Bhubaneswar : A webinar on ‘The New Woman Across the Cultures’ was organized by the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of the Central University of Odisha on 09.07.2021. Prof. E. Raja Rao, Visiting Professor, Department of English, delivered a lecture on the above subject as the key speaker. Prof I Ramabrahmam, Vice-Chancellor, CUO conveyed his best wishes for a successful program and hoped the students of language school would able to understand the reflection of the new women in literature across the culture. Chairing the session Prof Sharat Kumar Palita, Dean, SBCNR and Director, IQAC, inaugurated the programme and delivered the inaugural address. He outlined the protagonist of women and was of the opinion that in the new world women stand along with men as individuals endowed equally, if perhaps differently, with moral rights and moral responsibilities. Shri Sanjeet Kumar Das, Head I/c., Dept. of English Language and Literature delivered the introductory note about the speaker, Prof. Rao and explained the relevance of the topic.
Prof. Rao began his address, emphasizing the fact that the concept of the New Woman is an off-shoot of Feminism, as promulgated by the Radical feminists like Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray. He elaborated the century-long injustice towards women, oppression and suppression of the women in domesticity and outside, their status in the society as the Other – all this is responsible for the emergence of The New Woman who aspires for total liberation and freedom, without any encumbrance of traditional and conventional confinements. The New Woman dabbles in her mind what Simone de Beauvoir said in her famous treatise, The Second Sex: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” The New Woman wants to be on her own, without any interference from any quarters whatsoever. Prof. Rao discussed the texts of Indian English literature like Sashi Deshpande’s That Long Silence and Kamala Das’s My Story, wherein one finds very bold New Women, coping up with the age-old patriarchal oppression by their invention and determination. He also discussed two texts of the vernacular (Odia) Literature, namely Sarojini Sahu’s GambhiriGhar, and Paramita Satapathy’s “Prapti.” He concluded that the New Woman is not the same everywhere, and she changes her contours with the changing cultures.
Prof. Akshay Rout, Prof. K.C. Pradhan and Prof Kameswar Rao, Visiting Professors gave their own remarks on the topic. After interaction with faculty and students, Dr. V.R. Badigar of Department of English Language and Literature, offered a vote of thanks. Large numbers of faculty, research scholars and students, including Registrar, Prof. Asit Kumar Das and PRO Dr. Phagunath Bhoi participated on this occasion and interacted with great enthusiasm.