Monday, February 24, 2014


WIKIPEDIA says that in academia, a FESTCHRIFT is a book honoring a person, especially an academic, and presented during his or her lifetime. The term borrowed from German, could be translated as  celebration publication or celebratory (piece of) writing. A comparable book presented posthumously is called Gedenschrift (memorial publication). Sometimes the Latin term "liber amicorum" (literally : "Book of friends") is used for a festschrift. The German word Festschrift has been incorporated into the English Language.

Last Friday, February 21, 2014, I had the privilege of attending such a function at the Senate Room, Chancellory, National University of Malaysia or UKM, on the kind invitation of the Chairman of UKM University Board Emeritus Professor Dato' Ir Dr Mohamad  Zawawi Ismail. 

The festschrift was for Emeritus Professor Abdul Rahman Embong. I once had the privilege of moderating a seminar at the MACC Academy where he was panelist. This festschrift was organized by IKMAS and the Social Science Association of Malaysia. (I was seated beside the founding director of IKMAS Datuk Professor Yusof who is now KUIN Rector, Kedah). Spotted at the do was Dato' Mohd Fadzli, Tan Sri Nordin Kardi and some other friends from Institut Integriti Malaysia.

I thought the bicara sains sosial and the book appreciation discourse was quite good. Profesor Ulung  Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, despite his usual academic epistemological approach hehe,  cracked a few jokes here and there and I particularly like his mention of timun, tahu and tauge...(hehehe).

Off the cuff remarks by the brand-new UKM Vice-Chancellor Datuk Professor Noor Azlan Ghazali was very illuminating and game-changing too I would think. I like the bit where he said that academic disciplines must break their protective boundaries. The thinking should shift, and he gave the example of education. The old paradigm would think in terms of education per se and would be about pre-school, primary, secondary, university education and teacher training...he goes on to say why not think of education in different contexts? The economics of education for example. The technology of education..etcetera etcetera...

I was humbled, when he mention about business schools not going out meeting real business people from an article I emailed him. Thank you Datuk Prof read my emails...hehehe

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