Ashutosh Potdar, Maya Dodd, Nidhi Kalra, and Ravikant Kisana
The coming of new online resources and digital platforms has fundamentally transformed traditional classroom approaches and research practices. Teachers and researchers across disciplinary lines now freely borrow from internet sources to add onto their material in order to learn, to teach and to research. In several cases, there have also been instances of researchers expanding the scope of their traditional realm by adding a ‘digital’ component to bring their curriculum to contemporary times. It has also created opportunities for researchers to push the boundaries of their pedagogy and push students to create ‘live projects’ with the aid of digital platforms. While English has become normalized as the language of research, documentation, archiving and reproduction, new conversations are opening up in other Indian languages to see sections of this scholarship can be reimagined or expanded beyond the boundaries of English.
Our panel attempts to bring all these myriad conversations under the larger ambit of trying to arrive at a meta-structural approach for curricular agenda and research strategies. Currently, there are several diffused nudges at trying to ‘incorporate the digital’ into traditional research and pedagogy. However, our panel is trying to complicate this understanding by underlining that perhaps a new epistemology needs to be explored.
There will be three presentations made by the session team, followed by discussion.
Dr. Ravikant Kisana — Whose Studies Are These Anyway: ‘Digital’ Blocks in Departmental Slots
This presentation looks at the idea of locating digital studies within the departmental framework of traditional colleges/universities. It aims to look at the gaps in conversation, structural absences as well as repetition overlaps that come forth from such an arrangement. The conversation also hopes to build on what sort of a department (if indeed it should be a department) that should house. The presentation also hopes to build on the need for research, pedagogical and archival practices that emerge from incorporating ‘digital’ into the curriculum, and how educational institutions and research centres must have a fluid and inclusive policy for the same.
Nidhi Kalra — Pedagogy, Postmemory, Postcolonial Trauma: The Imperative of the Digital
Trauma Studies poses an opportunity and challenge to Humanities students in India. Having come into its own largely through an event-based framework which focused on the Holocaust, the field has been attempting to problematize how and which memories are remembered over several decades. Considering that this shift is coming in through postmemory and postcolonial recalibrations of traumas, how can teachers in an undergraduate classroom respond in their pedagogic practice? How might students tease out and render accessible narratives of trauma around their own real and ‘virtual’ contexts?
In this presentation, the plan is to discuss the syllabus, pedagogical approach, and a small collective of digital archives generated out of a course recently offered called Memory, Witness, and Trauma at FLAME University to students of the Humanities. Researcher’s contention in offering the course was that the potential modes of tackling vast questions based on trauma studies as a field of study, on handling questions of memory in digital contexts, as also the politico-ethics of postcolonial memory-claiming/making may be made possible through pedagogic/ digital experiments. Researcher will discuss these experiments and the imperative of making mistakes, especially as we engage with students and faculty who have vastly divergent interests, sensitivities, skill-sets, as of course contexts.
Dr. Ashutosh Potdar — Marathi Drama and Theatre Research in Search of New ‘Locations’
While a number of internet users in Marathi language has increased considerably, internet research is still a challenge in the field of research and pedagogic practices. The proposed presentation would share internet experiences in Marathi language and literature with specific reference to research and pedagogy in Marathi drama and theatre practices.
After briefly reviewing the available digital objects/online platforms in Marathi that facilitate researching drama and theatre, the presentation would address some of the questions/key concerns such as:
- What are existing ‘locations’ for a researcher in drama and theatre to organize material for research purpose?
- What are traditional strategies of a researcher for locating material and research methodologies?
- What is the nature of relation between traditional ‘owners’ of knowledge (libraries/archives/private-public archivists), internet/digital spaces, and research and pedagogy?
- How can we make existing research and teaching practices make more innovative, accessible and meaningful through internet experience?
- What are challenges (conceptual and practical) in documenting and archiving drama/theatre online?
- In which ways digital objects/internet experiences may bridge research, practice, pedagogy and society?
Dr. Maya Dodd — Digital Pedagogy and Food Studies
Food studies includes ideas on the environment, constructions of regional identity and culinary history. To interrogate the ways in which regional identities are forged, a cultural studies class in FLAME University sought to invite internet research on the anthropology of different Indian regions alongside culinary history. In a time when food blogs are as prolifically abundant as are comments, reviews and recommendations of food destinations, there was no dearth of material to comb through and students organized themselves across different teams. By querying some
of these resources, we are embarking on a pedagogical challenge in the classroom that underscores the need for improved digital cataloging and informational curation. In a bid to improve public access to this data, several efforts are ongoing to curate online content toward improving archival access for all in India.
Audio Recording of the Session
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The Internet Researchers' Conference 2017 (IRC17) was held at the International Institute of Information Technology…
Dr. Ashutosh Potdar has published his research work on drama and literature in English and Marathi in various journals and presented papers in national and international conferences. He has one-act and full-length plays, poems, short fiction and scholarly essays in Marathi and English to his credit Recipient of a few awards, Ashutosh’s plays are being performed through different national and international festivals and venues in India. After holding teaching positions for twelve years at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, Ashutosh has worked with India Foundation for the Arts, Bangalore leading the New Performance programme. Currently, he teaches literature and drama at FLAME University, Pune as an associate professor.
Dr. Maya Dodd received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in Modern Thought and Literature. Subsequently, she received post-doctoral fellowships at Princeton University and JNU, India. She also taught in the department of Anthropology at Princeton University and in English departments at Stanford and the University of Florida. Currently, she teaches Literary and Cultural Studies at FLAME and also founded FLAME’s Centre for South Asia.
Nidhi Kalra has been a learning facilitator since 2008. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities at FLAME University, Pune. Prior to that, she has taught at the English Department in Savitribai Phule Pune University and Gargi College in the University of Delhi. Nidhi has received her MPhil in English Literature from the University of Delhi, for which she worked on problematizing Holocaust memoirs. Her research interests include Memory Studies, Trauma Studies, Oral History, Digital Humanities, and Children’s/Young Adult Literature.
Dr. Ravikant Kisana is currently teaching at the School of Communications, Flame University, Pune. He has previously completed his FPM(C) from MICA, Ahmedabad. His doctoral research focused on the oral histories of Bollywood cinema in Kashmir, and its intersections with Kashmiri nationalism and resistance. His areas of research are centered around the sociology of cinema, gender & sexuality intersections with films & new media platforms, as well as investigations into the structural mores of cybercultures.
Note: This session was part of the Internet Researchers’ Conference 2017 (IRC17)organised in collaboration with the Centre for Information Technology and Public Policy (CITAPP) at the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B), in the IIIT-B campus on March 03–05, 2017.