न हि ज्ञानेन सदृशं पवित्रमिह विद्यते।
ज्ञान के समान पवित्र इस संसार में कुछ नहीं है।।
There is nothing more pure in this world than knowledge(Jyana)
Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of mind.
The Redstockings Literary Society is the English literary society of Bharati College, run by the Department of English. Established in the year 1999, it is one of the most popular Departmental societies in the college which never fails to affirm its position through productive and insightful activities throughout the academic year. Predominantly run by the students, it has gained attention in the university's circuit of societies though its tireless efforts at promoting literature.
The society derives its name from the radical feminist group founded in New York in 1969. Inspired by the radical group which stood for freedom and equality, the Redstockings Literary society aspires to imbibe and nurture the culture of free-spirit both in thought and action.
The society was started in order to create a platform for the students to think beyond their books and classroom lectures. It engages students to ask searching questions, express their creativity, to understand and be empathic to others’ opinions and to explore new ways of looking at things.
The Redstockings also runs a monthly on-line magazine called “The Red Stockings Chronicles”. It offers a platform for all aspiring student writers to freely give expression to their creativity. The editorial team brings out a new theme each month and opens the floor for contribution of articles from students across departments and disciplines. This way it serves as an inclusive platform for all students and provides a space for showcasing their creativity.
Amidst many things achieved by the Redstockings Literary Society, from interactive seminars to book exchange programmes, it keeps every academic year packed with intra-college and inter-college competitions.
The Redstockings Literary Society organized a number of events in 2018-2019. The academic year started with a micro fiction writing competition on 18th September 2018, where the participants were given two topics and they could choose one and write prose or poetry based on it.
We also organized an online poetry writing competition in December 2018 where the participants had to write poetry on the topic: Mirrors and Shadows. With it being an online competition, we received entries from in and around Delhi. There was a wide participation for this and the winner received a prize containing novels of their choice.
The Redstockings Literary Society collaborated with Typewrighter, a content platform to organize a content creation competition in January 2019. There were three topics from current affairs for the participants to choose from. They were: ‘India- the next big thing in the world’, ‘Ban on Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul- a justifiable example for sexists’, and ‘Ram Rahim/Asaram Bapu- blind faith or religious loophole’. We received a lot of participation for this and the winners were awarded cash prizes by Typerwrighter.
The Redstockings Literary Society also represented the college for the first time at IIT BHU, Varanasi from 18th January 2019 to 20th January 2019. A team of nine students took part in literary activities like slam poetry, word games, debate and such like. One of our students won the third position in English Extempore. With colleges from all over India participating in this fest, it was a great exposure and an enriching experience for the students.
The literary fest, Melange 2019 organized on 14th March 2019 was, as always, a huge success. We organized a lawn scrabble where the traditional game of scrabble was played in an open ground with huge game pieces. We also organized Pictionary and a quiz on The Game of Thrones. We had a talk by Mr. Niraj Srivastava, the author of the bestselling novel Daggers of Treason. We collaborated with The Social House, a leading platform of poetry and storytelling to organize an open mic competition. Three of their renowned poets, Niraj Nidan, Pushkar Chauhan and Manhar Seth also performed at this event.
The society also organized two events in the Annual Cultural fest of Bharati College, Abhivyakti. Slam poetry and micro fiction writing were organized. These events saw a lot of participation and were thoroughly enjoyed by the students.
At the very beginning of the session of 2019-2020, we conducted a logo making competition and an initiative to provide 'Critical Essay Binders’ (containing the most important essays related to the course), to the students of the Department of English. The binders were placed in the college library for easy access to the students. Amongst many interactive academic sessions, the very first one in line was, an author talk where Gaurav Sharma spoke about and released his new book, The God of the Sullied.
On the 4th of November, 2019, the society conducted a reading followed by a discussion of the much-acclaimed book, Glasswalls - Stories of Tolerance and Intolerance from the Indian Subcontinent and Australia. Amongst the talented panellists were the distinguished writers Mr Keki N Daruwalla, Dr. Meenakshi Bharat, Dr. Sukrita Paul Kumar and our very own teacher, Dr. Nandini C. Sen. On 8th November 2019, the society conducted a lecture on 'The Similarities and Differences of Abhigyanashakuntalam from its Origin Text Mahabharata' with the guest speaker Dr Asheesh Kumar, Assistant Professor in Rajdhani college of Delhi University.
The busiest event and probably the most successful one of every session, the Redstockings Literary Society organised was our Annual Literary Festival, Mélange, on 18th-19th March 2020. The two- day fest, brought in fresh spirits, smiles and colours and was filled with a variety of events which witnessed commendable participation from within and outside the college.
The events included a three-level debate, an open mic, a literary quiz, pictionary, face painting and games of lawn scrabble. A book exchange corner, was set up where the students could exchange their old books for new ones at no cost. A face-painting competition for the students based on Harry Potter was also organised. The Zumba Session witnessed massive participation and brought an enthusiastic end to Melange 2020.
Amongst the many academic seminars and sessions, the next in line was conducted on the second day of the annual fest. It was a session of “The Renaissance Lectures” held on the 19th of March 2020, which included talk sessions by the eminent academics — Dr. Soumyabrata Choudhary, Prof. Shirshendu Chakrabarty and Dr Rupendra Guha Majumdar. The second part of this session was continued online due to the pandemic. An E lecture titled “The Hero and The Artist in Romanticism” was delivered on the 6th of May 2020 by Prof. Rupen Guha Majumder.
Inaugurated by Prof. Malashri Lal, the society conducted an online International Webinar on “The Politics of Women's Writing” from the 26th of May 2020 to the 27th of May 2020. The Keynote was delivered by Dr. Karen Gabriel of St. Stephen’s College. This Webinar had academics from across the world speaking on the various dimensions of gendered writing. The Chairs for the Webinar were accomplished scholars from various Colleges of DU. The Webinar was hosted and moderated by the faculty of the Department of English of Bharati College.
The society collaborated with The IQAC of Bharati College towards organising the “Distinguished Lecture Series”. The first lecture under this series was conducted on the 10th of July 2020 by Prof. Sumanyu Satpathy titled “Fish or Fowl?:Literary Studies in the Digital Era”. The next lecture was by Prof. Christel R Devadawson who spoke on “English’ Romanticism and ‘Indian’ Readers” on the 16th of July 2020. This was followed by Prof. Jonathan Gil Harris who spoke on “Listening to Shakespeare” on the 24th July 2020 followed by Professor Shormishtha Panja who spoke on “Three Contemporary Shakespeare Adaptations on the Indian Screen”. The next lecture was by Professor Saikat Majumdar who spoke on “The Invention of Creative Writing” on the 7th of August 2020. This was followed by a Lecture by Professor Rupin W Desai who spoke on “John Betjeman’s Poetic Credo: Modernism Modified”. This session was Chaired by Professor Shormishtha Panja. The finale was a lecture by Professor Harish Trivedi who spoke on “World Literature: An Insider’s View”. The entire series was curated and moderated by Dr. Nandini C Sen.
Even though, the session was technically over, the Students’ Governing Body of the society organized a National Open-Mic Competition in collaboration with The Secular House and a set of other prestigious colleges in Delhi.
Our students have won several prizes in the various intra and inter college competitions across India. We have sent teams of students to different universities outside Delhi every year so that they can compete with the best in the country. They continue to make us proud each year. Redstockings student members have always shown a readiness to work hard and have effectively continued to learn the values of team spirit, cooperation, empathy and sisterhood.
The academic session of 2019-2020, for the society, was gracefully carried forward by the office bearers - Aishwarya Jayan (President), Aditi Verma (Vice President), Pragya Dhiman (Treasurer), Pallavi Sharma (Faculty Coordinator), while the E-magazine, The Redstockings Chronicles, continued to thrive under the editors, Vaishnavi, Saba Shekh, Vidushi and Paromita Sarkar.
The Faculty member overseeing the Red Stockings is Ms. Kangkana Roy.
The vision of the society has always been to enable a spirit of enquiry and explore new ways of looking at things particularly among the students. We endeavour to mould strong women capable of making independent choices who emerge as capable leaders.
We specially urge our first- year students to actively participate in the society events and benefit from the exposure and mental stimulation that our events provide. Our events are geared towards opening up the space for imagination, critical thinking and team work.