Kochi: A study of History is enchanting as it traces the evolution of mankind with myriad twists and turns, but research into historical topics has its limitations even though many topics could be tempting. History students were alerted about such pitfalls at the inaugural event of a lecture series on History at the Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam.
Debjani Das, an expert in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology and a faculty at the Vidyasagar University, Calcutta, inaugurated the event and delivered the keynote address on the topic “Reading Madness from the Colonial Records: Bengal Presidency in the 19th Century”.
Das opined that History gave its students great opportunities to explore any other field of knowledge. Through her lecture, she gave a peek into the newer areas of research and interdisciplinary studies. However, she warned the audience to not be carried away by the excitement of stumbling upon a topic, as all topics may not be suitable for research.
Assistant Professor Geetha P C, a faculty of the Department of History, welcomed the gathering. The Head of the Department Assistant Professor C H Abdul Latheef presided over the event.
In his presidential address, Latheef commented that the discipline of History is often misunderstood as a monotonous subject and with an aim of erasing this popular notion that such an initiative was planned. He also said that his Department which organised the event hopes to create an awareness on the scope and new trends in the discipline through the lecture series.
Mary Joshitha, a first-year student of MA History, proposed the Vote of Thanks at the function held on September 26 at the Seminar Hall of the college.
Das is the winner of Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship and Charles Wallace India Trust Award.
She is currently working as an Assistant Professor at the Department of History in Vidyasagar University, Kolkata. Her areas of interest include History of Medicine in India, Gender History, History of Psychiatry, History of Mental Health and History of Pharmacy in India.
Das' doctoral research topic was titled "Houses of Madness: "Insane" Women and Asylums in Nineteenth Century Bengal. She finished this study from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, in 2012. She also has published a book on the similar subject and it is titled "Houses of Madness: Insanity and Asylums of Bengal in Nineteenth Century India."