Psychology at the Edges: A Report

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‘Psychology at the Edges’ , was a National Seminar organized by the Psychology Department of Lady Shri Ram College on the 23rd and 24th of January, 2015. The aim of the two day academic meet was to address issues relegated to the margins with regard to discourse in mainstream psychology. The central themes covered were those of conflict resolution, the needs of displaced populations and alternate sexualities. The first day of the seminar focused on war, peace and conflict resolution. The proceedings were kicked off by a keynote address by the venerable Dr Ashis Nandy, who emphasized the importance of the ‘eye of the psychologist’ and its association with other sciences. This was followed by a panel discussion on violence and conflict resolution by three individuals with varied, yet interconnected research interests. Ms Sramana Majumdar spoke about the effect of violence on the youth in Kashmir, Dr Rosemary Dzuvichu on the movement in Nagaland and particularly its effects on women and Dr Suba Chandran brought the themes together with two important questions,’how resolved are conflicts?’ and ‘how peaceful is our peace?’. The second day saw a comprehensive keynote address by Dr Honey Oberoi, on the lives of individuals in displaced communities, with a base in her research work on Tibetan refugees. This was followed by a panel discussion on challenging heteronormativity, with thought provoking speeches by Ashley Tellis, Mr Harish Iyer and Dr Shalini Anant on the identity of alternate sexualities and the need to challenge rigid roles and definitions. Several activities were organized such as a National Paper Presentation Completion, workshops on sexuality and gender and their link with mental health and the media. An attempt was made to forge a connect between psychology and other disciplines such as political science and sociology with regard to issues such as violence and identities. The seminar saw enthusiastic participation and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge from participants of varied disciplines.

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