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International Conference on “Teaching English Literature and Interdisciplinarity” at East West University, Dhaka

Aug 01, 2023

A two-day international conference titled “Teaching English Literature and Interdisciplinarity” was jointly organized by the Department of English, East West University (EWU) and the Association of Teachers of Literatures in English, Bangladesh (ATLEB) at the EWU campus in Aftabnagar, Dhaka. The conference took place on July 28 and 29, drawing the participation of over 170 researchers from England, Singapore, India, Saudi Arabia, and Bangladesh, who gathered to explore the convergence of literature and interdisciplinary studies in today’s world.

The prestigious event was inaugurated at the Manzur Elahi Auditorium, EWU. Esteemed educationist Dr. Serajul Islam Choudhury, Professor Emeritus of University of Dhaka, graced the occasion as the chief guest. In his insightful speech, Professor Choudhury emphasized the importance of effective translation in rapidly disseminating literature across borders. He cited the example of Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali, whose international recognition was significantly influenced by translations, leading to Tagore becoming the first Nobel laureate from Asia. Furthermore, Professor Choudhury expressed concern over the decline in people’s reading habits due to the advent of technology. He emphasized the need to encourage the younger generation to cultivate a love for reading and reignite their interest in literature.

The inaugural session was chaired by Syed Manzur Elahi, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, East West University. Other prominent speakers at the event included Professor Tahmina Ahmed, the convener of ATLEB and the conference; Dr. Farzana Akhter, Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at EWU; and Dr. Abu Shahid Abdullah, Assistant Professor, Department of English, EWU and the co-convener of the conference. Each speaker contributed valuable insights, further enriching the discussions on literature and interdisciplinary teaching.

Throughout the conference, participants were engaged in 21 different sessions, presenting approximately 150 papers and posters. These sessions offered scholars, researchers, and educators a platform to share their research findings, experiences, and perspectives on teaching literature in an interdisciplinary context. Prof. Dr. Claire Chambers, University of York, UK and Prof. Dr. Rajiv S. Patke, National University of Singapore were the two keynote speakers at the conference.

Prof. Dr. Fakrul Alam, Supernumerary Professor, Department of English, University of Dhaka, was present at the conference as the plenary speaker. The panel discussion session featured eminent scholars such Prof. (Retd.) Shafi Ahmed, Jahangirnagar University; Prof. Nevin Farida, University of Dhaka; Prof. Himadri Lahiri, Netaji Subhash Open University, Kolkata; Prof. Muhammed Shahriar Haque, East West University; and Dr. Farzana Akhter, East West University.

Dr. Akhter Jahan, Associate Professor and Chairperson, Department of English made the closing remarks, thanking all the presenters and participants for their valuable contribution to the conference. Finally, the present guests handed over the certificates to the poster presenters and the volunteers.

The international conference fostered an environment of intellectual exchange and collaboration among attendees from diverse backgrounds and countries. By exploring the intersections of literature and interdisciplinary studies, the conference served as a significant milestone in advancing literature education and interdisciplinary studies, inspiring educators to continue exploring the transformative power of literature in an increasingly interconnected world.