Wednesday Webinars @ CVV in October 2020

14 October 2020—An Introduction to Indic Academy

The Wednesday Webinar on 14 October 2020, presented CVV-ians with an opportunity to understand the various means for collaboration with other organisations, some of whose thrust areas also form part of CVV’s academic focus. Dr. Yogini Deshpande, the Editor-in-Chief of Indic Today, provided an ‘Introduction to Indic Academy (IA)’, a non-traditional ‘university’ for traditional knowledge, seeking to bring about a global renaissance based on Indic civilisational thought.

Dr. Yogini Deshpande, having been associated with Indic Academy since its inception and currently serving as its Mumbai Chapter coordinator, introduced the audience to the different platforms in operation under the umbrella of Indic Academy such as Indic Book Club, IGENPLUS, Advaita Academy, Indica Pictures, Indica Yoga, and many others. She also took the listeners through the activities of Indic Today, a platform for Shastras, Indic Knowledge Systems and Indology, and to showcase the activities of Indic Academy.

The focus was on the opportunities available for publication via the different platforms under the umbrella of Indic Academy. The varied types of publications accepted in terms of length, nature of the content, and the expertise of the author were elaborated upon too, with examples shown from the publications on the website. The talk helped the audience understand the range of activities conducted under the banner of IA and its focus areas. The faculty amongst them could identify areas of collaboration aligned with their research interests while the students of CVV present were indeed glad to know that they could contribute too, in their own ways.


21 October 2020—Theorising the Language of Humour in Indian Political Cartoons

The Wednesday Webinar on 21 October was presented by Dr. Vishaka Venkat, Assistant Professor of the School of LLS at CVV on her research work on ‘Theorising the Language of Humour in Indian Political Cartoons’. She presented her Ph.D. thesis of the same title which she recently defended at the National Institute of Technology, Trichy.

The talk presented a model that was built to examine the language of humour, which is multimodal and accounts for the possibility of transmutation of humour as it performs through editorial cartoons. Dr. Vishaka explained transmutation as the transition in the language of humour when it crosses its own boundaries to provoke unprecedented reactions resulting in offensiveness, disappointment or hurt sentiment.

She proceeded to elaborate on the model built by borrowing theoretical cues from Roman Jakobson, Roland Barthes, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. It is constructed with two components. The first part establishes the communicative framework of humour using Jakobson and Barthes and the second part forms the rhetoric of humour, which examines the process of decoding. Here, metaphor is utilised as a tool to understand the interpretation of humour. Lakoff and Johnson’s Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) is employed to delineate the metaphorical mappings that are decisive in determining the performance of humour. The model was explicated as she applied it to Shankar’s cartoon that sparked off the NCERT cartoon controversy.

The presentation was followed by a lively question-answer session which threw light on further areas of research. It was even more interesting to understand our own perceptions as an audience when it comes to political cartoons which was evident from observations made on the controversial cartoon in question.