The Department of English and Humanities at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) organized its 5th inter-university student conference and cultural competition on April 18- 19, 2019. This year the theme was “The Romantic and the Gothic”.
Held at the ULAB Permanent Campus in Mohammadpur, ULAB won both of the two competitions: academic paper presentation and cultural performance, for the first time.
On the first day, students from fifteen public and private universities presented their papers that explored various aspects of the poetry of William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats, among others. Some participants also traced how modern writers and artists were inspired by them.
The panel of judges comprised of distinguished professors from two non-participating universities: Dr Chidananda Bhattacharya, Professor and Head of Department of English, Rabindra Bharati University; and Professor Abdus Selim, Chairperson of Department of Language-Literature, Central Women’s University.
Eventually, Shamael Mortuza from ULAB became the winner of the academic session for her paper entitled “The Fault in Coleridge’s Stars: A Contrapuntal Reading” while BRAC University’s Mairuna Farhin was the runner-up for her paper, “The Darkling: A Depiction of the Byronic Hero as an Anti-Villain”.
Five universities participated in the cultural segment on the second day. The team from ULAB staged a short play based on the colorful life of S T Coleridge and his interest in India, and became the champion. Their performance was mentored by their visiting scholar, writer of India and Romantic Imagination (1987), John Drew. The University of Asia Pacific secured second place in this category.
The cultural segment was judged by Dr. Chidananda Bhattacharya; Dr. Kirsten Hackenbroch, Director, Goethe-Institut, Dhaka; and Ziaul Karim, Head of Brand and Communication, Eastern Bank Ltd.
Mr. Liaquat Ali Lucky, Director General of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, was the Chief Guest at the Closing Ceremony. Emphasizing the adage “A nation is known by its theaters,” he invited the students to the academy to stage their plays and assured them with all kinds of support.
During the prize-giving ceremony, Prof Jahirul Haque, ULAB Vice Chancellor; Prof Imran Rahman, Special Adviser to the ULAB Board of Trustees; Prof Kaiser Haq, Dean, School of Arts and Humanities, and Prof Syed Manzoorul Islam were present on stage. The vote of thanks was given by Professor Shamsad Mortuza, ULAB Pro Vice-Chancellor and the Head of Department of English and Humanities.
The two-day event was coordinated by Dr Sohana Manzoor, Associate Professor, DEH and her team.