Kanpur, 7 February, 2024: The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Kanpur (IITK), organised its first two-day national research scholars’ conference Anviksha. The theme for this multi-disciplinary conference was “Boundaries” and examined diverse domains associated with it, including modes of sociality, political discourse, identity formation, and literary and aesthetic production.
The conference brought together more than 500 submissions from across the country, out of which 48 abstracts were selected for the final presentation through a blind peer review process. The conference had 12 panels focussing on themes- Gender, Conflict, Digital Frontiers, Urbanisation, and Knowledge.
Prof. S. Ganesh, Director, IIT Kanpur, said, “The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Kanpur has taken a significant step forward by hosting this conference to address critical cross-disciplinary frontiers that affect society as a whole. Anviksha, the department’s first national research scholars’ conference, highlights our commitment to informed and inclusive education by facilitating insightful dialogues and thoughtful conversations among emerging scholars. It has paved the way for discourses that cross ‘boundaries’ in the literal sense and can have far-reaching consequences in the humanities and social sciences.”
On the inaugural day, Prof. Mini Chandran, the Head of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, welcomed the participants by sharing insights into the conceptualization of the theme and expressed optimism about the conference evolving into an annual academic highlight for scholars nationwide.
Prof. Ipshita Chanda from EFLU (English and Foreign Language University), Hyderabad gave the keynote address on the need for ethically engaging plurality. She emphasised how humanities research, to be meaningful, must end in a realisation about the nature of the human through a relation of self to the world and needs to break through fixed ways of thinking about lives.
Prof. Janaki Abraham from the Delhi School of Economics, as a keynote speaker for the second day, derived from her fieldwork to question rule-based boundaries of rituals and customs, turning a sociological eye to wedding rituals. She argued that recognising the practice of rituals, which includes innovation, subversion and the invention of new traditions, could enable us to see micro–processes versus notions of static customs.
With the scale of participation and the quality of insights presented, Anviksha marked an outstanding debut for IIT Kanpur in convening a forum to showcase the best of young talent in humanities and social sciences research nationwide.