Limelight: ULAB’s 9th Inter-University Conference and Cultural- Gender: The Binary and Beyond

By Afrida Lubaba Khan

The University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) concluded its highly anticipated 9th Inter-University Student Conference and Cultural Competition, a dynamic two-day event that took place on October 19 & 20, 2023. The esteemed Department of English and Humanities (DEH) organised the conference in collaboration with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Bangladesh, and proved to be a significant gathering of academic minds and creative talents. The theme for this year’s conference, “Gender: The Binary and Beyond,” aimed to reflect on the complex and multifaceted nature of gender, exploring its constructions, performances, and representations in various academic disciplines. 

One of the conference’s highlights was the presentation of academic papers, where students from 21 universities from diverse backgrounds and institutions showcased their research on day one. Raina Isabela, representing BRAC University, emerged triumphant, securing the prestigious Best Paper Award. Her outstanding contribution reflected a deep understanding and analysis of gender dynamics, contributing to the academic richness of the event. In the Runner-Up position, a shared honour was bestowed upon Amreeta Lethe Chowdhury of the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh and Rohama Chowdhury of Metropolitan University. Their joint achievement underscored the high quality and diversity of research presented at the conference.

On day two, seven universities fervently competed for the coveted Champion’s trophy in the Cultural Competition. The grand finale unfolded during the Prize Giving and Closing Ceremony on Friday, October 20, 2023. ULAB’s cultural piece, ‘Beyond the Mirror,’ became the Champion meanwhile, Stamford University secured the Runner-Up Award, adding to the celebration of artistic excellence.

Iqbal Hossain, Program Advisor of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Bangladesh, graced the event as the Chief Guest, elevating the significance of the culmination of two days of academic and creative exploration. The distinguished panel of award presenters included Professor Jude William Genilo, Pro-Vice Chancellor of ULAB, Professor Kaiser Huq, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, and Arifa Ghani Rahman, Head of the Department of English and Humanities. The ecstatic winners were honoured with a crest, a certificate of recognition, and substantial prize money, adding a touch of prestige to their well-deserved victory.

The annual event, Inter-University Student Conference and Cultural Competition has become a cornerstone of the academic calendar, providing a unique platform for students from universities across Bangladesh to engage in scholarly discourse and creative expression. This conference fosters a space where students not only present their findings but also engage in meaningful conversations with fellow scholars and experts.