Enrichment Lecture- Literature and Literary Criticism by Prof. Mukesh Williams

Date:  29-September-2020

Topic:“Literature & Literary Criticism”

Speakers:Prof. Mukesh Williams


An enriching lecture by Professor Mukesh Williams on Literature and Literary Criticism, on September 29, 2020, not only broadened the perspective of all attendees and gave way to many new thoughts and observations but also made us question how one looks at the literary canon as a whole and how we often mistake criticism for final words.

Prof. Williams began the lecture by asserting that Literary criticism is in service of literature and should conduct an intellectual dialogue to expand the meaning of text rather than limiting our knowledge of the same. He pointed out that we often make quick judgements, which is a kind, sensible conclusion about works and can be analytical, abstract, synthetic, evaluative, or give an opinion, a focus and a direction. He stressed that literary criticism should evaluate the Power of a text and question whether it is worth reading? Does it make sense? Does it have a binding value? How does it work for people? Does it give hope? What does it do to us?

Presenting the attendees with radiate questions not only about literary criticism but also about literature and its budding value Professor Williams throughout the lecture explained the value of an ideal critic is an ideal reader and how we must take back or go back to the pleasure of reading rather than the pleasure of criticising. He, in-depth, with varied examples, like that of a Cicada, Pluto, among others elaborated on generalised or rather simplistic ways of Approaching a text through the lens of literary criticism.

The Attendees were captivated and intrigued by the vast knowledge of Professor Williams and his innovative technique to going back to the art of reading for pleasure and becoming one with the text instead of caging it through the practice of theories. In other words, putting literature first and becoming an ideal reader rather than a critique is the way to go. Never did he imply that the practical knowledge of literary criticism is a lesser art, instead he opened the floor through about various critiques like Barth, Derrida, Foucault among others and emphasised about the modern accent of politics of literature and in literature by critics.

The lecture ended with a Q & A and with the students and professors thanking, appreciating, and sharing, their views about literary criticism, literature, and Professor Williams' deep commitment throughout. The Department of English was humbled and thankful for Professor Mukesh Williams' presence and hearty consent to share his knowledge and time with us, with the hope of more to come