World University organizes webinar on -Literature in the Times of Pandemic
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in/ Chandigarh
The Department of English of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib organized a webinar on “Literature in the Times of Pandemic”. The webinar was organized keeping in view the present scenario where the world is suffering from the pandemic Covid-19. In such a scenario, it becomes all the more necessary to study the role of literature in dealing with the global pandemics, be it in present or past times. On this occasion, Dr. Ankdeep Kaur Attwal, Head, Department of English welcomed all the listeners and guests and presented the formal note of welcome. She told that the webinar was attended by International participants from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United states and Italy and from various states of India such as Delhi, Rajasthan, Bhopal, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, besides 36 cities of Punjab. In his presidential address, Vice-Chancellor of the University Dr. Prit Pal Singh said that this webinar holds acute importance in the present times. Literature has a vital role to play in framing our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is worth turning to some of the literary texts based on, inspired from or catering to global pandemics to better understand our responses to the testing times and also to study literature as a source of catharsis for people during any kind of crisis.
The keynote speakers on this occasion were Dr. Shivani Thakkar, Associate Professor, Department of Distance Education, Punjabi University, Patiala and Dr. Harpreet Kaur Grewal, Director, Insight Tutorial Services, Edmonton, Canada. Dr. Thakkar quoted from various poems, plays and novels to elucidate the impact pandemics has had on humankind. On the other hand, she argued that reading about devastating effect of pandemics on mankind can make the readers wiser, more compassionate and teaches us values of acceptance, empathy, selflessness, humanity and much more. She took insights from various other disciplines like psychology, history and media studies too to elucidate her views. Dr. Grewal used various anecdotes to discuss the impact of pandemics on human psyche. She discussed various significant literary texts related to or based on pandemics to bring out that literature and pandemics always were closely linked. She built up on the idea that pandemics, in a way, have at various times, made us introspect ourselves and has served as a medium of catharsis too. Jaspreet Kaur Kamboj, Assistant Professor of the Department presented vote of thanks at the end of the event. Baljeet Kaur Anand, Assistant Professor of the Department acted as moderator of the webinar.