Spectrum 2023-11-30T07:44:00+00:00 Professor Dr. Nevin Farida Open Journal Systems <p>Published by the Department of English, University of Dhaka, Dhaka<strong>. </strong>Full-text articles available.</p> <p><a href="" rel="license"><img style="border-width: 0;" src="" alt="Creative Commons Licence" /></a><br />Articles in the Spectrum are licensed under a <a href="" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License</a> (CC BY-NC 4.0). This license permits <strong>Share</strong>— copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, <strong>adapt</strong> — remix, transform, and build upon the material as long as it is not for commercial purposes.</p> From Exile to a Global Citizen 2023-09-24T05:05:55+00:00 Tahmina Ahmed <p>In ancient Greek literature and Indian epics, <em>Mahabharata </em>and <em>Ramayana</em>, exile or banishment is depicted as a punishment meted out for sins and crimes committed by humans, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Gradually, from individual/ group punishment, exile evolved into mass exodus resulting from war, conquests and other conflicts. All forms of exiles suffer from the pain and sorrow of leaving behind one’s homeland and belongings. Consequently, the literature produced by exiled poets and writers are filled with nostalgia and agonizing memories. However, over the years, other concerns related to their new lives gain prominence in their writings. This paper attempts to trace the journey of exiles from the past to the present and move towards the future in the writings of diasporic writers of different decades. This paper will focus on the works of V.S. Naipaul, Monica Ali, Zia Haider Rahman and Tarfia Faizullah to discover the newer trends emerging in their texts. V.S. Naipaul’s <em>A House for Mr Biswas</em> (1961) is the epitome of the diasporic writer’s attempt to understand his past in relation to his present. The ownership of a house in the new country is like staking a claim to belong to that country, and Mr. Biswas is desperate to do so. On the other hand, Monical Ali’s <em>Brick Lane</em>, published at the turn of the century, deals with a husband and wife negotiating the difficulties of belonging to a new society. Zia Haider Rahman and Tarfia Faizullah belong to the next group of diaspora writers, who are second generation immigrants growing up in a new land no longer ‘foreign’ to them. The protagonist of Rahman’s novel in <em>The Light of What We Know</em> (2014) successfully confronts problems and complications to ‘belong’ and ‘become’ a British citizen. Tarfia Faizullah, a young Bangladeshi-American poet, uses the history of the War of Independence of Bangladesh to align it with other similar universal discourse of genocide. It appears that figuratively, the exiled writer has now arrived at an acceptable point where s/he is flying out as a global citizen. This transformation of diasporic writers from the periphery to the centre as globally read figures has given rise to the concept of transnationalism.</p> <p><em>Spectrum</em>, Volume 17, June 2022: 1-11</p> 2023-11-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Tahmina Ahmed A Textual Analysis of Literature Essays Written by First Year English Department Students of Dhaka University 2023-09-20T05:10:26+00:00 Nevin Farida <p>This study attempts to examine novice students’ writing of essays for English literature, a disciplinary context they have been inadequately exposed to. In order to do that, analysis of English literature essays written by First Year students using Swalesian Move strategy were done to see what structural patterns the essays possessed, what “tactical choices” the students took to express the moves and what was presented in terms of content matter within those moves. This text analysis enabled model development showing the “moves” students are expected to use. The model developed gives insights into the generic structure, that is, Introduction, Body and Conclusion, and content of the essays. The analyses of high and low grade essays explain how some features of writing are more valued than others within the context of the English department, which can eventually help improve students’ writing proficiency.</p> <p>Spectrum, Volume 17, June 2022: 12-30</p> 2023-11-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Nevin Farida A Contrastive Perspective on English and Dutch Front Monophthongs 2023-09-24T05:17:09+00:00 Mohammed Shahedul Haque Nashrah Sharfuddin <p>This paper explores the front pure vowels of English and Dutch from a contrastive standpoint. It basically aims to quantitatively discover the degree to which English and Dutch front monophthong systems are different from each other and proceeds to make some early yet data-driven predictions about the comparative levels of difficulty that the English-speaking learners of Dutch and the Dutch-speaking learners of English as a foreign language would experience while learning their target languages. Applying the same method designed for a quantitative-contrastive phonemic analysis in the earlier works of 2015 and 2019, the researchers prove that the front monophthong systems of English and Dutch are considerably different (81.82%) from each other and that the acquisition workload is heavier (83.33:80) for English speaking learners of Dutch as a foreign language than it is for Dutch speaking learners of English. In contrast, learners of English will need to generate a greater degree (83.33:80) of substratum counter-influence than learners of Dutch in order to achieve an acceptable level of accuracy in the articulation of their target phonemes. Although both groups of learners retain one vowel sound that occurs as phonetically identical phoneme (16.67:20), the final indication is that the English front monophthong system is likely to pose a greater challenge for its learners.</p> <p>Spectrum, Volume 17, June 2022: 31-46</p> 2023-11-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Mohammed Shahedul Haque, Nashrah Sharfuddin Re-imagining the Ambivalent: The Political Trajectory of Lungi from Pre-Colonial East Bangla to Post-Independent Bangladesh 2023-09-24T05:22:41+00:00 Rifat Mahbub <p>Lungi, Bangladeshi men’s most common informal clothing, occupies an ambivalent position in the country’s sartorial culture because of its inherent status of being anti-modern and anti-formal. Bangladeshi postcolonial poet Kaiser Haq’s (2007) ground-breaking poem, “Ode on the Lungi '' and the growing body of academic papers focusing on the poem have already constructed lungi as a discursive symbol to challenge and decentralise the colonial construction of cultural hierarchies that underpinned such a postcolonial legacy of sartorial discrimination. Important as they are, these studies do not engage with lungi’s actual historical trajectories of resistance and struggle where men in lungi participated as active agents to challenge authoritative power regimes. By investigating the key episodes of “politics of the people'' (Guha, 1988, p. 40) from pre-colonial east Bangla to present-day Bangladesh, the paper reclaims lungi’s active yet metaphorical performative at each stage of collective struggles that ultimately led to the 1971 War of Independence (Muktijuddho), where lungi was the main attire of the male freedom fighters (Muktijoddhas). This paper argues that the national/cultural ambivalence around lungi in Bangladesh is rooted in its simultaneous trope of being a clothing of people who are at the edges of political power, yet their collective resistance can be subversive. This is one of the reasons why a ban on lungi in contemporary Bangladesh, although more common than before, often becomes a topic of heated debates and discussions among the educated, middle-class communities.</p> <p>Spectrum, Volume 17, June 2022: 47-65</p> 2023-11-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Rifat Mahbub Understanding Diaspora: Home and Overlapping Hyphenation in The Shadow Lines 2023-09-24T06:01:43+00:00 Masrufa Alam <p>The idea of an imaginary homeland and the adopted country is at the heart of diasporic discourse. There is a continuous struggle on the part of the diasporas about the donor culture and the recipient culture which creates an ambivalence, separation anxiety over dislocation, as well as, an existential crisis. The apparent solution to this problem seems to lie either in shading off one’s individuality as an ex-colonized and eventually becoming westernized or retaining the “desh” in him/her while appropriating the diasporic state. However, the more they try to assimilate or acculturate themselves, the more they feel alienated from the recipient culture. Thus, they posit a “Trishanku” position and because of their peculiar positionality, they try to transcend time and space with the wings of memory to experience the lost past which they call ‘home’. This paper takes Amitav Ghosh’s The Shadow Lines into consideration and explores how different characters in this novel harbor different notions of home and how they come to terms with their hyphenated position in a transcultural space. This will be achieved through the trajectories of two of its main characters: Tha’mma and Ila. For them, the diaspora home becomes a problematic site, and there is a silent clash in their ideologies. This paper shows that it is more so because the sense of self/existence is shaped by the social relations determined by the collective history, class, race, gender and, most importantly, by culture. Thereby, the characters’ concept of a home remains a prolonged paradox.</p> <p>Spectrum, Volume 17, June 2022: 66-74</p> 2023-11-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Masrufa Alam Of All the Mothers at Stake: Ecofeminism and Bangladeshi Films 2023-09-24T06:09:18+00:00 Khadizatul Kubra Urmy <p>Ecofeminism explores the connection between nature and women, and the abusive treatment of both in the hands of patriarchy and the capitalistic modes of production. Essential feminists believe nature and women to be connected through their roles since the inception of earth and human civilization. The way mother nature provides human beings and animals with all the essentials to be born, grow up, and survive, and lets [1] the human civilization to flourish is similar to a woman’s giving birth to babies, and raising them with utmost care in the role of a mother. From that viewpoint, both nature and women are the origins and protectors of life. Therefore, exploiting the source of life itself indicates the [2] endangerment of life on earth. On the other hand, socialist ecofeminists believe that patriarchy uses this concept of the link between women and nature on the basis of the roles mentioned above only to dominate them. Bangladeshi filmmakers of this generation have become conscious of visually representing this age-old concept of woman-nature relationship -- the abuse of both [3] in their films which can be analysed from an ecofeminist point of view. This paper explores two Bangladeshi films, Haldaa, directed by Tauquir Ahmed, and Padmapuran, directed by Rashid Polash, and sheds some light on the depiction of interconnectedness of nature and women from an essentialist ecofeminist perspective, and the subordination of both from a socialist ecofeminist perspective. It shows how human civilization will suffer if both nature and women, especially the mothers, are not treated and valued properly.</p> <p>Spectrum, Volume 17, June 2022: 75-88</p> 2023-11-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Khadizatul Kubra Urmy ‘Beyond the Waking World’: The Significance of Dreams in H.P. Lovecraft’s Works 2023-09-24T06:39:56+00:00 Maria Mollah <p>The horror genre as a whole is often overlooked in research and even less attention is paid to its various subgenres. One such subgenre is cosmic horror or Lovecraftian horror which focuses on the horror of all that is unknowable and incomprehensible. Dreams have been an integral part of folklore and are associated with the unknown. It is, thus, no surprise that they feature heavily in Lovecraft’s short stories, novellas, and poems. This article will utilise textual analysis and a psychoanalytic approach to explore the role that dreams play in the works of H.P. Lovecraft and, by extension, the genre of cosmic horror. A close reading of the short stories “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” (1919), “The Dreams in the Witch House” (1933), and the novella The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1943) show that dreams in Lovecraft’s works stem from the repressed memories and the collective unconscious of the human race and also act as a passage into other worlds and alternate dimensions of a vast, multidimensional cosmos. The findings show that Lovecraft uses these dreams as a device to explore themes and ideas like absurdism, nihilism, alienation and fragmentation which, together with his unique style, puts Lovecraft’s cosmic horror in the ranks of early twentieth-century texts that are considered quintessential modernist works.</p> <p>Spectrum, Volume 17, June 2022: 89-100</p> 2023-11-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Maria Mollah Absurd (anti)Heroes’ Journey toward Happiness: A Psychoanalytic Comparison between Arthur Fleck and Meursault 2023-09-24T06:51:15+00:00 Sifatur Rahim <p>In his philosophical writing, The Myth of Sisyphus (1979), Albert Camus ponders the futility of the search for unity and absolute in this seemingly indifferent universe, and surmises that true happiness comes from accepting the meaninglessness of human existence. This particular school of thought is known as absurdism, and the narratives that fall under this discipline are referred to as absurdist texts. Camus not only expounds on the scopes of absurdism but also puts them into practice through his fiction. One such seminal absurdist novel by Camus is The Outsider (1987). In the novel, the writer delineates how the protagonist, Meursault, finds contentment by accepting his fate. A similar state of happiness is attained by Arthur Fleck, the protagonist of the film Joker (2019), when he accepts and assumes his proper place in society. From the onset, Fleck and Meursault may appear quite different from each other. However, upon closer inspection, the subtle similarities in their characteristics are perceptible, which bind them to a common threat of absurdity. It is undeniable that both Fleck and Meursault have committed homicide. Nonetheless, there is a greater force behind their acts than free will, and that is their unconscious drive. This paper explores the workings of the unconscious and its manifestation in Fleck and Meursault’s actions while explicitly commenting on the relationships with their respective mothers. This comparative study also highlights how both of them discover true happiness once they finally learn to accept their fate and reality.</p> <p>Spectrum, Volume 17, June 2022: 101-113</p> 2023-11-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Sifatur Rahim Editorial Vol. 17 2023-11-29T05:55:35+00:00 Begum Shahnaz Sinha <p>Abstract not available</p> <p>Spectrum, Volume 17, June 2022: iii-iv</p> 2023-11-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Begum Shahnaz Sinha Dhaka University’s English Department: Centenary Perspectives (1921-2021) 2023-09-24T07:59:23+00:00 Syed Foyez Ahmed <p>Abstract not available</p> <p>Spectrum, Volume 17, June 2022: 12-30</p> 2023-11-30T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Syed Foyez Ahmed