Undergraduate Research Symposium in Arts (URSA 2022)

The Faculty of Arts, University of Jaffna successfully hosted its 2nd Undergraduate Research Symposium in Arts on ‘Restoring Normalcy and Building Resilience amidst a Pandemic and an Economic Crisis’ on the 10th of November 2022 at the Faculty of Arts, University of Jaffna. The maiden Undergraduate Research Symposium in Arts was held on the 10th of January, 2022. The presence of dignitaries, an impressive keynote speaker, financial support from the AHEAD project, guidance and support from all the academic and administrative staff members of the faculty of Arts, media coverage, and an array of carefully selected, well-researched and well-presented papers on different disciplines in humanities and social sciences came together to help the organizing committee to admirably conclude this huge endeavor. 

The Chief Guest Prof. S. Srisatkunarajah, Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna inaugurated the symposium by lighting the traditional oil lamp. The student performers from the Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan Academy of Visual and Performing Arts arrested the event with a scintillating effect. The Department of Music first performed the Thamizh Thaai Vaazhthu at the ceremony which was then followed by a special welcome dance performed by the students from the Department of Dance. Next, the convener of the symposium, Dr. N. Piratheeparajah, welcomed the gathering officially. 

Prof. K. Suthakar, the Chair of the symposium and the Dean, Faculty of Arts in his address presented the theme and the objectives of the conference. Next, the Honorable Chief Guest Prof. S. Srisatkunarajah, the Vice Chancellor of the university, congratulated the Faculty of Arts for being the center of ethos of the founders of the institution and appreciated the initiatives taken towards a new direction.

The proceedings of the symposium were launched by the Dean and the editors Mr. K. L. Ramanan and Mr. S. Sivakanthan by handing over the first copy to the Vice Chancellor of the University. At the end of the inauguration ceremony, the vote of thanks was delivered by the secretary of the symposium Mr. S. Sivakanthan. 

The keynote address by the eminent speaker, Prof. K. Amirthalingam, Senior Professor in Economics, Faculty of Arts, University of Colombo, without a shade of doubt, made the academic fraternity richer. The keynote address was centered on the topic, “Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka”. A token of appreciation was presented to Prof. K. Amirthalingam by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna in honour of the valuable ideas he shared with the audience. 

Parallel Technical Session 01(Sessions 9) was commenced after the vote of thanks.

After lunch, Parallel Technical Session 02 was held with 09 concurrent sessions in 9 tracks (Language and literature, COVID-19 Pandemic, Health & well-being, Contemporary social issues, Education and Society, Climate change and Environmental Issues, Law and Order, Philosophical Inquiries and Religions in Contemporary Society, Politics and Society and Media and Society, Environment, Economic crisis in Sri Lankan Society , Heritage and Cultural Diversity, Aesthetics in different cultures). Altogether 125 abstracts were published. Among them, 118 presenters presented their research findings and 109 presenters presented physically and 09 presentations were conducted virtually. 

The former vice chancellor of the University of Jaffna, the deans of the faculties, former deans of the faculty of Arts, Emeritus professors of the faculty of Arts, Professors, heads of the departments, academic staff, administrative staff and the final year and third year students of the faculty of Arts honoured and blessed the ultimate objective of the symposium by their presence and active engagement.

The Media unit of the Vice Chancellor’s office gave positive exposure to the faculty and the symposium through the media conference and live telecast of the inauguration event and the Department of Media Studies photographed the technical sessions for wider dissemination. 

The 2nd Undergraduate Research Symposium in Arts 2022 comprised of incisive and insightful discussions on various tracts by student researchers as reflected and refracted through their final year dissertations. The views expressed and explored on this platform by the keynote speaker, chairpersons and the paper presenters made the audience, especially, the fourth- and third

year students to rethink and re-evaluate their ideas, and hone their research and presentation skills. The organizing committee of the URSA 2022 is indebted to all for their support, guidance and blessings.