04-MAR-2016: The Department of English, Aligarh Muslim University under the UGC DRS Programme today started a two-day National Seminar on 'Remapping Translations: 1857 and After' at the Arts Faculty Lounge. The AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah (retd) graced the occasion with his presence.
While delivering the Keynote address, Professor Awadesh Kumar Singh, Head, Department of Translation studies, IGNOU spoke on 'Translation as an Instrument of Self(Re)Fashioning in the Colonial period.
Prof Awadesh said that the history of translation in India can be seen to fall into three broad areas, which are pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial translation. He added that this is a periodization that most theorists in the area agree upon.
Sub-dividing the historical period, Prof Awadesh said that from antiquity to year 1100 and from 1100 to 1757, translation work in India marks the period in which Sanskrit was the major language, and the second the time in which foreign languages like Persian and other Indian languages grew and flourished. He pointed out that a brief overview of translation in the pre-colonial period will help us to better situate the translation done during the colonial and post-colonial periods.
Prof Awadesh further said that the post-1857 started the Orientalist phase when the British showed a remarkable interest in the ancient Sanskrit classics and other non-literary texts. He said that it was during this period that we see a flurry of translation activity that included translations of texts as diverse as Abhinjanasakuntalam and Manusmriti.
He also said that the post 1857 period further saw many European works including the Bible's translation into Indian languages. This was a form of cultural colonization that resulted in crushing native languages and literatures.
The Chief Guest, Prof Harish Narang, Former Head, School of English Studies, JNU delivered the preliminary address explaining the How's and Why's of translation. He explained the reasons for undertaking translation and discussed the approaches involved while translating.
Prof Narang also warned that like the 1857 era, even today there is a threat of hegemony and homogenization. He added that let us make a pledge that neither the translation works nor other creative works will suffer.
Prof S Kafeel Ahmad Qasmi, Dean, Faculty of Arts said that since its inception 125 years ago, the Department of English has been engaged in imparting quality education, in keeping with the vision Sir Syed Ahmad Khan who had the Department established in 1877. He also mentioned that Department of English has a highly specialized Multimedia Language Lab for Literature among other important achievements.
While delivering the opening remarks, Prof S N Zeba, Coordinator, UGC DRS, Phase I said that two-day seminar will be about literary, cultural and historical perspective of translation work. She confirmed that valuable material from the Maulana Azad Library, AMU and Raza Library, Rampur has been collected for the seminar.
Welcoming the guests to the inaugural function of the seminar, Prof Seemin Hasan, Chairperson, Department of English said that early teachers of the Department of English include Walter Raleigh, a distinguished literary critic. She added that at present the department offers MA in English and ELT, BA (Hons) in Communicative English and English Literature, PhD in English, Subsidiary English Courses for other faculty students and private course in English Only.
Prof M Rizwan Khan, Member, Core Committee UGC DRS Phase I conducted the programme and proposed the vote of thanks.