Anjali Saji On’ Bombay’

Engineer, Ashgar Ali. “Economic and Political

 

Weekly”; On ‘Bombay’. Vol. 30, No. 26 (Jul. 1, 1995). P. 1556. Web. 23-06-2016

 

This article from the Economic and Political Weekly deals with the situations and restrictions the film Bombay faced while releasing. Bombay deals with the socio-political situation between the Hindus and Muslims during the Babari masjid scenario. This movie shows a Hindu boy falling in love with a Muslim girl who later elopes to Bombay evading their parents disapproval. Years pass and they lead a happy life but it is during this time that the turmoil begins that costs people their lives and livelihood. Mobs from both the communities hunt down each other and kill in the name of religion.

Releasing such a movie at that time was made difficult for director Mani Ratnam, who faced objections from both the religions. Bal Thackrey wanted some of the dialogues spoken by the actor Tinnu Anand (playing Thackeray in the film); but there were objections saying that the certain dialogues were lifted from his speech only and are not any additions. But succumbing to the pressure, Ratnam had to make those certain edits. Later, sections of the Muslim community raised objections on various grounds. First was that a Muslim girl eloping with a Hindu boy was considered as de-shaming their society. Second was the usage of artistic freedom.

Engineer argues that Mani Ratnam should not have made the cuts relating to Thackeray as once you submit to such threats by the leader of one community, you will have to face threats from leaders of the other community also. Ratnam would have been morally on much stronger ground in resisting the threats of Muslim leaders. And the government should not allow any pressure tactics to work once the film is approved by the Censor Board.

She goes on to talk about how Ratnam failed to show the analysis of the riot and its causes. So the film is deemed with more of a commercial value rather than artistic value. She compares it with respect to Govind Nihalani’s ‘Tamas’, and says that it is of far superior variety as the film makes a serious attempt to understand the causes of partition and violence which followed in its wake. ‘Bombay’, on the other hand, is a curious mixture of realism and fantasy. But, it must be said to the credit of the film that it does make an attempt to reduce the gulf between Hindus and Muslims. Hence this movie was welcome among the masses.

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Amritha S – Agency, Narrativity and Gender in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s “The Palace of Illusions”

     Agency, Narrativity, Gender in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace Of Illusions.

The researcher, Kavita Nair in her article, “Agency, Narrativity and Gender in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace Of Illusions” observes how Divakaruni’s Draupadi has more agency than the other interpretations.  Draupadi has a critical insight into her own story in this version.  Draupadi not only responds to her life s events critically, she also analyses the responses of others, trying to deconstruct their words and intentions.  The researcher is dissatisfied with the way the female characters are portrayed in the original Mahabharata. Though there were powerful characters such as Kunti, Gandhari, and Draupadi in the epic, they did not have the space to express their thoughts and opinions as openly as the contemporary versions.

Draupadi in Divakaruni’s version is assertive. She wants to break free from the belittling interpretations of herself. She wants to voice her own story and script her own destiny. The researcher then focuses on the prophecies of Draupadi’s life. Draupadi, according to the researcher is a modern feminist. She wants to position herself as a subject in the play of events, rather than an object of desire, who gets caught up in the web of men’s desires. Though, she is skeptical about the prophecy coming true, as she feels her own self-stifled in the palace of her father’s. Draupadi s desire for an individual palace is her quest for an identity, to have a story of her own, away from the pandemonium of her patriarchal father’s house. The researcher further analyses the book, in terms of Draupadi’s words, where she says her life should be a riot of colour and sound. She then brings in an analogy between her life and the Indian performative art, Nataka.

“She hints at the theatricality of her life by suggesting the ‗drsya‘ aspect (color) and the ‗sravya‘ aspect (sound). She wants her life to be seen as a Nataka, which privileges her character using the multimedial narrative mode of theatre. Significantly, Draupadi, in keeping with the Indian Nataka tradition” ( Nair 4).

The researcher reads the book, positioning Draupadi as the Sutradahari, who narrates her own life, and her own choices. She does not want to play a part in any other script. She wants to play the leading role, in her own story, as it gives her more freedom and space to express herself.

“Discussing the structure of a classical Nataka, Lockwood and Bhat say, ―…our view is that the prologue of a Sanskrit drama is carefully crafted by the playwright so that by aesthetic design the sutradhara must take a specific leading role – not just some role”           ( Nair 5)

According to the researcher, Divakaruni’s version is the most authentic, as it has no authorial intervention. Though Ved Vyasa appears as a character in the book, there is absolutely no one except Draupadi’s voice in the story.  Even when there are other narrators like Dhai ma in the story, Draupadi makes sure the construction of the story inscribes her in history.

The researcher comments on how Draupadi, plays the role of a Sutradari, who calls the title of the play to the audience and also plays a major role in the play. Draupadi as the Sutradhari introduces the book as Panchali’s Mahabharata, and initiates actions where she plays the lead role. She is more assertive and has more agency in this version, as she is writing her own story. The researcher adds, all the versions of Draupadi are constructionist accounts, which served the cause of patriarchal hermeneutics. Divakaruni addresses these issues and turns them into acts of resistance.

Druapadi’s journey from being a subject of narrations in all other interpretations  of  the Mahabharata is holding a position that subjectivizes narration itself. The researcher believes by being both the narrator and the point of action in the novel, by giving Draupadi a voice, Divakaruni gives womanhood a voice.

Nair, Kavita. “Agency, Narrativity Gender in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace Of Illusions.” LANGUAGE IN INDIA 11.6 (2011): 150-58. Web. 30 June 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obiya Jolly_Helene Cixous and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’

Klages, Mary. “Helene Cixous and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa'” Literary Theory: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Continuum, 2006. 98-106. Print.

Helene Cixous and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’

This excerpt from Mary Klages’ book discusses the theoretical framework which will be employed in the proposed research; L’ecriture feminine. The text, “Helen Cixous and ‘The Laugh of Medusa’, offers a comprehensive understanding of the framework L’ecriture feminine by French feminist theorist Helene Cixous. This text would be instrumental in explaining the theoretical framework employed in the research paper, though it does not contribute to the review of existing research. Rather, this would be considered as contributive to the theoretical understanding. However, certain instances from the text could be employed in the analysis of the poems selected.

Cixous’ project has two aims, “She wants to destroy (or perhaps deconstruct) the phallogocentric system Lacan describes, and to project some new strategies for a new kind of relation between female bodies and language” (99). As Klages describes, Cixous’ project is about how the phallogocentric notion of language is challenged and how a language that accommodates women is formed. L’ecriture feminine is considered as the counterpart of phallogocentric masculine writing. She makes another major point that directly relates to this research; l’ecriture feminine is possible only in poetry. Klages paraphrases Cixous’ words, “ In poetry, however, language is set free-the chains of signifiers flow more freely, and meaning is less determinate” (102).  Another major point that she makes is that L’ecriture feminine cannot be encoded within strict definitions. Its nature is fluid, but it “can be ‘conceived of’ -…- by subjects not subjugated to a central authority” (104). Hence, L’ecriture feminine is about subjects, male or female, who are independent of the central anchoring authority.

Towards the research, this theoretical reading is helpful to understand the methodology for the research. Earlier, my impression was that L’ecriture feminine can be easily defined as women writing about/with their bodies. However, this excerpt gives me more clarity about the concept.

 

Annie Swetha , Introduction: Special Issue on Black and Latina Sexuality and Identities

 

Main argument

How an intersectional view on race, gender, and sexuality brings out the discriminations faced by individuals with multiple marginalized identities.

Sub argument

The article examines the significance of Intersectional analysis, which voice out the painful lives of women of colour. It also shows the interconnec­tions of gender, race, and sexuality provided by studying black and Latina lesbians. This interconnection between race, gender and sexuality is relevant to my research which attempts to analyse identities within Trans communities, through an intersectional lens.

The paper questions the notion of viewing individual identities as a part of a larger community due to which individual-level issues are not taken into consideration. It states how a black Lesbian woman is doubly oppresses than a black heterosexuals or black gay. The article elucidates on how researches done on HIV AIDS attention has solely based on heterosexuals, Black man or Black Gay. Black Lesbian is not taken into consideration into this larger framework.

The article provides an analytic lens for understanding black and Latina women’s experiences. It also highlights the multiple levels of oppression and resistance found in these women’s lives. Through an intersectional lens it gives voice to the invisible identities of Women of Colour. This idea is relevant to my research which will focus on the multiple marginalised identities among hijras.

The articles use the theory of Collins who believes on how race and sexuality depend on the other for meaning. Sexuality has been used by those in power to support racism. This racial consciousness can be identified in my research which focuses on how hijras with fair complexion are respected more than the others.

The article examines how Black and Latina lesbians are not only marginalized within the white community, but within their community. Their identities remain invisible due to multiple level of marginalisation based on issues of race/ ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Limitation

This paper is limited only within the experiences of Black and Latina Women experience. It has not focused the existence of multiple marginalized identities among various communities.

Conclusion

Thus the article shows lesbians of colour occupy an even smaller space in this intellectual landscape due to lack of inclusion within the feminist discourse and also within their own community.

 

Asencio, Maryso, and Juan Battle. “Introduction Special Issue on Black and Latina

Sexuality and Identities” Black Women, Gender + Families 4.1 (2010): 1-7.Print

 

 

 

Ecocriticism- Chandraprabha

 

Ecocriticism, Ethics and the Vedic Thought

Author(s): T.J. Abraham

Source: Indian Literature, Vol. 51, No. 6 (242), Golden Jubilee Issue (November-December

2007), pp. 179-186

Published by: Sahitya Akademy

 

The essay claims to address some fundamental issues plaguing the discipline of ecocriticism and show why in its present form, it is destined to fail as a movement.

Claims:

  1. The present deadlock in ecocritical thought springs as much from its inherent contradictions as from the absence of a firm ethical, philosophical underpinning.
  2. This study tries to highlight a few such paradoxes in ecocriticism, especially in its western variety, and calls for a perspectival shift in the form of a philosophical framework

Arguments: 

  • human beings cannot entirely do away with the ‘use’ of non-human sphere because cultural productions of all sorts necessitate the use, and even some exploitation, of nature.
  • impossible to differentiate the ‘right’ use of nature from the ‘wrong’ one.
  • the radical ecologists advocating a return to forests deride the activists of protection of environment describing them pejoratively as “environmentalists” who value nature solely for human survival and for ensuring the promotion
  • The fourth paradox concerns ecology and textuality, both about the possibility of an extra linguistic reality and also about the reliability of language-mediated reality. Any signifying system including language cannot be neutral, but only pro speciesist.

Key points:

  • The western enlightenment project, by and large, reinforced the anthropocentric assumption of the centrality of human individual and upheld the view that the nonhuman world existed for human welfare. As a corollary, nature came to be viewed as not only thoroughly knowable but also to be mastered and exploited by man.
  • Chaos Theory demolishes the totalizing truth claims of contemporary science, as it cautions us about the mysterious forces (known as strange attractors, butterfly effect, etc.) in control of natural systems, due to which predictions about nature cannot be made with certainty.
  • Complexity Theory talks about self-organizing systems in a world teeming with complex systems. The theorists of this school claim that systems, both human and nonhuman, are self-organizing, and that self-organization is a spontaneous process occurring at certain critical periods of time, especially at what they describe as the ‘edge of chaos’.
  • Ecocriticism, hence, engages the question of justice and argues for the rights of the nonhuman sphere
  • Contemporary western ethical thought, with its deep-seated humanist bias, is not conducive to the acceptance of ecocritical philosophy which insists on a comprehensive ethics appropriate for a more than human world.
  • The God equals man equals nonhuman equation, a view that has taken the centre stage down the centuries in the mainstream Indian thought.
  • An ethical framework genuinely anti-humanist at its core singularizes the dominant Indian tradition which accorded equal status to the human and non-human spheres.
  • Such an egalitarian view was instrumental in engendering a philosophy of immanent monism (advaita). Indeed, the rise of the advaita philosophy may be traced to the realization that human beings live in a more than human world, characterised by mutual interdependence and more importantly, that any alienation of the two spheres could spell doom for the earth.
  • In the Taittiriya Brahmana, we are told that “the same divine milk that circulates through creatures here on earth lights the suns—all the suns of the galaxy. It condenses also into the forms of the clouds. It pours down as rain and feeds the earth, the vegetation and the animals. The individual with the awareness of this secret cannot be avaricious for any portion of the abundant food that may come to him. He will share it willingly with his companions. He will not wish to break the circuit by hoarding the substance to himself…. His food avails him nothing: when he eats, eats his own death” (2.8.8).
  • The aphoristic words from Aruni to his son “That thou art” (Tat tvam asi) sum up the entire vedic conception of reality including the nonhuman sphere. Tat tvam asi enjoins one to be aware of the identity of one’s core essence with the hidden substance of all and everything, and not to be alienated from the nonhuman world.

Infanta-Impact of Using Worldlists in the Language Classroom on Students’ Vocabulary Acquisition

Coşgun, G. (2016). The impact of using worldlists in the language classroom on students’ vocabulary acquisition. International Journal of English Language Teaching, 4(3), 49-66. Retrieved from http://www.eajournals.org/journals/international-journal-of-english-language-teaching-ijelt/the-improvement-of-students-writing-skill-achievement-through-error-analysis-method/the-impact-of-using-wordlists-in-the-language-classroom-on-students-vocabulary-acquisition/.

This research deals with vocabulary learning whose pedagogical implications will contribute to the field of second language learning. This research paper aims at proposing a framework for vocabulary teaching strategy in English as a foreign language context. The researcher in the introduction to his paper clearly establishes a strong correlation between vocabulary and academic achievement by quoting Abrudan, words “represent the building block upon which knowledge of the second language can be built” and without them people cannot convey the intended meaning. The researcher realized that the students experienced a great difficulty in learning and using target vocabulary. He states that the “underlying reasons is that students and dents are exposed to a myriad number of words every day and do not know which words provide them with a working vocabulary.”

The researcher explores the effectiveness of making use of a word list in classroom and students’ view on the process. The significance of the research is that, the findings might attract the interest of both foreign language teachers and students, and encourage them in the way of adopting the mentioned strategy in their studies.

The aim of the research is to explore whether the use of wordlists on a word wall helps students improve students’ vocabulary acquisition. To be able to find an answer to this question, the questions focused on throughout the research are:

  1. Does the use of word lists on a word wall in the language classroom improve students’ vocabulary acquisition?
  2. What are students’ views on using word lists on a word wall in the language classroom?

The researcher very clearly structures the research paper. In the methodology section of the paper, the research is situated in a particular context. The paper is narrowed down from the wider context by explaining the ways in which vocabulary is being taught in the institution which is studied in the research. The researcher gives the number of the participants in his research and a few required details such as their age and their prior knowledge in the English language.

The researcher employs a traditional approach and blends with many other research methods. “The research was classroom research which was conducted by the teacher “for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of her educational environment and improving the effectiveness of her teaching” (Dörnyei). Furthermore, mixed methods research was adopted in the research process. As a method, mixed methods research “focuses on collecting, analyzing, and mixing both quantitative and qualitative data in a single study or series of studies and its central premise is that the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches in combination provides a better understanding of research problems than either approach alone” (Creswell, & Plano).”

The researcher explains the procedure of data collection and lists down the methods and activities conducted for teaching the vocabulary in the context of the research. The Vocabprofile was used as a source for the words that were to be taught. A receptive test modeled on Nation’s (1990) Vocabulary Levels Test and a controlled productive test modeled on Laufer and Nation’s(1999 ) Productive Vocabulary Levels Test were the pre- test and post- test. Apart from this, the researcher also conducts interviews and maintains Field notes/ Reflective Writing. The data derived from all these methods are analyzed. The quality of the research is ensured by employing triangulation method, which is defined as “the mixing of data or methods so that diverse viewpoints or standpoints cast light upon atopic” was adopted (Olsen).

“The test was spot-checked before it was used by two experienced colleagues and level specialists since “the quality of questions asked will directly affect the type and the quality of responses” (Campbell, McNamara & Gilyn). In addition, to maximize objectivity and validity and to avoid “inaccuracy or incompleteness of the data” I supported all my conclusions by evidence, recorded and transcribed the interviews (Maxwell).”

The researcher then tables the data of the tests and gives samples of both the interviews and research findings. The interview was conducted to study the attitude of the students towards the research.

The research confirms that using a wordlist on a word wall can be regarded as a working factor in fostering leaners’ vocabulary acquisition.

The limitations of this research are that the conclusions cannot be generalized because the research was conducted only with two classes and that it was conducted in a limited time. The study of the long term effects of the newly acquired knowledge of target vocabulary can be studied in further researches.

Pokemon Case Study – Yohaan P. Sharma 1537214

“Pokémon Case Study.” Pokémon Cast Study. N.p., n.d. Web.

This online paper traces the movement of Pokémon from Japan, its origin, and how it spread across the world.  In addition to this, the paper also discusses the merchandise that the franchise has spawned and how the product was slightly altered so that it could be accepted in other parts of the world.

Essentially, this paper deals with the path that Pokémon took to becoming a global phenomenon.

Emerson begins his paper by discussing the Game Boy. The Game Boy was a handheld video game console that could access games through cartridges. The cartridges would need to be bought separately and each cartridge acted as the storage unit for a game. The comparison of the ATM could help in understanding this system.

Thinking of the Game Boy itself as the ATM, the cartridge would be the card that is used to gain access to the bank account through the ATM. Different cards could access different bank accounts but all potentially through the same ATM depending on which card was used.

The Game Boy is important to discuss because Pokémon was first released on the Game Boy platform falling under the Role-Playing Game (RPG) genre. X goes on to talk about the objectives of the game and the way in which products within the game anticipates its status as a commercial cultural phenomenon.

X states that Nintendo, part owner of Game Freak, producer of the games, was not enthusiastic about the game initially because the early stages of the release did not classify Pokémon as a hit but its popularity grew steadily through word of mouth. This is probably due to the fact that the game could not be fully completed unless a player was able to link his game to another one for trade.

The popularity of Pokémon grew so much that Nintendo made an arrangement with Shogakukan, a children’s publisher, to run Pokémon comics in their magazine Koro-Koro Comics; a book that, until today, releases Pokémon information periodically as well as information of other Nintendo characters and games.

The reception of the comic series led to the development of the television series that is, today, running into its nineteenth season in Japan. While the producers of the game were hesitant fearing that poor television could hamper the sales of the game, the writers of the show were forced to play the game extensively in order to make the show as compatible to the game as possible. The television series was so well received that Nintendo made a new Pokémon game that closely mirrored the game’s plots and characters, though this was the only game that did so and from then the television series adapts the characters and plots from the games into the show itself.

This case study helps in situating how Pokémon as a franchise spread across Japan and how various forms of media served to complement each other and add to the credibility and reach of the franchise.