FSLE-India recently held both an international conference in December 2018, and a national gathering in January 2019. Reports on both from the organizers are below.
ICEC 2018: FSLE-India’s Second International Annual Conference
Report by Dr. Dilip Kumar Jaiswal
Located in a peninsular kind of geographical setting savored with spiritual vibes, Amritapuri, the
countryside of Kollam, a small district in Kerala has witnessed a three days long intellectual
discourse observing almost 250 participants from across the globe. It was FSLE-India’s Second
International Annual Conference held on December 15-17, 2018 in collaboration with Amrita
Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri Campus, Kollam themed Ecology and Cultural Cognizance:
A Boulevard of Sustainable Amiability.
The chief guest of the event was the renowned Environmentalist, wildlife biologist, ornithologist,
an admirer of naturopathy and the founding Director of the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and
Natural History, Dr V. S. Vijayan who said that planting tree is the same as producing oxygen.
He talked about deforestation, climate change and sustainable development. Br Shanthamrita
Chaitanya, Head, Mata Amritanandamayi Centre in Chicago delivered the benedictory address.
The FSLE-India president and conference co-convener Rishikesh Kumar Singh has announced
this event as the second of the event series on Ecocriticism in India. He also proclaimed the
FSLE-India initiates in abroad establishing its Executive Council in four different countries
including Spain, Australia, Mauritius and Zambia.
The Keynote speaker, Professor Brycchan Carey from Northumbria University, UK has tried to
examine some of the literary responses to the colonial ecological crisis termed as ‘Unnatural
Empire’ in reference with colonialism, slavery and environmental writing in the British Sugar
Islands. The plenary talks were enriched with various International and National delegates
including Prof. Richard Kerridge from Bath Spa University, UK, Dr Adeline Johns-Putra from
the University of Surrey, UK, Dr. Paul Outka from the University of Kensas, USA, Dr Jyhene
Kebsi from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, Dr Arlene Plevin, Olympic College,
Washington, USA, Dr Sooshilla Gopaul, Open University of Mauritius, Kala Ramesh from Pune,
Dr Amit Ranjan from Delhi University and Parshu Dahal from Sikkim.
During the conference a Haiku workshop was held on 17th December with Kala Ramesh, the
world renowned haijin. This workshop was dedicated to the main theme of the conference
‘Ecology and Culture’. The workshop was conducted successfully with 15 participants. Finding
an inevitable bonhomie between Nature and Haiku writing the workshop aimed to promote this
Japanese art form in spreading consciousness among the creative minds extending towards the
During the three day gala event Br Sudeep, Director- Amritapuri Campus, Dr Balakrishnan
Shanker, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr V M Nandakumaran, Principal,
Amrita School of Arts and Sciences, Dr P V Ramanathan, Chairperson, Department of
Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr Beena S Nair, Vice-Chairperson, Department of Humanities
and Social Sciences & the Convener of ICEC, Dr Dilip Kumar Jaiswal, Managing Director,
FSLE-India, Dr Nandini C Sen, National Coordinator, FSLE-India and Dr Shruti Das, Joint
Secretary of Odisha chapter, FSLE-India shared their views during the inaugural session.
The outcome of the event could be taken into account as it ushered a way to have another
International FSLE meet in Goa in December 2019. Initiating with the primary and perhaps the
most significant question “Why Ecocriticism?” FSLE-India president Rishikesh set up a series of
events to find out the suitable answers and further to have an extension of the various aspects of
Ecocriticism in Indian context.
FSLE-India National Conference Report
Report by Dr. Dilip Kumar Jaiswal
In association with FSLE-India (The Foundation for the Study of Literature and Environment), The Faculty of Media Studies and Humanities (FMeH), under the flagship of Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies (MRIIRS) a National Conference took place on January 31, 2019 at Faridabad in the state of Haryana, India that was themed “Language and Literature: Transgressing Boundaries”.
The Chief Guest was Prof Chander Mohan, Gen Secretary, Comparative Literature Association of India, and the Guest of Honor was Prof Anil Raina, Professor, Department of English, Panjab University. Other officials in attendance were Rishikesh Kumar Singh, President, FSLE-India, Dr. M M Kathuria, Trustee, MREI; Dr N C Wadhwa, Vice Chancellor, MRIIRS, Dr Mahamid Husain, Vice-President, FSLE-India, Mr R K Arora, Registrar, MRIIRS, Prof (Dr.) Neemo Dhar, Dean FMeH.
In his inaugural speech the Chief Guest Prof Chander Mohan endorsed the idea of introducing Language and Literature to each and every department as they act as a hub of knowledge. The MRIIRS Vice Chancellor also congratulated the Dean, faculty members and FSLE-India for thinking beyond the usual.
In his speech FSLE-India President, Rishikesh, has pointed out the significant of the term ‘Transgression’ in special reference with the objectives of FSLE-India and he stated that the fsleians (the FSLE-India members) are transgressors, as they transcend the stereotype and try to go beyond the conventions. He posited that Ecology can be the best supporter for such transgressions.
The parallel sessions were chaired by Prof Chander Mohan, Prof Anil Raina, Prof. Ramnita Sharda, Prof. Bhagyashree Varma, Prof TN Dhar, Dr Rishikesh Kumar Singh, Prof Anup Beniwal, Prof Ram Niwas Sharma, and Prof Roshan Lal Sharma. Approximately 100 papers were presented and compiled into a compendium.
In the Valedictory session Dr Shivani Vashist, HoD, English department and Joint Secretary, FSLE-India Haryana Region delivered the vote of thanks.