The Government College University Lahore is going to establish the Institute of History which would offer graduate and postgraduate programs in History of Art, Archive Studies and History.
Chairperson of the Academic Council, Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr Asghar Zaidi revealed on Sunday that the University's 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 are judged based on their art and it is highly unfortunate that we do 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 Vice-Chancellor said the orientation of their art history programmes is global; Dr Priya Maholay from the National University of Singapore, Prof. Shaukat Mahmood (Maxim), Dr Nadhra Shahbaz of LUMS and other international experts helped our 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 Lahore 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.