A special lecture on Disability Studies by Professor Banibrata Mahanta was organized by the Department of English, The Bhawanipur Education Society College on 09.07.2021 from 3.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. for the students of M.A English.
Teaching in the Department of English, Benaras Hindu University, Professor Banibrata Mahanta has has been working in the area of Indian writing in English, the development of Indian nationalist thought, and literary theory, especially disability theory. Besides being a visiting fellow at reputed institutions, he is also on the advisory boards of various institutes, universities and academic journals, both in India and abroad. He is a theatre enthusiast and has been associated with a few amateur theatrical productions.
Professor Mahanta’s recent works include a monograph titled Disability Studies: An Introduction (Yking, 2016) English Studies in India: Contemporary and Evolving Paradigms (Springer, 2018), a chapter on the transformation of folk heroes published this year in the volume titled Heroes and Hero Making Across Genres (Routledge, 2021) and an English translation of the Hindi novel Labanyadevi (Orient Blackswan, forthcoming) for which he was awarded a PEN America Translation Grant in 2021.
Professor Mahanta’s special lecture entitled “Understanding Disability: Cultural and Social Dimensions” for the students at The Bhawanipur Education Society College traced the ableist social attitude towards disability which spans from the pity-sympathy mode to the admiration mode. He familiarized the students with the internalization of the cultural essentials and social identifiers which determine mainstream social response towards disability. His lecture introduced the students with the social, religious and medical models of the disability discourse in the present academic scenario. The lecture was a great success. It was attended by the students from the M.A English Department and was much appreciated by all of them. They participated actively in the interactive session which continued for an hour after the lecture.
The webinar was conducted through the GSuite for Education made available by the College and has been recorded by the English Department. Feedback forms were sent to the registered participants and certificates were issued.