Spectrum 2022-11-17T09:37:24+00:00 Professor Dr. Nevin Farida Open Journal Systems <p>Published by the Department of English, University of Dhaka, Dhaka<strong>. </strong>Full-text articles available.</p> <p><a href="" rel="license"><img style="border-width: 0;" src="" alt="Creative Commons Licence" /></a><br />Articles in the Spectrum are licensed under a <a href="" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License</a> (CC BY-NC 4.0). This license permits <strong>Share</strong>— copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, <strong>adapt</strong> — remix, transform, and build upon the material as long as it is not for commercial purposes.</p> Editorial Vol.16 (2021) 2022-08-02T09:51:59+00:00 Nevin Farida <p>Abstract not available</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: iii-iv</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Nevin Farida History of the Department of English (1921-2021): An Academic Overview 2022-08-02T09:51:59+00:00 Nevin Farida Qumrul Hasan Chowdhury Begum Shahnaz Sinha Ahmed Bashir Bijoy Lal Basu <p>As the Department of English, University of Dhaka celebrates its centenary in the year 2021, it is vital to look back and take stock of its achievements as well as the challenges it has faced over the years on the way to becoming a premier department for English studies and for English language education in the region. In this paper, we explore the academic history of the department using archival resources and interviews with senior academics who have not only witnessed but also played key roles in the evolution of the department. Based on the available data, we highlight the original motivations of the founders for establishing the department, the key changes in the curriculum and the forces that drove those changes, the academic and administrative structures, the major achievements of its teachers as well as its alumni, and the challenges facing the department today. Overall, the paper provides a few insights which may be useful for those involved in English studies in Bangladesh and other similar historical and social contexts.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 3-23</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Nevin Farida, Qumrul Hasan Chowdhury, Begum Shahnaz Sinha, Ahmed Bashir, Bijoy Lal Basu Disowning Imperialism and Remembering Dhaka University in A.G. Stock’s Travelogue 2022-08-02T09:52:01+00:00 Zerin Alam <p><em>Memoirs of Dacca University </em>is the record of a British teacher’s experience of being Head of the English Department at the transitional time of 1947 to 1951. The traveller’s focus on Dhaka University makes it a valuable historic document of the institution in her depiction of the challenges of English language teaching in a former colony. The aim of this article is to analyze A. G. Stock’s memoir as an example of post-imperial travelogue and to examine the traveller’s attempts to overcome colonial representations in her treatment of Dhaka University and the people she encounters. I show how Stock’s text differs from colonial travel writing and embraces a more empathetic and liberal view in her analysis and description of the university and East Pakistan. At the same time, following Holland and Huggan (2000), I also interrogate and trace the lingering residues of a colonial discourse in this travel narrative.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 24-39</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Zerin Alam Conflict and Recognition in Munier Choudhury’s Kobor 2022-08-02T09:52:02+00:00 Farhanaz Rabbani Anjuman Ara <p>The emergence of Bangladesh as a nation is a culmination of long drawn out struggles faced by the Bengalis of the region, which has been portrayed in a vast body of Bengali literature. The West Pakistani suppression of young Bangla speaking voices in 1952 is resisted back through powerful and symbolic returns of the dead in the play <em>Kobor (Grave) </em>by Munier Choudhury, which was first written and produced in jail in 1953 in the context of the Language Movement of 1952. This paper explores <em>Kobor </em>to address the conflicts, power dynamics and resolution of conflicts that have been at the centre of Bengali identity formation and recognition during Pakistani rule. Conflict theory examines tensions that arise due to cultural, political and racial differences and the subsequent intensity of conflicts that concomitantly increases with the degree of unity in the resistant groups. A critical analysis of <em>Kobor </em>from the perspectives of conflict theory reveals inter-state ideological conflicts which were fuelled by the cultural, linguistic, political and other socioeconomic differences and disparities between the two wings of Pakistan.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 40-52</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Farhanaz Rabbani, Anjuman Ara The Narrative of Silenced Voices: A Retrospect to the 1969 Mass Upsurge Depicted in Akhtaruzzaman Elias’s Chilekothar Sepai 2022-08-02T09:52:04+00:00 Moumita Haque Shenjutee <p>This paper explores how Akhtaruzzaman Elias, one of the most influential Bengali writers, rewrites the narrative of the mass uprising of 1969 from the orbit of the subalterns by emphasizing their heroic role as well as the agencies behind their gradual absence from the elitist historiography of nationalism in his novel <em>Chilekothar Sepai </em>[The Soldier in an Attic]. To this end, this paper will refer to the subaltern historian Ranajit Guha’s method of deconstructing historiography of nationalism that looks for an autonomous domain of revolution organized by the subalterns, and Spivak’s postulation of their inability to create a space for themselves within that dominant narrative.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 53-67</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Moumita Haque Shenjutee Muslim Prejudices in Bengal and Establishment of the University of Dhaka: A Study of Kazi Imdadul Haque’s Abdullah 2022-08-02T09:52:05+00:00 Mahabuba Rahman Istiaque Ahmed <p>If we reflect on the history of the University of Dhaka, we come to know that it was not easy to establish the University. Battling with the dominance of the then Hindu political leaders, the Muslims of East Bengal finally achieved their long-cherished dream of educating themselves through a standard educational institution of their own. Kazi Imdadul Haque, one of the most prominent writers of Bangladesh, was a witness to those challenging times. His writings address history, politics, glorified past, and dreams of the future of Bengal. <em>Abdullah</em>, first published in 1932, his masterpiece, focuses on the educational stand of the Muslim community of Bengal before the Partition of the Indian subcontinent. The protagonist of the novel Abdullah mirrors the struggles of those who supported the establishment of the University of Dhaka. The obstacles he faces in order to educate and establish himself suggest the dire situation of the Muslims who were willing to work towards their betterment, but were helpless due to various pressures from the dominant community in power, and in many cases due to some prejudices of their own community. This paper, in light of the novel, addresses such issues and explores how the Muslims were able to break free of this vicious cycle of prejudice and ignorance through proper implementation of education.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 68-81</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Mahabuba Rahman, Istiaque Ahmed Magical Realism and Paranoia in Syed Manzoorul Islam’s “The Ground Beneath Paritosh’s Feet” and “The Merman’s Prayer” 2022-08-02T09:52:06+00:00 Shemonti Hasan Sifatur Rahim <p>As far as literary genres are concerned, the relation between magical realism and paranoid fiction is diametrical. Magical realism demonstrates the supernatural elements in a mundane, secularistic fashion, without highlighting its apparent displacement. Conversely, paranoid fiction constantly forces the readers to question the reliability of the plot of a story, its characters and the storyteller as well. In short, magic realism renders the most intangible events earthly, while paranoid fiction makes a temporal situation elusive. Using two short stories — “The Ground Beneath Paritosh’s Feet” and “The Merman’s Prayer” — from Syed Manzoorul Islam’s <em>The </em><em>Merman’s Prayer and Other Stories </em>(2013), this paper shows how employing paranoia as an agent arouses feelings of magical realism in the readers. In these stories, the writer aptly exhibits a perfect mélange of fairy tale elements as well as moments of abrupt shocks and inexplicable experiences. These stories constitute momentousness in a voluble language that produces a magical terrain where everything fantastical appears real. This paper proposes to present a detailed critique on how the elements of magical realism and paranoia are intertwined with each other in the mentioned stories. The authors draw references from dream interpretation, wish-fulfilment, psychosis and escapism to support their argument.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 82-92</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Shemonti Hasan, Sifatur Rahim Some Memories of the Department: 1967-1972 2022-08-02T09:52:09+00:00 Shawkat Hussain <p>Abstract not available</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 95-99</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Shawkat Hussain Pages from My Bengal Journal 2022-08-02T09:52:10+00:00 Rebecca Haque <p>Abstract not available</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 100-103</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Rebecca Haque Our Lost Seasons of Literary Delight 2022-08-02T09:52:11+00:00 Syed Badrul Ahsan <p>Abstract not available</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 104-107</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Syed Badrul Ahsan My Teachers 2022-08-02T09:52:12+00:00 Junaidul Haque <p>Abstract not available</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 108-111</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Junaidul Haque Singing Birds, English Romanticism, and Two Bengali Bards in Their Late Romantic Phase 2022-08-02T09:52:14+00:00 Fakrul Alam <p>The paper examines how English romanticism in general and romantic poets, in particular, had an impact on concepts of romanticism in our part of the world and why it is important to understand their influence. It argues that we must look at interactions between our leading Bengali poets and their English counterparts to determine the imaginative lineage of the Bengali poets. It specifically focuses on the relationship between birds and bards, and romantic poetic imaginings of the avian lot in Rabindranath and Jibanananda in their late-romantic phase.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 115-126</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Fakrul Alam Voicing the Voids: The Burdens of Translation 2022-08-02T09:52:15+00:00 Fayeza Hasanat <p>Using a diverse array of translation theory, this essay re-presents the task of a South Asian translator in terms of their presence, absence, and existence within the voids of translation and untranslativity of languages. In its exploration of translation theory, the essay uses Nawab Faizunnesa’s <em>Rupjalal </em>and Neelima Ibrahim’s <em>Ami Birangona Bolchi</em>, and examines how the translator addressed the issues of creative obligation and translative/academic autonomy in translating these two iconic texts.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 127-135</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Fayeza Hasanat Facing the Other: Representations of Postcolonial Childhood Trauma in Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things and Amitav Ghosh’s The Shadow Lines 2022-08-02T09:52:16+00:00 Batool Sarwar <p>Recent developments in the fields of postcolonial and trauma studies have focused on how there can be a significant interrelationship in the frameworks deployed to investigate the formation of identities in postcolonial subjects. The emphasis on anxiety and fractured subjectivities that inform discussions of postcolonial identity can also be conceptualized in terms of traumatic interventions at crucial moments in the development of selfhood. This paper will contend that though childhood is one of the most crucial times when the formative influences for the development of personality are inscribed onto the psyche of the individual, very little attention has been paid to children as a separate group in theorizations of postcolonial identity. This paper will attempt to use notions such as ‘insidious trauma’ inflicted by entanglements with British culture and education as a critical lens for the study of the formation of identity in the lives of the protagonists of two novels by two Indian authors. It will also engage with the personal trauma inflicted on these children by political upheavals as well as by the trauma caused by adult figures in their Anglophile families. This paper will therefore show that the complex and multilayered trauma suffered by postcolonial children has a profound impact on their adult lives, leaving them permanently scarred and that any attempts at resistance by the victims of such trauma are failures or at best only partially successful.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 136-147</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Batool Sarwar Dismantling Gender Specificity and Establishing Women’s Space/Voice: A Womanist Study of Alice Walker’s The Third Life of Grange Copeland 2022-08-02T09:52:18+00:00 UH Ruhina Jesmin Farhana Osman Buly <p>The paper is a womanist study based on African-American novelist Alice Walker’s 1970 novel, <em>The Third Life of Grange Copeland</em>. The study uses content analysis method, Walker’s theory of womanism, and Judith Butler’s theory of undoing gender performativity to explore how Walker’s women characters dismantle gender specificity and establish women’s space/voice. Walker’s women characters perceive womanism as a defensive strategy and a healing force as they find it self-healing in restoring their mental health, self-respect, and identity. They do not believe in separation from their male partners; they stand victorious over the racist-sexist society by taking men as partners and by taking their own decisions regarding life and death. Womanism, as their philosophy of life, allows them space for raising voice, forming identity, uplifting status, and finding wholeness of their lives accompanied by men. Their womanist identities reflect a conscious/subversive act of transfiguring differentiation and give them a vision of women’s space, a sense of hidden possibilities, and a sense of wholeness. They exercise their sexual freedom which poses a threat to the ideological and political basis of male supremacy. Their womanist performativity questions heteronormativities and stimulates social change. As such, their womanist identities speak more of a political preference than a mere sexual/non-sexual preference. The study explores how Ruth idealizes her womanist foremothers as her role models and takes her grandfather as her partner. She creates women’s space/possibilities, weaves her future, and journeys towards wholeness. In fact, she defines herself as one of those possibilities which womanism opens up.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 148-158</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 U.H. Ruhina Jesmin; Farhana Osman Buly Mother-blaming Tradition and Middle-class Families of Post-war British Society in Peter Shaffer’s Equus 2022-08-02T09:52:20+00:00 Sanjeeda Hossain <p>Peter Shaffer in his play <em>Equus</em>, portrays Dora Strang, a mother who allegedly provokes her son Alan to commit the crime of blinding six horses. Critics have labelled her the prime agent culpable for Alan’s misdeed. However, a proper analysis and investigation of the playtext reveals Dora as a victim of social pressures. The socio-economic environment of Shaffer’s Post-war British society relied heavily on Sigmund Freud and his theories on family relationships. The mother-blaming tradition flourished in literature when authors and literary experts misinterpreted Freud’s ideologies and employed them to degrade the mother’s maternal commitments and efforts. They held her responsible for her child’s misconducts. Early critics contended that Peter Shaffer was also following this tradition. However, this paper will show that he somewhat differs from it. Dora was frustrated because she adopted ‘motherhood’ as a full-time job like the majority of British middle class women, according to the contemporary social demands. She invested all her skills and energy in child care by discarding her intellectual and professional growth. Consequently, she became disappointed, and she infused her frustrations in Alan. This eventually showcased delinquency in him. In addition, her husband Frank is equally responsible for their son’s misconduct. In light of Freudian psychoanalysis, this paper studies how Dora’s frustration with her limited life provokes Alan’s misdemeanors. Also, by analyzing Freud’s concept of the Father, it shows how Frank as a father drives Dora towards frustration and Alan towards delinquency.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 159-172</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Sanjeeda Hossain Poetry as a Sexual-textual Site of Transgression: Some Insights into the Poetry of Emily Dickinson and Forough Farrokhzad 2022-08-02T09:52:21+00:00 Habibur Rahaman <p>This paper explores different representations of female sexuality portrayed in the poetry of a nineteenth-century American poet, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) and a twentieth-century Iranian poet, Forough Farrokhzad (1934-1967). Their poetry has been largely characterized by an assertion of female sexuality and its impact on female creativity. Their works particularly highlight the ways male sexuality subjugates female sexuality and formulates an androcentric world of creativity. As their poetry postulates, women’s suppressions and sufferings in their personalsexual- textual world can be attributed to the phallocentric world that consists of a myriad of socio-ethico-cultural regimens. The patriarchal world is shaped and continues to be consolidated by gender differentiations or binaries which exalt men as superior beings in everything and debase women through masculine hegemony. Thus, this paper traces the counter-masculine representations of female sexuality and creativity in the poetry of Dickinson and Farrokhzad<strong>.</strong></p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 173-194</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Habibur Rahaman Sartorial Objects, Transgender Bodies and Destabilized Meaning: A Study of Kaushik Ganguly’s Nagarkirtan 2022-08-02T09:52:23+00:00 Hamalna Nizam <p>Kaushik Ganguly’s 2017 film <em>Nagarkirtan </em>narrates the story of Puti, a transgender belonging to a hijra group in Kolkata, who desires for a gender reconfirmation surgery. Puti’s sartorial choices help her construct or emulate the appearance of a body she longs for but cannot avail due to her poor financial condition. On one hand, her sartorial choices help her to express her felt gender; on the other hand, it betrays her by either limiting her identity or giving out misinformation about the body that lies beneath. The paper uses Butler’s idea of impermanence of meaning behind signs and Halberstam’s idea of ‘trans’ being a destabilizing element of societal norms to present a qualitative analysis of the trans protagonist’s social performances through sartorial preferences as depicted in <em>Nagarkirtan</em>. Since the film under discussion shows its transgender protagonist at various stages of life, the paper also discusses her clothing choices throughout the years to explore the complex relationship among the clothes, the trans body and societal expectations.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 195-206</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Hamalna Nizam The Magic Realist World of “Mondo” in Le Clézio’s Mondo and Other Stories 2022-08-02T09:52:25+00:00 Zaynul Abedin <p>Born of a French mother, and an English-descent Mauritanian father, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (Le Clézio for short) often identifies himself as Franco- Mauritanian writer always on the move. In spite of his vehement repudiation of a fixed identity for himself, he has bought himself a home in Mexico, extensively travelled the length and breadth of Africa and wistfully pondered the questions of the other, especially through his representation of the locale, the flora and fauna, and the culture of the world outside Europe. This article singles out “Mondo”, arguably the most important short story of <em>Mondo and Other Stories</em>, to investigate how Le Clézio brings to the fore a strange yet tantalizingly familiar world through the characterization of its eponymous protagonist Mondo, a ten-year-old boy of an uncertain provenance, and exotic idiosyncrasies. In order to critique its depiction of the real world with an undercurrent of magical fictionality that shows a strong affinity towards a literary propensity deeply rooted in the so-called peripheral cultures of the world. The article takes recourse to the recent accretions of magic realism, and delves into the author’s magic realistic worldview that denounces the Western rational system of thought.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 207-217</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Zaynul Abedin Reading Macbeth as Pandemic Literature: An Expedition to a Plague-Ridden World 2022-08-02T09:52:27+00:00 Mehedi Karim Shimanto <p>This paper argues that William Shakespeare’s <em>Macbeth </em>can be read as pandemic literature. Though the tragedy is not about a plague, critics have already viewed it as a depiction of a claustrophobic ailing world with Macbeth and his accomplices running amok as agents of death and corruption. However, how the play actually speaks of real plagues and how it can be considered as pandemic literature have not been discussed adequately. Pandemic literature illustrates the ravages of plague as experienced, reminisced, and dreaded by the sufferers. The fictional world of <em>Macbeth </em>appears to be a plague-ridden world. The existence of deformed entities like the weird sisters, Malcolm’s familiarity with scrofula epidemic, Macbeth’s obsession towards the end with medicine, frequent appearances of doctors, and so on are some signs that the world of Macbeth was already going through a plague-like situation. The inhabitants of such a world often act frantically trying to escape death. They articulate stories of invisible horror and difficult survival, as if a plague had gripped them. The portrayal of Macbeth himself as an inhuman despot can serve as an indication that the tragedy is signaling to something beyond the rise and fall of a man – something terrible whose rampage is comparable to the devastation of a plague. This research asserts that Shakespeare’s <em>Macbeth </em>can be categorized under the pandemic literature genre.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 218-229</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Mehedi Karim Shimanto “I wouldn’t forget a thing like that. Would I?”: Trauma, Testimony, and the Possibility of Healing in Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif” 2022-08-02T09:52:28+00:00 Rezaul Ahsan <p>Trauma studies as a discipline came to prominence in the 1990’s. Though Sigmund Freud’s theories constitute its foundation, the eclectic nature of it provides scope for including post-structural, postcolonial, narrative, and sociocultural theories to analyze texts. It analyses the influence of trauma in culture and society and the ways through which trauma is represented. American author Toni Morrison has always been pivotal in representing the subjugation, torture and trauma inflicted upon her African-American community through her works. Apart from that, her works intend to retrieve the forgotten and discredited history of African-Americans in her writings. In “Recitatif,” she explores the institution of racism in an innovative way: her protagonists, Twyla and Roberta, belong to two different ethnicities but she keeps their racial identities concealed by not attaching any racial codes to anyone. While identifying the characters’ ethnicities, the readers come to face their own biases. Simultaneously, they also register the traumatic nature of the narrative. This paper intends to explore “Recitatif” in the light of trauma studies. By doing so, it will delineate Morrison’s view regarding the different modes of trauma that afflict the lives of African-American people.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 16, June 2021: 230-243</p> 2022-11-17T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Rezaul Ahsan