment to self-assessment and improvement will undoubtedly pay dividends in the long run. Thank you for your participation, and don't forget to complete the assigned activities.

The highlights of the session:

Mastering Essay Writing: Error Analysis & AI-powered Self-Assessment

This blog post summarizes an academic writing workshop focused on improving essay writing through error analysis and AI-assisted self-assessment.

The workshop addresses a common challenge: the gap between internal assessments (where improvement is possible) and final exams (where it's not). It emphasizes the importance of strong writing skills and explores how AI tools can enhance self-assessment without diminishing human writing ability.

Challenges of Traditional Error Analysis
Personalized feedback can be time-consuming for teachers.
Replicating student answers with high-quality variations is difficult for humans.

AI as a Solution
Generative AI offers one-on-one tutoring through feedback suggestions.
AI excels at analyzing student writing and suggesting improvements.

Cautions and Best Practices
Overreliance on AI can hinder independent writing development.
Critical thinking skills remain essential, and AI should not replace them.
University exams typically require writing without AI assistance.

Benefits of AI-assisted Self-Assessment
Identifies areas for improvement (e.g., grammar, mechanics, clarity).
Elevates writing quality from B1/B2 to C1/C2 levels (CEFR framework).
Provides suggestions for stronger introductions, conclusions, and stances.

Workshop Activity
  1. Analyze Past Errors: Review feedback from teachers on past exams.
  2. Select an Answer: Choose an answer you wrote for a previous internal assessment.
  3. AI Feedback: Upload a photocopy/PDF of your answer to a designated AI tool.
  4. Prompt Selection: Clearly state you are a postgraduate student seeking a high academic level response.
  5. Self-Assessment: Analyze the AI's suggestions and compare them to your original writing.
  6. Continuous Improvement: Practice writing and self-assessment throughout the semester, aiming for excellence without AI dependence.

This workshop equips students with the tools and strategies to become self-sufficient, confident essay writers. By combining traditional error analysis with AI-powered feedback, students can elevate their writing skills and achieve academic success.

Sunday 14 April 2024

Memorabilia 2024

Memorabilia 2024 

From the Desk of the Head of the Department . . .

As we stand at the threshold of a new era shaped by technological advancements, it becomes crucial for us to ponder over the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the education and job sectors. The emergence of AI has brought about a significant shift in how we approach teaching, learning, and employment opportunities.
In the realm of education, AI offers the promise of personalized learning experiences tailored to suit the unique needs and preferences of each student. Through the use of intelligent tutoring systems and adaptive learning platforms, educators can provide tailored support and guidance to help students unlock their full potential and achieve their academic objectives. The recent implementation of the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 underscores the importance of skills-based education. In this context, your expertise in teaching English language skills will play a pivotal role in advancing your career. Additionally, the growing demand for translation services between English and regional languages presents an opportunity for educators to leverage their language proficiency for professional growth. Moreover, for those interested in Indian Knowledge systems and literary traditions, the NEP's emphasis on incorporating indigenous knowledge into the curriculum underscores the significance of exploring the influence of Indian literary thought on Western literary traditions, paving the way for interdisciplinary research and collaboration.
AI-powered tools such as language processing algorithms and virtual assistants have the potential to streamline administrative tasks, allowing educators to focus more on building meaningful connections with their students and fostering their intellectual curiosity.
However, as we embrace the opportunities presented by AI, we must also confront the challenges it brings. The widespread adoption of AI in education has raised concerns regarding privacy, equity, and the depersonalization of learning. It is imperative that we remain vigilant in safeguarding the rights and dignity of students, ensuring that AI is used responsibly and ethically to enhance, rather than replace, human interaction and creativity.
In the job market, the rise of AI has led to a reassessment of traditional career paths and skill sets. While some may fear that AI will render certain professions obsolete, including that of the English teacher, I firmly believe that there will always be a demand for human expertise in areas such as critical thinking, communication, and creativity—skills that are intrinsic to the study of English literature and language.
Indeed, as AI becomes increasingly integrated into our daily lives, the need for individuals who can effectively use language to communicate, analyze, and interpret information will only grow. English teachers, equipped with a deep understanding of literature, rhetoric, and linguistics, will play a crucial role in preparing students to navigate the complexities of the digital age with clarity and insight.
For Ph.D. aspirants in the field of English and Digital Humanities, the future holds tremendous promise. As AI continues to advance, so too will the opportunities for interdisciplinary research that explores the intersection of literature, technology, and culture. From analyzing large-scale corpora of textual data to developing innovative digital tools for textual analysis and visualization, the possibilities for groundbreaking research are limitless.
The introduction of eLibrary facilities for students and researchers at MKBU is a commendable initiative that signifies the university's commitment to advancing academic excellence and research accessibility. It is particularly gratifying to note that students from our department have emerged as the top users of these resources, underscoring their proactive engagement with digital learning tools. Among these dedicated individuals, the contributions of students such as Dhatri, Bhumiba, Asha, Aakash, Pooja, and Trushali stand out prominently for their significant role in maximizing the utilization of e-resources. Their enthusiasm and dedication not only enhance their own academic pursuits but also enrich the scholarly environment of our institution, fostering a culture of continuous learning and knowledge dissemination.
Additionally, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Trushali Dodiya for her remarkable achievement in passing the Gujarat State Eligibility Test (GSET). This commendable accomplishment is a testament to Trushali's dedication, perseverance, and scholarly acumen. The other students are also equally talented. Sometimes what stops is something within us. Our laziness, our lethargy, our procrastination. If one overcomes all these character traits and prioritizes studies, all can achieve what she has. As she embarks on this new chapter in her academic journey, I have every confidence that she will continue to excel and inspire others with her passion for learning and commitment to excellence.
As we embrace the transformative potential of AI in education and beyond, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to the enduring values of human connection, creativity, and critical inquiry. The future belongs to those who can adapt and innovate, and I have every confidence that our students, armed with a solid foundation in English language and literature, will rise to meet the challenges and opportunities of the digital age with courage and conviction.

With warm regards,

~ Dilip Barad
Head, Dept. of English, Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University