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Indo-Canadian Studies Centre (ICSC)

Inaugural Symposium of the Indo-Canadian Studies Centre (ICSC)

The Indo-Canadian Studies Centre - ICSC - had organised a one-day international symposium on 'Re-Imaging the Old and Negotiating the New: Indo-Canadian Literature and Cinema' following the Centre's inauguration on 3rd October 2011. The Centre had invited international experts in Indo-Canadian studies to this symposium.  

Professor Nilufer E. Bharucha, the Honorary Coordinator of the ICSC, Mumbai University welcomed the guests and delegates to the symposium and said how the centre was given funding by the former premier of the British Columbia Province, Mr. Gordon Campbell, through an MoU between the Mumbai University and the University of the Fraser Valley, B.C., Canada. 

The symposium was inaugurated by Dr. Rajan Welukar, Vice Chancellor of the University of Mumba,who in his inaugural address said that he hoped that this symposium was the beginning of a long collaboration between India and Canada. His thoughts were echoed by Mr. Marvin Hildebrand, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai, who was the Chief Guest at the symposium. 

Professor Susan Fisher, Vice Dean of Arts, University of the Fraser Valley, Canada, gave introductory remarks and also mentioned her long personal and professional association with Professor Nilufer E. Bharucha, Honorary Coordinator of the ICSC, and Professor of English at the University of Mumbai. 

The symposium which was conducted in two sessions had interesting Keynotes on the theme of the symposium. Chaired by Professor Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp Professor of English, University of Bonn, Germany, the first session had Professor Susan Fisher of the University of the Fraser Valley, Canada, talking about 'South Asian Canadian Literature: Between World Literature and Canadian Literature'.  Next, Professor Sunaina Singh, Former President of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, New Delhi, and Professor of English, Osmania University, Hyderabad, dealt with the theme of homeland in the context of the Diaspora and presented a paper titled 'Re-imagining Homeland and Heterotopia- Situating the Diasporic Context'. The session came to an end with a Keynote on "Matching Orphaned Socks": Cross-Cultural Memories in Bharati Mukherjee's Novels' , by  Professor Klaus Stierstorfer, Vice Dean, Philology, University of Muenster, Germany. He is also the Vice President of the Association of Canadian Studies in University of Muenster, Germany. 

The Second Session resumed after the lunch break. This session was chaired by Professor Susan Fisher of the University of the Fraser Valley, B.C., Canada. This session was opened by the Head of the Department of English of the University of Muumbai, Professor Coomi S. Vevaina. She spoke of how language can create/recreate reality in the everyday lives of the diasporic community. Her Keynote was titled "Arrey baba, I'm telling you the truth, no" Anita Rau Badami's (Re)Creation of Reality in Chutnified English in Tamarind Mem'. She was followed by a Keynote Speech by Professor Sridhar Rajeswaran, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Head, Department of English, University of Kachchh, Bhuj, Gujarat. He presented a paper on 'Re-imaging the Nation from the Diaspora - Deepa Mehta's 1947 Earth'. Professor Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp, Professor of English at the University of Bonn, Germany, presented a Keynote paper on 'The In-Between World of M.G. Vassanji', looking at Vassanji's writing and how his being a diasporic affected his work. The last Keynote was addressed by Professor Nilufer E. Bharucha, Hon. Coordinator, ICSC, and Professor, Department of English, Mumbai University on 'Repossessing the Master Tongue, Subverting the Master Narrative and Challenging the Metanarrative of History: Rohinton Mistry's Fiction'.  The vote of thanks was offered by Ms. Kirti Javadekar, Project Associate.  

The symposium was attended by students and faculty members of different Mumbai University departments and exchange students from German Universities. The audience interacted with the Keynote speakers after each paper, thus making the symposium interesting and communicative.