UGC Sponsored National Seminar organized by Deptt. of English, Gurucharan College, Silchar in collaboration with Radhamadhav College, Silchar :
A Two day National Seminar on “Society and Representation: A Reading of the Texts of Charles Dickens with Contemporary Relevance” was successfully organized by the Department of English, Gurucharan College, Silchar, in collaboration with Radhamadhab College, Silchar, on 22nd and 23rd January, 2015. The Seminar was graced by the presence of eminent personalities from the world of academia and the enthusiastic participation of young scholars from various colleges and universities. The inaugural session was marked by the Key note address of distinguished Shakespeare Professor of Rabindra Bharati University, Prof. Amitava Roy, who emphasized the relevance of Charles Dickens to the contemporary time. Prof. Himadri Lahiri of Burdwan University graced the occasion as Guest of Honour and Prof. Somnath Dasgupta, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Assam University, was the Chief Guest of the occasion. Prof. Dasgupta quite nostalgically recollected his student days when he had the opportunity to know Charles Dickens and his works.
A total of four technical sessions were held as part of the seminar in which Prof. Amitava Roy, Prof. Dipankar Purkayastha, (Head, Dept. of English, Assam University), Prof. Himadri Lahiri, and Prof. Sukalpa Bhattacharjee (Dept. of English, NEHU) chaired one session each. Each technical session also witnessed a plenary lecture each, presented by Prof. Himadri Lahiri, Prof. Baharul Islam (IIM, Kashipur), Prof Sukalpa Bhattacharjee, and Dr Prosenjit Biswas (Associate Professor, Dept. of Philosophy, NEHU).
On the second day of the seminar, after the valedictory session, a theatre workshop entitled Staging Shakespeare: Art and Technique, with Prof Amitava Roy as the resource person was organised by the Department of English, Gurucharan College, Silchar. The workshop was attended with great enthusiasm by the students of the English department and the representatives of different culture groups and theatre actors of Silchar, viz. Dosorupak, Gonosur, Bhabhikal, IPTA, among others.
The resource person of the programme, Prof. Amitava Roy, oriented the participants regarding the technical aspects of staging Shakespearean plays without the use of formal stage, props and other paraphernalia. Some students and members of cultural units of Silchar theatrically demonstrated the first Scene of Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, under the guidance of Prof Roy. In his deliberation, Prof Roy threw light on the concept of “Poor Theatre” which is an effective method of staging a play wherein only the text of a play and bodily gestures and postures of actors are used. It has been termed ‘poor’ because it eschews from using modern forms of technology in staging a play and relies on the natural endowments of the human body, Prof. Roy explained. He also interacted with the participants, including representatives of cultural units, and responded to their queries concerning various forms of theatre and its contemporary conditions. Finally, Dr. Dipankar Kar, Head, Dept. of English, and Secretary, National Seminar Organising Committee, expressed his gratitude to Prof. Amitava Roy, and all the members of the different cultural units of Silchar. The cultural units expressed their desire that the department of English should organise one 15 day Workshop on staging Shakespeare with Prof. Amitava Roy as the resource person and expressed their intent to actively support the proposed programme.