An International Conference on “Crisis In/ And South Asian Literature in English” is being organized by the Department of English, Tezpur University from 14-16 December 2023 with the support of the Northeastern Council (NEC).
The Inaugural Session was held in the Council Hall of Tezpur University with Shambhu Nath Singh, Vice Chancellor of Tezpur University as Chief Guest, Farheena Danta, Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), and Mrinmoy Kr Sarma, Dean, Academic Affairs, as Guests of Honour.
The Vice Chancellor in his inaugural address stressed on the rich and varied history of the South Asian region and also stressed on the multiple factors – social, historical, political and ecological – which gave rise of multiple crises of the region. He congratulated the Department of English for enabling a dialogue to foster a cross-cultural dialogue between various cultures of the region. “ Every crisis is an opportunity for literary exploration”, he said by citing some great books written on Indian partition.
Kaiser Haq of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh delivered the first keynote address on “Crisis as normality: some observations with particular reference to South Asia”. Speaking on the occasion, Haq discussed how South Asian literature has been contributing to the global understanding of a changing world. He explained how in recent times literature from South Asian countries, such as, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India have produced powerful literature in English that captured the nuances of various types of the crisis faced by this region.
Addressing the gathering, Dean, HSS, Prof. Danta said that by analysing literary texts within their social, political, and historical contexts, the conference intends to explore ways in which literature reflects, responds to and even anticipates moments of crisis.
Several academicians and research scholars from India, Bangladesh and USA is to examine the intricate relationship between crisis and South Asian literature during the technical sessions over the following 3 days. Prominent among them are-Prof. Ranjan Ghosh of University of North Bengal, Prof. Amit R Baishya of University of Oklahoma and Prof. Abhijit Gupta of Jadavpur University.
The convenors of the conference are Dr Sanjib Sahoo, Associate Professor and Dr Pallavi Jha, Assistant Professor, Department of English.
Prof. Sravani Biswas, former Head, English Department delivered the welcome address and Dr Pallavi Jha outlined the Rationale of the Conference.
The inaugural function concluded with a vote of thanks by a research scholar.
Dr Mohapatra welcomed the delegates and hoped for a better understanding of how writers and literature have grappled with the crisis offering a testament to human spirits unwavering capacity of hope.