An Enlightened Filmic Pedagogy: Prof I Shanmughadas and Teaching Cinema in Kerala

// January 6th, 2014 // Cultural Politics

Prof I Shanmughadas talking to MA English students at the Tirur centre of S S University of Sanskrit on 6 Jan 2014.

Prof I Shanmughadas talking to MA English students at the Tirur centre of S S University of Sanskrit on 6 Jan 2014.

Prof I Shanmughadas is well known to each and every film buff of Kerala.  After his illustrious teaching career in various Government Colleges as a distinguished professor of English across the state, he is continuing his life long engagements with films and pedagogy.  His cheerful talks and subtle deliberations engage people of all ages and orientations irrespective of the region.  He has been a popular voice of the film society movement in Kerala and has been enlightening the rural audiences and common people for decades now.

Keen and charismatic conversationist: Prof Shanmughadas engaging with the students individually and collectively in truly dialogic ways.

Keen and charismatic conversationist: Prof Shanmughadas engaging with the students individually and collectively in truly dialogic ways.

He came to the Tirur centre of S S University of Sanskrit to inaugurate the film club on Monday the 6th of January 2014.  It was the young students who took the initiative to bring him to the rural regional centre.  Prof Shanmughadas was kind enough to take a long class for M A English students after the inauguration ceremony.

Insisting on experience and observation as fundamental premises of studying films: Prof I Shanmughadas in conversation with the MA English students at SSUS Tirur, 6 Jan 2014.

Insisting on experience and observation as fundamental premises of studying films: Prof I Shanmughadas in conversation with the MA English students at SSUS Tirur, 6 Jan 2014.

In the three-hour-long lecture and interactive session he talked about world cinema and Indian cinema.  He was also touching upon the theoretical perspectives and critiques of cinema especially Laura Mulvey and the feminist critique of narrative cinema.  The deeply engaging and individualized speech and conversation of Prof Shanmughadas was an illuminating experience for the students and the academic community in general.

A master class from an enlightened being: Prof Shanmughadas engaging the students and teachers at SSUS Tirur centre.

A master class from an enlightened being: Prof Shanmughadas engaging the students and teachers at SSUS Tirur centre.

Prof Das teaches us to be intelligent and sensitive viewers of cinema and the world that produces it.  His talks also prompts us to read and substantiate our viewing with analytical and meditative thought.  The unique interest and engagement with the visual and the keen critical acumen and passion for critical analysis with a foregrounding of the experiential and the ontological seem to be instructive and enlightening.  His precarious balancing of the aesthetic and social dimensions of the film and the literary texts forms a model and motivation for the young students.  Let this talking and walking buddha of the films come to our doors again and again…

Nature photographer and conservationist Mr Vijesh Vallikunnam capturing the moments of Prof Shanmughadas addressing the MA English students at SSUS Tirur centre.

Nature photographer and conservationist Mr Vijesh Vallikunnam capturing the moments of Prof Shanmughadas addressing the MA English students at SSUS Tirur centre.

2 Responses to “An Enlightened Filmic Pedagogy: Prof I Shanmughadas and Teaching Cinema in Kerala”

  1. antony says:

    good report.I missed the event greatly.his article on adaptation was one of the best about the topic..

  2. akknair says:

    Hi,
    While assessing the teaching ability of Prof Shanmugha Das (I call him Dasan), one and all should specifically note the profound sincerity, with which he performs the task. In fact, this is the key trait of all his other activities also.

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