Limelight- Facets and Faces of Conflict: The 8th Inter-University Student Conference and Cultural Competition

The University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) held the 8th Inter-University Student Conference and Cultural Competition on October 20th through 21st, 2022. The event itself was organized by the Department of English and Humanities (DEH).

The conference is an annual event that brings together students of public and private universities to compete in academic and cultural presentations in a congenial environment. It offers a platform for students to network and connect, as well as interpret the main theme of the event in multiple expressive ways. 17 public and private universities competed this year in the academic and cultural segments.

As its title “Facets and faces of Conflict” suggests, the 2022 Inter-University Student Conference and Cultural Competition explored different dimensions of conflict and avenues for conflict resolution within topics in literature, language, linguistics, cultural studies, communication studies, translation studies, digital humanities.

The Best Paper Award was won by Amreeta Lethe Chowdhury of the Department of English and Humanities at ULAB for her presentation on ‘The Politics of Language Surrounding Trans and Gender Diverse Communities in Bangladesh’, while Mehenaz Sultana Tisha from SUST was awarded for the Runner-Up Paper, ‘Projection of Gender Roles in Fiction: A Study on Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and Saul Bellow’s Seize the Day’.  

The cultural competition segment of the competition involved students interpreting conflict as experienced among religious and ethnic communities, such as by the Birangona and by Hindus and Muslims—each of whom were made minorities and faced violence during the historical events of Partition and Bangladesh’s Liberation War. East West University won the Champion’s Award In the cultural competition segment while the University of Dhaka and ULAB tied for the Runner Up position.

The chief guest of the event, Ambassador Md Nazmul Quaunine, recognized and praised the efforts of the department in holding the conference. In his speech, he called the event, “A social movement that is nurturing collaboration amongst private and public universities all over Bangladesh”. His appreciation also extended to the different universities and their representatives who contributed, making the event successful.   

Professor Shamsad Mortuza, Special Advisor to the ULAB Board of Trustees, lauded the performing students for their diverse interpretations of conflict. In his own words, he asserted “This is a platform for erasing the cancelling of the other”.