Mohammad Shamsuzzaman

Some Writing Instruction Re-considered

Writing is not an art suddenly discovered. It’s a craft gradually developed. Writing–both creative and critical– is formulaic, the way math is.

2020 in Retrospect: Reinventing the university in a post-pandemic world

Why does the year 2020 still linger around? The Covid-19 pandemic has brought our civilisation to its knees this year. We’re already tired, scared, and hopeless.

Covid-19 pandemic and the paradoxes of universities

We are almost at the tail-end of the year 2020. What a year this has been! We haven’t lived it.

On Vocabulary in Writing

Back in the mid-90s when I was majoring in English literature at a public university in Dhaka, Bangladesh, I was a cricket buff. For the Bangladeshis, cricket was a transnational love affair in the 90s.

Covid-19 pandemic and the economics of higher education

Money can’t buy knowledge, but the knowledge industry of the modern world, centred in our universities, runs on money. Universities worldwide are money-strapped now.

Pandemic Pedagogy

The Covid-19 pandemic has altered all of our professional beliefs and behaviours. I used to believe, for example, that teaching is a flesh-and-blood experience and that human interaction is essential to education.

Diary of Pandemic Days

It’s already been several months since we’ve been hurled into the vortex of the coronavirus. The virus lives among us, silent and invisible.

So, you want to kill the university?

When the lockdown was imposed because of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, I shifted to online teaching at a university here in Dhaka.

Professor, who do you profess to now?

I always wanted to be a professor in English. When the pandemic hit and lockdown began, I ended up being a professor in pandemic.

Poetics of Pandemic

Any pandemic is crushing. COVID-19 is no exception. It strains cognition and emotion. It tanks economies. It disrupts communication. It alters psychology. It breeds panic and paranoia.

Viral Miseries

I always knew that life is unpredictable. But between February and April this year, I started to discover what it truly means to live an unpredictable life.

Coronavirus pandemic: Are we (mis)managing it?

I’m panicked, as is everyone around the world now. We’re faced with an existential threat. A death sentence hovers over us as it has hovered over Wuhan, China, since December 2019.

What Makes Good Writing Good?

To answer this question, let me hazard an analogy -- good writing is much like good food. Good writing tickles our senses the way good food does.

On Writer’s Block

Fairly recently, I was working with two of my colleagues here in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to propose a panel for a conference in North America.

Is Writing a Gift?

If it is, where is this gift coming from? God? Ahem! As off-putting as it might sound, biographies and autobiographies of writers reveal that most so-called gifted writers are scoundrels.

Why Is Writing So Difficult to Accomplish?

Writing is a struggle for everyone. If it seems easy, a writer is not doing it right. Because writing is mired in myths and misunderstanding, most writers – aspiring writers, in particular – consider the essential difficulty in writing as a pathology. They feel

On Writing in a Second Language

Writing entices me. But every time I get down to writing something, I feel like a bumbling idiot. Nothing emerges. Ideas evaporate. Thoughts tangle. Language languishes. My frustration mounts.

On the Craft of Sentencing

I teach English at a private university in Dhaka, Bangladesh, having attended universities on three continents. I’m persuaded to think as such that I know what a university is and does. I wish I did! Joe Moran in First You Write a Sentence claims, “A university is a factory

On Grammar in Writing

I always tell my students that I’m not their language nanny. I’m an educator, and I deal with content. Ironically, however, I blue-pencil as many errors–mostly grammatical–as I can while checking their assignments. Mangled grammar turns me off. That’s understandable. Writing initiates a verbal transaction

On (Dis)connection between Reading and Writing

Back in 2005 in California, I was reading Edward Said’s Power, Politics, and Culture. This book is a collection of twenty-eight interviews

Deconstructing Genre in Writing

Does a piece of writing have a sex? Not really! It perhaps has a gender, which in French is genre. When it comes to distinguishing one