Sunday September 26, 2021

GCU to set up institute of history

July 26, 2021

LAHORE:Government College University (GCU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi has announced that the university is going to establish the Institute of History which would offer graduate and postgraduate programmes in History of Art, Archive Studies and History.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi, who is also Chairperson of the Academic Council, revealed on Sunday that the Academic Council recommended for approval the establishment of the institute which would offer BS, MPhil and PhD degrees in the History of Art, and MPhil and PhD degree programmes along with a certificate course for professionals in Archive Studies.

Prof Zaidi believed that nations and communities were judged based on their art and it was highly unfortunate that ‘we did not have any art history department in Pakistan’. “We do not teach our students to understand our and others’ cultures, and this lack of knowledge reflects in the form of fragmentation, misperception, fear of the unknown, extremism and identity crisis in our society,” he said. The VC said that the orientation of their art history programmes was global; Dr Priya Maholay from the National University of Singapore, Prof Shaukat Mahmood (Maxim), Dr Nadhra Shahbaz of LUMS and other international experts helped the GCU team to design the programmes on the pattern of Harvard, Cambridge and UC Berkeley. “We tried to produce courses that could appreciate the diversity and plurality of this world, and focus on understanding, interpreting, collecting and maintaining archival records in hard and digital forms,” he added.

Highlighting the importance of Archive Studies, the vice chancellor said as a country, ‘we have to preserve our institutions’ memory and record because without these records in order, we can neither reflect on our institutional practices nor can we devise a forward-looking strategy and the result can be degeneration of institutions’. The GCU nominated Dr Kevin Greenbank, archivist at the University of Cambridge, and Muhammad Mazher Saeed, Deputy Director at National Archives Islamabad as external experts for preparing Archive Studies programmes.