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Programs

Since its inception in 2009, Balvant Parekh Centre has been organizing programs aimed at knowledge production and dissemination in General Semantics and human sciences. Scholars and students from different parts of the world have benefitted from the programs of the Centre.  The regular events include the annual Balvant Parekh Memorial  Lecture and Symposium, Balvant Parekh Distinguished Lecture series, an annual General Semantics Workshop and a Seminar series based on ‘enigmas’. Besides these events, we have organized two international conferences, occasional certificate courses, workshops on other themes, seminars on General Semantics and programs in regional languages. Except the lecture series, most of our programs are organized jointly with a college or university. The Centre has its Nodal Centres at CHM College, Mumbai; Saurashtra University, Rajkot; Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat; Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar and Jaipur National University, Rajasthan. These Nodal Centres also organize events independently or in collaboration with Balvant Parekh Centre.                                                                           

Balvant Parekh Lecture Series

Started as the Balvant Parekh Distinguished Lecture series while Mr. Balvant Parekh was alive, the Balvant Parekh Memorial lecture series was instrumental in bringing such eminent scholars as Fred Dallmayr, Nicholas Mirzoeff, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Arjun Appadurai, Homi Bhabha, Sheldon Pollock, WJT Mitchell, Rodolphe Gasche, Simon Gikandi, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht and the like to Baroda for lectures and symposia based on the lecture theme. After our founder, Mr. Balvant Parekh’s passing, we decided to have a Memorial Lecture series as well as a Distinguished Lecture series to celebrate his view that all good things, especially ideas and knowledge, should be shared with as many as possible. The Centre’s lecture programs provide an opportunity for exposure to new concepts for the students and scholars of Baroda and nearby cities.

Symposia

The Centre has been conducting a symposium of the duration of two or three days on the theme of the Balvant Parekh Distinguished Lecture, which was later renamed as the Balvant Parekh Memorial Lecture. The symposium provides a platform for extensive discussion of ideas. The Centre has organized symposia with Nicholas Mirzoeff, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Arjun Appadurai, Homi Bhabha, Sheldon Pollock, WJT Mitchell and Simon Gikandi in Baroda along with their lectures. These eminent scholars listened to the presentations made by the participants and gave their feedback, turning the symposia into an enriching experience.

Workshops

Workshops and certificate courses of the Centre revolve around General Semantics and related areas in Humanities and Social Sciences, covering a large disciplinary ground of philosophy, literature, politics, sociology, education and psychology. The intensive National Workshops explore General Semantics and allied areas. In tune with the Centre’s commitment to General Semantics, we have also offered regional workshops for school teachers and students. The Centre makes it a point to collaborate with schools, universities and colleges from different parts of India so that the knowledge of General Semantics reaches many people. Besides the General Semantics workshops, the Centre has offered a workshop on creative writing.  The certificate courses that the Centre has been conducting are meant to provide an overview of General Semantics to mostly young students and researchers. As an introductory program, these courses have been instrumental in generating great interest in General Semantics.

Seminars

Before we started our seminar series on ‘Enigmas’, we had done seminars on ‘Reading and Interpretation’ and ‘Nature’. The Enigma series uses a text as a launch pad for developing ideas for a seminar. The first seminar in the series was based on Hans Gadamer’s The Enigma of Health. So far the Centre has organized seminars on such diverse topics as happiness, pain, beauty, law, democracy, and story. Apart from the enigma series, the Centre organizes seminars on themes of contemporary relevance from time to time.

Other Programs

In collaboration with the Forum on Contemporary Theory, Balvant Parekh Centre organized an International Conference on “Bakhtin in India.” The Centre and Veer Narmad South Gujarat University, Surat jointly organized an international conference on “Alfred Korzybski’s Thought: Linguistic, Philosophical and Pedagogical Implications.” Besides these events, we also conduct programs in regional languages in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

 

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