Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Discussion on Theatre Workshop
(MA II English, 16-17 May)
All the students shared their opinion on the workshop on theatre. Many students opined that the workshop helped them to come out of their inhibitions and stage fright.
Why should we learn acting if we are not interested in the field? Why did we introduce theatre in Literature? These were some of the questions that were discussed in the class on 16th.
Mr. Pinto counter questioned why this question comes only about theatre studies and not other subjects. He clarified that Drama is a subject proper to English Studies or English Department. And the Department always maintained the opinion that the best way to teach drama is acting it although there are very few who actually try it out. The name is shifted from Drama to Theatre Studies because of its emphasis on practical. So it is important to undergo the process or theatrical workshop.
He also said that experience should be an important aspect of theoretical formulation where possible. English dept had long divorced the performative-experience of theatre from the study of plays.
When Drama/theatre, although originally part of English Department, was losing its significance in the discipline, comparative studies connected it with apparently unconnected discussions. The comparative study itself was a new way of keeping the old colonialism alive in academics.
Mr. Pinto also said that with an interest to make the paper more practical, there was a plan to involve Rangasangkara to teach this paper in the University. This was to fill one of the gaps in Indian universities. as they do not collaborate with actual practitioners of the art like Drama, although they are brought for short term lecturing.
Newer academic spaces also are yet to completely open up to this as they are concerned more with their brand name and identity which could be lost by involving other people regularly in their curriculum, he commented. Some universities are attempting to make innovations in the field of English Studies and Dramatics.
Notes by Jijo, II MA
The presentations should contain
2. Background to the text and author
3. Themes/ arguments
4. Possible Questions
5. Possible language learning through the text
Sunday, June 28, 2009
27th June, 2009 in MA IIYr. Class
(The following content is a note prepared by Fr. Jijo and Joe Jacob on Mr. Pinto’s lecture on Archival Research on 27th June, 2009 in MA IIYr. Class. )
Discuss the following hypothesis in with your companions on the benches. If someone has to write a history of Christ University, s/he has to do a research. What are the steps one will take to write the history?
Written and Visual Records
1. Have a background idea of the University from the available sources, have a structure of what you want to write about. (If you have no idea what to look for you will have endless materials and endless searching)
2. Take notes on the documents, journals, magazines, Newspaper writings about Christ, publications by the institution and its staff, brochures, chronicles, minutes of the MC s and Sponsoring bodies staff meetings and other bodies that make critical decisions, Documents of the sister concerns, Land records, MoUs with Government and Universities, Placement files, Department Files, Diaries of the founding fathers and key figures related to the institution and similar other documents.
3. Visual History: through photographs, websites
4. Social History of the time of foundation, through Government census, Demography Documents, History books about the period.
5. Interview: Interviewing alumni of Christ, fathers worked, working, long term serving staff, Funding Agencies, other colleges for opinions, impressions, founding fathers (if anyone is alive)
6. Divide between events and interpretations
7. Find alternative interpretations if available
8. Find sources for the gaps either in the oral or written records, if there are
Define Perspectives of Interpretation
Mr. Pinto commented at the end of the discussion that the following matters should be born in mind while doing an archival research.
Data collection done with the surety of what one is looking for. To define that one must find the Framing Questions.
Then List the sources
However before all these you must Challenge your own idea of history, what is archive. Read Foucault Derrida and Freud on archives.
Question oneself; do I know the theoretical ground of what I am researching.
Mr. Pinto concluded the class saying , Archival research is a journey towards loneliness. It is a rigorous lonely work with books ideas and away from the rest of the world.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Department of English and Research
• English Departments have not taught research methods anywhere in the world until 2000. The best of its practice was confined to asking a candidate of PhD to defend the sources or bibliography. Any discussion on research in English Department puts off people. Even where English Departments conducted classes on research methods, they are the least seriously conducted one. The professors who take these classes tend to be apologetic saying it is a vast subject.
• The students who did research often had the wrong idea that the research skills came through practice and not through training or learning.
• Training given on Research Methodology in some institutes give high school stuff like Adler....’s guide which is used for middle school students in America.
• The wrong argument of learning by doing has affected the learning research process. The reason for this approach is because the supervisors themselves have undergone the same procedure. They do not generally update and re-skill themselves with the best practices in the field. Even the teachers who spent in buying books of the trade are few in English Department whereas in other fields the re-skilling is done more regularly. The IT sector has to continuously re-skill.
• The culture of re-skilling and reinventing oneself is not a norm but sparsely done under individual initiatives. So the ordinary teachers do not take seriously the research activity.
• The misconceptions about research also resulted in Individualism in English Departments. Eng. Depts do not bring out papers as a group which is a regular procedure in some other disciplines. E.g. Science Dpt. has collective researches regularly. However this dim scenario in research is changing. It has become a serious part in all higher education centres, mainly after 1996 when research activities in India were highly rewarded by the government. The allowance has created researchers as well as knowledge production in the subject. From 1996, grants ranging from 40000 to 12 lakhs were provided for those who wanted to do research projects, according to the requirements of the project.
• The government proposal pattern for the grant itself was instrumental in developing a certain research methodology among the candidates. The Government stipulated for example a pattern as follows.
1. The name
2. The investigators
3. The resources
These incentives from the Government have created research space and culture in English.
Qualitative and Quantitative Researches
Humanities largely abhorred qualitative researches. MSW, Psychology and Economics are interested only in quantitative methods.
When the Government set up different Committees to study the research practices they asked the questions like “what kind of research methods they needed.” As a result, two styles emerged.
a) Response method. These are based on individual needs
Most of the activities that came in English Department were based on response method.
b) Pro-active method. It does not cater to the pronounced responses of the target group.
1. Library skills
2. Computer skills
4. Reading short hand reading skill
5. Interview skills
These skills were not considered in research earlier. Another wrong assumption in the field of research is that the research method that one used for Ph.D is the only method that s/he will use or may be useful for the future. Methods vary from discipline to discipline.
Innovation in any field and particularly in Education must have research backing. People will not accept such changes unless you cite research results.
The Department structure itself could be a problem, some times, to engage in serious research activities.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Time: 2 pm to 6 pm every Saturday.
Place: MSCom Classroom, II Floor, Auditorium Block
Coordinator: Naresh Rao, Dept of Media Studies
Instructors: CSCS, and Dept of Media Studies
For clarification email: naresh dot rao at christuniversity dot in, anil dot pinto at christuniversity dot in
For a detailed write up on the programme structure please click here.
Date: II, III and IV week of July 2009
Time: 4 - 6.30 pm, Monday through Friday.
Place: Dept of Media Studies
Coordinator and instructor: Anil Pinto, Dept of Media Studies
For clarification email: anil dot pinto at christuniversity dot in
For the syllabus please click here.