BA (English) students pursuing Higher Studies | Department of English

BA (English) students pursuing Higher Studies

                               Name                                            Batch                                   University                                      Degree                                                    Place
APURVA ASHOK PRASAD2022University of Pennsylvania PhD in Comp Lit and South Asian StudiesPhiladelphia 
MADIREKSHANA CHAKRABORTY2022King's College LondonComparative LiteratureLondon
TVISHA PANKAJ2021University of ChicagoMaster of Arts Program in HumanitiesChicago
ISHITA SHARMA2021London school of economicsMsc Media and CommunicationsLondon
MANSI MISHRA2021Christ University Masters in English in Cultural StudiesBengaluru
Unnati Upadhyay2020University of Melbourne Masters in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing Melbourne 
Ivan Verghese2020Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune MA, Mass CommunicationKerala
Shruti Iyer2020Tata Institute of Social SciencesMS in Women StudiesGurugram-NCR
Siddharth Jindal2020Manipal Institute of communicationMA Media and CommunicationManipal, Karnataka 
Chhandasi Ganguly2019Ryerson UniversityMA, FashionToronto
Harsha Vytla2019Freie Universität BerlinMA EnglishNürnberg
Isha Vedantam2019Boston University-School of Public healthMasters of Public healthBoston
Jerrin Joseph2019Madras Christian CollegeMasters in CommunicationsChennai
Medha Roy2019University of New South WalesJuris Doctor of Law, Postgraduate, 16.9.2019Sydney
Nimisha Upadhyay2019University of EdinburghMS, LinguisticsEdinburgh 
Shiv Kashyap2019Shri Aurobindo Center for Arts and CommunicationDocumenting PhotographyDelhi-NCR
Students graduating in 2022 (and later) will need to have completed at least two of the courses listed below as part of the requirement to earn a Minor in English. In total, the student must have completed 6 English courses to earn the Minor.
Course code
Academic Writing

Course outline:
 What is critical reading, thinking and writing? This course aims to inculcate ideas and skills of how to write a coherent, lucid and at the same time, a competently argued piece of text.
Our set notions, beliefs and assumptions will be challenged throughout this course through close and analytical reading of several texts. This course will investigate ways to deal with complicated texts from varied disciplines and seek out methods of unravelling the mysteries of those texts through rigorous writing and verbal discussions. The key idea of this course is to provide a springboard for students to tackle textual readings in their further studies.
This is a writing intensive class. Three modules which will be taught are- Personal essay, position paper and research essay. 
You will write three final papers over the course of the semester-Each final paper will reflect the module. Expect a workshop like atmosphere in the class, where you will be required to revise or discuss a draft every single week. Peer reviews, group discussions and class participation are the cornerstones of this course. 
The readings will include among others, essays by: George Orwell "Shooting an Elephant"; Anita Jasraj "Circus"; James Baldwin "Notes of a native son"; Bodhisattwa Kar "Imagining post- indian Histories" ; Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar "Ten theses on State Politics in India.

Drama: Tropes and Adaptations

In this course students will read drama as a literary text and get a sense for how drama evolves from performance to text and then specifically as text geared to performance. We begin with Medea by Euripides, move on to Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and finish with Shakespeare’s Hamlet along with Vishal Bharadwaj’s film adaptation Haider. This course will think through the types and tropes of classical drama to drama as text for literary analysis and move on to the idea of dramatic adaption in screenplay. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts 

Euripides, Medea Dover Thrift Edition. (Trans. Rex Warner)

Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus (Norton Critical Edition)

William Shakespeare Hamlet (Arden Edition) 

Getting Verse

This course will introduce students to the idea of poetic form, think about what constitutes a poetic movement, and finally focus on an individual poet as training in ways to read poetry by understanding craft and cultivating an ear for resonance to understanding what individual talent has to do with tradition. We will begin the semester with a sample of genres and modes and learn about what the distinguishing and overlapping characteristics of different poetic forms and modes are, for instance in the following: sonnet, villanelle, ghazal, blank verse, ode and aubade. Moving from reading poems in isolation we will think about the idea of poetic tradition, where a group of poets can be read together as a part of a movement such as Bhakti Poetry. In the final part of the course we will focus on the work of a single poet to understand how we read poets in their time a get a sense for a body of a single poet’s work. This semester we will study Arun Kolatkar. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

A selection of poems by Shakespeare, Donne, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Mir, Adrienne Rich, Agha Shahid Ali, Elizabeth Bishop, John Keats, Philip Larkin, T. S Eliot

Arundhati Subramaniam Ed. Eating God: Bhakti Poetry, Penguin 2014

Arun Kolatkar Jejuri, New York Review Book, 1974

Shakespeare and His Contemporaries

The commercial playhouses and playing companies of Elizabethan and Jacobean London were a unique socio-cultural phenomenon which produced some of the richest literary texts within the entire corpus of English literature as well as literatures in English. The myth of Shakespeare’s ‘timeless genius’, his universal adaptability across spatio-temporal boundaries has become a critical commonplace. This course seeks to locate Shakespeare in his times, to examine his works as a product of his times. To this end we will read two Shakespearean plays, in conjunction with two plays by contemporary dramatists, to understand better the scope and breadth of English Renaissance drama including and beyond Shakespeare. The course will focus on the specific material circumstances of dramatic production and performance, but also attempt a sustained engagement with the language and formal aspects of the popular theatre, and situate the readings within broader currents of intellectual, political, and religious thought. More specifically, we will engage with disparate ideas ranging from kingship to conjugality, from gender to genre, from self-reflexive theatricality to early modern notions of self-hood. The texts will include one tragedy and one comedy by Shakespeare, and one each by another contemporary dramatist—in this case Middleton (comedy) and Webster (tragedy). This course will aim to inculcate familiarity with the language of Renaissance drama through close readings. It will also equip the students with an understanding of the social, political, religious, and economic conditions which shaped, inhibited, and engendered the rise of the commercial theatre and of the conditions and modes of performance of the plays. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

Merchant of Venice (1605)

Macbeth (1606)

Thomas Middleton Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1613)

Webster Duchess of Malfi (1614)

South Asian Literature

This course is designed to introduce students to some of the most important and vibrant texts in contemporary South Asian literature. It straddles the genres of novel, poetry and short-stories written in different regions of South Asia, including Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and the disputed Kashmir valley. This course seeks, thus, to familiarize the students with the literary output in South Asia and its diasporas, that comes to grips with vital questions of form, political conflict, caste, language, religion and gender. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (1997)

Michael Ondaatje, Anil’s Ghost (2000)   

Premchand, The Chess-Players (tr. by Hans Raj Rahbar)

Ismat Chughtai, The Quilt (tr. by M. Asaduddin)

Saadat Hasan Manto, Toba Tek Singh (tr. by Khalid Hasan)

Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Last Night, Don’t ask me for that love again, A Prison Evening, Bangladesh III in The Rebel’s Silhouette: Selected Poems by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, translated by Agha Shahid Ali (1991)

Agha Shahid Ali, Tonight, Homage to Faiz Ahmad Faiz, The Country Without a Post Office, I See Kashmir From New Delhi At Midnight in The Veiled Suite: The Collected Poems (2009)

Landmarks in the Novel Form

This course is designed to introduce students to some of the most characteristic forms that the novel has taken through the course of its long and continuing evolution and to the range of expressive possibilities that the novel, as a whole, has acquired.

The novels that will be studied in this course are  (i) Don Quijote , not only  because it exemplifies the picaresque form , but also because it is a novel about novel writing itself (ii) Wuthering Heights  because it both represents and radically subverts one of the novel’s great sub genres : domestic fiction and (iii) One Hundred Years of Solitude which brings the novel up to our times and unfurls the whole range of expressive resources that it acquired through the long course of its development

This course seeks, thus, to take the student through the great landmarks of the novel form, explain to her how these novels achieve their characteristic effects and enable her to analyze and work with many real life situations that involve prose narratives. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Miguel De Cervantes, Don Quijote  Book 1 (1605)  trans.  Burton Raffel

Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights (1847)

Gabriel  Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) trans. Gregory Rabassa.

To become eligible for a Minor in English, a student must complete at least 6 courses from the English department. Of these, at least 2 must be drawn from the "Core" courses and the remainder from the Electives listed below. Please note that the Core/Elective distinction is relevant only for students graduating in 2022 and later. Students graduating before 2022 have a different requirement, as listed on the English Minor main page.
The Fundamentals of Crea. wrtg
The Fundamentals of Creative Writing uses a mixture of classroom lecture, in-class writing, workshopping and production of work to familiarise the students with the basics of poetry and prose writing. In the first half of the semester, we will focus on exercises geared towards writing with the senses, which is essential to the production of poetry. Students will also be familiarised with the basics of using the meter and free verse. In the second half of the semester, we will concentrate on prose. We will discuss issues such as using autobiography to create fiction, choosing the right point of view from which to tell the story, creating a memorable character and coming up with a beguiling plot. Students will also learn to utilise workshopping techniques, which will enable them to become better critics of their own and other people’s work.
The Language Game of Literature

This course seeks to address some basic questions that pertain to the domain of the literary. Some of these are: what kinds of texts qualify as literature? Do literary texts possess some special, objectively demonstrable properties, or does the label merely connote some arbitrary social consensus? Moreover, do literary texts invite us to treat them differently, as compared to non-literary texts? Does the appreciation of a literary text, depending on whether it is a poem, a story, or a play, require us to pay attention to different kinds of textual phenomena? What precisely are those phenomena? The kinds of questions raised above will be addressed in this course as we immerse ourselves in a wide-ranging selection of texts drawn from the genres of poetry, fiction, and drama. The texts are chosen so that our engagement with each of them will illuminate some specific aspects of literary appreciation. Also, as we progress through this course, we will build a critical vocabulary that will enable us to express, with increasing perspicuity, our assessments of the literary merits of literary texts. (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts 

A selection of poems ranging across history and geography. The poems for study will be made available to the student either electronically or through handouts.

Drama: Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House (1879)

Fiction: A selection of short stories including:

“The Fall of the House of Usher,” Edgar Allen Poe (1839).

“The Yellow Wallpaper,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892).

 “The Approach to Al-Mu’tasim,”  Jorge Luis Borges (1935). Trans. Anthony Kerrigan.

 “The Cathedral,” Raymond Carver (1983).

Fantasy and Science Fiction

During the course we will discuss the nature of fantasy and science fiction literature as a form of fiction writing, how it is different from other forms of writing, and what it can do that other forms writing cannot. The course will be divided in 4 units, the first unit will be of a theoretical nature, and the last three will discuss select examples of fantasy and science fiction. Some movies will be screened and discussed.  (3:0:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

Robert Scholes and Kellog, Nature of Narrative

Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism

Rosemary Jackson, The Literature of Subversion 

Variable Selections from

J R R Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

Ursula K Le Guin, The Dispossessed

Variable Selections from

Stanislaw Lem, Solaris

Barry Longyear, ‘Enemy Mine’

Variable Selections from

William Gibson, Necromancer

Bruce Sterling, Holy Fire

Linguistic Approaches to Literature

Course Summary: 

This course will cover basic concepts in Linguistics: Phonetics, Morphology, Semantics, Syntax. It includes theory plus practice sessions – to introduce students to the methodology of modern linguistics and teach analytic reasoning via examination of linguistic data. The course would be divided into four modules. The course also introduces students to philological analysis of literary texts. 

Course Aims:

To expose students to the analysis of literary texts, using linguistic analytical tools, and the purpose underlying such an analysis. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
•    read texts critically and proficiently to demonstrate in writing or speech the comprehension, analysis, and interpretation of those texts;
•    to analyse of literary texts, using linguistic and discourse analytical tools.

Curriculum Content

Basic concepts in Linguistics: 
Phonetics, Morphology, Semantics, Syntax, includes theory plus practice sessions – to introduce students to the methodology of modern linguistics. Old English and Middle English
Philology, its importance, philological subfields.
Studying Beowulf (chapter 1) on its language and context.  Manuscript available through the Electronic Beowulf project. The module will focus on one tale from the Canterbury Tales (The Knight's Tale), rudiments of Middle English as a spoken and written language, to become familiar with Middle English. a word-for-word transliteration from Old/ Middle English into Modern English; grammatical information for some of the terms in that line of text.  
Beyond the sentence: Pragmatics; Translation exercises for Beowulf as well as for Chaucer.

Weekly Schedule:
Weeks    Topics    Explorations
Module 1        
Classes begin from July 31, 2018
Week 1- week- 6    Introduction, Glimpses of History of languages, English language; Linguistics & its Branches    Video; Transcription of Beowulf; Word order of the old English poem; Closed system & open class. In-Class-Activity #1
Structure of Words Morphology; Runic Characters; Old English-Historically seen; Examples from Beowulf;     Words change their meaning too; First 8 lines of Beowulf;
Turkish Morphemes; 
Chapter 5 ‘English Spelling is Kattastroffik’, from - Peter Trudgill and Laurie Bauer (Ed) Language Myths. Penguin Books. 1999. (On BB). Discussion & Written
In-Class-Activity #2. 
In Class Activity #3
Medieval English; English witnessed changes; Canterbury Tales-Knight’s Tale; Chaucer and his style;
Choice of words;
In-Class-Activity #4
Module 2        
Week 7- 11     Beyond the Words - Phonetics -Introduction – Phonemic changes; Old English; Transcriptions from Old English;  Pronunciation and implications in Beowulf; Middle English;    Week 7: In-Class exam;
Week 8-11:
In-Class Activity #5
Topic Submission for - Short Term Paper: on Blackboard
    Phonetics – pronunciation and implications in Knight’s Tale; The Great Vowel Shift; Grimm's Law and Verner's Law    Short Term Paper: submission on Blackboard
Module 3        
Week 12 - 16    Beyond the Pronunciation; Semantics – Introduction; Borrowing; Pragmatics; Translation and transliteration from Old English to Modern English    Translation – Beowulf 1st 11 lines – In-Class-Activity #6
Syntax – Introduction – Old English; Middle English; 
Mechanisms of syntactic change; 
    Graded Activities:
Translation – Knight’s Tale specified lines by the facilitator; 

Submission - One 800-1000 words Short Term Paper - on Blackboard

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Teaching and Learning Strategy    Class Hours    Out-of-Class Hours
Lectures    45 hours    90 hours
Tutorials    15 hours    


Assessment Strategy    
Formative assessment and feedback to student, Summary assessment at the end of the course. Weightage to be given for active class participation. 85% Attendance is mandatory.
Formative Assessment:
a)    Student led Discussions 
b)    Response Papers
c)    Short Term-Paper
d)    Assignment
e)    Final Long Term-Paper
f)    Class Participation
g)    Open Book Exam

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy 

Assessment Scheme
Type of Assessment    Description    Percentage
Module 1 & 2        
Class Attendance, Discussion and Written Essays    Marks for attendance + Student led Discussions in class for all the essays 
To asses and demontrate the ability to assess and deploy  critical thinking      10%
Individual Student in-class Practice sessions      To analyze and demonstrate critical thinking    20%
One short Paper    To analyse and write a viewpoint that is unique about a given central idea, topic or theme by taking into account varied sources, & to establish and  assert a claim,     10%
Midterm Exam: Open Book Exam    Critical interpretation and assessment of the topics    10%
Module 3 & 4                                                                                         
Class attendance and class participation    Marks for attendance + Student led Discussions in class for all the essays 
To asses and demontrate the ability to assess and deploy  critical thinking      10%
Two Short papers    Critical Analysis    20%
Final Long Paper    Critical Analysis     20%

Bibliography and References

Beowulf (chapter 1) Manuscript available through the Electronic Beowulf project
Canterbury Tales (The Knight's Tale), Simon, Sherry; Gender in Translation — Cultural Identity and the Politics of Transmission. 1996. New York: Routledge.
Refer from source:
Sheldon Pollock’s essay ‘Liberation Philology.’
David Crystal. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 1987. CAU
Edward Sapir. Language - An Introduction to the Study of Speech. 1921
Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics; 1916
Toelkien JRR. Ed. Toelkien C.  Beowulf. Harper Collins 2014
Horobin S. Chaucer’s Language. Macmillan. 2007
Peter Trudgill and Laurie Bauer (Ed) Language Myths. Chapter 5. Penguin Books. 1999
Ziolkowski Jan. What is Philology Comparative Literature Studies, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1990. pp. 1-12. Penn State University Press

Introduction to Translation Studies

Course Summary

This is a basic course, which will introduce students to key theories, models and approaches in Translation Studies relevant to contemporary research and practice in the field. The students would be studying statements from linguists, theologians, and writers to examine and recognize the value of the diversity with which translation has been appreciated and practiced throughout the ages. They will be able to analyse the traditional understanding of the link between the original and translated text, between author and translator, the source and target languages and cultures.

Course Aims

To enable students to interact critically and productively with examples of translation from various languages and to introduce students to some of the theoretical aspects of translation studies.

Learning Outcomes

Translation is one of the biggest new sectors opening up in literary studies. This course together with the companion course taught at the master’s level aims to take advantage of India’s multilinguism to raise the quality of translation to levels that may not be possible in monolingual countries.

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
Interact critically and productively with translated texts, would be able to see some of the theoretical implications of translation without producing hasty judgements, comprehend and examine the basic skills in translating 

Curriculum Content

Lectures, discussions, and practical work, Translation Project, Student Practice Lecture, short term paper, Group work

Modules    Weeks    Topics    Explorations
Module 1

Week 1- week- 8    Introduction, Definition, History of Translation and Translation Studies 

From Classical Period and Middle Ages. Cicero, St. Jerome, 
Roman Jakobson, Jean-Paul Vinay and Jean Darbelnet, Peter Newmark,
Werner Koller, Eugene Nida, Andre Lefevre, Itamar Even-Zohar, Lawrence Venuti, Susan Bassenet, Hans Vermeer    Videos; Hands on practice; In-Class-Activities – all are graded. 

In-Class Discussion and short write-up (400-500 words): Letters of St. Jerome; Letter 57 -- To Pammachius on the Best Method of Translating; 

In-Class-Activities x4 – all are graded. 

Linguistic approach; Machine Translation; Translation: process and product, Techniques, strategies, and procedures in translation    In-Class-Activities [graded] - Rapid fire questions to be translated  - activity
Module 2

Week 9- 11    Module 2

Student led Discussions followed by Response Papers
A Survey of Different Approaches in Translation Studies: 


Individual Student Practice Lecture (not a presentation) on a specified topic 

Week 8-11: 

In-Class Discussion and short write-up (400-500 words): The Task Of The Translator by Walter Benjamin.

In-Class Discussion and short write-up (400-500 words): The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary Poly-system by Even Zohar 

In-Class Discussion and short write-up (400-500 words): The Priority of Purpose (Skopos theory) by Vermeer

In-Class Discussion and short write-up (400-500 words):  The Hermeneutic Motion by George Steiner

In-Class Discussion and short write-up (400-500 words): English Translation of Marcel Proust “Swann’s Way’

Submission of Topics for Student Practice Lecture 
Module 3    Week 12 - 14    
Module 3
The video assignment presentation by each group - to be shown and presented in the class for peer assessment. 

Translation Studies and Other Disciplines 
Cultural turn; cultural studies; gender studies– feminist translation theory 
Simon, Sherry 
Postcolonial translation theory 

Translation Project: (40%) – Translation Project should be worked in two sections:
1.    Section A: Translated text into TL – English
2.    Section B: Critical commentary on the translated text by the student. [Guidelines would be on Blackboard]
The videos uploaded by students to be shown in the class for peer assessment.

In-Class Discussion and short write-up (400-500 words): English Translation of ‘Siddhartha’ by Herman Hesse.

In-Class Discussion and short write-up (400-500 words): Guido’s Relations by Ezra Pound

In-Class Discussion and short write-up (400-500 words): The Politics of Translation by Spivak Gayatri Chakravorty;

Translation Project: (40%) 
A.    Submission of Topic for: One 1500 words Long Term Paper 
B.    Draft #1 – 
C.    Draft #2 – 
D.    Final submission on Blackboard 
- All are graded. 

Teaching and Learning Strategy

(Teaching methods and tools, use of LMS, software used or taught, external visits, workshops)
Teaching and Learning Strategy    Description of Work    Class Hours    Out-of-Class Hours
Lectures and discussion    Lectures    45    45
Practical work        15    


Assessment Strategy    

Formative assessment and feedback to student, Summary assessment at the end of the course. Weightage to be given for active class participation. 85% Attendance is mandatory.
Formative Assessment:
a)    Student led Discussions 
b)    Response Paper
c)    Individual Student Lecture Session
d)    Assignment
e)    Final Long Term-Paper
f)    Class Participation

2.    Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy 

Assessment Scheme
Type of Assessment    Description    Percentage
Class Attendance, Discussion and Written Essays.    Marks for attendance + Student led Discussions in class for all the essays 
To asses and demontrate the ability to assess and deploy  critical thinking      25% 
Group Presentation on video presentation made on Translation Errors    To demonstrate the viewpoint about a given idea, topic or theme    15%
Individual Student Lecture Sessions      To analyze and demonstrate critical thinking    20%
Final Research Translation Project
[First Draft
Second Draft
Final submission]    To analyse and write critical interpretation and assessment    40%

Reference Books, Essays and Articles

Munday Jeremy; 2008; Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications; Taylor & Francis; 
Susan Bassnett, 2002, Translation Studies, 3rd edition
The Routledge Encyclopaedia of Translation Studies (eds. Baker and Saldanha, 2nd edition, 2009
John Biguenet and Rainer Schulte, eds., The Craft of Translation
The Letters of St. Jerome; Letter 57 -- To Pammachius on the Best Method Of Translating; English Translation 
Vermeer Hans J, The Priority of Purpose (Skopos theory)  
George Steiner: The Translation Studies Reader. 
Even-Zohar Itamar, 1990, The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary Poly-system. 
Simon, Sherry; Gender in Translation - Cultural Identity and the Politics of Transmission. 1996.New York: Routledge.   
Tejaswini Niranjana; Siting Translation: History, Post-Structuralism and the Colonial Context
Spivak Gayatri Chakravorty; The Politics of Translation.  
Benjamin Walter,The Task Of The Translator,   
Pound Ezra, Guid

Primary Texts

Munday Jeremy; 2008; Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications; Taylor & Francis; ISBN: 0415396948, 9780415396943

Susan Bassnett, ed. Translating Literature

John Biguenet and Rainer Schulte, eds., The Craft of Translation

The Letters of St. Jerome; Letter 57 -- To Pammachius On The Best Method Of Translating; English Translation: Fremantle,  pp. 112-119

Vermeer Hans J.;1996; “Skopos and Commission in Translational Action

George Steiner: The Translation Studies Reader. 2000. (Ed) Lawrence Venuti. Routledge

Itamar Even-Zohar: "The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary Polysystem." Poetics Today 11:1 (1990), pp. 45-51.

Simon, Sherry; Gender in Trans-lation — Cultural Identity and the Politics of Transmission. 1996. New York: Routledge

Tejaswini Niranjana; Siting Translation: History, Post-Structuralism and the Colonial Context

Spivak Gayatri Chakravorty; ‘The Politics of Translation’. In The Translation Studies Reader. 2000. (Ed) Lawrence Venuti. Routledge

Modernist Literature

Course Summary

Modernism is an aesthetic paradigm that prevailed in a number of artistic domains in the early part of the twentieth century. This course familiarizes the student with literary modernism. We will study exemplary works in the major genres of literature: fiction, drama, and poetry. Through this study the student will gain a sound understanding of the particulars of the modernist aesthetic as well as of the cultural, political, and philosophical ethos that informed it.

Course Aims

1.    To introduce the student to some major texts of modernist literature.
2.    To familiarize the student with the themes that dominated modernist literature.
3.    To sensitize the student to the elements of form and to the modernist aesthetic.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
a)    Be conversant with the events, themes, politics, and philosophies that informed the creation of modernist texts.
b)    Identify the stylistic features that distinguish modernist texts from the texts that preceded them.
c)    Perform a critical analysis of a modernist text using the frameworks learnt in this course.

Curriculum Content

James Joyce, “The Dead” (1914).
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925).
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (1949).

Poetry: A selection of poems by poets such as William Butler Yeats, Wilfred Owen, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, Rainer Maria Rilke, and T S Eliot.

Weekly Schedule:
Week 1    -    Introduction. Discussion on Modernity vs Modernism.
Week 2    -    Pre-discussion Quiz on Irish history 
-    Discussion of James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’
Week 3    -    Discussion of James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’
Week 4    -    Discussion of James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’
-    Test1 on ‘The Dead’
Week 5    -    Pre-discussion Quiz on the novel Mrs Dalloway
-    Discussion on Mrs Dalloway 
Week 6    -    Discussion on Mrs Dalloway
Week 7    -    Discussion on Mrs Dalloway
Week 8    -    Discussion on Mrs Dalloway
Week 9    -    Midsem exam on Mrs Dalloway
Week 10    -    Discussion on Death of a Salesman
Week 11    -    Discussion on Modernist Poems
Week 12    -    Discussion on Modernist Poems
Week 13    -    Discussion on Modernist Poems
-    [Assignment submission (Test2) on Death of a Salesman]
Week 14    -    Discussion on Modernist Poems

Teaching and Learning Strategy

a)    Lectures: The prose fiction and the play will require prior study by the students, followed by discussion in class. The poems will be introduced in class and discussed spontaneously. 
b)    Tutorials will be used for addressing questions and for looking at extra material.
c)    Blackboard: BB will be used to share e-books and other class material, and to enable online discussions.

Teaching and Learning Strategy    Class Hours    Out-of-Class Hours
Lectures    45 hours    90 hours
Tutorials    15 hours    


Assessment Strategy    
a)    Pre-discussion Quizes to ensure knowledge of the text
b)    Tests
c)    Mid-term exam
d)    Assignemnt
e)    Final Exam

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy 

Assessment Scheme

Type of Assessment    Description    Weightage
Quiz1    Pre-discussion quiz on “The Dead”    5%
Test1    Questions on “The Dead”    10%
Quiz2    Pre-discussion quiz on Mrs Dalloway    10%
Midterm Exam    Questions on Mrs Dalloway    30%
Assignment    Assignment on Death of a Salesman    15%
Final Exam    Questions on modernist poetry    30%
Total    100%


James Joyce, “The Dead” (1914).
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925).
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (1949).

(Suggested Readings)
Malcolm Bradbury and James McFarlane. Modernism: A Guide to European Literature 1890-1930
Peter Childs. Modernism. 
Christopher Butler. Modernism: A Very Short Introduction
Raymond Williams: Politics of Modernism

Mapping Language Change

Language change is constant. Linguistic boundaries are never clear-cut. At best, linguistic boundaries can be described as overlapping transitional spaces where migration and urbanization shape new possibilities of human interaction. Language spoken at present is the best laboratory for a linguist. 

This course is both theoretical and empirical inquiry into language change.  Focus of the chosen texts is on language universals and linguistic typology. Second part of this course will be field study- data collection and analysis. Students will learn data analysis through triangulation- statistical analysis of quantitative data in specialized linguistic labs; and critical discourse analysis of qualitative data. (1:0:3). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Language Universals and Linguistic Typology, Bernard Comrie, 1981.

Weinreich,U., Labov, W., Herzog, M., 1968. Empirical Foundations for a Theory of Language Change, in Directions for Historical Linguistics, ed. W.P.Lehmann, Y. Malkiel, 97-195, Austin: Univ. Texas Press.

Introduction to Critical Theory

This course aims to introduce students to the basic theoretical works that revolutionized literary studies during the 1970s and 80s.The focus of the texts chosen is insistently on the literary. They comprise some of the most definitive works we have on (a) the basic aspects of the literary (language, discourse, author, reader), (b) literary genres (the novel, poetry) and the locations of literary criticism (Feminism, Post-colonialism).

Focusing on language, discourse, genres and social orientation, this course will equip students with sophisticated conceptual frames to deal with not just literary material but any situation in life which involves human communication. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Ferdinand de Saussure, (1915) A Course in General Linguistics W. ed. M. Baskin (London: Fontana) p111-121

M.M. Bakhtin, from. The Dialogical Imagination (1934) Holquist extract in Rice and Waugh, Modern Literary Theory pp230-39

Roland Barthes, “Death of the Author” From Image-Music-Text (1968) trans. S.Heath, pp142-48

Michel Foucault, “The Order of the Discourse” (1971) in Robert Young, Untying the Text (1971) 52-64

Wolfgang Iser, “The Reading Process” (1974) extract in Philip Rice and Patricia Waugh, Modern Literary Theory: A Reader (London: Arnold)

Elaine Showalter, “Towards a Feminist Poetics” in Mary Jacobus ed. Women Writing About Women (1979) pp. 25-36

Homi Bhabha, “Of Mimicry and Man: The Ambivalence of the Colonial Discourse” October No. 28, Spring (1983) 125-33.

Jerome J. McGann, “The Text, the Poem and the Problem of the Historical Method” (1985) from The Beauty of Inflections   pp. 251-268  

Poetry and Conflict

This course is designed to introduce students to a wide range of contemporary poetry written around conflict, whether armed combat, protracted war, occupation or forced exile. It includes poetic texts that approach some of the most intractable conflicts of the modern world with formal dexterity, empathy and resilience. This course seeks to take the students through the enormous formal, emotional and political resources wielded by such poetry in order to speak meaningfully about the conflicts that affect our contemporary world. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts


Bruce Weigl, Song of Napalm, Elegy for Peter, The Last Lie

Wislawa Szymborska (tr.. Stanislaw Baranczak & Clare Cavanagh) Vietnam

Ocean Vuong, Aubade with Burning City, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

First World War

Wilfred Owen, Dulce Et Decorum Est, Smile Smile Smile, Anthem for Doomed Youth

Siegfried Sassoon, Glory of Women, Repression of War Experience

Philip Larkin, MCMXIV


Mahmoud Darwish, A Soldier Dreams of White Lilies, Identity Card (tr. Salman Masalha and Vivian Eden)

Rafeef Ziadah, We Teach Life Sir, Shades of Anger


Agha Shahid Ali, The Country Without a Post-Office, I See Kashmir from New Delhi at Midnight

Roushan Ilahi/MC Kash, My People, I Protest

Politics and Polemics in Early Modern Europe

This is a special topic course which will examine in detail the intersection of the political and the literary in early modern Europe. Reading political treatises from the archipelago and the mainland in juxtaposition with each other, this course will try and investigate the way in which humanist political thought develops across Europe. At the same time we will immerse ourselves in the study of the stylistic aspects various genres of vernacular prose writing popular in the Renaissance: the polemical pamphlet, the dialogue, the treatise, the advice-book for princes etc. The course will be divided in following four modules, each comprising short excerpts from a two or three key texts.

Through a close reading of the material this course seeks to follow the shifting contours of political discourse, the simultaneous emergence of the rhetoric of absolutism and the language of civic rights, while relating these transformations to the major historical landmarks of the period—such as the Reformation, the Huguenot massacre, Mary Stuart’s deposition, the English civil war etc. Some of thematic and formal aspects we will focus on include: political theology, the importance of translation in the humanist project, the material circumstances of circulation of texts and ideas, political counsel, morality and ethics in the political realm, the influence of Platonic and Aristotelian political models, violence and sovereign power.  (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

The Sovereign and his Counsellors

Erasmus Education of a Christian Prince (1516) [Dedication, Chapter I]

Machiavelli The Prince (1513) [Chapters XV-XIX, XXIII-XXV]

Castiglione The Courtier (1528) [Book IV, chapters 3-10]

Sovereignty and Governance

Smith De Republica Anglorum (1562-3) [Book I, Chapters 1, 2, 7, 8, Book II, Chapter 1-3]

Bodin Six Books of the Commonwealth (1576) [Book I, Chapters VIII, X, Book VI, Chapter 4]

Tyranny and Resistance

Ponet A Short Treatise on Political Power (1556) [Chapters I and VI]

Buchanan De Iure Regni Apud Scotos (1571) [Chapters 7-12, 24, 27, 29, 34]

Polemics of the English civil war: Justifying Tyrannicide

Milton The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1641)

Excerpts from Digger (Gerrard Winstanley) and Ranter tracts (1640’s) 

[Winstanley, New Year’s Gift, Norton Anthology of Eng Lit Vol B pp. 1849-55; Nigel Smith,  A Collection of Ranter Writings: Spiritual Liberty and Sexual Freedom in the English Revolution]

Compulsory reading: Quentin Skinner, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, 2 vols., Cambridge: 1978.

Contemporary Forms of Fiction

In this course we shall, having studying various kinds of fiction writing, look at other forms of fiction making, including RPG, ‘psuedo’ videos on YouTube®, made-up trailers for movies etc, graphic novels and movies and TV shows. The intention is to attempt to understand the difference between reading a more or less structured piece of literature, and forms that at this point in time seem more free-flowing and less deterministic. The following issues will be addressed primarily:

Virtuality, Simulation, Actuality, Reality, Virtual Reality, Digital Gaming and its Implications for Gaming, More Recent Digital Innovations, and the question ‘Why does a Game Need a Story?’(3:1:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

Selections from David Bell and Barbara Kennedy, The Cybercultures Reader

Richard Stallman, Lecture at Calcutta, 16.08.2006 (text will be provided)

Selections from

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (section on the ‘panopticon’, and the section on ‘Docile Bodies’

Gilles Deleuze, ‘Society of Control’

Graphic Novel 

Joe Sacco, Palestine, (with an introduction by Edward Said)

TV Show/ Movie


Feminist Theory: Unlocking the Literary

This course is primarily designed to introduce students to feminist theory. The course will also examine the pleasures and problems of women's literature. The broad framework of the course lies in posing the following questions: What are the ways in which feminist theory unlocks literary texts? What is distinctive about feminine ecriture - how does a women writer write and fictionalize her vision of the world in its actuality and possibility?  (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Ruth Vanita, Gender, Sex, and the City: Urdu Rekhti Poetry in India, 1780-1870 (2012).

Helene Cixous, The Laugh of the Medusa (1975).

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.

A History of Feminist Literary Criticism, Cambridge U Press, 2007, 66-100 (Chapters 4 and 5). 

Mary Eagleton, Feminist Literary Theory: A Reader. Blackwell Publishers Ltd. 98-102, 238-265.

Translation Theory and Practice

This course will offer some advanced discussion of translation as a cultural form, history of translation studies, and lastly, theoretical approaches to translation.

This course provides a study of translation criticism which is the systematic study, evaluation, and interpretation of different aspects of translated works. It is an interdisciplinary academic field closely related to A. Literary Criticism B. Translation Theory. & C. Translation Project.

Students will be expected to complete each reading and 1. Prepare a short critical analytical essay (approx. 500 words) and 2. Questions on each assigned reading. Students would bring a typed copy of the prepared short analytical essay and questions to class. Add-on and edit your essay on this printed page after the discussion is over. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Montaigne's Essays Montaigne's Essays: Book I (1533-1592) - Translation by J. Florio (1553-1625)

Hugo Friedrich; ‘On the Art of Translation’. In Rainer Schulte, John Biguenet (eds), Theories of Translation.

Walter Benjamin, ‘The Task of the Translator’, from Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings. Two translations of this essay will be studied.

George Steiner ‘The Hermeneutic Motion’. In The Translation Studies Reader. 2000. (Ed) Lawrence Venuti. Routledge

Antoine Berman, "La traduction comme epreuve de l'etranger," [Translation and the trials of the foreign] Texte 4 (1985)

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak ‘The Politics of Translation’. In The Translation Studies Reader. 2000. (Ed) Lawrence Venuti. Routledge

Jacques Derrida, "From Des Tours de Babel." In Rainer Schulte, John Biguenet (eds), Theories of Translation.

The Bible: King James’ Version, Book of Genesis (several translations of this book will be discussed.

Translation Project

English translation of a text (of the student’s choice) along with details involved in process of translation or a scholarly research project on a topic related to translation, supervised by the faculty member.

Crafting Short Fiction

This course will look at the short story from 1000 to 3000 words.  Students will study exemplary texts in class.  They will discuss the nuts and bolts of writing fiction such as point of view, creation of character, and plot.  They do that in the Fundamentals of Creative Writing course as well.  However, here they will do it in far greater detail. Furthermore, they will study setting, writing dialogue, editing and revising, and also use workshopping techniques extensively.  In addition to the creative writing, they will write a critical commentary which will make them aware of the fact that the creative and critical go together.  For grading purposes they will produce two stories each, plus a critical commentary to go with the second story.  It would help if students taking this course have taken Intro to Creative Writing at the 100 -level. 

 In the first half of the course, we will focus on the shorter 1500-word story.  After the mid-term, we will focus on the 2,500-word story.  Through a mixture of lecture and discussion, students will focus on the intricacies of plot, characterisation, point of view, voice and other important attributes of writing fiction. Students will also learn to utilise workshopping techniques, which will enable them to become better critics of their own and other people’s work. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none.

Primary Texts

Ernest Hemingway, ‘Hills like White Elephants’

Raymond Carver, ‘A Small, Good Thing’’

Jhumpa Lahiri, ‘When Mr Pirzada Came to Dine’’

James Joyce, ‘Araby’

Anton Chekhov, ‘The Grasshopper’

Etgar Keret, ‘Lieland’

Junot Diaz, Miss Lora

Daniyal Mueenuddin, ‘Nawabdin Electrician’

Sol Stein, Stein On Writing, ISBN-13  978-0312254216

World Folk Literature

This course is a survey of folk literature identifying archetypes, themes, and motifs, orally transmitted literature across place and time. Students will begin by learning key concepts of folklore scholarship: culture, tradition, performance, genre, the local/global distinction, the folk/popular divide, and the dynamics of the customary and innovative in folklore production.  Through an exploration of these concepts students will develop an expansive definition of folklore the way that stories live between and among people i.e. tellers and audiences, collectors and translators; adapting themselves to changing times, circumstances and metaphysical spaces. The course will focus on the transmission and transformation of cultural knowledge and practice in situations of want and plenty, peace and conflict. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Barre Toelken, The Snails Clues in The Anguish of Snails: Native American Folklore of the West, pp. ix-xii and 1-8

Zipes, Jack. 2003. “Once There Were Two Brothers Named Grimm.” Introduction to the Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, 3rd ed. New York: Bantam. xxiii-xxxvi.

Propp V. (1968) Discussion of Tale-Types and Motifs, Morphology of the Folktale. University of Texas Press, Chapter 2-4

Kirin Narayan, 1993; Refractions of the Field at Home: American Representations of Hindu Holy Men in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Cultural Anthropology 8(4):476-509

Regina Bendix, 1989 Tourism and Cultural Displays: Inventing Traditions for Whom? The Journal of American Folklore 102 (404): 131-146.

Sadhana Naithani (2006) In Quest of Indian Folktales, Orient Blackswan; Chapter 3

Kelly Feltault, 2006; Development Folklife: Human Security and Cultural Conservation, Journal of American Folklore 119 (471):90-110


Ever After (1998) by Andy Tennant – with Drew Barrymore in a new version of “Cinderella” (with Leonardo da Vinci as her fairy godmother)

Sugar Cane Alley (1983) Director Euzhan Palcy

Vernacular Literary Practices

This course will highlight the historical emergence and development of vernaculars in European and world literature. Students will be introduced to major theoretical formulations about vernaculars by poets and novelists. Drawing on these readings students will analyze a short fiction and a novel in which the vernacular is the central concern. The goal of the course is to introduce students to the idea that there is a profound fissure at the heart of literature between hegemonic concepts of the literary versus minority or non- elite; controversies and debates that circulate around the notion of the vernacular constitute one way to get at this fissure and analyze it. (3:1:0). Prerequisites: none

Primary Texts

Module One: Histories of the Emergence of Vernacular Language–Literatures ( Four Weeks)

Benedict Anderson, ‘Old Languages, New Models’ Imagined Communities, Verso Revised Edition 2007, 69-84.

Sheldon Pollock, ’The Cosmopolitan Vernacular ’ The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 57: No. I ( Feb 1998) 6-37.

Korean television drama, Tree with Deep Roots (the TV serial dramatizes King Sejong who lived in 1397-1450 and his promotion of the Korean vernacular and invention of Hangul alphabet at a time of elite dominance of Mandarin Chinese).

Module Two: Debates around the concept of vernaculars (Four Weeks)

Aligheri Dante, De Vulgare Eloquentia (1302).

Ngugi Wa Thiongo, ’The Language of African Fiction” Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (1986), 63-86.

UG Krishnamoorthy, English Brahmins, Kannada Shudras

Module Three and Four: Two Case Studies of Vernacular Literary Studies (Seven Weeks)

Phaniswarnath Renu’s The Third Vow (Aanchalik Sahitya)

Perumal Murugan, One Part Woman (Vattara Ilakkiam)