International Webinar: From Modern Breakthrough to the Beginnings of Modernism


Aligarh: The Department of English, AMU organized an International Webinar on the topic “From the Modern Breakthrough to the Beginnings of Modernism: Reflections on Nordic History” recently. The invited speaker was Prof Stefan Helgesson from the Department of English, Stockholm University, Sweden. The webinar was attended by a number of students, research scholars and faculty members.

appreciated the efforts that the Department has put into the designing of rich new syllabi. His engaging lecture Prof Helgesson covered all the aspects of literary tradition of the Nordic region that forms the foundation of the modern literature studies and also gave the introduction on Nordic geographical history, illustrating interesting map-images of the Nordic region. He gave a glimpse into the cultural background of the region. The lecture comprised interesting insights into the works and contribution of Ibsen, Strindberg, Lagarkvist, Georg Brandes, Martinson, Johnson, Andersen, Moa Martinson among others in the shaping of the Nordic modernities. Prof Helgesson also shared translated excerpts of some of the very poignant poems which left the audience amazed.

In his welcome address Prof Mohammad Rizwan Khan, Chairperson, Department of English informed that the Department of English underwent a major syllabus revision in 2019. The new syllabi comprises British literature, American literature and other English literature in BA programme and the MA programme that takes care of all varied literary cultures, traditions, trends, theories and critical postulations with a coverage from the beginning till the latest year of the 21st century. He emphasised that due to the new syllabi, students have got the opportunity to make choices. Scandinavian Literature is one such option in a pool.

Since Scandinavian Literature is a unique concept in English literature studies across the world, therefore, the teachers Prof. Jawed and Prof. Vibha have initiated this Webinar to make the students connect with the Nordic and Scandinavian world, he added.

In the interaction session teachers and students asked questions and shared observations about the lecture. Prof Seemin Hasan underlined the fact that the translated poetry shared by Prof Helgesson echoes the present situation of the world steeped into the pandemic. Prof Vibha Sharma observed that constant revision in syllabi stands vindicated by the fresh perspective supplied by Prof Helgesson wherein the word “Nordic” is more inclusive than “Scandinavian” for the paper’s title. Dr Sunij Sharma discussed with Prof Helgesson the influence of Nordic literature on the Swedish cinema including the works of Ingmar Bergman and many teachers along with several students participated in the webinar.

The webinar came to an end with a vote of thanks from Prof Jawed S. Ahmed.