On October 12, 2023, the Department of English and Humanities organized the first forum of its 9th Curriculum Integration Program through an online event where Dr. Luis Javier Pentón Herrera, Professor, Akademia Ekonomiczno-Humanistyczna w Warszawie, Poland and Coordinator of the Graduate TESOL certificate,George Washington University, United States, was invited as the guest speaker to speak about the theme of the term's CI program, "Language as a Weapon."
Hosted by Dr. Abu Saleh Mohammad Rafi, Assistant Professor, DEH, the forum officially commenced with the introduction of the guest speaker to the students and faculty members present at the forum. Dr. Rafi then explained the purpose of the Curriculum Integration Program and the selected theme for this term before inviting Dr. Herrera to begin his presentation.
Dr. Herrera began his interactive and insightful discussion with the concept of “Language Weaponization” by sharing an anecdote from his own childhood that reflected the influence of derogatory language on individuals belonging to minority groups. Throughout his presentation, he minutely discussed the ways the dominant groups in a society strategically employ language to segregate, stereotype, harm, and dehumanize minoritized groups of the society. He further discussed how language, like a weapon, can influence a large group of people to conform as a result of societal and political pressure.
Following his elaborate discussion, Professor Kaiser Haq, Dean, School of Arts and Humanities, shared his comments. He commended Dr. Herrera on his analytical discussion on the far-reaching effects of language on every aspect of life. Afterwards, a question and answer session was held during which the students shared their queries and remarks regarding the concept of Language Weaponization. Finally, Dr. Shamsad Mortuza, Professor and Special Advisor to the ULAB Board of Trustees, extended his gratitude towards the guest speaker for providing the students with ideas that they could contemplate and work on for their CI projects.
The event came to its conclusion with Dr. Rafi acknowledging the speaker’s role in making the forum interactive and successful, and thanking the attending students and faculty members for their presence.
The Curriculum Integration Program is a tool used to guide students towards the practical application of their learning materials to real-world issues.
Dr. Herrera’s lecture and the comments following are available on the DEH YouTube Channel.
Report by Rafia Sultana (222013076)