The Department of English is one of the founding departments of the College, beginning in 1967, and with B.A. English (Honours) introduced in 1978. The English curriculum is impactful and rigorous, taking students through the best in world literatures. The syllabus is well-structured and relevant in its coverage of important literary texts and landmarks, and thus stands students in good stead in all future professional as well as personal endeavours. Papers range from surveys of Indian and Western classical traditions to lively and immediate contemporary authors; students will read widely in different genres including poetry, plays, novels, besides acquiring critical thinking skills that will enable and empower them academically and as well as in everyday life. From academic year 2022-23, students can take up “major” as well as “minor” programmes of study through the department, and receive degrees at exit points in the first, second, third year if they choose to exit earlier, or fourth/final year with a dissertation on a subject of their choice. The English Department faculty is resourceful and well-networked, and includes widely-published scholars and writers.Our distinguished faculty has subject interests that span a variety of literary traditions and forms, from creative writing, early modern literatures from India and abroad, translation, gender and sexuality studies, folk and popular cultures. This is reflected in the department's interdisciplinary approach, which equips students with a wide variety of methodologies to help choose their future interests.
The Department teaches English to students of all courses, including those majoring in the Sciences, Commerce, Arts and Education streams; besides tutoring MA English students. Department resources include the 3,000+ volume Oswal-Sena Library (apart from the College Library), which offers students access to a world of books beyond the curriculum.
In addition to the compulsory core courses, where the focus is on building foundations to grasp literary styles, perspectives and canonical authors like Shakespeare or Jane Austen or classics like the Silappatikaram that have stood the tests of time, we offer a wide choice of Discipline Specific Electives in various arenas of literary study of interest to both major and minor level students. Areas range from understanding analytical and critical concepts like marginality or feminist theory, to papers that survey literatures thematically and historically, like Partition literature, European literatures, literatures from South Asia, Africa, to name a few. Similarly, a rich choice of AECs (Ability Enhancement Courses, in subject areas where the focus is training and skill-building, such as marketable soft learning leadership skills, working on areas like English Language Teaching, film studies, media analysis, translation practice, producing creative texts like film scripts, publishable blogs, etc) will be available, as well as counselling on internships and picking suitable choices.
For students who take up a “minor” in English, our Generic Elective Papers, offered to students who take admission in other Departments of the college will be eye-openers in the power and profound enjoyment that learning to read and understand texts well can bring. Our offerings include a mix of contemporary, popular and canonical subjects to ensure that all students get wide and balanced exposure in the subject, irrespective of level of study or point of exit.
Students after a four year graduation can go on to further studies (MA of one year, and PhD thereafter), and students who exit earlier have the option to come back to finish their studies later if they so desire. Our alumni have built careers in literature studies as researchers, and careers in teaching (at the school, college and university levels), in media and mass communication (journalism, film, advertising), publishing (writing, editing, translating), public relations management and also to lateral fields like social work, law, management via masters' study in these fields. The sound thinking and writing skills students gain over 1/2/3/4 years of study is also a good foundation for competitive examinations including those for management studies and civil services.
The Department has an exciting co-curricular calendar of varied activities, including an annual national seminar and literary festival, frequent invited lectures and interactions with eminent academicians, creative writers and media personnel; besides these, there are multiple workshops and co-curricular skill-building sessions on different themes like creative writing, editing, translation, theatre and cinema. The Department's co-curricular activities are directed through several clubs, any or all of which students are encouraged to join, depending on their interests and goals. Some of these include The Book Club, The Creative Writing Club, The Quiz Club, The Performance Club and The Film Club; all of which are managed by students and mentored by the Department faculty. Our Department's literary magazine Bitacora, provides an independent forum for both creative expression and training in skills such as copy and content editing. A portfolio of activities designed to encourage student creativity and understanding of their discipline, like quizzes and literary competitions keep the years the students spend with us stimulating and invigorating.