Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Books...

New Books...

Portrayal of Women in Media and Literature
Pages xxiii+ 542, ISBN 978-93-82647-01-1
Worldwide Circulation through Authorspress Global Network. The book is also available online on flipkart, infibeam, alibris,  amazon, snapdeal,  ebay, Southasiabooks and so on

First Published  in 2013 by ACCESS, New Delhi
Though the 21st-century has often been referred to as the age of women-empowerment when every crusader against patriarchal norms is applauded, representation of female emancipation, be it in films and serials or in literature, often assume distorted forms.  The depiction of women in media and literature seems to be aimed more at satisfying the subconscious male voyeuristic desires than at how the females have become modernised enough to take on the world. Importantly, this is not a novel phenomenon. Since the time of The Ramayana or The Mahabharata, women have been constantly relegated to peripheries vis-à-vis the usual male assumption of centrality, with the powerful men looking down upon their female counterparts merely as submissive sexual objects. Women have been consistently stereotyped as unintelligent human beings who are expected to serve in kitchens, follow the directions of their male and female in-laws, act as caring mothers to children, and ensure, on the peril of unpopularity, that servants did their tasks ‘correctly’. Even in Europe, which seemed to have had been modernised by the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, women were not allowed proper education or encouraged to write. Only as late as in 19th-century did some sensitive intellectuals, starting with John Stuart Mill, and involving personalities like Frances Cobbe, Harriet Martineau, and Josephine Butler among others, began clamouring for equal rights for women.
20th-century critics like Kate Millett, Simone de Beauvoir, Elaine Showalter, and Judith Fetterley have, in various publications, cautioned their female readers about the ‘traditional male hypocrisies’ which seek to dismiss the importance of females even while clamouring for their developments. Fetterley, especially, speaks for the necessity of ‘resisting readers’ who would identify the specific areas in male-constructed literature which offer demeaning portrayal of women and conspire to keep them submissive. However, as far as casual re-readings of post-modern literature reveal or cursory glances at films and television serials notice, women are directly or unwillingly participating in their own commodification, and allowing themselves to be sexualised on screen or in print. Rather than becoming a century for women’s liberation, the 21st-centutry has become a period of gross female sexualisation. In such an age of artistic and aesthetic decadence, it has become necessary to identify the specific areas where women are being, on daily basis, distortedly depicted, patronised, or dominated. Even if such identifications and relevant publications would not normally stop violent attacks on young women, they would at least make maturing readers aware of the deplorable ground-realities for women in India and on international arena, and make them stake  and encouraging views of the female efforts for liberation.
Was it necessary to publish this compilation of essays on portrayal of women in media and literature? The answer is: yes. Numerous crimes against women, as social scientists have pointed out, are taking place on a daily-basis particularly because of ignorance and lack of compassion for femininity. The variety of issues explored in this critical anthology would make some epistemic contributions to the fields of feminism and pro-women-activism, with cautious approaches adopted towards the depreciations of females in different fields. If the role of humanities is to make individuals more humane, such a compilation is expected to further advance humaneness and humanity.  

In recent years, the Government of India and all the Indian states are taking stringent measures against female harassments and anti-women violence. Academic activism has also been making its contribution. In the field of written literature, the femininity-indicating ‘actress’ and ‘authoress’ have been diligently replaced with ‘actor’ and ‘author’, respectively. But, interestingly, while such academic ‘measures’ perceptively try to abolish the discriminating female-signs and signifiers, the males have not been motivated into becoming ‘authoresses’, ‘actresses’, or ‘poetesses’. The males have been traditionally granted superior places; even while indicating unisexuality, male signifiers have been adopted! If Spivak’s strategic essentialism is to be taken into account, abolishment of the ‘-esses’ might interpreted as offering scopes for re-examination. Nevertheless, this compilation of critical essays is expected to be referred to by teachers and students alike who want to further their studies and activism regarding female empowerment and dignities. 

Autobiographies, Boigraphies and Memoirs: Prestine Waves
Pages xxii + 473, ISBN 978-93-81030-48-6
Worldwide Circulation through Authorspress Global Network. The book is also available online on flipkart, infibeam, alibris,  amazon, snapdeal,  ebay, Southasiabooks and so on

First Published in 2013 by GNOSIS, New Delhi-110  016
About Book
Autobiographies, Biographies and Memoirs occupy an important place in Literature for various reasons. Authors used this genre to communicate their worldviews to people. Gandhi’s The Story of My Experiments with Truth is an excellent example. My Truth by Indira Gandhi is yet another example of communicating the message of an individual to a larger world. Jivansmriti (Reminiscences) of Rabindranath Tagore narrates his early years of life, while in Toward Freedom: the Autobiography of Jawaharlal Nehru, conveys Nehru’s own views  to his “own countrymen and women.” Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, published in 1951, stands apart as a great master-piece, combining personal life experiences with a strong motivated worldview (“the conditions in which an Indian grew to manhood in the early decades of this century”).
 Talking about non-Indian writers A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard is one such autobiography where everyone's heart goes out to this girl who was kidnapped and imprisoned at the tender age of 11. Another autobiography that took away the hearts of readers is Sliding into Home by Kendra Wilkinson; a former resident of the Playboy mansion and star of The Girls Next Door. She manages to tell a lot more about her life than most people would be willing to. War by Sebastian Junger takes us inside an Afghanistan war zone to learn what it is like to be in combat. Similarly the renowned Biography Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden where the author brings to life the great preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards is praise worthy. Another truly portrayed biography that we came across is Love Queen of Malabar: Memories of Friendship with Kamala Das by Merrily Weisbord where she wanders into the restricted zones of Kamala Das’s life.
Jawaharlal Nehru writes in his autobiography Toward Freedom,  “… this account is wholly one-sided and, inevitably, egotistical; many important happenings have been completely ignored and many important persons, who shaped events, have hardly been mentioned. In a real survey of past events this would have been inexcusable, but a personal account can claim this indulgence.” Gandhi justified writing an autobiography with these words:
“But a God-fearing friend had his doubts, which he shared with me on my day of silence. 'What has set you on this adventure? He asked. 'Writing an autobiography is a practice peculiar to the West. I know of nobody in the East having written one, except amongst those who have come under Western influence. And what will you write? Supposing you reject tomorrow the things you hold as principles today, or supposing you revise in the future your plans of today, is it not likely that the men who shape their conduct on the authority of your word, spoken or written, may be misled. Don't you think it would be better not to write anything like an autobiography, at any rate just yet?”
Indira Gandhi’s work is a compilation of her writings in a manner that the book has an autobiographical format. Nehru wrote his autobiography in English. Gandhi and Tagore wrote their autobiographies first in their mother tongues (Gujarati and Bengali respectively) and then they get it translated or recreated their works into English. Nirad Chaudhuri wrote his celebrated work in English.
Autobiographies, Biographies and Memoirs may raise controversies of various types: political, social, familial, regional, religious, etc. A recent biography-like book on Muhammad Ali Jinnah by Jaswant Singh Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence raised a hue and cry among Jaswant Singh’s own party members.  Earlier in recent times, actor Om Puri’s biography Unusual Hero by his wife created strong and deep controversies. Such controversies arise out of revelations in public of private personal acts and thoughts that may involve others and thus hurt the feelings, careers and interests of people referred to. It looks like that the autobiographer or biographer never asks the permission of others to narrate the incidents which engross them! But due to such pristine waves of unfold truth, Autobiographies, Biographies and Memoirs became most popular forms of literature.
However, autobiographies and biographies have their own aspects difficult to master. Even the authors of these works are burdened with the responsibility of ensuring that the readers are with them and are comfortable with the journey they choose to undertake with the authors. The goal of this special volume Autobiographies, Biographies and Memoirs in English: Pristine Waves is to make a survey of some of the major autobiographies and biographies written in English. It is assumed that work should try to bring put some pristine waves of unfold truth, hidden fact or incident of the life of the person studied in present book.

We are hopeful that this critical anthology would prove to be a very valuable companion to different teachers, postgraduate and undergraduate students, and doctoral research scholars who are intent on acquainting themselves with different aspects of Autobiographies, Biographies and Memoirs in English.

Dynamics of Diasporic Identity in Commonwealth Literature
Pages xxi + 327, ISBN 978-81-7273-726-9
Worldwide Circulation through Authorspress Global Network

First Published in 2013 by, Authorspress, New Delhi-110  016
About Book
Diaspora studies, through years, have depicted an organic development maturing over years of cultural segregation to ultimate acculturation in the wake of globalisation. In its phase of inception, diasporic studies depicted certain general features: dispersal from original “centre” to the periphery of the foreign land; sense of alienation, retainment of community memory, a painful “rebirth” in an antagonistic society and hence the yearning to return back “home”. These varied and yet generalised concept have been highlighted in Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return where William Safran speaks of the nostalgic yearning of the early immigrants and how “their ethnocommunical conciousness and solidarity are importantly defined by the existence of such a relationship” (84). However, such feelings of nostalgia were found only in the early immigrants but their children or the second generation immigrants are free of such “looking back” emotions. Fredrick Buell in his book National Culture and the New Global System calls these immigrants “Global Cosmopolitans” who have established a new identity in the foreign nation.
The etymological origin of Diaspora can be traced to ancient Greek where it meant scattering as a result of migration or geographical upheaval and was related to the dispersal of the Jews. In the post-biblical phase, the term came to be related to human scattering because of slave trading and transfer of labourers. Diasporic communities grew up in distant lands of Jamaica, Trinidad, West Indies, United States, Australia etc. and there they created a space for themselves where they could preserve their individual identities and their racial origin. Obviously, this endeavour to preserve identity in a distant land was far from easy and it resulted in concepts like self, cultural memory, rootlessness, linearity and continuity, alienation and belonging.
Though no country has really been able to escape the effects of migration or dislocation, yet in the post colonial scenario the questions and issues are being re-evaluated. One wonders whether dislocation has to be really traumatic and if the new entrant can not rally get assimilated with the new culture. History and memory are two separators but in the global scenario all concepts require to be re-visited. Multiculturalism is an attempted reality and it works at multiple levels. The word is in vogue and this has imparted different connotations to it and which is a definite reason for caution. It must be remembered that it is not a mere coexistence of multiple cultures or ethnicities – rather it works towards a separation which is essential for maintaining “difference” and working towards individual recognition. Its popularity is not in “coercive assimilation” but rather in the resonance of the term “culture” and a positive connotation.
Two other important terms which have come to be associated with the search for diasporic identity are “hybridity” and “third space”. Robert Young points out that the term “hybrid(ity)” was first used with respect to humans in 1813 and it implied “the crossing of people of different races” (6). Bhabha, later in the location of culture uses the term in a less palpable context of “mutual contamination of imaginary purity” and it led to the concept of the “third space” of the colonizer and the colonized that effects the hybridization of both parties. It is this “third space” which has become an important zone of interaction between the diasporic community and the original master class. This spatial turn has resulted in the intermingling of cultures, what Bhabha calls, “hibridity”, thereby producing “thirding as othering”. It causes “in-between-ness” which has been supported also by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Edward Said.  Bhabha challenges the hegemonic historiography in “The Third Space” and writes:
All forms of culture are continually in a process of hybridity. But for me the importance of hybridity is not to be able to trace two original moments from which the third emerges, rather hybridity to me is the ‘third space’ which enables other positions to emerge. This third space displaces the histories that constitute it, and sets up new structures of authority, new political initiatives, which are inadequately understood through received wisdom...the process of cultural hybridity gives rise to something different, something new and unrecognisable, a new area of negotiation of meaning and representation (Bhabha 211).
The present volume discusses these varied aspects of diasporic identity in varied avtars. The editors of the present critical anthology have taken an all-inclusive approach on diasporic identity in Commonwealth Literature. Their principal insistence is on acquainting teachers, researchers, and post- and undergraduate students with different dynamics of diasporic identity in Commonwealth Literature.

Emerging Issues in ELT
Pages xviii + 420, ISBN 978-93-81030-46-2
Worldwide Circulation through Authorspress Global Network. The book is also available online on flipkart, infibeam, alibris,  amazon, snapdeal,  ebay, Southasiabooks and so on
First Published in 2013 by GNOSIS, New Delhi
About Book
The growing popularity of English language instruction has led to more professionalism within the ranks of English teachers. Today’s classrooms reflect a wide range of individual student differences in experience, aptitude, motivation, interest, gender, race and ethnicity. Teacher must develop the knowledge and skills to teach diverse group of students with emerging trends. In addition to this, to keep place in an ever-changing society, teacher and students must be prepared to expand their teaching repertoires throughout their careers as educators. Teachers in the 21st century must be thoughtful, reflective practitioners prepared to teach and learn within a changing environment, including the social, economic, technological and professional contexts.
The world keeps changing with every rotation it makes round the sun. Just a decade ago, students were taught with pens, pencils, black boards and chalks. But today, all that have become history which no one wishes to remember. Light pens and boards, PDF notes, CD ROMs have replaced all those. And even as you are reading this, the world is advancing rapidly with respect to ICT technology as even computers and laptops are gradually leaving the scene for Net-books, Net-Pads, Tablet PCs, i-Pods and magic handsets.
There is need to study these new trends with its all critical fairness.  So this anthology aims to help teachers by providing detail study of modern techniques to teach English effectively. This anthology strives to provide clear, comprehensive, and objective advice to anyone interested in teaching English. It presents empirical studies on the various factors that influence English language learning and teaching. Technology has changed the way we access information and the way we teach and learn. New technologies have contributed to the proliferation of information and resources. Such technologies may include internet, audio-visual aids, MALL, CALL, multimedia, distance learning and digital technologies that help to enrich ELT.

Nevertheless, this compilation of critical essays is expected to be referred to by teachers and students alike who want to further their studies and activism regarding ICT enabled English Language Teaching and Learning. We are thrilled and honoured in editing present this volume to the vast local and global readership. We sincerely hope that this effort will be appreciated.

Role of ICT in English Language Teaching and Learning
Pages xvii + 335, ISBN 978-93-82647-00-3

Worldwide Circulation through Authorspress Global Network. The book is also available online on flipkart, infibeam, alibris,  amazon, snapdeal,  ebay, Southasiabooks and so on

First Published  in 2013 by ACCESS, New Delhi
English is a West Germanic language linked to Dutch, Frisian and German with a significant amount of terminology from French, Latin, Greek and few others. Historically, English language had so modest foundation that at first it would hardly worth the honor of being the literature language of even a renowned Englishman. Shakespeare wrote for a speech community of about six million peoples, that it was not thought to be of much account by the rest of Europe, and that it was entirely unknown to the rest of the world. John Locke, the celebrated English philosopher once said that ‘English was the language of the illiterate vulgar’. But today the situation has been exclusively changed and the English language dominated over almost all rest languages. Today, English is truly an official or co-official language of over 45 countries and is the mostly preferable medium of international communication. We see wide-ranging use of English in the field of science, aviation, computing, diplomacy, and tourism all over the world.
English, today, has the widest circulation, spoken and used as official language by men and women round the world, especially in the countries which were British colonies. The earlier teaching of English was characterized largely by a type of instruction which is a type of a lecture method in teaching language or literature. But, presently, universalisation of education technology is a matter of great prosperity for the teaching dogma. Particularly Information Technology achieves a wide possible reach for the students. We see a sea change in the teaching of English language in the schools and colleges by the introduction of ICT equipments. The use of ICT can succeed in achieving language proficiency and will fosters an all-round development of the mind of students. 
The present anthology Role of ICT in English Language Teaching and Learning: Observations and Ruminations is our humble attempt to bring different scholarly views, opinions and investigations under one umbrella in form of this book. We requested many scholars of India and aboard to ruminate and write on this topic and we are overwhelmed by their response. 

The overall aim of this anthology is to highlight difference facets of the application of ICT in teaching English language and investigate and explore various  experimentation and innovation in this area in order to find out the goals of ICT enabled teaching for creating environmental consciousness and related behavioural practices among students and we are sure that we succeed in bringing together all angled deliberations,  observations and ruminations on role of ICT in English Language teaching and learning. Nevertheless, this compilation of critical essays is expected to be referred to by teachers and students alike who want to further their studies and activism regarding ICT enabled English Language Teaching and Learning. We are thrilled and honoured in editing this volume to the vast local and global readership.

                                   Twentieth Century British Literature

Twentieth century British literature marks the advent of new ways of looking at the world with comprehending, interacting and reconstructing literary sensibility.  Modernistic point of view along with elements like experimentation and individualism were introduced in it.  Focus on pluralism, quest for the self, lack of faith, fragmentation, alienation and much more found its reconstructed ways into its gamut.
            It is also called as modern literature and is reflective of the political upheavals, social unrest, and domestic crisis in addition to racial discrimination, political protests, the Gay Rights movement, the Feminist movement and so on. Significant contribution has been made in the field of novel, drama and poetry.  A lot of scope is given to man’s psychological problems and the concept of consciousness in relation to time. The approach that the modern literature adopts is realistic as opposed to the idealistic.  Almost everything from within the human nature is embraced within its vast confines. There is also a faithful rendering of the modern society devoid of common values and virtues, and gripped by elements of disappointment, dejection, depression, disillusionment, disease and death. The writers of this period revolted against the existing order and reacted against existing pretentions.  They opted for a more intense, more democratic and pluralistic mode of expression.
This anthology contains such approaches and critical investigation of renowned Twentieth century British literary texts through multiple aspects.

We are sure that these scholarly articles will definitely provide a deeper insight and help readers and researchers voyage into the realms of the 20th century British literature with its different facets. Research scholars who wish to undertake research in the same can truly be benefited.