Central Department of English Organizes a Literary Seminar

Kathmandu, 8 September

The Central Department of English, Tribhuvan University organised a faculty seminar inside the university premises on Friday. Coordinated by CDE faculty Dr. Komal Phuyal, the seminar featured five presentations under three diverse themes: “Fairy Tales, Myths and History”, “Reformation and Resistance in Modernity” and “Performance and Politics”. Prof. Jib Lal Sapkota, the head of the Central Department of English inaugurated the seminar with a note on the efforts the Department has been putting on such seminars for the academic development of its faculty. He also reiterated the unflinching commitment of the Department to continue encouraging such academic activities in future too.

Two papers were presented under the theme “Fairy Tales, Myths and History” and they were entitled “The Golden Hair: A Recurring Metonymy and Shifting Semantics in Fairy Tales” presented by Mahesh Paudyal and “Lahuré as a Transnational Subject: Reading Sawaii and Lahari” presented by Maheshwar Poudel. Mr. Paudyal cited the concurrence of the golden hair in many fairy tales from Central Europe to South Asia and argued that fairy tales with strong memes travel but acquire newer and culturally pertinent meanings as they get adopted in newer cultures. Researcher Poudel cited excerpts from “Bhotko Ladaiko Sabai” and “Manipurko Ladaiko Sabai” and demonstrated how translational Nepali migrants recorded their historical experiences in their bardic accounts of wars. Discussant Prof. Dr. Jiblal Sapkota reflected on the papers and suggested the researchers to be more precise on their theoretical premises and research mechanics.

Under the general theme “Reformation and Resistance in Modernity” two scholars, Dr. Bal Bahadur Thapa and Dr. Komal Phuyal presented their papers. In his paper, “Reformation as Modernity in Narayan Dhakal’s Pretkalpa”, Dr. Bal Bahadur Thapa read Narayan Dhakal’s  novel Pretkalpa as reflective of a socio-religious resistance to existing conservatism and discussed how the resistant characters derived their resistance insights from their interaction with the world outside Nepal. In his paper titled “Rebel as/in Creative Annihilator: Resistance in Nazrul Islam and Bairagi Kainla” Dr. Komal Phuyal compared the modes of resistance against the British colonisers in pre-independence India as depicted in Islam’s poem “Rebel” and against the autocratic Shah rulers in Nepal as depicted in Kainla’s poem “Mateko Manchheko Bhasan Madhyaratko Sadaksanga” and mapped their expressive similarities.  Reflecting on the papers, discussant Prof. Dr. Anirudra Thapa said reimagining the border has become eminent at the present time when militant nationalism is posing a threat to human existence everywhere. He also suggested that researchers should develop newer ways of looking at the society and history.

Under the theme “Performance and Politics”, one paper was presented and that was by Dr. Shiva Rijal. In the paper entitled “Spectacles of Mourning: A Study into the Political Subjectivity of Nepali Youths,” Dr. Rijal recapitulated youths’ political demonstrations in Nepal featuring mock funerals of the leaders as a mark of protest, opposition and dissent. He said such mock protests are inspired by a desire to overthrow the existing order and replace it with a fresh order. Reflecting on the paper, discussant Prof. Dr. Dhruba Karki said the paper invites a deeper reading vis-à-vis Freud’s ideas of condensation and displacement, besides doing a political reading of the spectacle.

Professors Jib Lal Sapkota, Krishna Chandra Sharma and Anurudra Thapa commended the presenters for their efforts and urged them to continue with their academic works. Besides the Department’s faculty members, the seminar was also attended by MA and MPhil students from the Department and other institutions, PhD scholars, faculty members from other departments, independent researchers and media persons.