“Learning English for call centre training or other job related functions does not provide any form of imaginative or creative development”, extolled Jasbir Jain, honorary director of the Institute for Research in Interdisciplinary Studies (IRIS), Jaipur, as she presented the keynote address during the inauguration of the three day UGC-DSA National Seminar on Women and English in India being conducted by the Department of English, University of Hyderabad. Understanding the culture of the language, she added, was important to effectively put it into application.
Like Jain, the seminar will see discourses by fifteen eminent personalities related to humanities and culture who will speak over the next three days on culture and history of the language in the country, and the developments being made by Indian women to further the reach of English. “If you ask why we are here to discuss English and why women in particular, the answer lies in the fact that English today is the language of upward mobility and employability across the world, and women having been doubly disadvantaged in the past should make use of it to further their standing in today’s world,” said Jain.
Some of the topics up for discussion include Indian women’s writing in the Nineteenth century, Women’s Literature and Colonial Modernity, early Marathi writing, Women and English education in the Kannada context, Inhabiting time and language, English and the Discourse of Caste and Gender in Hindi, among others.
Earlier in the day, Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, vice chancellor, UoH, congratulated the Department of English for conducting various knowledgeable seminars over the past one year as he inaugurated the seminar.