ULAB Multicultural Conclave 2022

ULAB Multicultural Conclave 2022
A Dialogic ImagiNation of Bangladesh: Literary-Linguistic-Cultural Representations, Non-representations and Misrepresentations

25-26 February 2022

The nation of Bangladesh is being re-read, re-thought and re-written, especially around the 50th anniversary of its independence in 2021. And to observe the 70th anniversary of 21st February 1952, which is regarded as the proper beginning of the Bengali nationalist movements in East Pakistan, the Department of English and Humanities would like to generate new thoughts tracing the shifting contours of, echoing Benedict Anderson, the “imagined community” that is Bangladesh.  

This will necessarily lead us to more generalized discourses on nation, nationalism, nationhood and so on. Following the British Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm, we need to ask ourselves about how Bangladesh is imagined; how, in literary-cultural texts, the geographical territory of the country is peopled with characters that occupy specific times-and-spaces, chronotopes in Bakhtinian terms, through history; in what “affective” ways human beings are related to each other or implicated in each other’s lives; and, finally, how these representations, in turn, forge an emotional connection between the nation and people living in it. Are they indeed the “national allegories” Fredric Jameson argued they were? And what about the imaginations of Bangladesh in global popular industries like Hollywood and Bollywood? Why do they often generate so much outrage in Bangladesh? Also, what to think of the representation of the country as an emerging model for “development” in the international media?

Nationalism, it is common knowledge, constructs exclusive identities, so, as we begin to traverse the next half a century, it is urgent for a more inclusive vision of future Bangladesh to examine the historical and developmental narratives the nation has woven for itself and created, to use Rob Nixon’s term, “unimagined communities” in the process. As with any other metanarratives, the story/history that the Bangladeshi state tells its people or teaches its youngsters at schools is likely to be teleological, exclusive, and selective. We will be particularly interested in the consequences of these stories for Bangladeshi identities and what negotiations authors, poets, artists, cartoonists, performers, musicians, filmmakers and others have to do with the nationalist metanarrative. Relevant here is also the non-representation--linguistic, gender, political and otherwise--of different ethnic identities in popular cultural practices and indeed the day-to-day Bangladeshi public life at large.

All the zoom links and passwords are included in their respective sections. Please check the programme schedule below. We are following the Bangladesh Standard Time (BST) (GMT+6).


Keynote Speakers


Programme Schedule

All the zoom links and passwords are included here in their respective sections. Please note that we are following the Bangladesh Standard Time (GMT+6).

Day 1 | February 25, 2022

  • Keynote Session | Main Room | 9:30 - 10:20 am

    Natural Languages in the times of Machine Memory
    Professor G. N. Devy, People's Linguistic Survey of India

    Abstract: The lecture will present a view of the language-diversity in south Asia. It will discuss the nature of language movements in the subcontinent and their proximity to economic and social development. It will comment on the challenges posed by the emergence of the memory chip to the preservation and continuation of natural languages.

    Bio: G. N. Devy, a thinker and a public intellectual, initiated and led the People’s Linguistic Survey of India, covering over 700  languages with a team of nearly 3000 volunteers. The PLSI resulted in publication of 91 titles, divided in 50 volumes in English, Hindi and several Indian languages bringing to notice some 35000 printed pages of valuable data on the language diversity of India.  Devy initiated a series of international conferences of the indigenous communities from all continents resulting into 12 published volumes (Orient Blackswan & Routledge) of perspectives of the indigenous on culture, ecology and politics. His recent publications include, Being Adivasi (co-edited, Penguin, 2021) and Mahabharata-the Epic and the Nation (Aleph, 2022). He writes in three languages—Marahti, Gujarati and English. His first book in English, After Amnesia (1992) received the Sahitya Akademi Award. Currently, he is engaged in producing a People’s Report on Indian Civilisation and its history of the last 12000 years with the help of a large international collective of scholars in Human Genetics, Archaeology, Linguistics and Anthropologists.  He has been an institution builder and a Professor of Literature. He has received many awards and honours including Padmashri, the Linguapax Award and the Prince Clause Award.

    Chair: Professor Shaila Sultana, Institute of Modern Languages, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62742027323?pwd=bG1UdTF3OGpuUEJpdmFwaFg1SW1nQT09
    Meeting ID: 627 4202 7323
    Password: 708006

  • Plenary Session | Main Room | 10:30 - 11:20 am

    Imagined Identifications: Reading as Learned Activity
    Professor Cara Cilano, Michigan State University

    Abstract: My title deliberately echoes Annette Kolodny’s reminder, from her 1980 groundbreaking essay, “Dancing Through the Minefield,” that, “insofar as literature itself is a social institution, so, too, reading is a highly socialized—or learned—activity” (11). In the context of this Conclave, Kolodny’s assertion prompts us to work through not just the what of what we read but the how of it, too. What reading practices afford meaning? What practices foreclose upon it? How are these practices implicated in nationalist or other exclusivist narratives and the forms and tropes they prefer? When are these practices liberatory, if ever? Through an examination of reading practices, we can, if Kolodny’s figuration holds, more intentionally engage the social institutions that shape collective lives and realities.

    Supporting Reading: Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif”

    Bio: Cara Cilano is Professor of English at Michigan State University, where she also serves as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Arts & Letters. Her research focuses primarily on Pakistani anglophone literary studies. Cilano’s current project focuses on the spatialization of Islam in Cold War Pakistan.

    The Bengalis: Myth and Reality between the Shadow Lines
    Sudeep Chakravarti, Writer, Journalist, and Visiting Professor, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Abstract: Shamelessly – and joyously – merging the title of a work by Amitav Ghosh and one of my books has a purpose. It is to discuss the degrees of understanding and misunderstanding of, and within, what I term ‘Banglasphere’. This extends in part to Bengalis in general: at a quarter billion-plus and counting, among the largest and most vibrant ethno-linguistic groups in the world. And it extends in particular to Bangladesh, home to nearly two-thirds of the world’s Bengalis. History and hubris continue to mark and blur these shadow lines within ‘Banglasphere’ and outside. But the trinity of aspiration, recognition of achievement and respect has triggered a receding of shadows.

    Bio: Sudeep Chakravarti is an author, independent researcher and analyst, columnist, and media consultant. He is at present visiting faculty at ULAB, Dhaka.
    He is the author of several books of non-fiction. His latest work is The Eastern Gate: War and Peace in Nagaland, Manipur and India’s Far East (Simon and Schuster, 2022), a ringside view of the Naga peace process that encompasses much of India’s eastern arc – a pivot for India’s regional foreign policy and geo-economic intent. His other non-fiction books include works of history, culture, ethnography, Indian and South Asian security issues, conflict and conflict resolution, the intersection of democracy and development, and the intersection of business and human rights. These are Plassey: The Battle that Changed the Course of Indian History (Aleph, 2020), The Bengalis: A Portrait of a Community (Aleph, 2017), Clear.Hold.Build: Hard Lessons of Business and Human Rights in India (Collins Business, 2014), Highway 39: Journeys through a Fractured Land (4th Estate/HarperCollins, 2012), and Red Sun: Travels in Naxalite Country (Viking/Penguin, 2008/2009).

    He has written three novels and several short stories. His multi-disciplinary essays and reportage are contained in several anthologies (published by National University of Singapore, Universidade Católica Editora, Lisboa, India’s Institute of Defence studies and Analyses, Seagull Books, and Seminar, among others). His work is translated into several Indian and European languages. His next book is a history of Delhi. Alongside, he is working on a collection of poetry.

    As a South Asia specialist Sudeep has written several hundred articles, columns and essays in media. These publications include Mint, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Die Zeit, India Today, Sunday, Hindustan Times, Outlook, Doinik Bonik Barta, Welt-Sichten, Business Today, The Hindu, TheWire.in, Firstpost.in, Forbes, Fortune, Businessworld, OPEN, The Telegraph, India Quarterly, Seminar, Biblio, The Gateway House, livehistoryindia.com and Rolling Stone-India.

    He has nearly four decades of experience in media, and has earlier worked with global and Indian organizations, including The Asian Wall Street Journal, where he began his career, and subsequently held leadership positions at Sunday magazine, India Today magazine, India Today Group, and HT Media, the publishers of Hindustan Times and Mint. As one of India’s earliest media convergence and integrated newsroom specialists, Sudeep’s experience is multi-media: across print (magazine and newspaper), digital and television platforms. He was also Executive Editor of newspapertoday.com, India’s first digital newspaper, launched by India Today Group. In his various media roles and functions, he worked across the domains of reporting, writing, editing, and planning and management.

    Chair: Professor Shamsad Mortuza, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62742027323?pwd=bG1UdTF3OGpuUEJpdmFwaFg1SW1nQT09
    Meeting ID: 627 4202 7323
    Password: 708006

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 1 | 11:30 am - 12:20 pm

    Of Memories and Migrations

    The Other Side of the Silence: Dynamics of Memory and Forgetting in Forging National Identity in Bangladesh
    Md. Rakibul Alam, Bangladesh Army University of Engineering & Technology (BAUET)

    Abstract: In the recorded human history, since the Second World War, the partition of 1947 can be deemed as one of the largest displacements of people. About one million people died by the resultant violence and some twenty million people were brutally displaced. However, in 1971, Pakistan’s East wing was again separated as Bangladesh. This paper shows that unfortunately, since 1971, Bangladesh has been struggling in subtle ways to define its ‘national’ identity. The official/ national narrative of Bangladesh rarely acknowledges the role of 1947 partition. It has been overlooked and hardly there is any serious critical examination of the politics of national identity formation in the light of partition memory. Hence, this paper critically examines the dynamics/politics of the relationship between the official narrative and the collective memory of the Partition in Bangladesh. It is primarily interested in not what happened in history but how we remember it. This paper is largely concentrated on different relevant theoretical premises instead of any singular text. To do so, it elaborates on Anderson’s proposition of how the construction of collective memory legitimizes the process that creates, sustains and reproduces an “imagined community” by providing them with a “sense of history, place and belonging”. It also takes into account the notions like ‘’selective tradition’’ and “structure of feeling’’ from Raymond Williams’ seminal essay namely “The Analysis of Culture” to illustrate that the shared memory of the past or the rejection of the past provides groups with a kind of sense of community. In this way history of a period has always been a gradual composition where there is an essential invention of later/ different periods or generations. Power relations are tacitly at play in constructing this sense among citizens. Thus, the politics of memory engages, to borrow Confino’s phrase, the questions of “who wants whom to remember what and why”. Finally, this paper submits that in the absence of official commemoration, memories of the partition projected in fictional works rather create a counter-narrative as these fictional works have facilitated, altered or challenged the collective identity meta-narrative in post independent Bangladesh. As people’s future social and political actions are guided by the way they envision their past; so this paper aspires to give voice to the spiral of silences around the 1947 partition in Bangladesh by delving deep into the dynamics of remembering and forgetting in forging the national identity of Bangladesh.

    Memories and Marginalization: Locating Socio-Psychological Bifurcation of Bengali Refugee in Bengali literature and  Cinema (1950s to 1980s)
    Prof. Dr Debjani Halder, Chandigarh University

    Abstract: Ritwik Ghatak was one of the eminent filmmakers whose films primarily focused on Partition and the suffering thereof. His mind was lacerated by the rootless existence of the middle class, memories of partition, life drab as refugees in refugee colonies, all those found expressions in ‘Meghe Dhaka Tara’ (1960), ‘Komal Gandhar’ (1961), and ‘Subarnarekha’ (1962), which earned the epithet of a trilogy, despite his protestations to the contrary. In the trilogy, Ritwik compared Partition to the suffering at the loss of a dear and near one. Instead of confining himself to the problem of the uprooted people as that of the bifurcation of a geographical entity, he turned his gaze on the psychological dimension of the problem. Atin Bandopadhyay is one of the eminent Bengali Novelists who has characterized the alienation and psychological bifurcation of uprooted people. Both of them had stated that were not interested in dissecting the problem of partition in its obvious manifestation. Rather, they dealt with the loss of human values and the sacrifice of social ideals among these people, who, though faced with extreme poverty, became prey to self-interest. The main objective of the paper is to explain that 1) how Ghatak and Atin Bandopadhyay’s creations located the concept of Desh when the uprooted people from Bangladesh started life anew in refugee camps or colonies, 2) how bot of them had dealt with the reminiscing the past of old men, those who faced a blank while facing the incongruities between memories and marginalization? 3) Did their alienation engulf with the recollection of the past?

    Migratory movements in Tahmima Anam’s The Bones of Grace
    Pooja Sancheti, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)

    Abstract: While a nation is famously deemed an imagined community, neither those whose imagination brings in into existence and sustains it, nor the imagination itself, are homogenous. Moreover, the conflation of the nation and state also folds in those whose imaginations have been historically disregarded. In the age of (economic) globalization, the nation-state is also increasingly (though not newly) defined by migrations into and outside of its (deemed) cultural and legal boundaries. It is in this context that I examine Tahmima Anam’s The Bones of Grace (2016) as the novel tackles transnational themes like the many kinds of migration of people and materials, home and homelessness, citizenship, as well as the claims of monolithic national identities (Paul Jay). The protagonist’s movements across nation-states are in stark contrast to the movements of the subalterns, forced into bonded labour overseas or pushed to other parts of Bangladesh because of lack of opportunities in their own local sites. The consequences these characters bear (death, deprivation, isolation, injustice) are clearly very different from those for the elite cosmopolitan. In what ways, then, does the nation itself emerge as a heterogenous category of uneven opportunities through the trope of migration is the chief focus of this paper. I will also briefly draw upon the other novels in the trilogy (A Golden Age and The Good Muslim) to show what patterns of migration feature in each and how these contribute to the imagination of the nation.

    Reading ‘Bangladesh’ in Select Culinary Narratives: A Study in Cultural Memory
    Shyamasri Maji, Durgapur Women's College

    Abstract: This paper is based on literary food studies. It uses ‘food writing’ as a tool to study the cultural identity of the Bengali community living in and beyond the territory of Bangladesh. It explores the contemporary cultural history of Bangladesh through textual analysis of four culinary narratives—Kaiser Haq’s essay “Alhamdulillah: With Gratitude and Relish,” Mahruba T. Mowtushi and Mafruha Mohua’s story “Jackfruit and Tamarind” and Chitrita Banerji’s memoir-articles “Food and Difference” and “Crossing the Border.” While the first two pieces represent the perspectives of three Bangladeshi academics, the last two are written by a diasporic Bengali-Hindu Indian historian married to a Bangladeshi Muslim. The paper looks into the culinary nostalgia of these Bengali writers who are familiar with the long history of Partition in the Indian subcontinent. It examines the role of cultural memory in preserving the socio-Islamic conventions associated with Bangladeshi culinary culture and in challenging the geo-political borders of nationalism by reviewing the food practices of the ‘Bangals’ (Bengali-Indian Hindus whose ancestral roots are in East Pakistan) and the ‘Ghotis’ (the Bengali-Indian Hindus rooted in West Bengal). It also argues that these memory narratives represent the Bangladeshi nation as an imagined community.

    Chair: Anika Tahsin, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/69937083659?pwd=V1JoenVPbUd5azRtZVV6UmpVb2NYdz09
    Meeting ID: 699 3708 3659
    Password: 653923

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 2 | 11:30 am - 12:20 pm

    Trauma, Victimhood and Women

    Representation of the Liberation War of Bangladesh by Bangladeshi Women Authors
    Krishti Aung Leona, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Abstract: This paper aims to discuss how the Liberation War of Bangladesh has been represented in fiction written by Bangladeshi women authors. Four selected short stories written by women authors included in the anthology 1971 and After edited by Niaz Zaman will be the primary source of textual analysis for this paper. The female voice and its representation in the short stories will be studied under the light of Helene Cixous’ essay The Laugh of the Medusa. The research observes the women authors’ perspective of the Liberation War and how female characters have been represented in War Literature. The cultural depot of Bangladesh is brimming with war narratives contributed by male authors; however, this bulk often tends to overshadow war stories by female authors. This research will explore how women have been written by women (écriture feminine), and explore the role of representation and language as a method for analyzing women’s position in the War and in Bangladeshi patriarchal society at large.

    Mapping the Narratives of Human Rights Violations of the Raped Women and Addressing Their   Unresolved Trauma through Oral History:  Revisiting Select Oral Accounts from Rising from the Ashes: Women’s Narratives of 1971
    Avishek Bhattacharya, Chandernagore College

    Abstract: The conspicuous absence of the representation of the raped women in the grand narrative of Bangladesh and the West Pakistani perpetrators’ reluctance to acknowledge the brutality of rape have doubly marginalised the issues of human rights violations in the context of the Liberation War of 1971. In this scenario, Oral History has become a potential alternative approach to probe into the silences by transforming the traumatic memory to narrative memory. Giving more importance to the meaning of the event than the event itself, oral history creates a space where the individual can communicate with the community. The knowledge produced through the oral history narratives can “transform its readers so that they are forced to acknowledge their relationship to posttraumatic culture” (Rothberg 2000). This paper will critically interrogate select oral accounts from Rising from the Ashes: Women’s Narratives of 1971 to understand how narrative memory has helped in the assimilation of the traumatic memory into the individual and collective consciousness to generate meaning and whether it can initiate a process of working through from the traumatic past. This paper will also enquire whether the creation of community acknowledgement can at all cater to the restoration of human rights.

    Reading the history of ‘Birangonas’ and their experiences through conflict
    Medha Bhadra Chowdhury, St. Xavier's University

    Abstract:  In the context of the Bangladesh Liberation War, the term ‘birangona’ had been coined as early as 23rd December, 1971 as it appeared in the national daily, ‘Purbodesh’ to valourize the suffering of raped women, who had been declared ‘war heroines’ by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The careful construction of the title and the systematic glorification of victims through the media and state mechanism however reveal an underlying anxiety in reintegrating birangonas in mainstream society. In the post-war period the lived experiences of birangonas have been retold in an extremely selective and reconstructive manner often leading to distortions and shifts from reality. The absence of the traces of trauma and victimhood undergone by women in state-sponsored narratives have perpetuated a culture of denial and shame that shrouds rape. This paper will seek to examine the intersections of gender and war by reading selected testimonies from Nilima Ibrahim’s memoir, Ami Birangona Bolchi which provide a distinct viewpoint of the ‘micro’ aspect of a tearing apart of a nation and the immensely traumatic ordeal of the birangona. The paper will attempt to explore the birangona discourse in terms of the politics of national commemoration and the gendered state ideology.

    War of Independence and Its Aftermath: Terror, Torture and Trauma in Bangladeshi Short Stories
    Professor Dr. Hossain Al Mamun, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology

    Abstract: The war of Independence and its aftermath relatively stand side by side as sources for writing stories for years. Bangladeshi war stories depict multifaceted experiences and unfathomable sacrifices of its people in the highly cost victory over Pakistan in the liberation war of 1971. These war stories reveal the themes of terror and torture created by the Pakistani army and thereafter the traumatic experiences of the freedom fighters and their relatives and belongings both in physical and psychological contexts. This study considers Niaz Zaman’s edited book 1971 and After as the primary source to examine and explore the canvas of its chronologically arranged twenty four short stories which are set in the context of 1971 with different perspectives of the war and its post efficacy. This paper addresses the social impacts of trauma as a result of war through the lens of collective trauma theory. This study examines the ways terror and tortures create unbearable condition for the people and how do they response to the ill-treatment. This paper also explores how and why the traumatic experiences of Bangladeshi people expand its branches after the war of Independence as socio-cultural phenomenon.

    Chair: Md. Muntasir Mamun, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/64158699150?pwd=Tms0MnpOOTJqOTlIa0RDcEZnaHdsdz09
    Meeting ID: 641 5869 9150
    Password: 178623

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 3 | 11:30 am - 12:20 pm

    Cross-cultural Conversations

    Dialogic Reading of African Literature in Bengali: An interpenetrative Image of Africa in Bengali Translation 
    Elham Hossain, Dhaka City College

    Abstract: From Bakhtinian perspective, translation is a dialogic process as it goes through dialogues between two different cultures, languages, texts and authors. Africa, with its more than two thousand languages, can be comprehensible to a huge number of monolingual, bi-lingual and multilingual readers of the world only through translation. In Bangladesh a vast majority of readers are mostly monolingual. So, to be comprehensible to the Bangladeshi readership African literature requires to be translated into Bengali. A considerable number of African literary texts have been translated into Bengali though in comparison with the bulk of European and American literary texts it is not very remarkable. Due to the interpenetrative and conglomerate nature of translation, Africa that appears in Bengali translation is tinged with Bangladeshi perspective. It happens due to the pitfalls lying in the communication emanating from the limitations to negotiate with the anthropological, political and historical realities in which the source texts are produced. Besides, translation is never apolitical because it re-creates the source text for the target readers through intertextuality and negotiations between two diverse cultures and languages. Interaction today is possible to a remarkable extent through internet and hi-speed communication media. But in postcolonial situation in context of neo-colonization and crony capitalism, economic realities and psychic boundaries deeply impact dialogues between two diverse cultures, inevitable for creative translatability of the phenomenon related to the source text and the target text. How a translator responds to the synchronic and diachronic locations of source texts remarkably impacts the re-creation and authentication of target texts. This paper seeks to explore the image of Africa in Bengali translation.

    The East in the Bengal: The Influence of East Asian Popular Culture in Bangladeshi Manga  
    Neha Ghose, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Abstract: The waves of East Asian popular culture can be witnessed throughout the world and its influence is also evident in Bangladesh. The impact is not enclosed in the circle of entertainment purposes. It is now influencing the Bangladeshi filmmakers and animators to produce their version of popular culture pieces. This paper will explore the influence of the Japanese popular culture and the Korean wave through manga and Korean webtoons in the creation of a new version called Bangladeshi manga. The purpose is to reveal that Bangladeshi manga creators are practicing cultural preservation by focusing on three Bangladeshi manga, Kinsa Khyong, Ram Sagar, and Tanaporen created by Shantona Shantuma. To discover the East Asian popular culture effect in Bangladeshi manga, it will also analyze manga created in Japan which are Naruto, Demon Slayer, Oishinbo, Shirahime-Syo, and Korean webtoons which are Mystic Pop up Bar, Along With the Gods, Shaman Girl, and Bisan. The methodological frameworks of intercultural cinema and theories related to transcultural fandom and glocalization are being used to examine the reason behind this impact and how it is helping to preserve the Bengali culture by reshaping that influence.

    The Narrativization of Bangladesh’s partition in the Pakistani movie “Khel Khel Main” and the Urdu novel “Dhaka Main Aaonga” (Dhaka I Will Come). 
    Haniya Humayun, University of Central Punjab

    Abstract: On the fiftieth anniversary of Bangladesh’s partition, the historical event was represented in the popular media of Pakistan. This includes the release of the film “Khel Khel Main” in November and Sohail Parwaz’ novel Dhaka Main Aaonga (Dhaka I will come), which was published in December. For the younger generations, this was the first time that they were introduced to the events of 1971 and were provided with a specific narrative for it. The narrative in question, seemed to be an exoneration from any responsibility on the part of West Pakistan from the events that culminated into the partition of Bangladesh. The narrative focused on silencing the role of cultural prejudices, instead it reimagined West Pakistan’s population and authorities to have unconditional love for people of then-East Pakistan. While this narrativization encourages friendly terms between Pakistan and Bangladesh, it tries to achieve it by invalidating the atrocities that occurred by the systematic injustice conducted by West Pakistan.
    Using Matthew de Tar’s concept of public memory as an inscription and the theoretical framework for the politics of remembering and forgetting presented in Paper Voices by A.C.H. Smith, Trevor Blackwell, this paper will analyze the mechanisms of narrativization of Bangladesh’s partition as remembered and re-imagined in Khel Khel main and Dhaka Main Aaonga. It will argue how public memory can be influenced to serve the state’s current strategic interests by authentically narrativizing a misrepresentation of a historical event.

    Chair: Sheikh Nahiyan, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62042352536?pwd=aEJqOGJ0NjF4ZXQ4eTZXQ1A4cVhoUT09
    Meeting ID: 620 4235 2536
    Password: 365796

  • Keynote Session | Main Room | 02:00 - 02:50 pm

    Ekushey and the shaping of our cultural resistance
    Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Abstract: The broad theme of my talk will be how the events of the 21st February 1952 initiated a new form of cultural resistance against the Pakistani neo-colonial control of East Bengal. Soon after the partition of 1947, the Pakistanis wasted no time in announcing their intention to impose a linguistic colonialism on us by promoting Urdu, a minority language, as the lone state language, to the exclusion of all other languages including Bangla. In keeping with the practices of linguistic colonialism/imperialism under the British, the Pakistanis also attempted to use the dominance of Urdu as a means of their economic, corporate, institutional, political and educational control of the Bengalees, and policing our culture. But the killing of a number protesting students on 21 February on the streets of Dhaka created a groundswell of popular resistance that helped us counter-assert our identity and eventually free ourselves from Pakistani domination. I will show how our cultural resistance inspired by Ekushey 

    • based itself on the idea that language is power, and how that power energized the whole social body  
    • led to our identity formation
    • brought a quality change in our politics, and
    • inspired us in imagining ourselves as a nation 

    Bio: Dr. Syed Manzoorul Islam is a professor in the Department of English and Humanities of the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. He did his undergraduate and graduate studies in English at the University of Dhaka and received his Ph.D. from Queen’s University, Canada. He has written extensively on literature, literary theory, cultural studies, art and architecture in journals at home and abroad, and has received a large number of awards in recognition of his contribution to Bangla literature, including Bangla Academy Award (1996) and Ekushey Padak (2018).

    Chair: Professor Himadri Lahiri, Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62742027323?pwd=bG1UdTF3OGpuUEJpdmFwaFg1SW1nQT09
    Meeting ID: 627 4202 7323
    Password: 708006

  • Plenary Address | Main Room | 03:00-03:30 pm

    মুক্তিযুদ্ধকালীন চলচ্চিত্র: নির্মাতার দৃষ্টিকোণ ও রাষ্ট্রভেদে ইতিহাস নির্মাণের স্বরূপ
    অধ্যাপক ফাহমিদা আক্তার, জাহাঙ্গীরনগর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় / Professor Fahmida Akhter, Jahangirnagar University

    সার-সংক্ষেপ: ১৯৭১ সালের মুক্তিযুদ্ধ বাংলাদেশের জাতীয় ইতিহাসের সবচেয়ে গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ও গৌরবজনক অধ্যায়। উপমহাদেশীয় রাজনীতি যেমন নানাভাবেই নিয়ন্ত্রণ করেছে এই যুদ্ধের পটভূমি, তেমনি উপমহাদেশীয় রাজনীতিতে এই যুদ্ধের অভিঘাতও অস্পষ্ট নয়। তৎকালীন স্নায়ু যুদ্ধে নেতৃত্ব প্রদানকারী রাষ্ট্রসমূহের ভিন্ন ভিন্ন সম্পৃক্ততা তৈরি হয় এই যুদ্ধে উপমহাদেশীয় দুই প্রধান শক্তি ভারত ও পাকিস্তানের সাথে তাদের সম্পর্কসূত্রে। ভিন্ন ভিন্ন রাষ্ট্রের নিজ নিজ স্বার্থই নিয়ন্ত্রণ করেছে মুক্তিযুদ্ধের সময়ে মুক্তিযুদ্ধকে ঘিরে তাদের নানামাত্রিক অবস্থান ও ভূমিকাকে। মুক্তিযুদ্ধকালে, অনেক বিদেশী চলচ্চিত্র নির্মাতারা যেমন ছুটে এসেছেন এ দেশের মুক্তিযুদ্ধকে প্রামাণ্যতা দেবার উদ্দেশ্যে, তেমনি এদেশের কয়েকজন চলচ্চিত্র নির্মাতাও নিজ দেশের মানুষের মুক্তির আকাক্সক্ষা, যন্ত্রণা ও প্রতিরোধকে বিশ্ববাসীর উদ্দেশ্যে তুলে ধরার লক্ষ্যে রাইফেলের সমান স্পর্ধায় ক্যামেরা কাঁধে তুলে নিয়েছিলেন। মুক্তিযুদ্ধের ওপর নির্মিত মুক্তিযুদ্ধকালীন চলচ্চিত্রগুলোতেও আমরা প্রত্যক্ষ করি ভিন্ন ভিন্ন দেশের নির্মাতাদের স্বতন্ত্র দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি - যা কখনও কখনও তাঁদের নিজ দেশের স্বার্থকে নিশ্চিত করেছে। ইতিহাসের এই বিশেষ ঘটনাকে চলচ্চিত্রে ধারণ ও নির্মাণের প্রক্রিয়ায় তাঁরা কখনও স্বেচ্ছায়, কখনও নিজেদেরই অজান্তে নিজ নিজ অঞ্চলের প্রতিনিধিত্বকারী ইতিহাস পাঠের প্রবণতা ও দৃষ্টিভঙ্গিকেই যেন পুনঃনির্মাণ করেন। অপরদিকে, বাঙালি পরিচালকদের লক্ষ্য ছিল তাঁদের আত্মপরিচয় প্রতিষ্ঠার লড়াই, যন্ত্রণা আর জাতীয় অভিজ্ঞতার চিত্রায়ণ। বাংলাদেশ, ভারত, পাকিস্তান, জাপান ও কয়েকটি পশ্চিমা দেশের পরিচালকদের মুক্তিযুদ্ধকালীন চলচ্চিত্রের ঐতিহাসিক তাৎপর্য বিশ্লেষণ, উদ্দেশ্য ও নির্মাণ সংশ্লিষ্ট স্বতন্ত্র শিল্পভাবনার অনুসন্ধানই এই প্রবন্ধের অভীষ্ট লক্ষ্য। দৃশ্য ও শ্রবণের মিশেলে সৃষ্ট শিল্পমাধ্যম চলচ্চিত্রের ইতিহাস উপস্থাপন কৌশল এবং এই চলচ্চিত্রিক উপস্থাপনাগুলোতে কী কী বিষয় ক্রিয়া করেছে ইতিহাস নির্মাণের অনুষঙ্গে - তাও এই প্রবন্ধের আধেয়। আবার, ইতিহাস যে নৈর্ব্যক্তিক সত্যের সংরক্ষণের চাইতেও সংযোজন এবং বিয়োজনের এক প্রক্রিয়া - এ সত্যও বিশেষভাবে উঠে এসেছে মুক্তিযুদ্ধকালীন চলচ্চিত্রসমূহের বিশেষ পাঠে।

    জীবনী: ড. ফাহমিদা আক্তার শিক্ষকতা করেন জাহাঙ্গীরনগর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের নাটক ও নাট্যতত্ত্ব বিভাগে। বর্তমানে তিনি সেখানে ‘সহযোগী অধ্যাপক’ হিসেবে কর্মরত আছেন। শিক্ষকতার পূর্বে, তিনি যথাক্রমে প্রশিকা মানবিক উন্নয়ন কেন্দ্র, একুশে টেলিভিশন, বেঙ্গল ফাউন্ডেশন ও চ্যানেল ওয়ান-এ ‘অনুষ্ঠান প্রযোজক’ হিসেবে কর্মরত ছিলেন। তিনি স্নাতক (সম্মান) এবং স্নাতকোত্তর ডিগ্রি সম্পন্ন করেছেন জাহাঙ্গীরনগর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের নাটক ও নাট্যতত্ত্ব বিভাগ থেকে। ২০০৯ সালে, তিনি দ্বিতীয়বার মাস্টার ডিগ্রি অর্জন করেন  ‘টেকনোলজি এন্ড ডেভেলপমেন্ট’-এ (মেজর- ডিজাইন) দক্ষিণ কোরিয়ার ইউহা ওমেন্স বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় থেকে ঐ দেশের সরকার প্রদত্ত এ.সি.ই. বৃত্তি প্রাপ্ত হয়ে। ২০১৭ সালে, ফাহমিদা যুক্তরাজ্যের এসেক্স বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় থেকে ‘ফিল্ম স্টাডিজ’-এ পি.এইচ.ডি. ডিগ্রি অর্জন করেন যুক্তরাজ্য সরকারের কমনওয়েলথ বৃত্তি লাভ পূর্বক। Routledge, Sage, Washington Press-সহ গুরুত্বপূর্ণ নানা আন্তর্জাতিক প্রকাশনা সংস্থা ও দেশীয় গবেষণা প্রতিষ্ঠান কর্তৃক প্রকাশিত জার্নাল ও গ্রন্থে প্রকাশিত হয়েছে ফাহমিদা আক্তার-এর বিভিন্ন গবেষণাধর্মী প্রবন্ধ ও অধ্যায়। ফাহমিদা আক্তার রচিত গবেষণা গ্রন্থ ‘আলমগীর কবিরের চলচ্চিত্র’ (২০১৯) প্রকাশিত হয়েছে বাংলাদেশ ফিল্ম আর্কাইভ থেকে। ফাহমিদা আক্তার যুক্তরাষ্ট্র, যুক্তরাজ্য, গ্রিস, দক্ষিণ কোরিয়া, স্পেন (অনলাইন), অস্ট্রেলিয়া (অনলাইন) ও বাংলাদেশে অনুষ্ঠিত বিভিন্ন গুরুত্বপূর্ণ কনফারেন্স-এ প্রবন্ধ উপস্থাপন করেছেন। শিক্ষকতার পাশাপাশি ফাহমিদা আক্তার তথ্যচিত্র নির্মাণ করেন। তাঁর পরিচালনা ও গ্রন্থনায় নির্মিত উল্লেখযোগ্য তথ্যচিত্রসমূহের মাঝে ‘ফেরা’ (The Homecoming, ২০০৮); ‘গড়নের গহীনে’ (২০০৮); ‘নিসর্গের আঁকিয়ে’ (২০০৪) ও ‘সুরের স্বজন’ (২০০৫) উল্লেখযোগ্য। বাংলাদেশ, মুক্তিযুদ্ধ ও বাংলাদেশের নানা শিল্প আঙ্গিক, বিশেষত ‘চলচ্চিত্র’ ফাহমিদা আক্তার-এর গবেষণায় উঠে এসেছে মুখ্য বিষয় হিসেবে।

    সভাপতি / Chair: অধ্যাপক খালেদ হোসাইন, জাহাঙ্গীরনগর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় / Professor Khalad Hossain, Department of Bangla, Jahangirnagar University

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62742027323?pwd=bG1UdTF3OGpuUEJpdmFwaFg1SW1nQT09
    Meeting ID: 627 4202 7323
    Password: 708006

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 1 | 03:40 - 04:30 pm

    The Folk and the Local

    Love, Longing and Commemoration: A Study of Chakma Culture through the Ubogeet
    Nidhi Chakma, SPaRC

    Abstract: Bangladesh is home to more than forty-five indigenous groups who are mostly located in the north (east and west), the south and southeast regions of the country. The Chittagong Hill Tracts is home to nearly 70% of the indigenous population currently residing in Bangladesh. Whereas the intermittent sociopolitical conflict surrounding the area is the subject of much scholarly debate, serious scholarship on the rich literature of these ‘othered’ communities of Bangladesh has remained unexplored. This paper provides a critical analysis of a particular type of folk song called the Ubogeet which is popular among the Chakma and Tanchangya indigenous communities. Ubogeets are colloquial ‘love songs’ that are fiesty, playful and nuanced in meaning, offering a fascinating insight into certain sociocultural aspects of the traditional Tanchangya and Chakma ways of life. Unfortunately, these songs, perceived by the younger generation as old-fashioned, antiquated and even vulgar, are fast disappearing from the Chakma and Tanchangya culture. This paper argues, firstly, that indigenous literature is an important part of Bangladeshi history and culture, and secondly, that it is imperative to preserve and renew indigenous literature for future generations who need to be aware of the rich and complex history of Bangladesh and its multilingual non-represented indigenous literature.

    Folklore as a Mirror of Culture: A Comparative Study between Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Abu Ishaque’s Surja Dighal Bari
    Mohammad Jashim Uddin, Northern University Bangladesh

    Abstract: Folklore as a mirror of culture frequently reveals the areas of special concern. It is for this reason that analyses of collections of folklore can provide the individual who takes advantage of the opportunities afforded by the study of folklore as a way of seeing another culture from the inside-out instead of from the outside in, the usual position of a social scientist. Based on uses of folkloric elements and beliefs, the paper aims at comparing William Shakespeare’s (1564-1616) The Tempest and Abu Ishaque’s (1926-2003) Surja Digal Bari [The Ill-Omened House] though there are some specific differences between these two. The paper will be qualitative in nature and will consult both primary and secondary resources. The comparative study will focus on how the phrases “the tempest” and “surja dighal bari” symbolize the fate of people, and in the name of pir-fakir, ghost, devil, unculturedness/boorishness, religion, and magic how one can dominate the other destroying their culture. Destroying the folkloric culture, how the capitalists establish their colonial rules over the marginalized people making them hegemonized will be another area of investigation of the study.

    Bangladesh, Bangabandhu and Anti-communalism: A Glimpse from Baul Songs of Netrokona
    Safi Ullah, Sheikh Hasina University

    Abstract: This paper examines how Baul songs of Netrokona region present Bangladeshi nation, glorify Bangabandhu’s contribution and uphold people’s anti-communalist voice. Baul devotees including Rashid Uddin, Jalal Uddin Khan, Ukil Munshi, Abdul Mazid Talukder, Deen Sharat, Komol Mia and many others from later generations wrote baul songs on supreme soul, spirituality, love, separation and even on national movements, people’s rights, liberation war of 1971 and the father of the nation. Despite being quite different from those of Kushtia and Nadia regions, these bauls followed their own religions and peacefully coexisted with people of other beliefs. Muslim bauls like Ukil Munshi, Rashid Uddin and Jalal Uddin Khan wrote songs on Hinduism while Hindu devotees like Deen Sharat wrote Islamic songs and hence their motto was to strengthen the relationship between supreme soul and humans. They explicitly announced the coexistence of people of all religions and colors. They concentrated not only on theory-based songs but also pictured Bangladeshi nation and celebrated the contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in their songs. As most bauls are almost illiterate or slightly-educated, their thinking about anti-communalism, Bangladesh and Bangabandhu is quite unheard in academic discussion. Therefore, this paper intends to uphold the voice of Netrokona-region-bauls in order to re-read Bangladeshi nation.

    The Comic Representation of Chittagonian Dialect in Bangladeshi Mainstream Television Drama
    Shimul Bhattacharjee, Southern University Bangladesh

    Abstract: The Chittagonian dialect in television dramas has gained immense popularity over the last two decades. Many satellite channels currently offer dramas that appeal to a diverse audience. From the beginning of this century, many Bangladeshi channels have delighted their audiences with dramas in regional languages, and viewers have enjoyed a series of television dramas in which characters communicate in the Chittagonian dialect. These dramas became highly popular as commercially successful comedies, in which the Chittagonian speakers merely present comical depictions of their problems. They suggest that the people of Chattogram cannot speak the standard Bangla, which develops a stereotype in the minds of non-Chattogram viewers. Sociologist and cultural theorist Stuart Hall's statement is relevant in this context, which mentions that the media, in addition to reflecting reality, also produce it. Looking through the lens of Stuart Hall's notion of representation, I chose some popular mainstream television plays of the Chittagonian language from the last ten years to argue that this light depiction of the Chittagonian dialect develops an oversimplified cliché about Chattogram and its people.

    Chair: Dr. Khan Touseef Osman, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62641448688?pwd=T0dFTVhCemdES1R6SkpKYm44aWxEZz09

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 2 | 03:40 - 04:30 pm

    Non- and Mis-representations

    Mis/representation of Caṭgãia (চাটগাঁইয়া) Language in Tauquir Ahmed’s Haldaa: Cultural Appropriation in Practice
    Muhammad Kamruzzamann, Jahangirnagar University

    Abstract: Appropriation, as a concept, stands for turning a thing into personal property. On the other hand, the notion of cultural appropriation stands for privatising the element of other cultures for personal use. Taking the element of other cultures, as well as, borrowing style, motif, story, and other artistic elements (e.g., language) for artistic representation are also acts of cultural appropriation. This article gives a reading of Tauquir Ahmed’s film, Haldaa (2017) from a viewpoint of cultural appropriation to show that his representation of Caṭgãia (চাটগাঁইয়া) language is a distorted version of the language of Chattogram district that ethically as well as aesthetically mis/represents it. This writing would consider Haldaa as a work of a cultural outsider to show that the mis/representation is a result of an unequal power politics of outsider/insider and representer/represented. This is a discursive analysis of the film because the dialogues are examined from a viewpoint that they are culturally constructed.

    Representation of Bangladesh through the lens of US Media: A Postcolonial Study
    Sheikh Tasmima Mrenmoi, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Abstract: Postcolonial studies oppose the colonial discourse by focusing on the criticism of the past unequal affairs between the colonizer and the colonized. This paper will focus on how the US Media portrayed Bangladesh, a Muslim-dominated country. The research will have several newsletters but its main focus will be on media outlets (The New York Times and The Washington Post). The findings of the research will be how Bangladesh as a growing nation has been described as violent, male dominant, disastrous, and a country that violates the basic rules and regulations of a country. Drawing on post-colonial theory, the research will put forward how the West, in the means of foreshadowing democratic media, is, in other words stereotyping Bangladesh’s culture. Along with the postcolonial analysis of US Media, the research will also do a contrast study on Bangladesh’s media representing its own nation through which lens and its impact on the entire nation in Bangladesh and around the world.

    Representation and Misconception of Bangladesh in International Cinema and Other Visual Arts
    Suhana Parveen, Jadavpur University

    Abstract:  Bangladesh continues to be imagined as an 'underdeveloped' nation internationally despite the many achievements it holds.Representation of Bangladesh in other world media where fiction conquers the facts of the country demoralizing their heritage,language,culture and people.The proposed paper seeks to question the politics of misrepresentation of the nation through a number of international visual arts and cinemas like 'Extraction' (2020), 'Munich' (2005) , etc that reiterates that Bangladesh continues to be looked down upon and neglected globally.It also emphasizes on how the people of this country are discriminated as sub-stantards and fall prey to the racism due to their brown skin and used as a prop for publicity stunt with particular reference to Bangladeshis who were fit into the frame as Indians 'Padma' and 'Parvati' in 'Harry Potter-Order of the Phoenix' (2007) Bangladesh is stereotyped in global media compared to its neigbhour India getting the focus while Bangladesh is still neglected.

    Representation and Non-Representation of Bangladeshi Food
    Samima Parvin, Diamond Harbour Women's University

    Abstract: Food is an integral part of everyday life and it reflects the socio-cultural connotations of a country among its several roles. Roland Barthes comments on the semiotics of food: “For what is food? It is … a system of communication, a body of images, a protocol of usages, situations, and behaviour.” The intended paper seeks to scrutinize the relevance of Bangladeshi food, its aesthetics, politics of representation and non-representation in other world media and literature. It will explore the emerging food narratives with special reference to Kishwar Chowdhury's recent achievement in MasterChef Australia and her role in putting Bangladeshi cuisine on the global culinary map. It will also examine the representation of authentic Bangladeshi food in several spaces like the emerging blogs, vlogs and mukbang videos, which can be considered as sites of resistance which are struggling to take over the grand-narrative which has constantly neglected the Bangladeshi cuisine and how these spaces are being reclaimed to retell their own stories by slowly progressing from the margins to the centre.

    Chair: Mehek Chowdhury, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/64158699150?pwd=Tms0MnpOOTJqOTlIa0RDcEZnaHdsdz09
    Meeting ID: 641 5869 9150
    Password: 178623

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 3 | 03:40 - 04:30 pm

    Identity and the Nation

    Nation and Narration: Representation of Bangladesh in Monica Ali's Brick Lane
    Dr. Md Rakibul Islam, Aligarh Muslim University

    Abstract: Monica Ali, a Bangladeshi-born British writer, tries to give a mixed view of the East —sometimes criticizes and sometimes praises—in his debut novel Brick Lane (2003). Ali foregrounds the true history of modern Bangladesh, which was once one of the wealthiest regions, ruled by various rulers and dynasties in different periods. The British held power in the 18th century and started controlling the most economical and political power of Bengal till the mid-20th century. The British colonizers plundered the resources from the East and used them for their progress, such as industrialization slowly leading to socio-economic instability and causing famine in Bengal. The paper is about the struggles and existences the immigrants from the East, particularly Bangladesh living in alien lands like England, have experienced. In the novel, some immigrants from Bangladesh feel proud of their country’s history and culture. In contrast, other Easterners, mainly those born and brought up in England, devalue and derecognize them in touch with Western culture and its people. The present paper reveals how Monica Ali recreates an authentic history of colonial Bengal and depicts actual conditions of postcolonial Bangladeshis residing inside and outside of Brick Lane from an immigrant perspective. The research article would further interrogate such representations from various critical and theoretical perspectives.

    A ‘Bihari’ or A Bengali Nationalist: Tracing the Implications of Language in Tahmima Anam’s A Golden Age.
    Ananya Mukherjee, Sripat Singh College

    Abstract: Exploring the diasporic paradigms in fictions written by South Asian diasporic writers demand a meticulous gaze upon the narrative with a profound understanding of cross-cultural exchange and a nostalgic retrospection of their imagined home-land. This paper tries to investigate the fictional narrative of Bangladesh liberation war presented in A Golden Age, by Tahmima Anam. This further instigates the tumult of liberation war by showing the struggle of an emerging country fighting to recover the bruised wounds of war. The instances of ruthless attack by Pakistan army resulted in genocide and rape in the then East-Pakistan left its people traumatized. The politicised concept of nation and the sexual body politics interacts by creating a space for contestation. Rehana’s struggle as a ‘Bihari’ and the usurpation of her nation Bangladesh both suffocated by patriarchy finds a juncture in voicing the silenced. This paper will be an attempted finding out of these regimented voices from a diasporic perspective tracing the implications of language.

    There’s no Pakistan now—just Bangladesh:” A Critical Reappraisal of Bangladeshi Identity in Syeda Farida Rahman’s “Roots”
    Sarwar Ahmed, Government General Degree College at Kaliganj

    Abstract:  This paper analyzes how a classic story of tormented love and romantic nostalgia conceives the mesmerizing notion of its protagonist’s national identity. Syeda Farida Rahman’s story “Roots” (translated by Shabnam Nadiya), set in the early 1970s, narrates how Shyama’s beloved Manosh leaves Bangladesh to live a better life for the other side of Bengal. Shyama prioritizes her nationhood as a Bangladeshi when Manosh has approached her with the marriage proposal before going off to Hindustan. Shyama has immediately rejected the proposal and decided to serve her Golden Bengal as a doctor. Her rejection of his marriage proposal would delineate her patriotic fervour and her concept of nationhood. In the second half of the story, the narrator catalogues the reasons to love her country and to die in her motherland. A critical reappraisal of the story would definitely highlight how Bangladesh has been undergoing massive transformations since the days of Bangabandhu. The aim of this paper is also to examine an individual’s unwavering commitment to her Bangladeshi identity.

    (Non)Bihari/Bhopali and Bangali Identity in Al Mahmud’s Fiction Kabiler Bon through the Lens of Hybridity
    Farah Binte Bashir, University of Hyderabad

    Abstract: According to Homi Bhabha, it is always highly probable to have a person with a mixture of cultural varieties where the mixture is categorized as hybridity. The field of literature has accommodated a considerable range of significantly hybrid characters. Writers in the modern era often delve into the psyche of a character who is suffering from an identity crisis. In this paper it has been endeavored to study one of Al Mahmud’s fictions named Kabiler Bon (Sister of Kabil), where it has been shown how the characters make a profound impact on the fabrication of the story; to analyze hybrid identity and to figure out why a hybrid character claims her as Bangali. It has been possible to bring to light the pattern and development of Kabiler Bon, which is subtly influenced by the presence of cross-culture characters. This present research would help us to reassess culturally-assimilated characters and, more importantly, shed some light on the ideas of geopolitics, sociopolitical aspects, and cultural space.

    Chair: Dr. Syeda Farzana Hafsa, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62042352536?pwd=aEJqOGJ0NjF4ZXQ4eTZXQ1A4cVhoUT09
    Meeting ID: 620 4235 2536
    Password: 365796

  • Plenary Session | Main Room | 04:40 - 05:30 pm

    বাংলা ভাষার ঔপনিবেশিক নির্মাণ, জাতীয়তাবাদী বিনির্মাণ ও উচ্চশিক্ষার ভাষা হিসাবে ব্যবহারের উপযোগিতা
    মোহাম্মদ আজম, অধ্যাপক, ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় / Professor Mohammad Azam, Department of Bangla, University of Dhaka

    সার-সংক্ষেপ: বাংলা গদ্য, ব্যাকরণ ও অভিধানের বিকাশ ঘটেছিল উপনিবেশ আমলে – ঔপনিবেশিক প্রশাসন ও ভাবাদর্শের নিশ্ছিদ্র ছত্রছায়ায়। তার মধ্য দিয়েই বাংলা গদ্য ও প্রমিত রূপের একটা আদল গড়ে ওঠে। বাংলা ভাষার এই ভদ্রস্থ রূপ ও অনুষঙ্গী ভাবাদর্শ কলকাতার শিক্ষিত বাঙালি মহলের প্রায় সর্বাঙ্গীণ সমর্থন লাভ করে। সে কারণেই দেশীয়দের চর্চায়ও ওই রূপ ও ভাবাদর্শ মোটের উপর রক্ষিত হয়। 

    জাতীয়তাবাদী ধ্যানধারণা ও আন্দোলনের বিভিন্ন পর্বে বাংলা ভাষা অন্যতম প্রধান উপাদান হিসাবে গৃহীত ও ব্যবহৃত হয়েছিল। এর কোনো কোনো পর্বে – যেমন উনিশ শতকের শেষাংশে ও বিশ শতকের গোড়ায়, কিংবা বিশ শতকের চল্লিশের দশকে – উপনিবেশিত রূপ ও মতাদর্শের বিরোধী কর্মকাণ্ডও দেখা গেছে। কিন্তু মোটের উপর বাংলা ভাষার জাতীয়তাবাদী বিনির্মাণ উনিশ শতকীয় কলোনিয়াল নির্মাণকেই ভিত্তি হিসাবে গ্রহণ করেছে, এবং এ ধারা আজতক কোনো-না-কোনো মাত্রায় বহাল আছে।
    বর্তমান আলোচনায় আমরা দেখাব, বাংলা ভাষা বিষয়ক ওই দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি উচ্চশিক্ষায় বাংলা ব্যবহারজনিত দৃষ্টিভঙ্গিকে প্রত্যক্ষভাবে নিয়ন্ত্রণ করছে। তার প্রধান কারণ, উপনিবেশিতের জ্ঞানচর্চার প্রধান ধারা অনুবাদমূলক। এর সাথে পরিভাষার প্রসঙ্গটি অঙ্গাঙ্গিভাবে যুক্ত। কিন্তু জ্ঞান-উৎপাদন ও বিচলন জীবনযাপনের অন্তরঙ্গ উপাদান হিসাবে গণ্য হলে ভাষার প্রসঙ্গটি সম্পূর্ণ ভিন্ন দৃষ্টিকোণে থেকে বিবেচ্য হত। 
    এই পরিপ্রেক্ষিতে আমরা দেখাতে চাইব, ভাষার ক্ষেত্রে ঔপনিবেশিক মতাদর্শ ও দৃষ্টিভঙ্গির প্রতাপ বাংলা ভাষাকে উচ্চশিক্ষার ভাষা হিসাবে কার্যকরভাবে ভাবতে বাধা তৈরি করছে। উচ্চশিক্ষা মূলত অনুবাদমূলক বলেই ভুলভাবে পরিভাষাগুলোর ‘বাংলাকরণকে’ প্রধান দায়িত্ব হিসাবে ভাবা হচ্ছে। প্রকৃত সংকট দৃষ্টির আড়ালেই থেকে যাচ্ছে।

    জীবনী: জন্ম ২৩ আগস্ট, ১৯৭৫ নোয়াখালীর হাতিয়ায়। ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের বাংলা বিভাগে এমএ এবং পিএইচডি। বর্তমানে ওই বিভাগে অধ্যাপক হিসাবে কর্মরত।
    পিএইচডি গবেষণার বিষয় বাংলা ভাষার উপনিবেশায়ন ও বি-উপনিবেশায়ন। প্রবন্ধ ও সমালোচনা লিখে থাকেন। আগ্রহের বিষয় সাহিত্য, নন্দনতত্ত্ব, ইতিহাস, রাজনীতি ও সংস্কৃতি অধ্যয়ন। ছোট-বড় শতাধিক প্রবন্ধ প্রকাশ করেছেন। অনুবাদ করেছেন গুরুত্বপূর্ণ কিছু তাত্ত্বিক রচনা।
    প্রকাশিত গ্রন্থ: বাংলা ভাষার উপনিবেশায়ন ও রবীন্দ্রনাথ [২০১৪; দ্বিতীয় মুদ্রণ ২০১৯]; বাংলা ও প্রমিত বাংলা সমাচার [২০১৯; দ্বিতীয় মুদ্রণ ২০১৯]; কবি ও কবিতার সন্ধানে [২০২০]; হুমায়ূন আহমেদ: পাঠপদ্ধতি ও তাৎপর্য [২০২০]; বিষয় সিনেমা: তিনটি অনূদিত প্রবন্ধ [অনুবাদ, ২০২০]; সাংস্কৃতিক রাজনীতি ও বাংলাদেশ [২০২২], নির্বাচিত কবিতা: সৈয়দ আলী আহসান [সম্পাদনা, ২০১৬]। সম্পাদনা করছেন চিন্তামূলক প্রবন্ধের কাগজ তত্ত্বতালাশ। 

    ‘প্রতিশ্রুত ভূমি’র গল্প ও বাঙালির কল্পিত ‘সোনার বাংলা’: বাংলাদেশের স্বাধীনতা লাভের সুবর্ণজয়ন্তীতে ফিরে দেখা স্বপ্ন ও বাস্তবতা
    ড. শোয়াইব জিবরান, বাংলাদেশ উন্মুক্ত বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় / Dr. Shoaib Gibran, Bangladesh Open University 

    সার-সংক্ষেপ: মানব সম্প্রদায়ের প্রতিটি গোষ্ঠীর নিজস্ব স্বাধীন ভূখণ্ড লাভের বাসনা- আদিতম যৌথ অবচেতনার একটি স্বপ্ন। কেননা স্বাধীন একটি অঞ্চলের তৃণভূমির অধিকারই দিতে পারে জীবন যাপনের নিশ্চয়তা-খাদ্য থেকে বসবাসের, প্রজমান্তরের। মানুষের সে স্বপ্নের আকাঙ্খা ছড়িয়ে আছে লোকগল্প, প্রাচীন মিথ আর পুরাণের ভেতর, ধর্মীয় বিশ্বাসের ভেতর। প্রতিটি শিশুর মনেও সে ভূখণ্ডটি অধিকারে রাখার বীজ রোপিত হয় শৈশবেই যা, প্রকৃতপক্ষে তার মাতৃভূমি; বংশের আদি পিতার কাছ থেকে উত্তরাধিকারসূত্রে পাওয়া ‘প্রতিশ্রুত ভূমি’। যে ‘প্রতিশ্রুত ভূমি’ (Promised Land)-এর ধারণা ওল্ড টেস্টামেন্টের গসপেলেও লেখা হয়েছে হাজার হাজার বছর অগে। 

    বাঙালি জাতিরও রয়েছে একটি কল্পিত ভূমির স্বপ্ন যা তাদের ভাষায় ‘সোনার বাংলা’।  সে স্বপ্নের সোনার বাংলা  পাওয়ার স্বপ্ন তাদের বহু কালের। কিন্তু গাঙ্গেয় উপত্যকায় সে বঙ্গভূমি গড়ে তোলার ক্ষেত্রে তাদের সে স্বপ্নবুনন ও বাস্তবায়ন বার বার ব্যাহত হয়েছে। তারা শাসিত হয়েছে নানা জাতি- গোষ্ঠীর শাসকদের দ্বারা।  প্রাচীন বঙ্গালদের সে ভূমি মধ্যযুগে মুসলিম শাসনে ‘সুবেহ্ বাঙ্গালা’ নামে একত্রিত হলেও ইংরেজ শাসনামলে ভাগ হয়েছে- পশ্চিম বঙ্গ এবং পূর্ব বঙ্গ ও  আসাম নামে। পবরর্তীতে ধর্মের ভিত্তিতে পূর্ব বঙ্গ পরিবর্তিত হয়েছে পূর্ব পাকিস্তানে এবং তা পাকিস্তানি শাসনাধীনে চলে গিয়েছে। ১৯৫২ সালে পূর্বভাগের বাঙালিরা ভাষাভিত্তিক জাতীয়তাবাদের ভিত্তিতে একটি স্বাধীন সর্বভৌম রাষ্ট্রগঠনের দিকে অগ্রসর হয়। বহু রক্ত ত্যাগ তিতিক্ষার মধ্য দিয়ে বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমানের নেতৃত্বে ১৯৭১ সালে সে কল্পিত সোনার বাংলার একটি রাষ্ট্রীয় কাঠামো অর্জন সম্ভব হয়। কিন্তু তখনই যথারীতি এর বাইরে রয়ে যায় পশ্চিম বাংলা। পৃথিবীর আরও নানা প্রান্তে বাংলা ভাষাভাষীদের বাসস্থানকে কেন্দ্র গড়ে উঠতে থাকে আরও আরও বাংলা। আর বাংলাদেশ নামক গড়ে ওঠা রাষ্ট্রটিও সম্মুখীন হতে থাকে নানা প্রতিকূলতার। 

    বাংলাদেশ নামক স্বাধীন রাষ্ট্রটি ইতোমধ্যে তার স্বাধীনতালাভের ৫০ বৎসর অতিক্রম করেছে। কিন্তু হাজার বছর পেরিয়ে আজও কি বাঙালিরা তাদের সে স্বপ্নের সোনার বাংলার স্বপ্ন পূরণ করতে পেরেছে? ইতিহাস ও বাস্তবতার প্রেক্ষাপটে আলোচ্য প্রবন্ধে সে সকল  প্রশ্নের উত্তর অনুসন্ধান করা হবে।

    চাবিশব্দ: প্রতিশ্রুত ভূমি (Promised Land), গঙ্গাঋডি, বঙ্গ, বঙ্গাল, বাংলা, সোনার বাংলা, রবীন্দ্রনাথ, বঙ্গবন্ধু, বাংলাদেশ।

    জীবনী: শোয়াইব জিবরানের জন্ম ১৯৭১ সালের ৮ এপ্রিল, ১৯৭১ সালে মৌলভীবাজার জেলার আযমত শাহ্ কুটিরে। মূলত কবি ও শিক্ষাবিদ। শিক্ষা পরামর্শক হিসেবে কাজ করেছেন জাতিসংঘ শিশু তহবিলে। বর্তমানে বাংলাদেশ উন্মুক্ত বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের স্কুল অব এডুকেশনের অধ্যাপক। বাংলা ভাষা ও সাহিত্যে বিষয়ে জাহাঙ্গীনগর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় থেকে এমএ ও ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় থেকে পিএইচ ডি। শিক্ষাবিজ্ঞান বিষয়ে প্রশিক্ষণ ও পাঠ গ্রহণ করেছেন সুকথাই থাম্মাথিরাত ওপেন ইউনিভার্সিটি, থাইল্যান্ড ও কুইন্স ইউনিভার্সিটি, কানাডা থেকে। আমন্ত্রিত বক্তা ও প্রবন্ধপাঠক হিসেবে অংশ গ্রহণ করেছেন জাপান, ইংল্যান্ড, ভারতসহ বিশ্বের নানাস্থানে অনুষ্ঠিত সেমিনার ও সম্মেলনে। প্রকাশিত গ্রন্থের মধ্যে কাঠ চেরাইয়ের শব্দ (বাংলা একাডেমি, ১৯৯৬), কমলকুমার মজুমদারের উপন্যাসের করণকৌশল (বাংলা একাডেমি,২০০৯), ঘোর ও শূন্য জলধিপুরাণ (চৈতন্য, ২০১৭), প্রাচীন পুঁথির পৃষ্ঠা হতে (জেব্রাক্রসিং, ২০২০), ধুলো ও জলে লেখা জীবন (খড়িমাটি, ২০২১) উল্লেখযোগ্য। স্বীকৃতি হিসেবে ইতোমধ্যে  ‘মুক্তধারা একুশে সাহিত্য পুরস্কার’, ‘আব্দুল মান্নান চৌধুরী স্মৃতি পদক’, ‘সংহতি সম্মাননা’ ইত্যাদি লাভ করেছেন।

    সভাপতি / Chair: অধ্যাপক সুমন সাজ্জাদ, জাহাঙ্গীরনগর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় / Professor Sumon Sajjad, Jahangirnagar University

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62742027323?pwd=bG1UdTF3OGpuUEJpdmFwaFg1SW1nQT09
    Meeting ID: 627 4202 7323
    Password: 708006

Day 2 | February 26, 2022

  • Keynote Session | Main Room | 10:00 - 10:50 am

    Bengal: Imagining a Divided Nation
    Professor Saugata Bhaduri, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    Abstract: Bengal is an essentially divided nation. Not only has the partition of the subcontinent ensured that there are currently two Bengals (with around 60% of Bengali speakers residing in Bangladesh and around 38% in India), one can also see further lines of division on grounds of religion, caste, ethnicity, within each of the two Bengals. And yet, do Bengalis across the globe imagine themselves as a nation? And does the globe also imagine Bengal as a singular geographico-cultural entity, in spite of its political and social divisions? If so, how does a divided nation imagine itself, and how does the world, in turn, imagine a divided nation? If it is through the unity of the Bengali language, does not this imagination of the monolith of one language itself run the risk of devouring the mother tongues of the ethnic and linguistic minorities in both West Bengal and Bangladesh, sowing seeds of further division and dissension? This talk will try to respond to these questions by looking at some historical attempts to imagine Bengal -- by early European travellers to Bengal as well as by later Bengali nationalists themselves -- to explore how, in spite of the palpable divisions, it may be possible to imagine a plural and inclusive Bengali nation.

    Bio: Saugata Bhaduri is Professor at the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He has served as Visiting Professor at many universities and colleges in Europe, UK, and the USA, and has been recipient of several international research grants and awards. His areas of research interest include the cultural history of colonial Bengal, literary and cultural theory, popular culture, and translation and comparative literature studies. His latest books are Polycoloniality: European Transactions with Bengal from the 13th to the 19th Century (Bloomsbury 2020) and the forthcoming A Critical History of Bengali Literature (Orient Blackswan 2022). His earlier books include Transcultural Negotiations of Gender: Studies in (Be)Longing (Springer 2015), Literary Theory: An Introductory Reader (Anthem 2010), Perspectives on Comparative Literature and Culture in the Age of Globalization (Anthem 2010), Negotiating Glocalization (Anthem 2008), and Translating Power (Katha 2008).

    Chair: Sudeep Chakravarti, Writer, Journalist, and Visiting Professor, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62742027323?pwd=bG1UdTF3OGpuUEJpdmFwaFg1SW1nQT09
    Meeting ID: 627 4202 7323
    Password: 708006

  • Plenary Lecture/Performance | Main Room | 11:00 - 11:40 am

    Our Language Movement of 1952: Some Conceptual Constellations and Unresolved Questions
    Professor Azfar Hussain, Grand Valley State University in Michigan

    Abstract: Language is a site of struggle. V. N. Volosinov is right when he asserts: “sign becomes an arena of the class struggle.” “The war is in words,” proclaims James Joyce, while deliberately morphing “syntax” into what he himself calls “sintalks.” Salman Rushdie—in his Joycean verbal zest—spells out the nature of what might be called “language struggle” through the words of his character called “Baal,” a poet and a satirist: “To name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep [...]. Language is courage: the ability to conceive a thought, to speak it, and by so doing to make it true.” By citing Joyce and Rushdie, I underwrite with full force Frantz Fanon’s assertion: “I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language;” while, however, I do not believe that the world can be changed through changing language only. It is here where the Italian Marxist revolutionary Antonio Gramsci’s insight appears useful, as he maintains: “Every time the question of language surfaces it means that a series of other problems are coming to the fore: the formation and enlargement of the governing class, the need to establish more intimate and secure relationships between the governing groups and the national-popular mass, in other words to reorganize cultural hegemony.” By way of offering a Gramscian reading of Fanon and a Fanonian reading of Gramsci vis-à-vis the dialectics of language and culture as they affect—and are affected by—the politics and practice of everyday life, I intend to foreground certain ignored areas of our own Language Movement to argue that it ranged beyond the horizon of linguistic nationalism and decisively turned language itself into a massive site of emancipatory struggles, whose renewal and reinvention are absolutely necessary in Bangladesh today.     

    Bio: Dr Azfar Hussain is a Bangladeshi American theorist, critic, academic, bilingual writer, poet, translator, and public intellectual. He is currently Director of the Graduate Program in Social Innovation and  Associate Professor of Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies within the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He is also Vice-President of the Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS) based in New York and GCAS Professor of English, World Literature, and Interdisciplinary Studies. He taught English, world literature, ethnic studies, and cultural studies at Washington State University, Bowling Green State University, and Oklahoma State University in the US; while, in Bangladesh, he taught English at Jahangirnagar University and North South University. He also worked as Scholar-in-Residence and Summer Distinguished Professor of English and Humanities at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh.  In addition to authoring/editing several books, Dr. Hussain has published—in both English and Bengali—hundreds of academic, popular, and creative pieces, including translations from several non-western languages, and written on a wide range of topics from Native American poetics and politics to critiques of postmodern-poststructuralist-postcolonial theory to Marxist political economy to “third-world” literatures to globalization and imperialism to theories and practices of interdisciplinarity. Dr Hussain is also an internationally known public speaker and a frequent subject of media interviews regarding Bangladeshi society, culture, and politics. His latest book in Bengali called Darshanakkhyan (Philosophical Narratives) is an interdisciplinary intervention in the fields of contemporary politics, culture, literature, and philosophy (including the philosophy of language). 

    (Prepared by Andrea Johnson)

    Chair: Afsan Chowdhury, Bangladeshi Liberation War Researcher, Columnist, and Journalist

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62742027323?pwd=bG1UdTF3OGpuUEJpdmFwaFg1SW1nQT09
    Meeting ID: 627 4202 7323
    Password: 708006

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 1 | 11:50 am - 12:40 pm

    Language Policies and Politics in Bangladesh

    The Politics of Language in the formation of Bengali/Bangladeshi Identity
    Ms. Aliya Halim,  The Neotia University

    Abstract: Bangla is the mother tongue of the Bengali Muslims of West Bengal and the national and official language of Bangladesh. The language belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of languages and has a distinctive script. According to Dil (2014:241) ‘the period of the most significant development of Bengali has been since the advent of Muslim rulers of Bengal, in the thirteenth century…’ The article examines from a socio-linguistic perspective the politics of language in the formation of Bengali/Bangladeshi identity from the advent of the Muslims in Bengal, to the establishment of the British Raj upto the period of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. The article attempts to revisit from the lens of history and investigate the socio-political consequences that was instrumental in the formation of linguistic identity of the people of Bangladesh and the vital role that language played as a determining factor in the culmination of an independent Bangladesh.

    Attitudes of University Students and Teachers Toward Blended Learning: A Bangladeshi Perspective
    Mazid Ul Hasan, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology and Apala Biswas, University College London

    Abstract: In Bangladesh, after the universities reopened in October 2021, it has been challenging for the students and teachers to move back to face-to-face classes because they have experienced online teaching and learning for a significant amount of time and the pandemic has not been over yet. In such circumstances, many universities are considering combining face-to-face and online learning, which is also known as Blended or Hybrid Learning. As of January 2022, since another wave of Covid-19 is on the way, it is crucial to understand the perceptions of the students and teachers toward blended learning before implementing it in full swing. To fulfill that objective, qualitative data were collected from 20 students and 10 teachers from 5 universities of Bangladesh through open-ended questions and semi-structured interviews for this study. The findings show that students have a positive attitude towards blended learning during the pandemic, although they would prefer only face-to-face classes when it is over. The results also demonstrate that teachers consider blended learning as an effective approach if appropriately implemented. Moreover, both groups provided some suggestions that are expected to be beneficial for the policymakers, administrators, and other stakeholders for the successful execution of blended learning in Bangladeshi universities.

    বাংলাদেশের শিক্ষাব্যবস্থা ও জাতীয় ঐক্য 
    Saiful Islam Sazid,  Southern University Bangladesh

    সার-সংক্ষেপ: বাংলাদেশের শিক্ষাব্যবস্থা কয়েকটি ধারা ও ভাষায় বিভক্ত। এর মধ্যে প্রধান দু’টি ধারা হল— স্কুল-কলেজের শিক্ষা ও মাদরাসার শিক্ষা। স্কুল-কলেজের শিক্ষাব্যবস্থায় আবার ইংরেজি ও বাংলা দু’টি মাধ্যম রয়েছে এবং তাদের পাঠ্যক্রমেরও ভিন্নতা রয়েছে। অপরদিকে মাদরাসা শিক্ষার প্রধান কিতাবসমূহ উর্দু ভাষার। এই সকল শিক্ষাব্যবস্থার পড়াশোনার বিষয়াদি, সংস্কৃতি ও মেজাজ একটি অপরটির থেকে ভিন্ন। ফলত ৫৬ হাজার বর্গমাইলের ছোট্ট এই দেশে ভিন্ন ভিন্ন মানসিকতা ও আদর্শ নিয়ে প্রজন্ম বেড়ে উঠছে।

    একটি দেশের জাতীয়তাবোধ টিকিয়ে রাখা ও জাতীয় ঐক্য ধরে রাখার জন্য পুরো জাতিকে কিছু মৌলিক প্রশ্নে একমত হতে হয়। বাংলাদেশে প্রচলিত শিক্ষাব্যবস্থাগুলোর একটি থেকে অন্যটির শ্রেণি, ভাষা ও আদর্শগত দূরত্বের কারণে ভিন্ন ভিন্ন ‘কল্পনার দেশ’ মাথায় নিয়ে প্রজন্ম বড় হচ্ছে। তাদের কারো কল্পনার দেশে হয়তো আছে একটি মাত্র ধর্মের মানুষ, কারোটায় একটি মাত্র রাজনৈতিক আদর্শ অথবা কারোটায় হয়তো শুধুই পশ্চিমা সংস্কৃতির আস্ফালন। ফলে সংবিধান ও জাতীয় পরিচয়ের কিছু মৌলিক প্রশ্নে স্বাধীনতার ৫০ বছরেও আমরা একমত হতে পারিনি।

    রাষ্ট্রের অভ্যন্তরে বিভাজন ও দাঙ্গা নিরসনে শিক্ষাব্যবস্থায় ভারসাম্য আনা জরুরি। এদেশের শিক্ষাবিদ, প্রশাসন ও সাধারণ মানুষের অংশগ্রহণে প্রচলিত শিক্ষাব্যবস্থাগুলোয় কিছু মৌলিক ব্যাপারে দূরত্ব ঘুচিয়ে সামঞ্জস্য তৈরি করার মাধ্যমে দেশের ইতিবাচক ভবিষ্যৎ সুরক্ষিত করা প্রয়োজন, অনেক বেশি দেরি হয়ে যাওয়ার আগেই।

    Chair: Golam Kader Zilany, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62641448688?pwd=T0dFTVhCemdES1R6SkpKYm44aWxEZz09

    Meeting ID: 626 4144 8688
    Password: 646796

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 2 | 11:50 am - 12:40 pm

    Kazi Nazrul Islam

    Deciphering Nazrul: An anti-colonialist or a rebel?
    Touhida Sultana,  Leading University

    Abstract: 21st February 1952 is considered as the beginning of the Bengali nationalist movements in pre-indepedent era i.g. in East Pakistan. From British colonial time through Pakistani regime Kazi Nazrul Islam tries to uphold the theme of liberty, equality, and fraternity among the people. In his poems, he tries to eliminate the differences between the ruler and the ruled, the powerful and the powerless. Nazrul dreams of a place where people will enjoy the opportunity of equality. As a poet of democracy, Nazrul never distinguished people based on sex, gender, race, caste, or colour. In his poems, the poet wanted to ensure equal treatment for all of the people of the country. This article tries to focus on some of Nazrul's writings where he is appeared as an anti-colonialist instead of a simple rebel against the authority. It shades light on the strength of his poems that inspired people of that time to stand against the abuses of the authority and as a consequence materialise the present independent Bangladesh.

    Violence as an Element in the Making of the ‘Self’: A Case Study of Kazi Nazrul Islam’s Selected Poems
    Sukanta Biswas, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science & Technology University

    Abstract: Almost two hundred years of the British rule in India marked by the racial and cultural alterity, the cultivation of sectarian politics, massive poverty and inequality imposed upon the colonized India through the exploitative and manipulative politics instrumentally triggered anxiety, distrust and ruthless violence in the relationship between the Indians and the British in power. Amid these colonial realities of India, ‘the rebel poet’ Kazi Nazrul Islam’s revolutionary activism and literary talent made him a poet of the people committed to the utmost freedom and emancipatory pursuits. This article examines how Nazrul, a citizen of a colonized nation, questions the British rule in India and wholeheartedly devotes to serve the nation by intellectually participating with the processes of cultural emancipation and political sovereignty. Drawing on a critical analysis of the selected poems of the poet, this paper, therefore, investigates how creating a binary ‘self’, the radical articulations proclaim a war against all forms of misrules and injustices committed by the colonial ruler. It further explores how through the interplay of political, literary, and cultural resistances the poet stands against and encounters the colonizing forces that distinctly help us to locate his artistic ‘self’ uniquely different from the Gandhian nonviolent approach to achieve India’s independence.

    বাঙালি জাতীয়তাবাদী চেতনা বিকাশে কাজী নজরুল ইসলামের অবদান
    Chaitee Chakraborty, BRAC University

    সার-সংক্ষেপ::বাংলা সাহিত্যে এক বিস্ময়কর প্রতিভা কাজী নজরুল ইসলাম (১৮৯৯-১৯৭৬), বিংশ শতাব্দীর অসম্ভবের সম্ভাবনার যুগে যাঁর জন্ম । দ্রোহ, প্রেম, মানবতা, সাম্য, তারুণ্য ও জাগরণের কবি কাজী নজরুল অসাম্প্রদায়িক বাঙালি সংস্কৃতির অন্যতম কারিগর । তিনি বিদ্রোহ করেছেন উপনিবেশ-পরাধীনতা-শোষণের বিরুদ্ধে, দাসত্বের বিরুদ্ধে, জীর্ণ সমাজ ব্যবস্থার বিরুদ্ধে, জাতপাত ও ধর্মীয় বিভাজনের বিরুদ্ধে, ধর্ম ব্যবসায়ীর বিরুদ্ধে, অসত্য-অসুন্দর-অমঙ্গল-অন্যায়-কুসংস্কারের বিরুদ্ধে, মানুষ হিসেবে মানুষের মর্যাদা প্রতিষ্ঠা, মানুষের অর্থনৈতিক মুক্তি, শ্রমিক ও নারীদের অধিকার প্রতিষ্ঠার জন্য । নজরুল ইসলাম ‘ধূমকেতু’ পত্রিকায় প্রথম ভারতবর্ষের পূর্ণ স্বাধীনতা দাবি করেন । তিনি তাঁর লেখার মধ্য দিয়ে ভারতবর্ষের জনগণকে জাগিয়ে তুলতে চেয়েছেন । তিনি পরাধীন ভারতবর্ষকে ব্রিটিশ শোষণ থেকে মুক্ত করতে জাতীয়তাবাদী সংগ্রামে যুক্ত ছিলেন । উনিশ শতকে বাংলা সাহিত্যে যে সংকীর্ণ জাতীয়তাবাদী ধারার প্রচলন ছিল, নজরুল তাঁর গতিপথ পরিবর্তন করেন । ভারতবর্ষের সাম্প্রদায়িক বিভেদ দূর এবং হানাহানি বন্ধ করার প্রয়াসে তিনি ছিলেন সর্বদা সচেতন এবং বদ্ধপরিকর । সাম্প্রদায়িক রাজনীতির বিরুদ্ধে তিনি সচেতনভাবে সংগ্রাম করেছেন । উদার জাতীয়তাবোধে অনুপ্রাণিত নজরুল একই সঙ্গে ধারণ করলেন ভারতীয় জাতীয়তাবোধের সঙ্গে মুসলিম ঐতিহ্যকে । ভারতবর্ষীয় পুরাণ এবং ইসলামের ইতিহাস ও ঐতিহ্য থেকে উপাদান সংগ্রহ করে নজরুল সৃষ্টি করলেন অসাম্প্রদায়িক চেতনার বিরল দৃষ্টান্ত । তাঁর সৃজনে জাতীয়তাবোধ, বিপ্লববাদ,সাম্যবাদ - সব রকম রাজনৈতিক চেতনার প্রকাশ দেখা যায় । জাতীয়তাবাদের প্রধান বৈশিষ্ট্য পূর্ণ স্বাধীনতা কামনা - যা তাঁর সাহিত্যে প্রথম থেকেই ব্যক্ত হয়েছে ।তাঁর মুক্তির আকাঙ্ক্ষা কেবল জাতীয়তার মধ্যে সীমিত ছিল না । তাঁর স্বাধীনতা কামনার সঙ্গে পৃথিবীর সকল নির্যাতিত মানুষের মুক্তির কামনা একাকার হয়ে গিয়েছিল ।বাঙালি জাতীয়তাবাদের চেতনা বিকাশে কাজী নজরুল ইসলাম তাৎপর্যপূর্ণ ভূমিকা পালন করেছেন ।

    Chair: Anika Tahsin, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/64158699150?pwd=Tms0MnpOOTJqOTlIa0RDcEZnaHdsdz09
    Meeting ID: 641 5869 9150
    Password: 178623

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 3 | 11:50 am - 12:40 pm

    বাংলাদেশ: সাহিত্যে, চলচ্চিত্রে

    পঞ্চাশের দুই সংকলন: বাংলাদেশের বাংলা কবিতার নতুন ভাষা ও ভাষ্য
    Ismile Saadi,  Brac University

    সার-সংক্ষেপ: 'নতুন কবিতা' (১৯৫০) ও 'একুশে ফেব্রুয়ারী' (১৯৫৩) যথাক্রমে বাহাত্তর ও উনসত্তর বছর বয়সী দুটি কবিতা-সংকলন। বাংলা কবিতাকে কেন্দ্র করে তৎকালীন পূর্ব পাকিস্তানের কবিদের নতুন স্বপ্ন ও সম্ভাবনার প্রতিজ্ঞা নিয়ে প্রকাশিত হয় নতুন কবিতা। ভারতভাগের (১৯৪৭) অবব্যহিত পর আটচল্লিশে সূত্রপাত হয় যে ভাষা আন্দোলনের, তার ছিঁটেফোঁটাও স্পর্শ করেনি এ-সংকলনকে। অথচ এর সম্পাদকদ্বয় বলেছিলেন, ‘পরিবর্তিত সমাজ-চেতনা সৌন্দর্যের মাপমাঠির বদৌলতে কবিতার তথা সাহিত্যের ভাষার মাপকাঠিরও পরিবর্তন হতে বাধ্য।’ তবুও ‘নরম মাটিতে নামার’ একধরনের কাব্যপ্রতিজ্ঞায় উচ্চাভিলাষী ছিলেন তাঁরা। অন্যদিকে, ১৯৫২ সালের ভাষা আন্দোলনের চূড়ান্ত পরিণতির পর একুশে ফেব্রুয়ারি যখন কেবল আর তারিখ হিসেবে নয়; বরং চেতনা ও বেদনা এবং প্রতিজ্ঞা ও সম্ভাবনার নতুন পটভূমি হিসেবে পরিগণিত হয়, তখনই প্রতিশ্রুতির নতুন পয়গাম নিয়ে হাজির হয় বাংলাদেশের বাংলা কবিতার সবচেয়ে প্রভাববিস্তারকারী সংকলন 'একুশে ফেব্রুয়ারী'। সংকলন দুটিতে প্রতিফলিত নতুন কাব্যভাষা ও বিষয়কে কেন্দ্র করেই আবর্তিত হয়েছে গত সাত দশকের বাংলাদেশের বাংলা কবিতার দিগন্ত। দুই সংকলনের কবিতার ভাষা, বিষয়, চিত্রকল্প, সংকেত, বুননকৌশল, উপস্থাপনা, প্রতিজ্ঞা—সবকিছুর মধ্যে ব্যবধান সত্ত্বেও রয়েছে সাযুজ্য। ভাষা আন্দোলনকে কেন্দ্র করে কবিতার সামাজিক ও সাংস্কৃতিক মেলবন্ধনে 'একুশে ফেব্রুয়ারী'র অবিস্মরণীয় ভূমিকা বাংলা কবিতার নতুনত্ব প্রতিষ্ঠা এবং শিল্পমাধ্যম হিসেবে চূড়াস্পর্শী সাফল্য কীভাবে অর্জিত হয়েছে, সেই প্রতিশ্রুতির প্রভাব অনুসন্ধানই এ প্রবন্ধের লক্ষ্য।

    শিম কীভাবে রান্না করতে হয়: একটি উত্তর-ঔপনিবেশিক পর্যবেক্ষণ
    Mafruha Shifat,  Brac University

    সার-সংক্ষেপ: কেন্দ্র ও প্রান্তের ‘প্রচলিত’ বিভেদরেখা বরাবরই ছিল সৈয়দ ওয়ালীউল্লাহ্-এর মর্মপীড়ার কারণ। সেই সূত্রে কখনও গভীর সমাজবীক্ষায়, কখনও রাজনৈতিক সূত্র অনুসন্ধানে, কিংবা কখনও নিগূঢ় আত্ম-বিশ্লেষণে তিনি প্রকাশ করেছেন তাঁর উত্তর-উপনিবেশী (Post-colonial) মনকে। আপাদমস্তক ‘বাঙালি’ ওয়ালীউল্লাহ্-এর সাহিত্যকর্মে নানাভাবে প্রতিফলিত হয়েছে ঔপনিবেশিক ও সাম্রাজ্যবাদী শক্তিসমূহের প্রতি তীব্র বিদ্বেষ এবং বিশ্বজুড়ে বঞ্চিত জনগোষ্ঠী ও স্বজাতির প্রতি সহমর্মিতা। এই স্বরেরই ভিন্নধর্মী উচ্চারণ তাঁর রচিত কথাসাহিত্য 'শিম কীভাবে রান্না করতে হয়' (How Does One Cook Beans)। তাঁর জীবদ্দশায় অপ্রকাশিত এই রচনাটির সময়কাল নিয়ে যেমন ভিন্নমত রয়েছে, তেমনই নানা অভিমত পাওয়া যায় এর গঠনকৌশল নিয়েও। তবে প্রায় অনালোচিত রচনাটির মূল বৈশিষ্ট্য এর গঠনশৈলী নয়, বরং বিষয়বিন্যাস। ইয়োরোপীয়রা; বিশেষ করে ফরাসিরা এশীয়দের কীভাবে দেখে, একজন এশীয় ও একজন বাঙালি হিসেবে তিনি সেটি তুলে ধরেছেন স্যাটায়ারধর্মী রচনাটিতে। নিজেদের অপরতাবিষয়ক (Otherness) সংকীর্ণ চিন্তায় পশ্চিমা জাতিসমূহ প্রাচ্যকে হেয় প্রতিপন্ন করতে থাকে সদা প্রস্তুত। এদিকে আনুমানিক ষাটের দশকের শুরুর দিকে ফ্রান্সের প্যারিসে বসে লেখা রচনাটিতে লেখকের একমাত্র উদ্দেশ্য ছিল, ফরাসিদের সেই চিরায়ত ‘শ্রেষ্ঠত্ব’বাদী ধারণার অসারতা প্রমাণের চেষ্টা। ‘শিম রান্না’ বিষয়ক ইঙ্গিতধর্মী পরিচর্যাকে কেন্দ্র করে হাস্যরসাত্মক অথচ ধারালো বর্ণনায়, তিনি যেভাবে সেই প্রচেষ্টা চালিয়ে গেছেন এবং যেভাবে শেষপর্যন্ত এশীয়দের হয়ে লড়াই করে গেছেন, সেটির উত্তর-ঔপনিবেশিক পরিপ্রেক্ষিত যাচাই এই প্রবন্ধের উদ্দেশ্য।

    মুক্তিযুদ্ধের চলচ্চিত্রে গণহত্যার উপস্থিতিঃ তুলনামূলক পর্যবেক্ষণ
    Rafiqul Anowar (Russell),  Independent Research Center for Film and Visual Culture

     সার-সংক্ষেপ: ইংরেজি’তে Genocide একটি সংকর শব্দ। মূল গ্রীক শব্দ génos যার অর্থ (জাতি, মানুষ) এবং ল্যাটিন -cide ("হত্যাকান্ড") এর সমন্বয়ে গঠিত। আর বাংলায় 'গণ'-এর অর্থ গোষ্ঠী এবং 'হত্যা'র অর্থ সংহার। অর্থাৎ ‌ গণহত্যা হ'ল কোনো গোষ্ঠীভুক্ত মানুষজনকে মেরে ফেলা। গণহত্যা জাতিগত, বর্ণগত, ধর্মীয় বা নৃতত্ত্বীয় গোষ্ঠী হিসাবে বিবেচিত মানুষজনকে সম্পূর্ণ বা আংশিকভাবে ধ্বংস করার ইচ্ছাকৃত কার্য। দ্বিতীয় বিশ্বযুদ্ধে জার্মানীর হিটলার বাহিনীর পরিকল্পিত উপায়ে প্রায় ষাট লক্ষ ইহুদী হত্যাযজ্ঞের ঘটনা বিশ্বযুদ্ধের পরবর্তী সময়ে শক্তিশালী মাধ্যম হিসেবে পরিচিত চলচ্চিত্রে এই গণহত্যার বিষয় এবং ঘটনা নানাভাবে উঠে এসেছে। যুদ্ধকালীন সময়ে কেবল সশস্ত্র বাহিনীর বীরত্ব বা যুদ্ধের বিষয় উপস্থাপন না করে, জার্মান বাহিনী কর্তৃক কি কি প্রক্রিয়ায় ইউরোপজুড়ে লক্ষ লক্ষ ইহুদীসহ ছয় কোটি মানুষ নিহত হল, সেদিকটা উপস্থাপিত হয়েছে পৃথিবীর শত চলচ্চিত্রে । এছাড়া উনিশ শতক থেকে নৃশংস গণহত্যা - আর্মেনীয় গণহত্যা, ন্যানকিং গণহত্যা, কম্বোডীয় গণহত্যা, বসনীয় গণহত্যা, এবং সর্বশেষ মিয়ানমারে রোহিঙ্গাদের ওপর নির্যাতন নিয়ে বিভিন্ন দেশে উল্লেখযোগ্য চলচ্চিত্র নির্মিত হয়েছে এবং হচ্ছে। এখনো বিষয় এবং আঙ্গিক নিরিখে নানাভাবে চলচ্চিত্রে এসব ভয়াবহ জেনোসাইডের উপর কাহিনীচিত্র, তথ্যচিত্র বা ফিচার ডকুমেন্টারি নির্মিত হয়ে থাকে।

    ১৯৭১ সালে ২৫ মার্চ থেকে পাকিস্তান সেনাবাহিনীর ‘অপারেশন সার্চলাইটে’র নামে স্বাধীনতাকামী ত্রিশ লক্ষ বাঙ্গালী হত্যা এবং দুই লক্ষ নারীকে ধর্ষণের সংগঠিত অপরাধকে জেনোসাইড বা গণহত্যা’র বলে সংজ্ঞায়িত করা আবশ্যক। এই বাস্তবতায়, মুক্তিযুদ্ধ এবং স্বাধীনতা সংগ্রামের আন্দোলন, ঘটনা, যুদ্ধ ইত্যাদির পাশাপাশি লক্ষ লক্ষ মানুষের জেনোসাইডের দিকটি স্বাধীন বাংলাদেশের চলচ্চিত্রে কতটুকু উল্লেখযোগ্যভাবে উপস্থাপিত হয়েছে বা হয়নি - সেই পর্যবেক্ষন হবে এই রচনার বিষয়বস্তু ।

    Chair: Hosne Al Noor, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62042352536?pwd=aEJqOGJ0NjF4ZXQ4eTZXQ1A4cVhoUT09
    Meeting ID: 620 4235 2536
    Password: 365796

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 1 | 01:30 - 02:20 pm

    Writing the Margin

    River, Woman, and Endangered human civilization in Haldaa: An Ecofeminist Approach
    Khadizatul Kobra Urmy, Shahjalal University of Science & Technology

    Abstract: Ecofeminism explores the connection between nature and women and the abusive treatment of both in the hands of patriarchy. Nature and women are connected through their roles since the inception of human civilization. The way mother nature provides human beings and animals with all the essentials to be born, grow up, and survive, and lets the human civilization flourish is similar to a woman’s giving birth to babies and raise them with utmost care in the role of a mother. In that sense, both nature and women are the origins and protectors of life. Therefore, exploiting the source of life itself indicates to the endangerment of life on earth. Haldaa, a Bangladeshi film directed by Tauquir Ahmed, deals with the vital issue of destroying nature through the honest depiction of polluting Haldaa, a river situated in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh which is Asia’s one and only natural fish breeding center. Similarly, maltreatment of the female characters resulting in problems with their motherhood, identity crisis, and insecurity runs parallel to the issues of river pollution, killing of mother fish, and struggles of the people depending on Haldaa for their livelihood. This paper seeks to investigate the interconnectedness of river and woman in this film from an ecofeminist perspective and show how human civilization can be at stake if both nature and women are not well-protected.

    The Trajectory of Oppression in Syed Waliullah’s Tree Without Roots: A Reading from A Subaltern Studies Perspective 
    Md. Imran Hossain, Northern University Bangladesh

    Abstract: Oppression is the most powerful tool to exercise power on any voiceless entity, especially when there is no one to be the voice of the oppressed. The idea of subaltern studies is to identify the subalterns and pinpoint the treatment they receive from the society, to develop an understanding of the potential resolutions to the concerned issues. The paper attempts to view Syed Waliullah’s arguably most celebrated novel Lalshalu (Tree Without Roots) through the lens of subaltern studies. In doing so, it recognizes the female characters of the novel as subalterns and concentrates on the hegemony and oppression on them in the novel. Not to mention the result of the little unsuccessful rebellion of one of the subalterns, Jamila and draw a pattern of the abuse of power in addition to the possible outcome if things had been different. The paper analyses the issues related to the society and the core problems associated with the voiceless women. In essence, the paper investigates the trajectory of the visible and invisible oppression of the female characters in the novel and the patriarchal attitude toward the marginalized entity.

    Re-narrating History: A Voice for the Voiceless in Selected Bangladeshi Short Stories
    Sumaeta Marjan, Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) and Sahria Islam Trisha, Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP)

    Abstract: This paper aims to explore the subjugated mass who are somewhat subaltern or inanimate in nature and represents the unheard voices of the voiceless group in Bangladeshi short stories from social and cultural point of view. The stories selected for this research are “Ekusher Golpo”, “Ekti Tulshi Gacher Kahini” and “Kolimoddi Dafadar” which represent three vital timelines of the History of Bangladesh incorporating the events like communal riot of 1947, language movement of 1952 and liberation war of 1971. Each of these short stories gives us the presence of a notion or a character that screams out the unheard side of the coin. While the “tulshi gach” from “Ekti Tulshi Gacher Kahini” points out the extreme sufferings of common people due to the differences between two communities, the skeleton of Topu from “Ekusher Golpo” makes the reader think about all the martyrs whose names are never taken out loud. On the other hand, “Kolimoddi Dafadar”, the title character of the story preached the lower class government workers who were seen to struggle between their will and duty. Thus this research will bring forward the unheard voices from the selected texts through eco-critical Marxist analysis preaching the language of nature and the lower class unheard subalterns.

    The Transformation of Traditional Culture and Society in Akhtaruzzaman Elias’s Khwabnama: A Study through Raymond William’s Classification of Cultural Forms 
    Md. Saber -E- Montaha,  Northern University Bangladesh

    Abstract: The celebrated Bangladeshi author Akhtaruzzaman Elias’s (1943-1997) seminal novel, Khwabnama (1996) records the transformation of traditional culture and society of Bangladesh, a part of the then undivided India, as a result of the British colonial rule and many resultant political events as well as structural reformations in the societal system. Set at some villages surrounding Katlahar lake in Bogura during the 1940s, this novel looks back at the past and forward into the future to depict how the pre-colonial culture and society of the locality gradually undergo significant changes after the intrusion of colonial culture ultimately leading to several political events such as the Battle of Plassey, the Sannyasi rebellion, the Sepoy mutiny, the Tevaga movement, and the partition of India. This paper, in the light of Raymond William’s (1921-1988) classification of cultural forms, aims at studying how the dominant and residual elements of pre-colonial Bengal culture are absorbed by the emergent cultural elements perpetuated by the British colonial rule and the consequent political events and the subsequent societal changes in Akhtaruzzaman Elias’s Khwabnama.

    Chair: Dr. Mohammad Tareque Rahman, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62641448688?pwd=T0dFTVhCemdES1R6SkpKYm44aWxEZz09

    Meeting ID: 626 4144 8688
    Password: 646796

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 2 | 01:30 - 02:20 pm

    Language, Translation and Nationalism

    Enlivening Bengali Nationalism through Language Policy
    Md. Nuruzzaman, Khulna University

    Abstract: This paper will focus on why framing a language policy of Bangladesh is important for stimulating Bengali Nationalism in all spheres of life. Language is a key constituent for nationalism and for Bengali Nationalism it is the lifeblood. Without one’s own language, one cannot germinate oneself the pristine respect for culture and tradition and uphold ethno-national consciousness. Though the Bangla Academy and the International Mother Language Institute are supposed to play the role to awaken Bengali Nationalism at home in general, and in abroad in particular, the reality is different as there seems to have no planning regarding the language policy of Bangladesh. The government of Bangladesh is yet to frame a language policy even after its golden jubilee of independence. Thus, following a qualitative approach, this paper will explicate the outcome of introducing a language policy in Bangladesh. The findings of the study will suggest that an instrumental language policy helps enliven Bengali Nationalism in all ways of life.

    Retreat to Recreate to Redress: Translating and Retelling Texts for Nation-Building
    Sonika Islam,  Eastern University

    Abstract: “What about nation-building? ”is a question that haunts me on the fiftieth birthday of our nation-state Bangladesh. Are we forgetting the very Bangla for which we once fought seventy years ago? This paper tries to explore ways of nation-building through translation and retelling of texts. Goethe once said “The translator who attaches himself closely to his original more or less abandons the originality of his nation.” Then, Benedict Anderson showed how mass literacy in vernacular language is important for the construction of nationalities. So, my first proposal is to translate foreign texts into Bangla to create a national identity. My second proposal is to retell the canonical literature by Rabindranath, Nazrul or Mymensingh Geetika, Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumdar’s fairy tales, etc in children’s and young adults’ version like Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare or Easy Reader series to introduce national literature to youngsters. My third proposal is to translate and retell the tales from our ethnic communities in Bangla and publish the books bilingually. However, Syed Manzoorul Islam warned us how multilingualism “unsettles [one’s] linguistic homeliness.” So, my paper concludes proving how taking a retreat to recreate the world knowledge in Bangla will not only redress the threat on Bangalee nation but will also eventually build a nation with a plural society.

    The New Multilingual Dynamics in Bangladesh
    MD. Nurul Quayum,  Bangladesh Army University of Engineering & Technology

    Abstract: English has rarely been treated as a language in our country; rather, most of the time, it has been a subject like science and history that must be crammed for tests. The zeal for Communicative English and the voluminous and commodious proliferation of ELT (English Language Teaching) methods have hardly been serviceable in the large scale. On the other hand, learning trend of other languages for practical and personal reasons has been rising for quite a time. The commencement of Open Market Economy and the mass use of internet have opened the door for other cultures and languages. These languages are rarely pursued for academic purposes. In contrast to English, these languages are put in a more fluid and natural environment where learners enjoy more flexibility and freedom. Recent pandemic situation has also initiated a craze for language learning. A good number of people globally have invested their secluded time on online language learning. This surge has touched our shore as well. In our mostly monolingual society, disregarding those handfuls that use English on a regular basis for professional purposes, this new zeal for other languages should have some impact in our cultural, political and economic scenarios. This paper will try to discern if this fresh swing affects the position English enjoys in our country in those aforementioned areas and how this new way of learning languages can have an impact on our learning English in the academic sphere.

    Symbolic Representation of National Identity: Everyday Nationalism in Bangladesh
    Ashwati Chembayil Koppat, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    Abstract: Nation is formed through agreements, and contradictions. Newly decolonised states had witnessed social instabilities and political chaos owing to the interpretation of nationalism, often exclusionary tendencies levelled to civil wars; interstate wars were fought over the question of borders. South Asia as a region was no exception, Bangladesh had twin political destiny; its colonial phase and short experimentation with the idea of Pakistan. First caused partition of 1947 that entailed painful memories of separation and partition, second had a genocidal conclusion. Nation and state building after liberation war of 1971 was met with internal and external complexities. This article investigates the national identity formation in Bangladesh by tracing the process involved in the selection of national flag, anthem, emblem etc. National symbols are powerful imageries that remind the citizens of their glorious past, instil the sense of pride and sense of belonging. This could be best understood in major sporting events or national day celebrations, where national flags are the best observable representation of national unity. Article is divided into three themes. First theme presents a descriptive analysis of everyday nationalism and its significance in modern state system. Second theme examines the political debates and interventions that had influenced the everyday nationalism in Bangladesh. Third theme’s objective is to present new ideas that have evolved in the nationalist discourse, its relevance in state and society matrix.

    Chair: Mohammad Mosiur Rahman, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/64158699150?pwd=Tms0MnpOOTJqOTlIa0RDcEZnaHdsdz09
    Meeting ID: 641 5869 9150
    Password: 178623

  • Parallel Sessions | Room 3 | 01:30 - 02:20 pm

    The Imagined and Unimagined

    Imagining the Bengali Nation: Tracing the Birth of Bangladesh through select short stories from East Pakistan/ Bangladesh
    Dr. Debosmita Paul, University of Delhi

    Abstract: The Partition of 1947 imagined two nations into existence, i.e.; India and Pakistan. The division was on religious grounds. However, within a span of five years, i.e.; in 1952; the borders of the Pakistan was on the verge of re-constitution. A new nation was being imagined on linguistic and cultural grounds. Subsequently, in the year 1971, Bangladesh was created out of the East Pakistan. Moreover, it was observed that the linguistic and cultural nationalism in East Pakistan/ Bangladesh brought them closer to the Indian Bengalis. However, it wasn’t strong enough to lead to the creation of a united Bengali nation as Bangladesh kept its identity sovereign. 
    Literature being medium of narrating the lived histories of the people also bears witness to this process of the ‘imagining’ of the nation-state of Bangladesh. The proposed paper will look into select short stories from East Pakistan/ Bangladesh to trace the evolution of this linguistic and cultural identity within the people of East Pakistan and subsequently its attempt to maintain its sovereignty and separate identity from the Bengalis from India. 

    Reading Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children as a National Allegory
    Dr. Md Jakir Hossain,  Krishnath College

    Abstract: National Allegory denotes a kind narrative in which nation occupies a central part of the narrative. Salman Rushdie’s celebrated novel Midnight’s Children (1981) masterfully weaves character and history, allegorical and literal, to tell the story of the post-colonial nation-state thereby presenting a fascinating read about the discourse of the nation. This novel can be read both in postcolonial and postmodern terms which in a way prepares the ground for the thematization on the issue of the nation by presenting a narrator whose life story coincides with that of the nation. The present paper is an attempt to study the novel by employing the idea of ‘national allegory’ put forward by Fredric Jameson when he proclaims that “All third-world texts are necessarily…allegorical, and in a very specific way: they are to be read as what I will call national allegories”. By stating this what Jameson is implying is that third-world texts operate as national allegory.

    Selina Hossain’s Bhumi o Kushum (Land and Flowers): A Fictional Discourse on the Statelessness and Statehood of the then Dahagram Enclave
    K Ahmed Alam, International Standard University (ISU)

    Abstract: Selina Hossain, a prolific and acclaimed novelist and short story writer, writes the fiction titled Bhumi O Kushum (Land and Flowers) set in Dahagram, one of the then Bangladeshi enclaves in India. The 1947 partition demarcated by the Redcliff Boundary Commission created 111 enclaves under the statehood of newly independent India inside then East Pakistan, and 51 enclaves under Pakistani statehood inside India, which were the territories of the then princely states under the British Raj. Dahagram was a Pakistani enclave from 1947 to 1971 and later a Bangladeshi enclave; consequently, it suffered from statelessness till 26 June 1996 when Dahagram (along with Angorpota) was allowed to use the Indian area–Tinbigha Corridor– to be connected with Patgram Upazilla of Bangladesh in the light of the 1974 Indira-Mujib Pact. The dialectic between statelessness and statehood of Dahagram negatively affected its residents in terms of their personal relationships, identity, basic needs, and human and constitutional rights, and also influenced Indo-Bangla bilateral affairs. Selina Hossain textualizes these effects in her work through the protagonist Manjila’s life and other characters. This paper attempts to show these upshots caused by modern nationhood and statehood in the decolonial phase by applying cultural studies.

    The Obsessive Construction of “Mythic Bangladesh” in Popular Culture
    Anupam Kamal Sen, University of Eastern Finland and Susmita Roy, Leading University

    Abstract:  This paper looks at the obsessive construction of ‘mythic Bangladesh’ in television advertisements. Our finding suggests that often the major aim of these visual productions is to portray an image of ‘beautiful Bangladesh’. In their narratives, ‘Bangladesh’ always appears pristine, sacred, ecologically balanced, a dream place, a place of cheap food and simple life, and so on. Taking this into account, our paper will discuss how such aesthetic representations vastly contribute to the re/production of a ‘mythic Bangladesh’ by transforming it visually on the screen into an eroticised and a fetishised landscape devoid of any political and historical subjectivity. We argue that these idyllic illustrations deny the spatio-temporal historicity of a place and reduce it into an aesthetic commodity. We have no objections to the claim that “Bangladesh is beautiful”; rather, we seek to problematise the claims, as represented in the TV commercials, by which Bangladesh exists only to the extent it is aesthetically ‘imagined into existence’.

    Chair: Dr. Khan Touseef Osman, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62042352536?pwd=aEJqOGJ0NjF4ZXQ4eTZXQ1A4cVhoUT09
    Meeting ID: 620 4235 2536
    Password: 365796

  • Plenary Session | Main Room | 02:30 - 03:20 pm

    Jagadish Chandra Bose and the anticolonial politics of science fiction
    Dr. Christin Höne, Maastricht University

    Abstract: In postcolonial studies there are two main strands of argument concerning the legacies and effects of cultural imperialism on science fiction as a literary genre. The first strand presents a critical reading of Western science fiction of the nineteenth and early twentieth century as a genre that is deeply embedded in the discourses and ideologies of colonialism and imperialism. The second strand presents a critical reading of the writing back of postcolonial authors, stressing the subversive elements of both science and fiction and their power to undermine dominant narratives of cultural imperialism and (neo)colonialism. In this talk I focus on a piece of colonial-era science fiction from a Bengali writer: Jagadish Chandra Bose’s short story “Runaway Cyclone”. First published in 1896 and republished in an extended version by the author in 1921, I analyse how Bose’s story combines elements of science fiction and magical realism. I then argue that Bose turns the narrative tropes of Western science fiction on their head and thus undermines Western science as an epistemological tool of imperial control.

    Bio: Dr Christin Hoene is Assistant Professor in Literary Studies at Maastricht University. Her research spans modern and contemporary anglophone literature, with a particular focus on postcolonial literature, sound studies, word and music studies, and queer theory. Her current work focuses on the depictions of sound and sound technology in colonial literature and on the history of the radio in the context of imperial India. Christin is the author of the book Music and Identity in Postcolonial British South-Asian Literature (Routledge, 2015), and the co-editor of the forthcoming volume Asian Sound Cultures (Routledge, 2022).

    On Culture and the Literary
    Dr. Avishek Parui, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

    Abstract: This talk will examine the entanglements of culture and the literary by studying the complex combinations of matter, metaphor, and memory. Drawing on my recent book Culture and the Literary: Matter, Metaphor, Memory - 9781786616005 (rowman.com), as an academic effort to study this dynamic, the talk will specifically focus on the phenomena of remembering and forgetting, comparing the same with the fluid ontological and affective frames of fiction. In the process, the talk will offer an examination of encoding that informs memory, identity-formation, and representations, both in the neural networks shaping mindfulness and memory as well as in the material and epistemic engines of cultural formations.  

    Bio: Dr. Avishek Parui (PhD, Durham, UK) is Assistant Professor in English and Memory Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and Associate Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. He is the author of Postmodern Literatures (Orient Blackswan, 2018) and Culture and the Literary: Matter, Metaphor, Memory (Rowman & Littlefield, 2022). He is the Principal Investigator at the Centre for Memory Studies at IIT Madras and the founding chairperson of the Indian Network for Memory Studies (INMS). 

    Chair: Dr. Tabassum Zaman, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62742027323?pwd=bG1UdTF3OGpuUEJpdmFwaFg1SW1nQT09
    Meeting ID: 627 4202 7323
    Password: 708006

  • Closing Session | Main Room | 03:30 - 04:20 pm

    Address by
    Arifa Ghani Rahman
    Associate Professor and Head | Department of English & Humanities (DEH), University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Address by
    Professor Shamsad Mortuza
    Dean, School of Arts and Humanities & Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Address by
    Professor Imran Rahman
    Vice-Chancellor, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Vote of Thanks
    Dr. Khan Touseef Osman
    Convener and Research Fellow, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB)

    Zoom link: https://bdren.zoom.us/j/62742027323?pwd=bG1UdTF3OGpuUEJpdmFwaFg1SW1nQT09
    Meeting ID: 627 4202 7323
    Password: 708006