The newly set up Women’s Studies Centre (WSC) of Cotton University was inaugurated today at the university’s Seminar hall in the MCB Building, with an inaugural lecture by eminent journalist and writer Patricia Mukhim, Editor Shillong Times.
Ms. Mukhim spoke on “Making Meaning of Democracy: Gender, State and Ethnicity” and held her views on the need to safeguard and protect our democratic rights and its interface with gender especially in the context of northeast India, its plural communities and ethnic societies.
Mukhim observed that academia was most significant at this time of our history for being the only community that was paid to think, and she hoped that the WSC will be a platform for inclusive environment and equality in society.
Welcoming Ms. Mukhim to the institution, honorable VC, Prof. Bhabesh Ch. Goswami of Cotton University who inaugurated her lecture pointed out that the Centre was the culmination of a vision that began a few years ago with the establishment of Cotton University from the erstwhile college. The Convenor of the WSC, Dr. Rakhee Kalita Moral, Associate Professor of English who introduced the Centre to the house, explained the aims and mission of the Centre and hoped that the WSC would be a platform for inclusive non-discriminatory and informed debates and conversations on gender practices and policies while also evolving as a center that understands gender as a category of inquiry and analysis that informs the way global structures are legitimized.
The WSC in its interdisciplinary thrust shall provide opportunities for teaching and research of feminist approaches and action – research method, she added. As immediately planned activities the WSC will begin an Executive Development program in Leadership for mid-level professionals for career enhancement while also undertaking in the next academic session later this year a PG diploma program in Gender Studies.
Other activities in the pipeline include workshops and research projects and working papers for a research journal to be brought out by the Centre in the subsequent period following its early plans. The Centre has on its advisory panel Prof Tilottoma Misra, Retd. Head of English, DU and former Chief Secretary, Ms. TY Das Retd. IAS, both of whom were present at the lecture which was attended by a packed audience comprising university faculty and scholars besides a host of students, media persons, social activists and members of civil society.