Dr. Md. Al Amin, Assistant Professor, ENH gave a talk on his upcoming research project on ‘Investigating possibilities, format, mechanism and impact of the inclusion of an oral English test at the secondary level in Bangladesh’. He shared his research proposal with his fellow colleagues to get feedback and suggestions.
Dr. Amin emphasized on how in the Bangladeshi education system; speaking skills are always neglected in English language classrooms due to the nature of the examinations. Through his research Dr. Amin wants to explore the possibilities of an oral test inclusion, forms and mechanisms of the test, and aligning teaching, learning and assessment with the curriculum. The talk was held in ENH Seminar room and was well-attended by the Chairperson Prof. Azim and other faculty members of ENH.
Guest Lecture by Dr. Nezami
Dr. Rita Shabnam Nezami gave her talk titled “Bringing the World into the Classroom through Literature” at the University Building 1 auditorium from 2 to 3:30pm on May 28, 2018.
Dr. Nezami teaches writing and world literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She obtained her PhD in postcolonial francophone literature and literary translation. She has translated several works from French by Moroccan writer Tahar Ben Jelloun and published in the United States and Europe. The New Yorker published her translation of a novella, By Fire, by Ben Jelloun in 2013, and in 2016 Northwestern University Press published her translation of writings on the Arab Spring.
Dr. Rita Shabnam Nezami talked about methods for using world literature as points of departure for fostering in students a sense of global citizenship. She encourages university students in the United States to evolve their skills as readers and writers by formulating various kinds of responses to literary texts by writers from throughout the world. By not limiting readings to texts by Western writers, students open themselves to the possibilities of responding to the problem of being human in ways other than those conditioned by assumptions formed by American and European culture, media, and politics. Dr. Nezami detailed how she leads students to read literary texts in English and English translation in ways that call them to rethink their assumptions about priorities, community, identity, suffering, humanity, and culture. She defended her argument that it is literature and writing teachers’ ethical obligation to help students locate and challenge their culturally inculcated views about the universality of Western perspectives on ethics, economics, politics, freedom, power, and the human good.
In the second half of her presentation, Dr. Nezami discussed her development of a new course called Global Literacies, which combines fiction, nonfiction, and creative nonfiction. She discussed some of the innovative methods she uses to help students encounter the perspectives of writers from different cultures and languages who confront issues ranging from human-rights abuse and immigration to class/income disparity and religious extremism. Regardless of each literary work’s provenance, she believes each speaks with clarity and intensity of the human experience to evoke the complex texture of the world that students must learn to decode and navigate. Dr. Nezami ended her talk by discussing the kind of literary texts she uses, including her own literary translation from French, to generate deep interest among her students in the lives of characters so that students can relate to their struggles and sensibilities.
Her talk was followed by a response by Dr. Suhail Islam, Associate Professor at the English Department of Nazareth College, in Rochester New York. He is also a visiting faculty at BRAC University this summer. After that, there was a ten minute question and answer session. After the question answer session, Prof. Firdous Azim, chairperson of the Department of English and Humanities gave the closing remarks. The audience thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from Dr. Nezami’s talk. The talk was coordinated by senior lecturer, Ms. Roohi Huda.