SLS Mirror July - August 2017 - Page 15

Lecture on “Research Methodology: An Interdisciplinary Approach "This isn't a 'subject-specic' lecture"; as rightly pointed out by the speaker, Dr. V. Bharathi Harishankar, at the beginning of her session. Conducted on 20th August, the head of the Department of Women's Studies, University of Madras, Dr. V. Bharathi Harishankar, gave a lecture not merely on literature and research within the eld but upon the interdisciplinary aspect of research in general. Dr. Harishankar touches upon how research is dened, specically its idea in contemporary times; she also explained how research has several facets to it; along with pointing out some essentials to keep in mind while researching; as well as the initial process of research; and the most fundamental questions to ask oneself during research; nally, she answered queries from the audience in light-hearted yet wise choice of words. The lecture began with a question; what is research? Is it a degree, a coursework, a product or a set of fabrications for reports? She pointed out that at some point research has meant all of the above but it shall be kept in mind that research is not conned to only such terms. Research is an Idea; an idea which eventually develops into a research question. "In today's time getting a new idea is an achievement." According to Dr. Harishankar research is the mélange of product and process both. One must remember that it is necessary to go through the moments of boredom in order to reach the parts of excitement. In a certain sense, most of our research is interdisciplinary but we are afraid to admit it because we fear being questioned by the expert of that eld, but having certain points of several elds in mind can help better explain the literary aspect of the target text. Meaning to say, one must not conne oneself in research and not be so narrow minded that the bigger picture or the links to several other elds are missed out. "What is the difference between empathy and sympathy?" she questioned. Several can sympathize but very few can empathize. Empathy is absolutely essential for any good research. In literature, for example, the reader may ask him or herself, 'how I perceive a character responding in a situation?’ "When writing something, what has personally benetted me is writing it, putting it away, doing things completely unrelated to it, then getting back to it and nding aws that require editing." Going back to the importance of an 'idea,' she points out that "when beginning research, the rst thing to be done is to develop a research idea." Here, one can afford to be ambitious and learn to explore. She points out that one must make sure they're read enough to believe in an idea. Never look at any reading as waste; but it should be generally focused. It is important to have own interpretation of a text rst before nding others' interpretations; and it is not necessary to agree with their understanding of it, it is acceptable to have opposing views or agreeing partially. 13