Monday 15 September 2014

Interpretation Challenge: Breath: The Shortest Play by Samuel Beckett

Breath - a Play

While discussing ‘The Theatre of the Absurd’ and Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’, we viewed film version of his shortest play ‘Breath’ - a thirty-seconds play. Would you like to take challenge to give interpretation of this shortest play? Give your interpretation after reading the play and a few video versions (scroll down to read-view), in the comment section below this blog-post.

A still from the version of the play - Breath

The script of the play:
1. Faint light on stage littered with miscellaneous rubbish. Hold about five seconds.
2. Faint brief cry and immediately inspiration and slow increase of light together reaching maximum - together in about ten seconds. Silence and hold for about five seconds.
3. Expiration and slow decrease of light together reaching minimum together (light as in 1) in about ten seconds and immediately cry as before. Silence and hold about five seconds. 


Clue to interpret the play:

  • Absurd: philosophy meaningless: lacking any meaning that would give purpose to life 

  • the notion that existence is absurd

  • meaninglessness: the condition of living in a meaningless universe where life has no purpose, especially as a concept in some 20th-century philosophical movements.

    philosophical movement centred on individual existence:
    a philosophical movement begun in the 19th century that denies that the universe has any intrinsic meaning or purpose.
    It requires people to take responsibility for their own actions and shape their own destinies.

    Microsoft® Encarta® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

You can view videos of the play:

You are requested to give your opinion / interpretation / review after viewing above mentioned video & below given reading resources.

Friday 12 September 2014

Presentations on William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'

A few presentations on various topics on William Shakespeare's revenge play - tragedy are embedded on this blog post.
After viewing the presentations, would you like to check your understanding of the play 'Hamlet'?
Please appear in this QUIZ to check your understanding:
 Quiz on Hamlet

The Presentation on the Introduction of the play and Renaissance Humanism

  • The Presentation on the Greatness of the play

  • The Presentation on 'Hamlet' as a Revenge Play

  • The Presentation on the structure of the play - Is 'Hamlet' an artistic failure?

Thursday 4 September 2014

Worksheet: Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse

'To The Lighthouse' is one of the best poetic expressions in Virginia Woolf's literary oeuvre. The novel is deeply layered which opportunes us to explore various interpretations, We have discussed following points in the classroom during face-to-face interaction:

Here are some tasks to be completed by the students as a part of self-learning module: (Students have to give responses in the 'Comment' section below this blog post)

  1. How can you explain that 'what' Virginia Woolf wanted to say (for example, the complexity of human relationship, the everyday battles that people are at in their relationship with near and dear ones, the struggle of a female artist against the values of middle/upper class society etc) can only be said in the way she has said? (Key: The 'How' of the narrative technique is to be discussed along with features of Stream of Consciousness technique which helps Woolf to put in effective manner what she experienced in abstractions.)
  2. Do you agree: "The novel is both the tribute and critique of Mrs. Ramsay"? (Key: Take some clues from the painting of Mrs Ramsay drawn by Lily Briscoe and the article by Andre Viola and Glenn Pedersen. Can we read Mrs. R in context of the idea of Ideal Indian Woman - Karyeshu dasi, Karaneshu manthri; Bhojeshu mata, Shayaneshu rambha; Kshamayeshu dharithri, Roopeshu lakshmi; Satkarma yukta, Kuladharma pathni. )
  3. Considering symbolically, does the Lighthouse stand for Mrs. Ramsay or the narrator (Virginia Woolf herself who is categorically represented by Lily)? (Key: Take help from the presentation on Symbolism to connect Mrs. Caroline Ramsay with Lighthouse. Secondly, the narrator / author cannot fully disappear from the novel and thus the stoicism of Lily to paint and thus prove that she can paint, is symbolically presented in stoicism of Lighthouse. Read 'lighthouse' symbol from presentation slide with this insight to connect lighthouse with the narrator. Give your concluding remarks in the comment below in this blog )
  4. In the article by Joseph Blotner, two myths are patterned together. Name the myths? How they are zeroed down to the symbols of 'Window' and 'Lighthouse'? How does the male phallic symbol represent feminine Mrs. Ramsay? (Key: The strokes of light-beams. . . )
  5. What do you understand by the German term 'Künstlerroman'? How can you justify that 'To The Lighthouse' is 'Künstlerroman' novel? (Key:
  6. "... the wages of obedience is death, and the daughter that reproduces mothering to perfection, including child-bearing, already has on her cheeks the pallor of death. One reminded here of various texts by Lucy Irigaray, in which she attacks mothers for being, however unwillingly, accomplices in the patriarchal system of oppression." (Viola). In light of this remark, explain briefly Lily's dilemma in 'To The Lighthouse'. 
  7. Movie Screening: Worksheet (Click here to open)
  8. You have compared the 'beginning' and the 'ending' of the novel and the film adaptation of the novel directed by Colin Gregg (you can see it again in the embedded video below this). Do you think that the novel is more poignant than the movie? If yes, do you ascribe the fact that the power of words is much greater than that of the screen / visuals?
  9. How do you interpret the last line of the novel (It was done; it was finished.
    Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision.) with reference to the ending of the film (After the final stroke on the canvass with finishing touch, Lily walks inside the house. As she goes ante-chamber, the light and dark shade makes his face play hide-and-seek. She climbs stairs, puts her brush aside, walks through the dark and light to enter her room. Gently closes the door - speaks: "Closed doors, open windows" - lies on the bed and with some sort of satisfaction utters: "Dearest Briscoe, you are a fool".) 
  10. What does the catalogue named as 'Army and Navy' signify? What does cutting of 'Refrigerator'  signify?
  11. Why did Virginia give such prominence to the tale of the “Fisherman’s Wife”? In particular, why did she weave such a misogynist tale into the fabric of a book which so eloquently challenges received patriarchal notions about the roles and capabilities of women? 
  12. How is India represented in 'To The Lighthouse'? (Read this blog for passing reference) 
  13. Write summaries of these articles:
Watch the film 'To The Lighthouse', directed by Clin Greg, written by Hugh Stoddart, Virginia Woolf (novel). 

Watch biographical videos in three parts: 

The Mind and Times of Virginia Woolf, directed by Eric Neal Young, 2002.

Presentations on Symbolism and Stream of Consciousness in 'To The Lighthouse'.

Stream of Consciousness in Virginia Woolf's 'To The Lighthouse' from Dilip Barad

Articles for further reading:

  • Mythic Patterns in to the Lighthouse. Author(s): Joseph L. BlotnerSource: PMLA, Vol. 71, No. 4 (Sep., 1956), pp. 547-562Published by: Modern Language AssociationStable URL:

  • Fluidity versus Muscularity: Lily's Dilemma in Woolf's "To the Lighthouse". Author(s): André ViolaSource: Journal of Modern Literature, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Winter, 2000-2001), pp. 271-289Published by: Indiana University PressStable URL:

  • Vision in to the Lighthouse. Author(s): Glenn PedersenSource: PMLA, Vol. 73, No. 5, Part 1 (Dec., 1958), pp. 585-600Published by: Modern Language AssociationStable URL:

  • Color in To the Lighthouse. Author(s): Jack F. StewartSource: Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 31, No. 4 (Winter, 1985), pp. 438-458Published by: Hofstra UniversityStable URL:

  • Language, Subject, Self: Reading the Style of "To the Lighthouse". Author(s): Rebecca SaundersSource: NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Winter, 1993), pp. 192-213Published by: Duke University PressStable URL:

  • "These Emotions of the Body": Intercorporeal Narrative in To the Lighthouse. Author(s): Laura DoyleSource: Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Spring, 1994), pp. 42-71Published by: Hofstra UniversityStable URL:
  • Tuesday 5 August 2014

    Short Learning Videos on Aristotle's 'Poetics' and Dryden's 'Of Dramatic Poesy'

    Under the project of eContent development, we prepared some Short Learning Videos. On this blog you will find video playlists on Aristotle's 'Poetics' and John Dryden's 'Of Dramatic Poesy'.

    Thursday 24 July 2014

    Quiz as an Effecting Teaching, Learning and Assessment Tool

    As necessary as ongoing assessment is for both teachers and students, many teachers complain that constant testing stifles their creativity and destroys student interest, at a time when motivation is mandatory for the current crop of media-saturated students. So, how can teachers assess student learning and evaluate the quality of their own teaching, without losing the interest of their students?[1] (Romo).

    It is not a question without an answer. The answer is plain, simple and straightforward. Use Quiz!

    It helps to ensure that students understand what you are teaching and -- when they don’t -- to understand where your teaching has missed the mark. (Romo).
    Moreover, it helps students to check their progress and assess their need to pay attention in classroom discussions.

    Here are some interesting outcome of our experiment of ‘Using Quiz for Teaching’:

    ·        Students identified and rated following benefits of using Quiz in teaching:
    o   It helps to do follow-up reading, everyday, after face-2-face classroom discussion
    o   It helps in increased concentration in classroom interaction
    o   It improves reading habits as they read with specific purpose to find specific information.
    o   It cultivates the habit of taking running notes while the face-2-face classroom interaction is going on.

    As students voted for Unit-End-Quiz, we have put it in practice rather than daily or weekly quizzes

    It is observed that ‘this approach encourages collaborative learning and creates a sense of community among the students. It also gets students coming to class prepared, and I think it makes the quizzes a more positive and useful learning experience’[2]. (Deterding)

    Here are the links to visit the quiz pages:

    Works Cited:

    Deterding, Audrey. A New Kind of “Space” for Quizzes. 26 Jan 2012. 24 July 2014 <>.

    Romo, Sandra. Using Quizzes to Measure Teaching Effectiveness: How Do You Measure Up? 8 Aug 2010. 24 July 2014 <>.

    [1] See more at:[2] Reprinted from Deterding, A. (2010) A New Kind of “Space” for Quizzes. The Teaching Professor, 24 (9), 6. - See more at:

    Sunday 29 June 2014

    Communication Skills for Teachers - II

    This was presented in the Faculty Development Programme for the Gujarat Government College Teachers, organized by Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat (KCG) at Ahmedabad. In this 90 minutes presentation:12 videos,17 images, #900 words – are used in 24 slides. The main ideas of the presentation are given below the embedded presentation.
    The venue (KCG), the banner (FDP) and the participants

    • Communication Skills for Teachers Dilip Barad Dept. of English M.K. Bhavnagar University 27 June 2014 Faculty Development Programme
    • Morgan, Algiro L. in his paper ‘Communication Skills for Teachers’ • “One of the most neglected aspects of teacher training is thorough preparation in the diverse communication skills that are needed by good teachers in today's schools.”
    • Six Important Points: CS 4 T • Positive Motivation: create interest, enthusiasm, remove fear and inhibition. • Effective Body Language: Gestures, body movement with verbal skills – never sit and teach - Moving in aisles. • Sense of Humor: do not confuse dirty jokes with humour. • Understanding the Students: prefer dialogue over monologue – listen students’ opinion- saint on the stage vs guide by the side • Team Formation: helps in mutual understanding students as well as teachers. • Technical skills: Up-to-date with latest techno-tools for teaching.
    • Be precise: Brevity is the Soul • A Brief History of Communication . . (Video) • The journey from pre-historic to techno-era in a few seconds. • Save time! Time is the most precious. • (To view this video visit: -NDzEpHGNP7W)
    • Newer Generations – Fresh Ideas and Ideals • Digital Generation. (Video) • Do not replace but replenish. • Click here to view video: NDzEpHGNP7W
    • Look for the possibilities beyond the horizons • Education for all! (Video) • Click here to view video: NDzEpHGNP7W
    • Learn to unlearn, teach ‘unlearning’: Adopt – adapt - adept • Two women at the bus stop. (Video) • Age is not the barrier for learning new things. (Video) • Video link: NDzEpHGNP7W • Video Link: NDzEpHGNP7W
    • Make students sensible towards issues • Save trees (Video) • Video link: NDzEpHGNP7W
    • Demonstrate! Do not teach, let them learn! • Watch this video from movie 3 Idiots. • (The scene is that of Virus demonstrating nest of crow with eggs of Koyel)
    • Myth Vs Reality Communication Myths Communication Reality Communication is a conscious / deliberate process. (e.g. Osho’s visit to disciple, father-2 sons,) Communication is an unconscious process and it goes on at every moment of time! We communicate primarily through ‘words’ only. (zoo-zoos) We communicate through ‘verbal’ as well as ‘non-verbal signs. Words mean the same to everyone. (Pardon, women) Meaning of the words lies more in perception of reality. Communication is a one-sided process and it is controlled by communicator. Communication is a two-way process and it always happens, controlled by none. Message sent and message received are the same. (Video: Hu is . . . (video link: QVxjN9_j0Ln3e5i6L-NDzEpHGNP7W Transmission and reception of message can never be identical.
    • Penny Ur - 1997 • She identifies some essential qualities, which relate to teaching rather than other professions: – I sense where the learner is at, what their problem is: I feel what they know and what they don’t know. – I know how to transform what I know about the language into a form that is accessible to my learners – I know how to design and administer activities and exercises that will foster learning – I know when learning is and is not happening by the way the learners behave: I don’t need tests – I get my ‘buzz’ from when the students succeed, learn, progress To master this, one requires to practice reflection of teaching
    • Use of technology as follow-up actions & CS4T • Pedagogy is evolving with newer technological aids for better communication in classroom. • Various ICT components helps teacher in enhancing their skills in teaching. • It also has its deep rooted impact on the learning of the students. • Here, we discuss how can we sharpen our communication skills by using it for follow-up actions?
    • • SMS, email, scrap, tweet, chat, web spaces, SIG, etc can be used effectively for: – Replying questions of the students – Solving their doubts/queries etc – Giving some task for next class in advance – Having group discussion out of the class – Uploading lesson/presentation to web spaces – Running web sites with LMS to check students progress – Managing e-groups (SIGs) – file upload, poll, discussion, photos etc.
    • Social Constructivism • Social constructivism extends constructivism into social settings, wherein groups construct knowledge for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings. • When one is immersed within a culture like this, one is learning all the time about how to be a part of that culture, on many levels. • Eg. Cup.
    • Pedagogical Pyramidical Structure based on Bloom’s Taxonomy LOTs HOTs
    • Observation is the master key! • To be the master of effective Communication Skills, OBSERVE, OBSERVE, OBSERVE; minutely, meticulously, marvelously.
    • Let’s view this advertisement. We are supposed to identify the product - Fire crackers - Courier service – anti-roach spray - Gas Cylinder – Save Fuel - Save Environment – match box –– old age woes Click or copy / paste to view video: 29/06/2014 17 An Advanced National Workshop in General Semantics: 28-30 Jan. 2013
    • How observant are we? Video link: 29/06/2014 18 An Advanced National Workshop in General Semantics: 28-30 Jan. 2013
    • Structured education system . . . Unstructured Life!
    • Always in flux - Change with time If Monks can, why can’t Teachers?
    • Let us review highly effective skills of teachers • Be precise: Brevity is the Soul • Be contemporary: Newer Generations – Fresh Ideas and Ideals • Look for the possibilities beyond the horizons • Learn to unlearn, teach ‘unlearning’: Adopt – adapt – adept • Make students sensible towards issues • Demonstrate! Do not teach, let them learn! • Be observant! Avoid jundgmentalism • Always be in flux - Change with time • Practice Reflective Teaching
    • Lets conclude - teachers in action • Video 1: An imaginary picture of a teacher • Video 2: The reality! • Video1 link: • Video2 link:
    • What is the message? • To get to the core of message, do not ask ‘WHAT’. • Do not ask ‘What is said or shown?’ • Ask, ‘HOW’ – The ‘How’ of the presentation has the message for teachers to be effective and efficient in classroom performance as well as in professional development. • In this 90 minutes presentation: – 12 videos – 17 images – #900 words – are used in 24 slides.
    • Thank You… •Questions???? •Before you ask, ponder this: PM of I, school visit, questions by students, Nawaz Sharif, Dawood, Iraq !@? • •

    Wednesday 14 May 2014

    Survey: The Networked Teacher

    Dear all,
    I would request you to take this survey on 'The Networked Teacher'. It will help you to know if you are really a 21st century teacher or not. It has been increasingly demanded on the part of teacher to be 'networked' with various stakeholders. Teacher has to be interlinked with peers and leader for professional development; with learners / students for 'engaging' them with learning, 24X7; with parents for updating them; with educational institutes (both brick n mortal and online) for disseminating their learnings; with society for their accountability and responsibility. All these interlinking is possible if teacher is used to internet. If s/he is effective user of social media and other web tools, s/he can very easily and efficiently build bridges among all stakeholders.
    The Typical Teacher Network and The Networked Teacher are two diagrams created by Alec Couros from the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina as part of his doctoral thesis to signify the different ways in which teachers network in the 21st century. Source:

    Well, this survey will also help you to learn what are the potentials and possibilities that as a teacher, you can explore, adopt, adapt and thus, be an adept teacher in using technology, both as teacher and as well as learner.
    The questionnaire / survey is embedded from Google docs on this blog. At times, owing to slow internet connection, browser problem or cache related issues, it may take some time in displaying the questionnaire / survey on this blog. After waiting for a minute or so, if it does not display here, please visit this link to fill in the online questionnaire / survey.

    Click here to get diverted to the questionnaire / survey

    The raw outcome will be available on this blog after handful of survey responses are gathered. It will remain up to 'YOU' to interpret and analyse the data of this survey.
    We are thankful to following teachers/scholars for their responses. We request you to motivate your friends to fill in this questionnaire. A very warm, heart-felt regards for your help.
    Robin Bulleri
    Sachin Ketkar
    R Harrison
    Jen Baker
    Dilip Bhatt
    Amit Keraliya
    Ranganayaki Srinivas
    Pradip Sarikhada
    Jay Mehta
    Dr. Nikhil Joshi
    Mayur Agravat
    Rakesh Patel
    Natália Guerreiro
    Ashok pandya
    Ashok pandya
    Devang PAtel
    Nilesh Sulbhewar
    Cherry Philipose
    Alexandra Volker
    Gautam Dua
    Janki Thakker
    Parul Popat
    ketan patel
    zakia firdaus
    Rucha Desai
    Prachee Waray
    Hardik Sharma
    Sunil Sharma
    Pushpa Dixit
    Sanjay Ghodke
    Smaina Boxwala
    Ulupi Mehta
    Kishori Chandarana
    Ansar Khan
    Dilip Sutariya
    Suresh Rajratna
    Imran Khan M Yusufzay
    Mansi Agravat

    KETAN Pithadia
    Heera Rajwani
    Trivedi Kiran
    Parth Bhatt
    Yogesh Kashikar
    Sachin Matode 

    Tuesday 13 May 2014

    Comparative Literature Studies

    Comparative Literature: World Literature
    Let us not intent to indulge in the debate of nomenclature. Call it Comparative literary studies or comparative studies or comparative literature or all put together, comparative literature studies; the area is very fertile so far as research is concern. In the times when the interest is growing from single disciplinary study to multi and inter-disciplinarity, no field allows for freedom in research as Comparative Studies.

    Engraving each other: Comparative Study
     Yes, i have deliberately dropped the word 'literature or literary'. As the potential to yield rich harvest lies with comparative studies, i think it is not advisable to chain it by the term 'literature'. The term literature, in its narrow canonical definition, will not give us freedom to expand our research arena in the fields of television, films, advertisements and popular culture, let alone music, art, painting, dance and sculpture. If the political phenomenon in the twenty first century looks strongly towards democracy and globalization, how can literary research remain free from it. Why shouldn't research in literature be democratic in spirit and be global in terms of breaking the boundaries and narrow borders of canons? Isn't it the sure way to make literature 'world literature' - the dream of great visionaries like Goethe, Tagore and Northrop Frye.

    At the same time, it becomes necessary to see what the leading comparatist think about the definition of comparative studies. This presentation which was made in the Refresher Course on Comparative Literature at Academic Staff College, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) deals with:
    • What is comparative studies?
    • Why compare?
    • What to compare?
    • How to compare?

    Comparative Literature Studies
    Presentation Transcript
    • 1. Goethe (1749-1832) : ‘Weltliteratur’ 1827 Tagore (1861-1941) : ‘Visva Sahitya’ 1907
    • 2. Comparative Literature / Studies What is it? Why Compare? How to Compare? What to Compare? 14 November 2013 Refresher Course ASC, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad Dilip Barad M.K. Bhavnagar University, Gujarat
    • 3. Let us discuss ‘definitions’ (?) Comparative Literature • Firstly, let us identify the ‘centre’: is it literature or comparison?
    • 4. Comparison ? Literature Translation Studies Cultural Studies / Religious Studies Film / Media Studies So Psy DH H AS PCl Gen
    • 5. Wikipedia • Comparative literature (sometimes abbreviated "Comp. lit.," or referred to as Global or World Literature) is an academic field dealing with the literature of two or more different linguistic, cultural or nation groups. • While most frequently practiced with works of different languages, comparative literature may also be performed on works of the same language if the works originate from different nations or cultures among which that language is spoken. • Also included in the range of inquiry are comparisons of different types of art; for example, a relationship of film to literature. • Additionally, the characteristically intercultural and transnational field of comparative literature concerns itself with the relation between literature, broadly defined, and other spheres of human activity, including history, politics, philosophy, and science. • Wikipedia contributors. "Comparative literature." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 1 Oct. 2013. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
    • 6. Henry Remak (1916-2009) • “Comparative Literature is the study of literature beyond the confines of one particular country, and the study of the relationships between literature on one hand and other areas of knowledge and belief, such as the arts (e.g. painting, sculpture, architecture, music), philosophy, hi story, the social sciences, (e.g. politics, economics, sociology), the sciences, religion, etc., on the other. • In brief it is the comparison of one literature with another or others, and the comparison of literature with other spheres of human expression.” • Remak, Henry Comparative Literature: Method and Perspective (1961)
    • 7. Nelson Lowry (1924-1994) • "Comparative Literature is … the whole study of the whole of literature as far as one’s mind and life can stretch. By its very scope Comparative Literature … is a presumptuous study.” • Nelson, Lowry. Poetic Configurations (1988)
    • 8. Haun Saussy (1960 - ) • “The premises and protocols characteristic of [comparative literature] are now the daily currency of coursework, publishing, hiring, and coffee-shop discussion. … • The ‘transnational’ dimension of literature and culture is universally recognized even by the specialists who not long ago suspected comparatists of dilettantism. .. • Comparative teaching and reading take institutional form in an ever-lengthening list of places. … • Comparative literature … now … is the first violin that sets the tone for the rest of the orchestra. Our conclusions have become other people’s assumptions.” • Haun Saussy, Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization (2006)
    • 9. Roland Greene (1957 - ) • "Comparative literature is the laboratory or workshop of literary studies, and through them, of the humanities. • Comparative literature compares literatures, not only as accumulations of primary works, but as the languages, cultures, histories, traditions, theo ries, and practices with which those works come." • Greene, Roland. "Their Generation," Comparative Literature in the Age of Multiculturalism (1995)
    • 10. Sandra Bermann • “A more transnational, interdisciplinary, and responsive humanities is, I believe, poised to emerge – • such a humanities may well contribute to a new sort of global consciousness, one that would bring a keener sensitivity to the languages, cultures, and peoples of our polyglot planet and begin to draw us all into a broader, more responsive conversation – • Comparative literature and translation studies – best suitable for it. (cont)
    • 11. Sandra Bermann • “Comparative literature regularly joins literary texts from different languages and cultures. It also regularly connects, say, a poem with dance, a film with the novel, photography with the essay. It even relates different disciplinary languages and modes of thinking.“ • Bermann, Sandra. “Working in the And Zone: Comparative Literature and Translation,”Comparative Literature 61, no. 4 (2009):432-446
    • 12. Descartes (1596-1650) • All knowledge which is not obtained through the simple and pure intuition of an isolated thing is obtained by the comparison of two or more things among themselves. And almost all the work of human reason consists without doubt in making this operation possible. Descartes, Regulae ad directionem ingenii (1684) Cited In Claudia Brodsky, “Grounds of Comparison” World Literature Today 69 (1995).
    • 13. April Alliston • "A rigorous definition of comparative literature should always include the study of texts across languages; this multilingual aspect can only become more crucial to distinguishing comparative literature as national literature departments also develop greater emphases on postcolonial and interdisciplinary studies. • In the new Millennium, I hope we will pursue the study of Weltiliteratur in the spirit of Goethe, albeit in ways he could never have imagined: challenging a world order that is already very different from the one his ideas subverted by helping to bring about a cosmopolitan community in which national, disciplinary, and linguistic demarcations may become less rigid." • Alliston, April . “Looking Backward, Looking Forward: MLA Members Speak.” PMLA. 115, no. 7 (December 2000): 1987
    • 14. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek • “In principle, the discipline of Comparative Literature is in toto a method in the study of literature in at least two ways. First, Comparative Literatures means the knowledge of more than one national language and literature, and/or it means the knowledge and application of other disciplines in and for the study of literature and second, Comparative Literature has an ideology of inclusion of the Other, be that a marginal literature in its several meanings of marginality, a genre, various text types, etc. (Cont)
    • 15. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek • Comparative Literature has intrinsically a content and form, which facilitate the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary study of literature . . . • Predicated on the borrowing of methods from other disciplines and on the application of the appropriated method to areas of study single- language literary study more often than tends to neglect, the discipline is difficult to define because thus it is fragmented and pluralistic.” Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, Comparative Literature: Theory, Method, Application (1998)
    • 16. Gregory Reid • "Any two texts can be compared, but a comparison works when there is a sufficient basis for comparison; that is, a strong number of similarities, which allow us to isolate particular striking, revealing, informing, epiphanic and ultimately untranslatable differences. … • These untranslatable differences which are the product of language, culture, history and environment as well as the semi-autonomous evolution of art forms and the talents and experiences of individual artists invariably pronounce themselves in what is called style." • Gregory Reid, "A Prolegomenon to Comparative Drama in Canada : In Defense of Binary Studies" (2005)
    • 17. Why Compare? ~ David Ferris • Problem with name of comparative literature > world literature - Goethe • Crisis: Rene Wellek • World and comparative = wider connotations in ‘comparison’ • Aristotle: imitation = comparison; comparison is a form of knowledge rooted in likeness. Two types of comparison > historical ‘as it is’; possibility ‘ought to’; second is blinded by the limits of first > thus, freedom in CL has its own limitation, lack of definition is limit not unbound horizon. • Plato > allegory of Cave (8:00) > new, real outside world, habituation, real world in comparison to the unreal past experience within cave creates knowledge > ridicule > cave and world > • “What then is really at stake in this allegory which twice enacts comparison by curtailing its temporality into is what Plato calls habituation? • And, why is it that the world, in Aristotle as well, is consistently called upon to embody a comparison that the world is powerless to affirm?” (cont)
    • 18. Why Compare? ~ David Ferris • A reflection on comparison that is capable of interrupting its own unfolding in a mode other than the coercion of crisis would be a start so that our present can make a claim on why and avoid the endless repetitions of what and how. • The natural sciences may ask about what is in our world, the social sciences may measure how we are in that world, we, at least, can ask why - and that is why we compare.
    • 19. Rene Wellek: Crisis of Comparative Literature • Published in 1959, this article by René Wellek, written in strong, forceful words,criticizes the French school of comparative literature for its confined system and obsolete methodology. • Wellek's allusion to a crisis was not meant to refer to the discipline as practiced in the United Statesbut he was in fact pointing an accusing finger at the “rotten” French part of the metaphorical apple. • Wellek spent many paragraphs criticizing Paul van Tieghem • reminded us of the origins of comparative literature; that it arose as a reaction to narrow-minded nationalism prevalent in 19th Century France. How ironical it is that only half a century later (at the time of Wellek's writing), French comparative literature was being criticized for putting lopsided emphasis on influence studies and what Wellek labeled as “cultural book-keeping” as the French had a way of drawing attention to high levels of achievements in their literature of the preceding centuries. • defense of the open, multidisciplinary approach of the American school and its emphasis on criticism sounds so prognostic, that is, as we now look back at how comparative literature inAmerica has developed in later decades • a crisis is an opportunity to reflect, and for reform and repositioning of one's priorities
    • 20. How to Compare? • Mechele Foucoult • There exist two forms of comparison, and only two: the comparison of measurement and that of order. • One can measure sizes or multiplicities, in other words continuous sizes or discontinuous sizes; but in both cases the use of measurement presupposes that, unlike calculation, which proceeds from elements towards a totality, one considers the whole first and then divides it up into parts. • one cannot know the order of things ‘in their isolated nature’, but by discovering that which is the simplest, then that which is the next simplest, one can progress inevitably to the most complex things of all. • University Handout for students • Descarte and Goethe
    • 21. What & How of Comparative Literature Koelb and Noakes saw shift in CL studies From To . . .the center of theoretical concern, such as the history of criticism, period/movement designators as romanticism or symbolism (matters that have been cloistered essential to the understanding of the history of literature as a great and unified cultural enterprise – movements, themes, periods, the history of ideas . . . . . . theoretical implications of diverse literary phenomena (issues that range around the frontier – ‘emergent’ literatures, relations to other disciplines, women’s studies, marginalized forms of reading: “pre-reading”, “female-reading” - There is, by and large, a kind of decentering in progress, both in terms of notions of reading and of canons prescribing what is to be read.
    • 22. • ‘National Literature’ cannot constitute an intelligible field of study because of its arbitrarily limited perspective: international contextualism in literary history and criticism has become a law. • Comparative literature represents more than an academic discipline. It is an overall view of literature, of the world of letters, a humanistic ecology, a literary weltanschauung(world view), a vision of the cultural universe, inclusive and comprehensive … Comparative literature is the ineluctable result of general historical developments. • The Comparative Perspective on Literature: Approaches to Theory and Practice by Claton Koelb and Susan Noakes. 1988. Cornell University Press What & How of Comparative Literature?
    • 23. A Case Study: What to compare? Always keep in mind ~‘why’ ~ inter-disciplinary approach • Let us view these ads, poems, folk lit, image and try to do Comparative Studies: – View this lesson form the school book – study language – car ad – Poem by Kamala Das: An Introduction – Poem recited by poet Meena Kandasamy (2:00) – Hindi Poem: Raavan – Hindi poem: Prasoon Joshi : mohe lohar ke ghar dijiyo, meri zanjeere pighlaye – Women Bond – Lok Sahitya : Beti – bahu (4:00) – Tu hi tu – Star Ad (3:44) – Fair and Lovely – Airhostess (1:00) – Fair and Handsome (.37) – Sunsilk – Malaysia (1:00) – Tanishq – Marriage (1:37)
    • 24. Bibliography • Wellek, René. “The Crisis of Comparative Literature.” Comparative Literature: Proceedings of the Second Congress of the ICLA. Ed. W. P. Friederich. 2 vols. Chapel Hill: U of Carolina P, 2:149-59. • Saussy, Haun, ed. (2006). Comparative literature in an Age of Globalization . Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. • Randel, Don (2010). What about the humanities? Society for the Humanities, Invitational Lecture, Cornell University. 30 March 2010. • Ferris, David. (2006). Indiscipline. In Haun Saussy, ed., Comparative literature in an Age of Globalization. pp. 78-99. Baltimore: Johns CHopkins University Press. • Stallknecht, Newton P, Horst Frenz. OMPARATIVE LITERATURE: Method and Perspective Ed.Southern Illinois University Press CARBONDALE Questia Media America, Inc. • Dev, Amiya. Rethinking Comparative Literature • Das, Sisir Kumar. Comparative Literature in India: A Historical Perspective • Majumdar, Swapan. Comparative Literature: Indian Dimensions • Bose, Buddhadeva. “Comparative Literature in India”, Yearbook of Comparative and • General Literature, 8, 1959 also included in Contribution to Comparative Literature • Germany and India, ed. Naresh Guha (Jadavpur 1979). • Dev, Amiya Dev, "Comparative Literature in India" page 5 of 8 CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 2.4 (2000): • Koelb, Claton and Susan Noakes. The Comparative Perspective on Literature: Approaches to Theory and Practice. 1988. Cornell University Press.
    • 25. Thank you • This presentation will be available on • It will be followed by quiz based on this presentation. • •