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BHU : A REPORT ON THE LECTURE BY PROF. JOSE A. GURPEGUI PALACIOS
BHU . A one-day special lecture on “American Literature: From Puritanism to Postmodernism” by Professor Jose A. Gurpegui Palacios (Universidad de Alcala Madrid, Spain) was organized by the Departmental Quality Assurance Cell (DQAC), Department of English, Faculty of Arts, Banaras Hindu University (BHU)
The event began with an introductory note by Dr. Dhriti Ray Dalai, who compered the session. It was followed by a beautiful rendition of the Kulgeet along with a floral tribute to our revered Mahamana, Madan Mohan Malviya Ji, by the professors of the department and the honorable speaker. Prof. Krishna Mohan Pandey, Head, Department of English formally welcomed and felicitated the speaker.
Prof. Jose initiated his lecture following the felicitation, which was the second in the series of lectures by eminent speakers. The interactive talk began with a query on audience’s familiarity with American writers which segued into his introduction to the temporal questions regarding the inception of American Literature.
He acquainted the audience with pivotal ideas like, ‘americana’, ‘deism’, ‘the city upon the hills’, ‘transcendentalism’, ‘manifest destiny’, ‘three-fifth agreement’, ‘euphoria’ etc. through which he encapsulated the genealogy of American Literary History from Puritanism to Postmodernism.
He presented Hemingway’s statement that traces the birth of Modern American Literature to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. And harking back to the temporal question, he also talked about Perry Miller who located the literary beginning at Puritanism.
While discussing about the Postmodern Phase, he referred to John Barth’s The Floating Opera to emphasize upon the prevalence of nihilism, resulting from the failure of the idealistic dreams of early Americans.
The lecture was followed by an engaging Q-A session, which came to an end with a vote of thanks by Prof. Mithilesh Kumar Pandey, who presented his gratitude to Prof. Jose and specially thanked Prof. Krishna Mohan Pandey, Dr. Panchanan Dalai, Dr. D. R. Dalai and all the faculty members.
He also thanked the volunteers, Preksha, Divyanshi, Debayan, Sanket, Satyam, Upasana, Vartika and Mandvi for the successful completion of the lecture.