Department Report 2014-2015

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” - Marcus Tullius Cicero

To some extent this is an attempt to record some of the significant happenings of the Department of History in the academic year 2014- 2015.

The year 2014 commemorated the centenary of World War I which by all accounts ushered in changes that plummeted the world into a new age. To mark this event on September 17, 2014, The Dept of History hosted a play by the students of Mayo College, Ajmer “Unhinged: Photoshopping the trenches”.

With the second batch of students graduating under the autonomous system, we are proud to acknowledge Evelyn Gonsalves who was declared the topper in the History batch of 2014. Students of the batch of 2014 also took and cleared the national exams for entrance into post-graduate programmes and Teena Kunjetty stood first in the entrance exam for studies in Medieval India at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Through the year the students visited a number of Museums as part of their course of studies. This year the First Year B.A students joined the TYBA on a rainy day visit to the special exhibition on Florentine art at the Bhau Daji Lad museum, Mumbai.

On July 3, 2014, 55 students and some staff of other departments joined us. A special thanks to Alisha Sadikot and Rutu for the guided tour. A few days before on June 28, 2014 was a visit to Mani Bhavan and a special talk to the TYBA and students of Notre Dame by Director Dr. Usha Thakkar. Students from other departments of the College taking the programme were also present. Other museums included in our list this year: the Blatter Herbarium, St. Xavier’s College, the RBI monetary museum on August 8 TYBA and the CSMVS on August 27, 2014.

To introduce the students to the concepts of Oral History on December 2, 2014 with the Heras Institute of Indian History and Culture a special session entitled” Introduction to and Challenges of Oral History” 100 students from St. Xavier’s and students from Sophia attended. The Director of SPARROW Dr. C.S Lakshmi and Ms. Meena Menon shared their experiences on the practice and challenges of Oral History. On December 12, 2014, TY class went to the exhibition of the 38th International Eucharistic Congress at St. Joseph’s convent, Bandra and was guided by Joynel Fernandes. The Department of History held interviews for new Ph.D candidates.

On the panel, Sr. Anila, Dr. Kishore Gaikwad, Mohsina Mukkadam and the Research guide of the Institute, Sonali HISTORY 89 Pednekar. Along with the Department of English, a special session called “A city and two tales” Featuring the History of the Parsis by Dr. Meher Mistry, we had renowned writer Cyrus Mistry reading from his book “Chronicles of the corpse bearer” on December 13, 2014. The much awaited TY Seminar to Khandala and field trip to Bhaja rock cut Monastery, on January 27 and 28 left behind many memories. Not to be left behind, the SYBA class had a special visit to the CSMVS to study Gandhara sculptures on January 30, 2015 the TYBA as part of the Urban Heritage course viewed the newly opened print gallery with its maps and prints of Old Bombay.

Third Year students used techniques of Oral History for their research connected with the Mazagoan Docks Ltd. Heritage gallery. We are proud to collaborate with the “ship builders of the nation” in this project. The gallery was opened on April 6, 2015 by the Defence Minister of India. Heritage Walks: The TYBA joined the Bombay Local History Society walk to St. Thomas’ Cathedral and St. Andrew’s kirk where they were treated to a recital on the pipe organ by Fr. Roy Pereira. On February 26 2015, TY students walked around Khotachiwadi with resident and archaeology student Andre Baptista.

Award winning conservation architect Vikas Dilawari delivered a slide-illustrated talk and walked around the heritage buildings of St. Xavier’s College on February 13, 2015. Workshop on Oral History: A few students of the Department of History participated in the workshop conducted by Dr. Indira Chowdhury of the School of Public History, Shrishti, Bangalore on February 7, 2015.

The Aitihasik: After several delays, the magazine of the Department of History was released at the hands of historian, Dr. Uma Chakravarti on February 14, 2015. At the Board of Studies meeting on March 31, 2015, we honoured Dr. Ruby Maloni, Head of the University Department of History and Prof. Mohini Dias Head, Dept. of History, Jai Hind College as they would both retire before the next meeting of the Board.

Little did we know that this was our last meeting with Prof. Mohini Dias who slipped away from this life on June 3, 2015. We take this opportunity to appreciate her service and dedication to the cause of History studies in Mumbai and her help with formulating syllabi for the Department of History here at St. Xavier’s College. Her warm presence and charm will be missed.

Faculty News

Dr. Fleur D’Souza 

June 17, 2014: Talk By Fleur D’Souza on Our Shared past to the students of the India Programme Notre Dame University August 22, 2014: Summary of Maritime History Society’s Monsoon lecture by Dr. Radhika Seshan.

August 23- 24, 2014: Paper presented at the seminar of the Western India Church history

November 26-29, 2014: Participated at the Jesuit South Asian Assistancy Seminar Pune

December 7, 2014: Conducted a Walk with Local Culture Studies certificate course programme, Asiatic Society of Mumbai and Wilson College. Talk on “Christianity in Mumbai”at the St. Thomas’ Cathedral and the Cathedral of the Holy Name in Colaba.

December 8, 2014: Talk to Jai Hind College Students on The East Indians of Mumbai.

May 7, 2015: The organisers of Mobai Goathan Panchayat’s function presented

Dr. Fleur D’Souza with the award for Educationist of the year.

Avkash Jadhav:

• Invited by the Rotary Club of Kandivli East to deliver a talk on” Citizens Participation in Local Governance” on 23rd June ,2014

• Invited to conduct session for the Orientation course at RDV, Jabalpur on 21st July to 22nd July,2014. • Invited as Subject Expert by the Censor Board Of India.

Dr. Fleur Dsouza Head,

Department of History

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