Fourth Lecture of Special Lecture Series held in the School of Languages and Literature
Prof. Alan Johnson from Idaho State University Pocatello, U.S.A delivered an insightful talk on the topic “ Recent Trends in Research in Languages and Literature in U.S “ in the School of Languages and Literature on 27 March, 2012. The Director of the School, Dr. Vandhana Sharma welcomed Prof. Alan Johnson and introduced him to the audience. While Welcoming Prof. Johnson, the director of the school highlighted the significance of the topic of the talk which aimed at opening the vistas of cross cultural research and discourse.
In the lecture, Prof. Johnson focused on the prominent research fields in Literature. Prof. Johnson mapped twelve research topics, available for scholarly pursuits. First being – ‘The Use of Cognitive Science in Literary Studies’. Secondly, a new type of trend started as Digital Humanity, with an advent of new technology as internet i.e. how database can make your research even more interesting. This has also helped in developing another trend as ‘Distant Reading’ where you can read various texts and make them comparative. Another trend was ‘Eco-criticism’ which has also gained impetus. He also imparted knowledge about how ‘Translation Studies’ is becoming a new trend in this research field and how ‘Philosophy of aesthetics’ is one of the emerging new trends. He focused on how Foucault’s idea of normalcy is explored through ‘Disability studies’. The recurrent use of internet technology has lit the spark for two more prominent trends of – ‘Virtual Texts’ and ‘Fan-Fiction’. Lastly he talked about the two trends that are trying to come to the forefront- ‘Multiple modernity’ and ‘Studies in Ethnography’. There was also an interactive session at the conclusion of his lecture where the students made observations and presented their queries regarding the topic. The students and Scholars of the Schools participated in a discussion with Prof.Johnson after the talk over issues of cultural diversity, academic life oversees, his own teaching career, and other research related topics. Prof.Alan Johnson expressed admiration over the locale, ambiance and pristine beauty of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University and thanked Dr. Vandhana Sharma for giving him an opportunity to visit such a promising university and to participate in the international conference.
One Day Colloquium
School of Languages blazed a trail in the constitution of J&K Chapter of ELTAI ( English Language teachers Association of India) with the enrollment of forty teachers of english from university, college and school level. The J&K chapter was inaugurated in a One-Day Colloquium on ''Emerging Trends in English Language Teaching'' organized by the School of Languages , SMVDU. Prof. N.K Bansal, Vice Chancellor, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University inaugurated the J & K Chapter. In the same event a Certificate Course on French Language was also inaugurated. Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Bansal underlined the importance of English and other foreign languages as a tool for economic and technological advancement especially in the present global context.. SMVDU is one amongst the few universities of the country to have established a forum for the English Teachers & Researchers for interactions, presentations and discussions by constituting a Chapter. In the welcome address, Dr. Vandhana Sharma, Asst. Prof. , School of Languages & Convener J&K Chapter laid emphasis on the language acquisition as language acts as the medium for acquiring knowledge. The Keynote Speaker, Prof. Deepshika Kotwal, Head, Dept. of English, University of Jammu laid emphasis on the fact that the teachers should banish all prejudices and remember that they cannot shut themselves but, to open doors to let in a fresh air of change, which is the need of the hour.
Prof. Romey Borges, former Chairperson, French Centre JNU. Delhi delivered the Inaugural Lecture on French Course and said that teaching a language is like building a bridge and lauded the universities efforts for building bridges in the form of foreign language teaching. As a part of the Colloquium, eight participants presented papers followed by a Panel Discussion on the topic ''Developing Communication Skills in the Class room''. Amongst the Panelists were Prof. K.B Razdan, former Head, Department of English, Jammu University Prof. Rita Saldahna, Former Head, Department of English, University of Jammu, Prof. H.L Misri, Principal, GHKP School & Prof. Asha Sharma, Principal (Retd.) Govt. College, Jammu.
Prof. Posh Charak, Director, Centre for New Literatures, Jammu University was Chief Guest in the Valedictory function and gave away Certificates to the participants. In her address, she expressed satisfaction over the endeavors of SMVDU for providing a platform for healthy interactions on English Language Teaching. Among the organizers were Mr. Hasibuddin, Prof. Sudhir Singh, Prof Sandhya Bhardwaj, Dr. Chander Mohan & Ms. Esther Williams & Dr. Varun Tripathi. The Colloquium was attended by distinguished Professors from Jammu University and teachers from the colleges and schools of J&K.
French Course concludes at SMVDU.
School of Languages, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University offered an intensive Certificate Course in French at its Public Relation Office premises Jammu, Which concluded on 5th July 2007 with an impressive valedictory programme.
The Certificate Course could be considered a breakthrough in the teaching of French in the country. Within a month, the course covered the basic of the French grammar as well as international phonetic alphabets to facilitate pronunciation. The teaching of French was supported by the projection of feature films and a documentary in French. The Students were exposed to French magazines, newspapers and tourists documents of French speaking countries. The course concluded with an exhibition on the theme '' Why Learn French'' on Francophonie prepared by the students.
Prof. N.K.Bansal , Vice Chancellor, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, who was chief guest on the occasion, highlighted the importance of learning foreign language which help in bridging the barriers in the present world. Languages according to him are the medium of acquiring knowledge and one can definitely broaden one's horizon by learning more and more languages . Prof. Bansal also extended an open invitation to all the participants to visit the university campus.
Prof. Romey Borges Former chairperson, French Centre, JNU, Delhi and instructor for the course shared the reminiscences of his stay in the picturesque SMVD university campus during the winter course and his current stay at PRO. He lauded University's effort for building bridges in the form of foreign language teaching for the university students and the local community at large. He said the SMVDU should become the beacon of foreign languages in the country.
Earlier, Dr. Vandhana Sharma, Director, School of Languages, in her welcome address, highlighted significance attached to the knowledge of foreign languages in general and French in particular. The participants presented a French song '' Notre Monde est mervilleux '' meaning world is wonderful. Dr. Varun Tripathi presented the vote of thanks. The evening ended with the distribution of certificates.
Two Day National Seminar on Language & Literature and inaugural of Language Lab.