Category Archives: Classics

Fahrenheit 451: The day they destroyed the library

I have always loved Ray Bradbury. In his novel Fahrenheit 451, set in a dystopian future, a totalitarian government orders all the books to be burned and (ironically) employs firefighters to enforce this law. When I read Bradbury’s novel as … Read More »

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“The computer is not working”: being let down by technology

I have always hated to rely on technology. Maybe it is because I grew up in a place where computers and electric devices never seemed to work properly, and repairs took ages to complete. Before you start making assumptions about … Read More »

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Latin lingua viva est: why the Classics are necessary

I recently read an article on a national newspaper, mocking the suggestion of the Minister of Education that state school pupils should study Latin and Greek. The author (a comedian acting as a journalist for one day) lists the (apparently) … Read More »

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Exploding Grandmothers and Other First Impressions

Today, in the supermarket, I hit a small girl square in the face. I didn’t, of course, but few would read this and fail to read on. It had, I surmise, a disorientating effect. It jolted you a little; it … Read More »

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Being Critical, Being Creative: What does Shakespeare mean to an Indian Teenager?

I use my scholarship primarily to investigate boundaries.

One of the boundaries I feel most concerned to address is that between critical thinking and creative practice.

As part of the English and theatre programme I am developing at Union Chapel School in Kolkata, I have been very fortunate in being able to address this boundary.The project in hand has been an original script based on one of Shakespeare’s plays (in our case “As You Like It”), devised and produced for entry in an all-India Inter-School Drama Festival organised by the British Council in Kolkata.
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Feeling English, Thinking Teaching: Language Workshops in Calcutta

Over the last four weeks, I have had the great pleasure of being invited to conduct English language and theatre workshops at Union Chapel School in Calcutta.

I teach two groups of students in the fifteen to sixteen year age group, all of whom have a first language background in either Hindi or Bengali (Hindi is the national language of India, and Bengali is the language of the state of West Bengal). When I asked my students how they related to English – and if they felt that they were dealing with a foreign language, I got some interesting answers. Read More »

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View from Calcutta: Indian universities and the UK

Over the next few blogs I will seek to provide an overview of the educational climate in India, and the extent to which international alliances are changing or are likely to change the university experience .

Why are British universities seeking to find a presence in India?

The Indian government has plans to increase the number of university goers from a current 12 per cent of the population to 30 per cent. In plain terms this works out to a present university student population of 12 million, and a projected increase to 30 million.

I want to present a side to the global impact of the ongoing changes in the Indian university system that is seldom seen in the media.

That is, what is the university experience in India from the point of view of the student and the lecturer?

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