A three-day international webinar on “Literary Response to Pandemics” has started at the University of Kashmir.
The Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor Farooq A Masoodi, opened the webinar, hosted by the English Department.
In his presidential address, Professor Masoodi said the Covid19 pandemic has presented new challenges to academics, forcing the realignment of their academic focus in line with what is now commonly referred to as the ‘new normal’.
“At the University of Kashmir, we reacted very quickly to this rapidly changing scenario and switched to online teaching mode to ensure that our school routine is not disrupted to the detriment of our students,” a- he said, saying academia will continue to face more challenges, even in the post-pandemic world, that our teachers and researchers will need to be prepared to face.
In his opening speech titled “Power and Pandemics”, renowned researcher Dr Tabish Khair from Aarhus University in Denmark discussed at length the different types of disruption caused by the Covid19 pandemic across the world, especially the labor crisis, the shutdown of industries and countless workers around the world. the world being made redundant from their workplace.
Professor Khair is the author of several internationally renowned books.
In her welcoming speech, the Director of the Seminar and Head of the English Department, Professor Nusrat Bazaz, said that the Covid19 pandemic has changed our lives in many ways and completely transformed the way we work.
“The academic world has had to readjust and reorient itself towards online platforms and virtual spaces. We in the English department have also adapted to this ‘new normal’ to maintain academic conversations despite the challenges of the times, ”she said.
Highlighting the achievements of the English department, one of the oldest departments on campus, Prof Bazaz said the department promotes interdisciplinarity and tries to integrate literary concerns into broader cultural debates.
“The department has an excellent placement record with most of our students absorbed into reputable institutions. Recently nine of our passouts were selected as assistant professors in the J&K higher education department, ”she said.
She said the department has been able to host a series of online lectures this year and connect once a month with prominent academics at home and abroad, providing its academics and students with the opportunity to interact with professors from Georgetown University, Columbia University and Cambridge University. to name a few.
Dean School of Arts, Languages and Literature Prof Adil Amin Kak, former head of the English department, students and scholars from different parts of the country and abroad joined the inaugural and technical sessions.
Dr Iffat Maqbool chaired the debates at the inaugural session.