National conference studies pen, pain and writing

By Shweta N. Arokiaswamy

Siliguri – A college in North Bengal organised a literature fest for lovers of English language on issues related to pain and writing in literature with enthusiastic participants from several colleges and universities engaging in talks and discussions, and presenting scientific papers on varied related topics.

The Department of English of Salesian College Siliguri Campus (SCSL) organised the national conference on “Pen, Pain and Writing (Re) Thinking Links, Connectives and Negotiations,” from 6 to 7 January.

This is 23 rd National Seminar SCSC is organising since the inception in the year 2000.

Some 60 professors and students from various colleges and universities across the country took part in the events claimed to be first of its kind in North Bengal.

Asst. Professor, Dept of English, Salesian College Siliguri Campus Mr. Subhro Saha was conference coordinator.

In his inaugural address Prof Thadathil explained the theme of the conference as “the struggles and pains one takes in writing, re-thinking links, connectives and negotiations.”

“If you take the pain to listen, your hand will flow with the pen,” said Prof Thadathil explaining the coming of new style and modes of arts through writing.

The guest speakers for the event were Dr. Anirban Das (Associate Professor, Dept of Cultural Studies,Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta), Prof. Ghosh, (Dept of English, North Bengal University),Dr. Saunak Samajdar (Speaker on invitation, Dept. of English, Panchanan Barma University) and Prof. Niladri Chatterjee (Dept. of English, Kalyani University).

The sessions which included scholarly talks and academic discussions were divided into two themes namely “Rethinking, Links, Connective and Negotiations” and “The Politics of the Possible.”

Among distinguished speakers were Dr. Anirban Das who spoke on “The Lady Vanishes: Sexual Difference and the politics of Writing Pain.”

Prof. Ranjan Ghosh, spoke on Hunger, Pain and Doing comparative while Mr. Ghosh spoke on the concept of Aesthetics of Hunger and Concept of Transhabit.

Dr. Saunak Samajdar spoke on the “The Cathartic Pen: Writing and Painlessness.”

Prof. Niladri Chatterjee, spoke about the trans in Transgender, Study of Masculinity, the Politicised Body (especially women). Heteronomity violence, ‘Fully bodied ‘David’ by Michael Angelo (with words),’ Erasing the Male Body’, Thom Gunn (Homosexual writer), Feminism and Queer Theory in India.

Mr. Subhro Saha who spoke on “The Fact of Pain or the Idea of Pain: Medical Science Objectivity and the Question of the Real”.

Pratibha Biswas (Asst. Professor, Sharda University, Greater Noida West, PHD research Scholar,Jamia Millia Islamia University) spoke on: Signifying Pain: Reading caste and Gender Interface in autobiographical narratives Sudipta Gupta (Asst Prof. Dept of English, Women’s College, Calcutta) who spoke on: I question: therefore I am: Autonomy of the female and the act of writing in Margaret Alwood’s ‘The Penelopiad.’

Dr. Paromita Sengupta(Asst Prof. Sovarani Memorial College, Howrah) spoke on Linguistic Negotiations and Narrative Strategies in Reverend Lal Behari Day’s Bengal Peasant Life.

Mamata Sengupta (Asst Prof. Dept of English, Islampur College, Uttar Dinajpur College) who spoke on: Of Memories and Memoirs: Censorship and Subversion in Michele Robert’s Impossible Saints.

Debomitra Kar (Asst Prof. Dept of English, Women’s College, Kolkata) spoke on: The Zone of Pain:Reading Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl.

Anil Pradhan (M.A. Student, 2 nd year, Dept. of English, Jadavpur University Kolkata) presented: “Screaming with Joy”: Allen Ginsberg and the Politics of Queer Gender Performativity.

Prof. Amrit Sen (Prof, Department of English and other modern European Languages, Vishvabharti University, Shantiniketan) spoke on “One lash the More: Pain, Pleasure and the Mechanics of Satire”.

Ms. Kasturi Ghosh (Assistant Prof. Dept. of English, Salesian College Siliguri) presented “Exorcising pain through pen and writing: A case study of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles”.

Speakers at the parallel sessions included Nupur Manasi and Shruti Agnihorri (M. Phil Research Scholars and UGC Junior Research Fellows in Spanish language at Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi) who spoke on the topic “Pain on Sale: Stories penned down through Lenses.”

Dr. Ritu Chhetri (Assistant Prof. Munshi Premchand Maha Vidyalaya spoke about “Operation Blackboard,” Rimi Nandy (Assistant prof. Dept. of English, Adamas University) spoke on “Reshaping the body: Gender and body politics on Social Media”; and Arun Kumar Biswas ( Assistant Prof. dept.of English, Nabadwip Vidyasagar College) spoke on “Writing the Memories of Pain of Partition: A study of Chaman Nahal’s Azadi.”

Ms. Swagata Singha Ray (Assistant prof. Dept. of English, Salesian College Siliguri) spoke on “Woolf through the Looking Glass: The Trapped Souls in Mrs. Dalloway”; Surojit Kayal (M. Phil Research Scholar, Dept. of English Jadavpur University) spoke on “Giving birth to the Counter marginal :

Writing History in J.M Coetzee’s Disgrace;” Biplob Kishore Deb (PG-II, Department of English, Jadavpur University) Title: “Rethinking Histography in the light of Markus Zusak’s Historical novel, The Book Thief”; and Ankita Ganguly (Guest Lecturer, Department of English, Shibpur Dinobundhoo College, Deshbandhu College for girls and Lalbaba College) who spoke on “Negotiating with the traumatic experiences in an alien land: A study of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s short stories A Word Love and A Perfect Life ”.

Dr Rafat Ali (Assistant Professor, Department of English, Jadavpur University Kolkata) discussed “Quran and the Divine Writ”: Islam in the “writing process” of Contemporary British Muslim Fiction”.

His paper dealt with the profound question of how precepts of the Islamic faith are translated into historical practices and realities of Muslims.

Saswati Saha (speaker on invitation), (Assistant Professor, Department of English, Sikkim University).

Her topic of discussion was “Translation as (re)opening: A discussion on the Invisibility and Pain of the Translater.”

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