Spring 2024 Graduate Student Seminar

Spring 2024 Graduate Student Seminar

Publish Date: 
Monday, February 5, 2024
Department of English & Humanities (DEH)

The Department of English and Humanities, ULAB, conducted its Graduate Student Seminar of Spring 2024 on February 5, 2024. With faculty members and students in attendance, ten MA in English students, selected by their respective course instructors from the preceding semester, showcased their remarkable papers. The participants presenting their papers represented the three MA tracks: Literature and Cultural Studies, Applied Linguistics and TESOL, and Literature and Creative Writing.

The seminar was inaugurated by Ms. Nadia Rahman, Assistant Professor, DEH, with a warm welcome to the presenters, faculty members, and students. Afterward, she introduced the first participant, Sadia Mukarrama (Batch 232), who presented her paper, “Reconstruction of Shakespeare: From Texts to Screen.” In her presentation, Sadia focused on two South Asian adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, namely Haider (an Indian adaptation of Hamlet) and Mandaar (an Indian-Bengali adaptation of Macbeth) while challenging traditional interpretations of his works and the plays’ relevance in contemporary society.

Kaniz Fatema Lamia (Batch 231) was the second presenter and her paper was titled, “Language Situation and Scope of Incorporating Translanguaging Pedagogies in HSC-Level English Classrooms of Bangladeshi Alia Madrassas.” Lamia discussed the impact and challenges of implementing translanguaging pedagogies in Bangladeshi Madrassa classrooms, while also sharing her observational findings from conducting this research.

The third presenter was Kashfia Nahreen (Batch 233), whose paper title was “The Essence of Poetry: An Exploration of the Connection between Art and Identity in Tagore's Essay on 'Poet Yeats' and Hughes's Essay 'The Negro Artist and Racial Mountain'.” Kashfia embodied the importance of integrating one’s cultural identity into one's works and leaving behind the colonial mentality surrounding the English language through the ideas represented in the essays mentioned in her presentation title.

Next, Quazi Farhina Hassan (Batch 233), presented her paper titled, “Ekphrasis: The Interpretation of Paintings through Modern Poetry,” where she highlighted a selection of poems inspired by notable paintings, and how their reception varied from person to person. To further reiterate and elaborate on her point, she brought in survey statistics which gave insight into the variety while providing occasional comic relief.

Farzana Mir’s (Batch 232) paper, “Pre-tertiary Education's Medium of Instruction Policies of Bangladesh and India: A Comparative Analysis,” delved into the linguistic ecology of Bangladesh and India for pre-tertiary education, and suggested potential areas of reform in the education structure via a curriculum and pedagogical change while showing how far the system has come in as recently as 2020.

Next, “How We Learned and Acquired Language” by Mahjabeen Hassan (Batch 233) exhibited the numerous ways we acquire and learn language through the lens of Noam Chomsky’s theories of language acquisition. Her two examples mentioned the theories of Interactionism and Behaviourism, with the addition of personal examples to further illustrate her points.

The seventh presenter, Farhin Younus (Batch 232), also related her topic, “Theories through Bare Eyes” on a personal level, and gave examples from her life where she was made to feel like the subject of the theories and ideas she learned about in class. The aforementioned theories drew ideas from the essays, “The Spectacle of the ‘Other’” by Stuart Hall and Black Skin White Masks by Frantz Fanon.

Afterward, Nazmun Nahar (Batch 232) presented her paper, “What Makes a Good Teacher: Insights from the 'Teaching Practicum and Classroom Management' Course and My Perspective,” where she highlighted three specific dimensions she believes make the most impact on a teacher - the personal, professional and social aspects. Holding the course from which she was nominated as the sample for this study, she explores how a teacher can better themselves to further encourage and empower their students.

Reya Saha (Batch 232), the ninth presenter, chose “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Assessment Methods in English For Today (IX-X) Book” for her topic, and conducted her research in a qualitative method for the four language skills - listening, reading, speaking and writing. Her study concluded that the textbook emphasized on developing reading and writing skills, and occasionally, speaking skills, but lacked sufficient materials for students to develop their listening skills.

For the concluding presentation, Ahmed Hossain Sanjid (Batch 223) recited three poems titled, “City Dwellers,” “Looming Storm,” and “If So” from his collection of poems titled, “Light of the Soul”. It was especially interesting as this had been the first time Hossain dabbled in poetry, both writing and reciting.

Hearing the presentations, Professor Shamsad Mortuza, Special Advisor, ULAB Board of Trustees, shared his insights on the essence of the Graduate Student Seminar, and how it is a signature program by DEH to showcase and share the hard work students put into their academic endeavors.

Ms. Arifa Ghani Rahman, Head and Associate Professor, DEH, and Professor Kaiser Haq, Dean, School of Arts and Humanities, DEH, were then cordially invited for the certificate-giving session, where they handed over the much-deserved certificates to the participants. With that, the Graduate Student Seminar of Spring 2024 was brought to a successful closure.


Report by Fatima Tuj Zohra (241055030) and Marifa Khan (211013012)