Sunday, June 28, 2015

What We Did Today



The Following list will be updated later

Partha Das Gupta – Fellow of Cambridge University
Nazrul Islam – Senior Economist, UN
Difference between Economics and Political Economy
Post-colonialism, Colonialism
Black Skin and White Mask
Auden’s Poems – Night Mail, Musee des Beaux Arts, In Praise of Limestone
William Carlos Williams – Brughel’s Icarus, Red Wheel Barrow
Thomas Piketty:
Samuelson’s Economics
Two Novels: LOWLAND (Jhumpa Lahiri), The Lives of Others(Neel Mukherjee)
Protiddondhi: Satyajit Ray Film
Decline of the Indigenous Culture (Bangladesh Context)


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Our Works This Morning

We started off with a discussion on Research Paper - only some primary thoughts. My intention was to acquaint the students with the prospect of 'thinking' about a research paper. We used the options in Amherst College. I also discussed a few more Document/Papers needed for application to US Colleges.

Samirah was supposed to give her presentation on "Postcolonilism" - but somehow she couldn't he here. Wasifur already informed that he wont be here - as he has his practical exams today. Bushra would not be here as she has an exam. I briefly introduced the name of Edward Said and Orientalism. Explained the link between Marx-Freud-Darwin trinity. We read just a couple of sentences from Freud's idea of Dream having the Royal road to the deeper self.

Talked about a few vocabulary. In the last class we talked about the 7 types of Questions that may be set in the Critical Reading Sections - so there was a Re-cap on this item.Since not many were present today - we are having a class tomorrow 8.00 am - there will be 2 more classes in the weekdays.

We also decided to watch Death of Salvador Dali - a short film of about 18 min length. Find the link below:
Death of Dali

At the end the students were required to respond to the following:



Write a mail on the following:
1.      What is your PLAN regarding application – about a Research Paper in particular.
2.      Your Major [including a possibility of Minor]
3.      Whether you are sending any portfolio – Art, Music, Dance, Creative Writing, Theatre.

I will discuss a few topics from Below when we meet tomorrow at 8.00 am

Tiananmen Squire
Battle of Austerlitz [During Napoleonic War]
Stalinist Period – Animal Farm
Cultural Revolution
Punic War / Peloponnesian War
Golden Age of Athens
The Tennis Court Oath
Freud and the Interpretation of Dreams [Oedipus/Electra Complex] – Lacanian School
The Communist Manifesto
The Golden Age of Diplomacy

I also asked everyone to get some rudimentary knowledge on the following items:
  • The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Film 2008 - Easy Virtue [with Colin Firth]
In our discussions we shall shed lights on the ideas of Victorianism, their judgmental attitude towards who would not FIT into their stereotyping - an idea that was prompted by an essay option in Amherst Colle Supplementary Essay topic.   

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Reading Reports Expected - Two Extract From The New Yorker



  1. I am expecting reading reports based on the books that I assigned in our Tuesday class. Our Saturday Class will start at 8.00 am with a presentation on Post-colonialism (by Samirah). 
  2. I will begin our first Vocabulary Class.
  3. I will also talk about a short introduction on "How to Begin a Research Paper". [You are all expected to read the Research Paper options of Amherst College and Caltech]
  4. We also learn a few things about Indian Dances. [Anindita is expected to join]
  5. Before we initiate a talk on Saturday about the "Great Divide", everyone is requested to read the two articles from The New Yorker:
Click on the link above to read the articles.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Our works Today

We started off today with a casual discussion about how/Why an appreciation for music would be important for a thinking person. We later developed our ideas and talked of Vikram Seth's "An Equal Music", a few quotes from Shakespeare, and Shylock. A long conversation on Multi-disciplinary thinking ensued. Additionally, we talked of:

  1. Moby Dick
  2. How to Write about Africa - the Granta Article
  3. Pankaj Mistra Interview in Granta
  4. We also made references to 2 more essays linked with the Africa Article in Granta - How to become a Man of Genius, and A Modest Proposal.
  5. I just mentioned the English translation of This is Not a Pipe.
  6. We also referred to the BLOG post on 29 August, 2014 - which contains links to Critical Philosophy of Technology.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Chosen Titles for New Students

The Stranger (Camus) + Metamorphosis (Kafka)
Marisha = Sophie's World
Raisa = How to be a Man of Genius
Silmee = Critical Theory of Technology / Philosophy of Technology
Samirah = Across the Mystic Shore + Reading Lolita in Tehran
Rahul = Manufacturing Consent

We have temporarily decided that our classes will be held on the following days:

Saturday - 8.00 - 11.00
Monday - 8.00 - 11.00
Tuesday - 8.00 - 11.00



Monday, June 15, 2015

চিলেকোঠার উন্মাদিনীঃ ফরাসি সাহিত্য বিষয়ক ও অন্যান্য প্রবন্ধ

It is quite late I came to Professor Chinmoy Guha's collection of essays in 2012. চিলেকোঠার উন্মাদিনীঃ ফরাসি সাহিত্য বিষয়ক ও অন্যান্য প্রবন্ধ - in this book we see a rare revelation of one of the rarest encounters of 20th century. I have intentionally refrained from using superlatives such as 'greatest' or any such word/phrase, so that we can see why it is 'rare' first and then look for expressions to qualify such an event.  

Unfortunately, in Bangladesh, Tagore's connection with the west is summarily perceived as 'recipient' of the most coveted 'prize' - which is nonetheless taken as a 'blanket approval' of all and everything that Tagore stands for. We are hardly made aware that there is another side of 'west', which sought Tagore's redeeming 'presence' through his words, visits, assurances.

Professor Guha, recipient of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (2013) and Chevalier desPalmes Académiques (2010), two of the highest civilian recognitions by the French Government, speaks amply of the contributions that he had made in widening our understanding of Franco-Bengal connections in the late 19th and early 20th century. Professor Guha has offered a revealing set of little-understood connections that blossomed through personal encounters between Tagore, Kalidas Nag, Dilip Kumar Roy, Annada Shankar Roy, and the 'other' hero of Guha's intellectual quest - Romand Rolland. But Prof. Guha is not satisfied with merely supplying the narrative - he underscores, with substantial validation through a re-cognizance of French-Bengali literati, the REASON why these 'encounters' should be unearthed to make our world look a little more humane. 

As Prof. Guha is currently informs us that he is "In Paris now to deliver the inaugural and valedictory address as well as the lecture on Tagore and Rolland in the Nobel Prize centenary seminar at the famous Liard Ampitheatre of Paris University (Sorbonne) organized by the Association Romain Rolland." We have all the reason to feel that the moment is well-nigh when we are about to see a renewal of our interest in this fine moment of our cultural past.  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Logophiles School of Critical Thinking - First Meeting Yesterday

Image result for Happy new yearI had an informal session yesterday with Rafi, Prachy, and Ifrat (he is new with us). I also talked to Silmee, who will join us from 22nd June onwards. In addition to that I just had a first session with an MA English Lit (BRAC Univ) today. Tomorrow I meet Samirah to talk about our possible schedules before she leaves for Swaziland to attend her first IB year. I am currently thinking how to schedule my classes the Ramadan Classes - any suggestions will be most welcome. 

I am yet to decide which methodology we follow this year. Last year I took only 6 or 7 lecture classes - in contrast with about 25 or 30 classes in the previous year. I am under the impression that I have to take more lectures than I did in the just-concluded year.

The students are kindly requested to send me any suggestion they feel we should be doing regarding the US College Application and SAT preparation. Send your suggestions through an e-mail. I also asked a few of you to inform whether you would be ready to meet me on 20th June, Saturday for the first Orientation Day for the current attendees.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Anglophiles 2014-15 Concludes - New Season Begins

It is now being almost three months that we have concluded our closing meetings. We had a moderately successful. While most of the team, approximately 20, got admission in a college, three or four did not get any placement. It is to remind this remaining handful that the remaining 3 students who did not get admission last season, came back furiously this as year as they got very good admissions.

This is also to admit that 2014-15, in spite of whatever prediction I had made earlier, registered very high level of achievement in terms of completing reading assignments. This means that you have read more things in Volume and Diversity than previous few years. This may not be true individually, but the team worked better than predicted. Thank you very much. To keep you company I will be posting a few reading suggestions - as many of you have already asked me to do so - in the forthcoming posts.

I wanted to take a break this year from teaching - but unfortunately, this is not happening right now. So, I will be taking fresh recruits from 20th June onwards. I will also post a longer ESSAY about the "deshi" eating day we had last week - please keep an eye for it.

The OWL thinks of Angels Of Eternity.