Centre for Writing and Communication
The Centre for Writing and Communication (CWC) team, 2018-19
The Centre for Writing and Communication (CWC) works closely with the academic community in Ashoka to develop critical thinking, writing and communication skills. CWC is the largest centre in Ashoka and works with all the diverse sections that make the Ashoka community: the entire student body (from the undergraduate students to research scholars), faculty, staff and other specialised centres in the university.
CWC works closely with the Introduction to Critical Thinking courses, which are taken by all undergraduates in their first year at the University, and forms the basis of Ashoka’s innovative curriculum and pedagogy. CWC’s interactions with the students are both in-class, through lectures, creative workshops and one-on-one sessions. Through the year, the CWC provides writing and pedagogical support to courses across disciplines at Ashoka.
Besides course-specific activities, the CWC organises a broad range of creative activities which address a variety of skills under the umbrella of writing and communication and are open to all members of the university. This is made possible by the diversity of the CWC team which is a vibrant group of professionals, scholars, writers and researchers whose individual and combined expertise actively contributes to the interdisciplinary engagement at Ashoka.
One-on-one sessions: CWC enables a twenty-four hours appointment booking system, MyWCO. Through this software, the students can book appointments which lasts 45 minutes minimum with the CWC Tutors on a date and time of their convenience. CWC can be approached at any of the following stages of writing:
- Rough Drafts/First Drafts
- Final Paper
- Techniques for better writing
ESL learning support: CWC designs and teaches learning modules specific to students who needs additional language learning support at Ashoka throughout the academic year. These consist of weekly sessions by the CWC tutors for students with English as Second Language (ESL) and students with hearing impairment. These address a range of skills including reading speed, vocabulary, body language and clarity in speech to facilitate both social interaction in English and conceptual understanding of the content. The engagement comprises of bridge programmes, one-on-one sessions and full fledged courses on English communication.
Creative workshops: Open to all members of the university community, these creative sessions draw upon a diverse range of skills and their application in our intellectual and daily lives, such as, written work, everyday communication, music, computer programming, media, board games, law and photography. These are conducted by the team members of the CWC and external experts invited by the centre. Some of our most popular sessions from last academic year includes: Poetry Without Noise: A Workshop On Composing Imagist Poetry; a workshop on music called, More Than Meets The Ear: Active Listening In Practice; The Anatomy Of A Feghoot: Writing Pun Inspired Stories a.k.a. A Feghoot; ‘Breaking’ News: Fake News And The Media Business; Nurturing Nature’s Narratives: Photography And Writing On Conserving Indian Habitats; a workshop on evaluating arguments; Manifesto: A Workshop on Art Manifestos.
Course-specific workshops: The course-specific workshops designed and conducted by the CWC address the most fundamental aspects of critical thinking required for writing and communication. For Introduction to Critical Thinking courses, CWC’s workshops are built into the curriculum and are mandatory. For other courses, they are optional and need based. Some of the workshops conducted in the last academic year includes How to write using multiple sources?; How to read fiction critically?; Writing around numbers; Planning a historiographical essay; What is an argument?; How to write strong conclusions?; How to write an introduction?; Plagiarism and citation.
Research Forum: It is a platform for the academic staff of the university to share their research. The six panels organised last year saw participation from scholars of anthropology, history, performance studies, creative writing, sociology, law and politics. Few of the panels organized last year were Mining Urban Delhi: Regendering Labor, Romance and Consumption; On the Permissible in Literature; Citizen Insurgencies: Fictions and Politics in North-East India; Sense of Place: Writing in Fiction and Memoir; and Of Circuses and Comedians: Public Cultures of Amusement in India
Reflections of Writing
As part of the Research Forum, The CWC organized a two day interdisciplinary National Conference titled ‘Reflections of Writing’ on 27th April - 28th April, 2018. The Conference sought to address the idea of the work of writing done in university spaces, keeping in mind that new concerns, new media, and new claims have transformed the tenor and terrain of the questions - why we write, what we write and how we write. Over its 2 days, the conference interrogated writing with respect to the functions it performs - namely the inculcation, production, and dissemination of knowledge. There were 18 papers sorted into six participant panels – 'Inability, Reluctance, and Deferral', 'On Literary Fiction', 'On Reflexivity and Pedagogy', 'Academic and Research Writing', 'Sensorium, Sound and Concept', and 'Conceptual Blockages in Law, Life, and the Sciences'. These papers presented the thoughts of a diverse set of scholars, researchers, and professors from 11 different universities on different genres of writing, and the challenges of writing pedagogy and practice. Each of the 2 days of the conference was framed by a Keynote Panel Discussion that brought together eminent persons from different fields to deliberate on, and possibly build, a common ground for writing as a central concern of both academic and non-academic life.