The Lit-Treat Edition IV, International Seminar on ‘Earthy Echoes in English Literature’ was conducted by the Department of Languages and Literature (English), Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Anantapur campus, on 29th and 30th September 2023.
As a lead-up to this event, on 26th September 2023, a Literary Poster Competition on the theme of ‘Ecocriticism’ was held at the campus for all the students. A total of 13 pairs of students presented their posters out of which one was selected for the award of the best poster. A Photo Caption competition was also held for the research scholars and the faculty members of the campus. 17 spectacular photos of picturesque nature spots around the Anantapur campus with apt captions were received. One of them was selected for the award of the best photo caption.
On 29th September 2023, day 1 of the event began with invocatory Vedam chants, followed by the ceremonial lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries. The audience both onsite and online was warmly welcomed by Dr. Mrs. Maitali Khanna, Associate Head in charge, of the Department of Languages and Literature (English). Dr. Rani. P.L., Former Head of the English Department set the context for the event.
The guest speaker for the day, Prof. Krishnaprabha V.P., Former Head, of the PG Department of English, and currently an Adjunct Faculty at Kristu Jayanti College, Bengaluru, delivered the inaugural address titled “Women and Indigenous Knowledge: A Holistic Paradigm”. She spoke about the wisdom, resilience, and holistic knowledge of the indigenous women in her inaugural address. The event proceeded with the first plenary talk by Prof. Swarnalatha Rangarajan, Department of Humanities, IIT Madras. The talk titled “Greening of Literature: Articulating an Earth-Based Relational Identity in the Anthropocene” explored the ecocritical streams of thought in detail.
The next plenary talk for the day was delivered by Ms. Niveditha Subramaniam, writer, illustrator, and independent researcher from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Her talk titled “Seeding Ideas: Children’s Literature in Ecoconsciousness” was interactive, looking into the various aspects of empowering children with ecoconsciousness through literature for children. With this, the forenoon session came to a close.
The afternoon session comprised of paper presentations by the undergraduate and postgraduate students of the department. A total of 8 research papers were presented, followed by special presentations given by Mrs. Aarthi R.M., an Asst. Prof., and Ms. Pratiksha Pradhan, a Research scholar, from the Department of Languages and Literature (English). The students and the faculty then went through the display of the posters and photos and appreciated the novel thoughts that inspired them.
The 2nd day of the Lit-Treat Edition IV, International Seminar on ‘Earthy Echoes in English Literature’ began at 9 a.m. with a plenary talk that was delivered by Prof. Pramod K. Nayar, Professor in the Department of English, The University of Hyderabad. The talk titled “Reading Environment, Writing Disaster: The Literature of Climate Crisis” explored the ethical imagining of the future and a change in crisis stories on a global scale. This talk was insightful and full of wit. It was followed by another plenary talk titled “The Dance between the Imaginal and the Ecological; A Writer’s Perspective on Eco writing” by Dr. Shivani Sivagurunathan, University of Nottingham Malaysia. The talk conveyed her perspectives on the place of imagination in the development of ecoconsciousness. With this, the forenoon session of day 2 came to an end.
The distribution of prizes to the winners was held during the Valedictory Ceremony in the afternoon. Prof. B. Raghavendra Prasad, Vice-Chancellor, of SSSIHL, presided over the ceremony. Prof. V.V.N. Rajendra Prasad, Distinguished Visiting Faculty, Central University of Andhra Pradesh, delivered the Valedictory address. The event concluded with a drama titled “Egocentrism to Ecocentrism: Ecological Wisdom for our Times” by the students of the Department of Languages and Literature (English).
The students expressed their joy and fulfillment at the end of the 2-day seminar, which has now left them looking forward to the next edition.
Day 1 (29 September): https://www.youtube.com/live/BxBSZ_IrO6g?si=jOyImrw9lvJact-5
Day 2 (30 September): https://www.youtube.com/live/PQqL5TBuGE0?si=5v2_iQpcxLfAlTL-