Narrating Nations: A Dialogue Of Cultures (CRS2008)

Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru University

Location: New Delhi - 110067, New Delhi, India

Event Date/Time: Mar 05, 2008 End Date/Time: Mar 07, 2008
Early Registration Date: Jan 30, 2012
Abstract Submission Date: Jan 30, 2013
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Narrating Nations: A Dialogue of Cultures

Two major concepts have been dominating academic discourse for the past few years. These are the concepts of Globalisation and Multiculturalism. Globalisation encompasses all fields: the economic, the social, the technological, the political, the cultural. Globalisation stresses on the integration of the world in all these fields which, as some scholars argue, can lead to a homogenization of culture. Multiculturalism, on the other hand, advocates that society should consist of and allow the existence of distinct cultural (& religious) groups equally. It is argued that multiculturalism is a positive force for a nation’s cultural identity. So at one level it could be said that these are two forces that are opposed to each other – Globalisation making the world more homogenized and Multiculturalism making the nation more diverse.

As teachers of Foreign languages we are involved in both these processes. We help make the world smaller by imparting knowledge about other countries to our students. In our case we equip them with the tools to communicate with Russian speaking people. We also make our own world more diverse by introducing our students to another culture. When we teach language, literature or translation we are creating new texts and are negotiating at least two cultures. In our classrooms while trying to bring together two very diverse cultures and nations, we find commonalities and also ways of interpreting and constructing these nations. We are narrating nations and are in constant dialogue between two cultures. Sometimes we look for parallels between the cultures and try to stress on the similarities and sometimes we stress on the differences between the two cultures and emphasize the diversity.

This seminar aims at discussing the process of language teaching, translation & literary studies from this point of view. We invite paper abstracts in Russian or in English (between 250 – 300 words) discussing this narration of nations and dialogue of cultures that occurs in the classrooms of foreign language teaching/studying. Topics may include but are not limited to the following:

Language Teaching & Learning
Introduction of aspects of culture at various levels of teaching
Link of culture with geographical names
Elements of humour as source of culture
Cultural interference in language teaching
Ways of creating interface with the ‘alien’ culture in teaching.
Problems faced in the process

Translation as intercultural communication
Language as worldview
Levels of embedding of various texts in culture/s
Untranslatable aspects of culture and their treatment
Conflict of cultures in translation
Culture as reflected in proverbs, sayings, idioms and quotes
Fairy tales as depositary of culture and their translation

Literature & Culture
Commonalities in themes, plots, structures of narratives
Diversities of cultures
Problems encountered while teaching one culture to another
Effects of Globalisation on Literature & Culture
The mass media
Popular culture
Contemporary Music
Contemporary Cinema

Please do remember that this list of themes is not exhaustive.

Abstracts may be sent by email to latest by January 30, 2008.

Guidelines for Abstracts:

• The abstract should not be longer than 300 words.
• The abstract should be typed using Times New Roman, Font size: 12 pts., single space.
• Your name, designation and affiliation should be entered at the top after the title of your paper.
• If the paper is a joint paper then kindly underline the name of the speaker.
• Your paper should be for about 10 - 15 minutes. Time will be given for discussion after that.


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