Friday, March 18, 2016

2016 Conference Report

Report on the conference
The 15th International conference of MELOW was held from 19th to 21st February 2016. Organised with the collaboration of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University on the theme “Towards Praxis: Literature, Society and Politics,” it provided a platform for blending, countering and exchanging diverse ideas prevalent in academic circles. The conference comprised approximately thirty sessions in which approximately 120 reputed academicians and scholars from various universities made presentations. The welcome address in the inaugural session was delivered by the Vice chancellor, Professor Anil Tyagi. Professor Anup Beniwal, Dean of USHSS, addressed the gathering. This was followed by the presidential remarks of Professor Sushila Singh. The keynote speaker, Professor Harish Narang dwelt on the impact of globalisation on literature, focusing on literature and political commitment, thus setting the tone for further discussions around the same ideas.
There were parallel sessions chaired by eminent professors from across the country. The winner of this year’s ISM award, Saidul Haque, presented a paper on cartoons as a colonial tool for subverting the identity of the colonized. Professor T. N. Dhar, in the special Isaac Sequeira Memorial Lecture, discussed the role of imbibing historical consciousness through the medium of novels and elaborated on the dual function of history and fiction in rewriting the past. Prof Malashri Lal presided over the valedictory session, summing up the key issues discussed in the conference. She also distributed certificates of participation to all the delegates.
A colorful cultural programme was organized by the students of Indraprastha University under the direction of Prof. Ashutosh Mohan, showcasing the talent of the students in song, dance and drama. The cooperation from the host department was commendable, coordinated by Profs Manpreet Kang and Vivek Sachdeva. Overall, the conference proved to be a potential catalyst in arousing consciousness among young scholars, generating a democratic and academic networking among voices emerging from different parts of the nation.
A General Body Meeting of the members of MELOW was held in order to discuss future plans of the association. The following decisions were taken:
1.       Accounts for FY 2014-15 were presented and passed.
2.       Revised Membership Fee w. e. f.  1 April 2016:
Annual (1 April-31 March) -Rs. 500
10 years: Rs. 4,000
3.       Delegate fee not to be charged from retired senior professors.  Concessional fee for delegates from Nepal and other SAARC countries.
4.       Publication of Journal to be discontinued. Instead the possibility of Book publication and E-publication to be explored. Members interested in doing editorial work may send an expression of interest to the Secretary.
5.       Active Membership drive to be undertaken. Areas with little representation, e.g., the Southern States, Maharashtra, North-east, etc, to be targeted. Foreign participation to be enhanced.
6.       Refund policy for no-shows at the conference: No fee will be refunded, except in cases of Emergency (at the discretion of the Executive Body).
7.       Next Conference: The Theme, “Literature, Myth and History” put forward for consideration by Prof Ashis Sengupta in the General Body. Detailed proposal will be circulates soon. Suggestions are also invited from other members for theme, venue and date, before the final decision is taken.
8.       MELOW members to explore the possibility of holding shorter seminars/workshops at different venues. Proposals may be sent to the Secretary for prospective host institutions.
9.       The following MELOW Office Bearers (1 April 2016 onwards) were appointed unanimously:
President: Prof Anil Raina (Chandigarh)
Vice-President: Dr Vijay Sharma (Delhi)
Secretary: Prof Manju Jaidka (Chandigarh)
Jt. Secretary: Prof Manpreet Kaur (Delhi)
Treasurer: Dr Meenu Gupta (Chandigarh)

Executive Members: 
1. Prof Sushila Singh (Varanasi)
2. Prof Ashis Sengupta (Darjeeling)
3. Prof Debarati Bandopadhyay (Kolkata)
4. Prof Ravichandran (Kanpur)
5. Dr Roshan Sharma (Dharamshala)
6. Dr Seema Bhupendra (Rajasthan)
7. Dr RG Kulkarni (Shangli)
8. Dr Neela Sarkar (Kolkata)
9. Dr Jyoti Mishra (Chattisgarh)
10. Dr Vandhana Sharma (Jammu)

Advisory Board (added later, after getting their consent): 
Giorgio Mariani (University of Sapienza, Rome, Italy)
Shirley Geok Lim (University of California, SantaBarbara)
Rajeshwari Pandharipande (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA)
Mukesh Williams (Soka University, Japan)
Pawel Jędrzejko (University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland)