Faculty Talks series at PU


Chandigarh, March 13, 2019: Department of English and Cultural Studies started the Faculty Talks series in the department. Speaker of the day was Dr. Sudhir Mehra, an Assistant Professor at the department. He has participated in many national level seminars and is an expert on Dalits in contemporary popular Hindi cinema. Today’s lecture was on "Nationalism on
the Margins: A Study of Indian Visual Culture."
This series of faculty talks have been designed to acquaint students and researchers with the area of expertise of each teacher in the department. Mr Sudhir Mehra initiated his talk on how the whole ideology of nationalism was mobilised among the masses in a very careful manner. He focused on the importance of incorporating visual documents as an object of critical study from past decades till today. He traced the trajectory of postal stamps and posters celebrating the leaders of nationalist movements which led to the discovery of how historical truth was mobilized and embedded in images. He talked about the manner in which DR. B R Ambedkar emerged as a strong figure in the 1960s when his image was portrayed among the masses through different icons. In this way, Ambedkar emerged from invisibility through a counter-approach by popular culture.
Mr Mehra mentioned how the politics of visual imagery through creative slogans, postage stamps, etc in the late 20th century was greatly appropriate by political parties for their ends. He further commented on culpability of mass media in propagatin Ambedkar’s teaching to construct two conflicting ideas of nationhood. In the contemporary scenario, the very idea of a secular India is under scrutiny through the politics of iconization. Mr Mehra concluded his lecture with a question and answer session with students and research scholars from the department.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019