LAHORE - The English Department of Forman Christian College has inaugurated its new Journal of English Literary and Linguistic Studies (JELLS) published in collaboration with the English Language Teaching Reforms (ELTR) wing of the Higher Education Commission.

In addition to providing a forum for English literature and language teachers, JELLS will help develop and enhance a culture of research in this field and raise the standard of English teaching.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Chief Guest Dr Tariq Rahman, Dean of the School of Education at Beaconhouse National University, said the journal was a service to the field of literature, which was not valued as it used to be. He spoke about how literature in any language, and the habit of reading widely, could dissipate false notions, remove hatred, and create better writers.  On the occasion, the Dean of Humanities and former Chair of the English Department at FCC, Dr Wasim Anwar, gave a presentation on “Humanities through Humanistic Studies: The Context and the Texts”. He referred to the report The Heart of the Matter, by the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the complex question of producing good citizens. The education of such citizens cannot be achieved through scientific progress alone; the teaching of humanities helps citizens understand what it means to be a part of the human community, he said.

The FCC Rector, Dr James Tebbe, said the journal provided an opportunity to research, learn and grow together to contribute to the body of language and improve what we impart to our students. English was owned by no one nation, especially not in South Asia. JELLS made it possible to present this on a world stage, he added.

Dr Nukhbah Langah, Chair of FCC’s English Department, said that the journal would include scholarly articles, primarily focusing on English language teaching issues and literature from South Asia in general and Pakistan in particular. It was also hoped that high quality research shared through this journal would have a positive impact on English studies in the country as well as attract international readers. She thanked the HEC and the ELTR for their support in building a research-based academic culture in Pakistan.

Dr Shahid Siddiqui, professor and head of the Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences at Lahore School of Economics, said that a vibrant education system was necessary to achieve the objective of a vibrant nation. Our existing system was one of transmission of knowledge as a fixed commodity which could not lead to a vibrant society or nation. Our need was to move to a system of transformation in which students reflect and research.Ms Rubina Mustafa, Project Manager ELTR, brought greetings from the HEC and gave credit to the FCC team which produced the journal. She felt JELLS would be a great addition to research in Pakistan.

In addition to faculty and students from FCC, a number of important guests attended the function, including the Chair English Department Punjab University Dr Amra Raza, former Professor of English FCC and former Chairperson Department of English Punjab University Dr Naseem Butt, and renowned poet M Athar Tahir.