On December 18, 2016, the Department of English and Humanities organized a seminar at the Campus B Seminar Room to present the findings from the projects being conducted under the ULAB Research Project Grants. DEH currently has four projects under the 2014-15 Grant where one has been completed and the other three are ongoing. Presided over by Dr. Brian Shoesmith, Dean of Academic Development, the seminar had three presentations by Prof. Kaiser Haq, Prof. Shamsad Mortuza, Ms. Arifa Ghani Rahman, and Ms. Nadia Rahman (with Ms. Tahmina Zaman). The primary researcher of the fourth project, Mr. Shayeekh-Us-Saleheen, has completed his work and presented his findings in an earlier seminar.
The first project, by Arifa Ghani Rahman and Shamsad Mortuza, entitled “Lost in Translation: Making Sense of Bangla Proverbs and Idioms” purports to collect proverbs and idioms in Bangla to be translated into English and published as a dictionary as a translation aid for Bangla to English translators. Very few academic studies have been conducted in Bangladesh to explore the challenges of translating Bangla texts into English. And while work has been done to compile some proverbs and idioms in one place, a major finding of this project was that there is no complete dictionary of translated proverbs and idioms in Bangladesh that would help make literary translators’ jobs a little easier. This research aims to fill this gap in the translation scenario in Bangladesh by compiling as complete a list as possible of Bangla proverbs and idioms that will be translated into their closest equivalents in a dictionary format. This dictionary will also contain explanations of the proverbs and idioms with examples of how they may be applied. The research discovered that because the first collections of proverbs were by missionaries in Kolkata, identifying the origins of Bengali versus Bangladeshi proverbs would be challenging. The migration of rural proverbs into mainstream Bangla has also made it difficult to identify the original source.
This presentation was followed by Nadia Rahman and Tahmina Zaman’s “A Study of Adaptations of Foreign Texts by the Major Theater Groups in Bangladesh (2004-2014).” The objective of this research is to focus on three leading theater groups of Bangladesh, Nagarik Nattya Sampraday, Theater (Bailey Road) and Nattyakendra as well as departments offering academic programs on theater and drama studies in two public universities, to investigate their adapted texts to find the reasons behind choosing particular texts for adaptation, its cultural implications, and relevance. The researchers also hope to initiate a pilot archiving project by compiling all the adapted texts to represent a history of the adaptation works on stage.
Prof. Kaiser Haq and Prof. Shamsad Mortuza’s work entitled “The Shaping Influence of Little Magazines and Literary Supplements on Bangladeshi/Bengali Writers Writing in English” investigates the influential role of various little magazines, literary supplements, and occasional journals in English published in the sub-continent, particularly “Bengal.” The objective is to trace the first generation Bengali/Bangladeshi writers writing in English. South Asian writers writing in English have already found their niche in a global platform. By archiving the efforts of the previous generation, the research wants to locate the contemporary writers in a literary tradition and the place of Bangladeshi writers writing in English.
Entitled “Professional Development for English Language Teachers in Bangladesh: Opportunities and Challenges,” Shayeekh-Us-Saleheen’s research addresses the question of whether encouraging English language teachers’ professional development contributes to ELT at universities in Bangladesh. More precisely, the research investigates the potential opportunities and challenges of the teachers’ professional development at Bangladeshi universities.
The seminar rounded off with congratulatory remarks from Prof. Brian Shoesmith.