Department of English, Jadavpur University

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The purpose of the new BA Honours course in English, under the semester system, is to provide a thorough grounding in literature written in the English language, from the earliest period to the present day. The course is not confined to literature produced in the British Isles but will also take into account the global reach of the language and the diversity and range of all its literary manifestations, especially in the postcolonial world. One important feature of the course is its cross-disciplinary character. Students will be exposed to the interface of literature with other kinds of textuality in contemporary culture and society, and to the various possible applications of disciplinary skills.

The course strives to achieve a balance between compulsory—or ‘core’—components and specialised or ‘optional’ areas. While students will be expected to master the fundamentals of their discipline in the core courses, they may exercise individual preferences or seek to develop applied skills in the optional courses. The syllabi for the core courses is therefore relatively fixed and determined, while the optional courses are designed to allow more flexibility to both student and teacher. Specific reading lists will be supplied to students who opt for these courses well before the beginning of the semester.

Course requirements

1        At the BA level, students will have to take 12 ‘core’ or compulsory courses and six optional courses. .

2        Not all the courses listed below will be offered in any single academic year. The choice of courses will depend on the convenience of teachers and the interests of students, with the provision that all major areas are covered.

3        The department may devise new courses from time to time. These will be notified to the students through a decision of the Board of Studies and in consultation with the Faculty Council.

4        At the BA level, the students also have to opt for six ‘extra-departmental’ courses, spread over the first four semesters. The break-up of courses (core, optional and extra-departmental) will be as follows:

Semester Core Optional Extra-Dept. Total
1 2 2 4
2 3 1 4
3 2 1 1 4
4 1 1 2 4
5 2 2 4
6 2 2 4
Total 12 6 6 24

1        Students may please note that with one exception, the extra-departmental courses have to be chosen from courses offered by other departments in the Arts Faculty. The only exception is in the second semester, when the students for the English (Honours) degree will have to take the ‘Christian and Classical Background’ extra-departmental course offered by the Department of English.

2        At the BA level, the department will offer a total of six extra-departmental courses.

3        From time to time, the department will also offer certain optional courses (honours) to extra-departmental students. This will be done in consultation with other departments in the Arts Faculty.


Semester 1

Core Courses

1. English Literature 1760-1830                                                    Eng/UG/1.1.4

2. English Literature 1830-1900                                                    Eng/UG/1.1.5

Semester 2

Core Courses

3. Literature and the other Arts                                                     Eng/UG/1.2.9

4. Postcolonial English Literature                                                 Eng/UG/1.2.7

5. Rhetoric and Composition                                                           Eng/UG/1.2.10

Semester 3

Core Courses

6. History of Language, Old and Middle English Literature Eng/UG/2.1.1

7.  English Literature 1560-1630                                                    Eng/UG/2.1.2

Optional courses: any one from the list of optional courses

Semester 4

Core Courses

8.      English Literature1630-1760                                                     Eng/UG/2.2.3

Optional courses: any one from the list of optional course

Semester 5

Core Courses

9.      English Literature 1900-2000                                                    Eng/UG/3.1.

10.  Detailed Study of a Shakespeare Play                                         Eng/UG/3.1.11

Optional courses: any two from the list of optional course

Semester 6

Core Courses

11.  Criticism                                                                                                   Eng/UG/3.2.8

12.  Indian Writing in English                                                                  Eng/UG/3.2.12

Optional courses: any twofrom the list of optional course


  1. Old English Literature                                                            Eng/UG/O1
  2. Middle English Literature                                                       Eng/UG/O2
  3. Chaucer and Langland                                                           Eng/UG/O3
  4. Renaissance Drama Excluding Shakespeare               Eng/UG/O4
  5. The Tempest and its Aftermath                                              Eng/UG/O5
  6. Metaphysical Poetry                                                              Eng/UG/O6
  7. Shakespeare in the 20th Century                                             Eng/UG/O7
  8. Introduction to the Renaissance                                              Eng/UG/O8
  9. Literature of the English Revolution                             Eng/UG/09
  10. The Age of Enlightenment                                                      Eng/UG/O10
  11. The Romantic Novel                                                  Eng/UG/O11
  12. British Romantic Women Poets                                              Eng/UG/O12
  13. Romanticism, Verbal and Visual                                             Eng/UG/O13
  14. The Industrial Novel                                                  Eng/UG/O14
  15. Images of the Orient in Romantic Literature                Eng/UG/O15
  16. Victorian Women Poets                                                         Eng/UG/O16
  17. The Fallen Woman and the 19th Century Novel                      Eng/UG/O17
  18. Poplar and Genre Fiction in the 19th Century              Eng/UG/O18
  19. Edgar Allan Poe                                                                    Eng/UG/O19
  20. Crossover: the uses of popular forms of fiction                        Eng/UG/O20
  21. Drama of Ideas in the 20th Century                                         Eng/UG/O21
  22. American Poetry                                                                    Eng/UG/O22
  23. Modernist Prose                                                                    Eng/UG/O23
  24. Crime Fiction                                                             Eng/UG/O24
  25. Literature and Censorship                                                      Eng/UG/O25
  26. History, Literature and Criticism                                             Eng/UG/O26
  27. Tragedy                                                                                 Eng/UG/O27
  28. Comedy                                                                                Eng/UG/O28
  29. Drama in Practice                                                                  Eng/UG/O29
  30. Global Cultures                                                                      Eng/UG/O30
  31. Postcolonial Theory                                                               Eng/UG/O31
  32. The American Novel                                                  Eng/UG/O32
  33. The Novel and Modernity                                                      Eng/UG/O33
  34. African Writing in English                                                       Eng/UG/O34
  35. Settler Colony Literature                                                        Eng/UG/O35
  36. Contemporary Drama in English                                             Eng/UG/O36
  37. Cultures of Protest                                                                 Eng/UG/O37
  38. Writing in Practice                                                                 Eng/UG/O38
  39. The Book as Object
  40. Life Histories
  41. Animal Stories
  42. Monsters in English Literature


Core Courses

1. History of Language, Old and Middle English Literature

  1. History of Language: the emergence of early modern prose

1.   Origins of the English language and its place in the Indo-European literature

2.   Early foreign influences on the vocabulary of English

3.   Orthography and pronunciation

4.   The triumph of the vernacular: Chaucer to Shakespeare, incl. Bible translations

  1. Old and middle english literature

History of Old and Middle English Literature from the beginnings to c.1500, looking at the key primary texts in translation.



K. Crossley-Holland, The Anglo-Saxon World

S.A.J. Bradley, Anglo-Saxon Poetry

Michael Swanton, Anglo-Saxon Prose

B. Stone, Medieval English Verse



Recommended reading:

Greenfield & Calder, A New Critical History of Old English Literature

            Michael Swanton, English Literature before Chaucer

            Barron, Medieval English Romance

            C.L. Wrenn, The English Language

2. English Literature 1500-1630

A.  Background

Historical introduction to the Renaissance

B.   Drama

1. Two plays by Shakespeare

2. One play by Marlowe

C.  Poetry

Selections from the poetry of Skelton, Wyatt, Sidney, Spenser, Elizabeth I, Wroth, Shakespeare, Donne


D.  Prose

Selections from Bacon’s Essays, Sidney’s Arcadia and More’s Utopia

Recommended reading:

Douglas Bush, Prefaces to Renaissance Literature

Hardin Craig, The Enchanted Glass

A.L. Rowse, The Elizabethan Renaissance

David Norbrook, Politics and Poetry in Renaissance England

L.C. Knights, Drama and Society in the Age of Jonson

Frances Yates, Astraea

Stephen Greenblatt, Renaissance Self-Fashioning

David Aers, Bob Hodge and Gunther Kress, eds, Literature, Language and Society in England, 1560-1680

Julia Briggs, This Stage-Play World

3. English Literature 1630-1760

1)      a. Background

History, politics and culture 1630-1760

B.   Drama

One play by John Dryden/ William Congreve/ John Gay

C.  Poetry (Selections from)

  1. Milton, Marvell
  2. Religious poetry: Vaughan, Crashaw and Traherne
  3. Phillips, Finch
  4. Satire: Pope, Rochester, Dryden, Johnson

D.  Fiction

Two novels by Aphra Behn/ Daniel Defoe/ Henry Fielding

E.   Prose

Any one of the following components:

  1. Pamphlets
  2. Periodical essays
  3. Journals
  4. Biographies

Recommended reading:

Jeremy Black, ed., An Illustrated History of Eighteenth Century Britain, 1688-1793

James Clifford, ed., Eighteenth Century English Literature: Modern Essays in Criticism

Bonamy Dobree, The Oxford History of English Literature Vol. 7

Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution

Ian Jack, Augustan Satire: Intention and Idiom in English Poetry 1660-1750

Ronald Paulson, Satire and Novel in Eighteenth Century England

Pat Rogers, The Augustan Vision

James Sambrook, The Eighteenth Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1700-1789

Basil Willey, The Seventeenth Century Background: Studies in the Thought of the Age in Relation to Poetry and Religion



4. English Literature 1760-1830

1)      a. Background

The historical context of the Romantic Movement

B. Fiction

  1. Two novels by Mary Shelley / Jane Austen / Walter Scott / Peacock

C.     Poetry (selections from)

Gray, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Robinson, Clare, Charlotte Smith

D.     Prose

Extracts from Burke, Paine, Godwin, Lamb, Hazlitt, Wollstonecraft, De Quincey

Recommended reading:

Marilyn Butler, Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries

Boris Ford, ed., New Pelican Guide to English Literature, Vol. 5

            E.J. Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolutions 1789-1848

Jerome McGann, The Oxford Book of Romantic Period Verse

William St Clair, The Godwins and the Shelleys



5. English Literature 1830-1900

1)      a. Background

The Victorian Age: literature, society, industry, empire

B. Fiction

Three novels from among the works of Dickens, Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Hardy, Carroll, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Wilde

C.  Poetry (selections from)

  1. Tennyson
  2. Robert Browning
  3. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  4. Swinburne
  5. Arnold
  6. Christina Rossetti

D.  Prose

Extracts from Carlyle, Pater, Ruskin, Morris

Recommended reading:

G.M. Trevelyan, English Social History

Asa Briggs, A Social History of England

Arthur Pollard, ed., The Victorians

Robin Gilmour, The Victorian Period: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1830-1890s

G.M. Young, Victorian England: Portrait of an Age

J.H. Buckley, The Victorian Temper: A Study in Literary Culture

Gilbert & Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic



6. English Literature 1900-2000

a. Background

Modernism and beyond

B. Fiction

1. Two novels by Virginia Woolf / DH Lawrence / EM Forster / Conrad / Alice Walker/ Toni Morrison / Greene

2. Four short stories from Joyce, Angela Carter, Maugham, JG Ballard, Roald Dahl, Kipling

C.     Drama

1. Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

2. Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

D. Poetry (selections from)

Selections from the poetry of Hopkins, Yeats, Eliot, Frost, Plath, Langston Hughes, Auden, Owen

E. Prose

Selected essays by George Orwell, Marshall McLuhan, Susan Sontag, Germaine Greer, Russell

Recommended reading:

AJP Taylor, English History 1914-1945

Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory

Julian Symons, The Thirties

Angus Calder, The People’s War

Martin Esslin, Theatre of the Absurd

Bernard Bergonzi, Wartime and Aftermath: English Literature and its          Background

Donald Davie, Under Briggflatts: A History of Poetry in Great Britain 1960-1988

Alan Sinfield, ed, Society and Literature 1945-1970

Gilbert & Gubar, No Man’s Land: Vol. 2: Sexchanges

                        —The Norton Anthology of Literature Vol. 2



7. Postcolonial English Literature

A. Background and themes

1. The scope of postcolonial studies

2. The historical background to postcolonial studies

3. Postcolonial literature and the reclaiming of history

4. Postcolonial writing and the politics of language

B. Texts

1. Prose

Two novels from among the works of Chinua Achebe / J M Coetzee / Patrick White / Buchi Emecheta

Selections from the prose writings (fictional and non-fictional) by Atia Hossain, VS Naipaul, Alex La Guma, Doris Lessing, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, CLR James, Wilson Harris, Peter Carey, Sara Suleri

2. Drama

One play by Wole Soyinka / Derek Walcott / Athol Fugard

3. Poetry

Selections from the poetry of Derek Walcott, Louise Bennett, Andrew Salkey, Michael Ondaatje, Shirley Lim, Wole Soyinka, Gabriel Okara, Dennis Brutus, Sujata Bhatt


Recommended reading:

Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, The Empire Writes Back

Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, The Postcolonial Studies Reader

Eugene Benson and L. Conolly (eds.), Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Literatures in English (2nd ed.)

B.M. Gilbert, Postcolonial Theory: Contexts, Practices, Politics

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind

Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Meenakshi Mukherjee and Harish Trivedi (eds.), Interrogating Postcolonialism

8. Criticism

1. Genres: Tragedy, Comedy, Novel, Lyric and Epic

2. Terms and concepts: Mimesis, Symbol, Imagination, Realism, Dialectic and Sign

3. Practical Criticism


Recommended reading:

Plato, Republic

Aristotle, Poetics

A. Fowler, Kinds of Literature

Raymond Williams, Keywords



9. Literature and the Other Arts

1. Theatre

2. Film

3. Song lyrics

4. Comics and graphic novels

Recommended Reading:

Philip Auslander, Livenss: Performance in a Mediatized Culture

Oscar Brockett, History of Theatre  (9th edition)

David Carrier, The Aesthetics of Comics

Roger Sabin, Adult Comics: an Introduction

Patrice Pavis, Languages of the Stage

Eugene Vale, Techniques of Screenplay Writing

Ed Ward, Geoffrey Stokes, Ken Tucker, Rock of Ages: The Rolling Stone History of Rock and Roll

10. Rhetoric and Composition

This core course is designed to give students a sense of how to go about executing academic writing assignments. It will introduce them to the special needs of academic writing, to the rigours of logical argument and the need for extreme care in handling material gleaned from other authors and sources. It will show them how to use ideas with respect, to quote transparently and to document their researches using the main approved systems of documentation. They will also be taught the essentials of proofing and editing manuscripts.

The final module will cover the principles of prosody, scansion and rhetoric. In it students will be taught to scan poetic lines and to recognize the common English metres. They will also learn to identify examples of the common rhetorical figures.

The course will address the following areas:

  1. Academic writing: first principles
  2. ‘Criticism’ in an academic context
  3. Creating and arranging an academic argument
  4. Making intelligent use of reference matter
  5. Avoiding plagiarism
  6. Documentation: systems and conventions
  7. Basics of proofing and editing
  8. Prosody and scansion
  9. Rhetoric

Recommended reading:

Richard Lanham, A Handbook of Rhetorical Terms

Paul Fussell, Poetic Metre and Poetic Form

Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Theses, Term Papers and Essays

The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)


11. Detailed study of a Shakespeare play

This course will take students through a close reading of a single Shakespeare play. It will introduce students to the nature of textual transmission, historical context, the Early Modern stage, and interpretative analysis. The choice of play in a particular semester will be specified at the beginning of the semester.

Selected Readings

Peter Hyland, A New Introduction to Shakespeare

K. Muir and S. Schoenbaum, The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare

Andrew Gurr, The Shakespearean Stage

F. P. Wilson, Shakespeare and the New Bibliography

A further reading list will be provided for the specific play prescribed.


12. Indian Writing in English

This course will cover Indian writing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, written originally in English. Themes such as nation-building, the politics of language, and the rewriting of history will be examined. The development of the novel, the short story, drama and poetry will be traced from the colonial to the postcolonial period. The relevance of print media (especially the press), the publishing industry and popular culture to Indian literature will be explored. Contemporary writing in English is one of the thrust areas.

A. Prose:  Selections from the nonfictional prose of Rammohun Roy, M.K. Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Cornelia Sorabji, Ambedkar, Nehru, Nirad Chaudhuri

B. Poetry:

Selections from the works of Henry Derozio, Michael Madhusudhan Dutt, Toru Dutt, Tagore, Dhangopal Mukherji, Sarojini Naidu

Five poets from the post-Independence period: Nissim Ezekiel, A.K. Ramanujan, Dom Moraes, Kamala Das, Keki Daruwalla, Jayanta Mahapatra, Arun Kolatkar, Agha Shahid Ali, Meena Alexander, Vikram Seth, Imtiaz Dharker

C. Drama:  One play by Asif Currimbhoy or Girish Karnad

D. Fiction:

Three works from among those by Lal Behary Day, Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao, R.K. Narayan, G.V. Desani, Kamala Markandeya, Anita Desai, Shashi Deshpande, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Chandra, Vilas Sarang

Suggested Reading

S.K. Das, A History of Indian Literature, Vols VIII & IX

K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar, Indian Writing in English

R. Sethi, Myths of the Nation: National Identity and Literary Representation

M. Mukherjee, Realism and Reality: The Novel and Society in India

Arvind Mehrotra, ed. An Illustrated History of Indian Writing in English

Optional Courses

Note: Not all the courses listed below will be offered in any single academic year. The choice of courses will depend on the discretion of the department and the interest of students, with the provision that all major areas are covered.

1.      Old English Literature                                                        Eng/UG/O1

A study of the language of the period up to 1100 as a prelude to close reading and translation of prose and verse texts.

2.      Middle English Literature                                                  Eng/UG/O2

A study of selected prose and verse texts of the period 1100-1500, including linguistic and literary issues.

3.      Chaucer and Langland                                                        Eng/UG/O3

The two major authors of the period will be studied through selections from their major work. Their separate uses of allegory, dream, Estates satire and pilgrimage will be studies comparatively.

4.      Renaissance Drama Excluding Shakespeare                   Eng/UG/O4

Selected plays from the works of Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, Jphn Fletcher, John Webster.

5.      The Tempest and its Aftermath                                          Eng/UG/O5

This course will look at Shakespeare’s The Tempest, as well as its colonial and postcolonial re-appropriations. It will begin with a careful reading of the play in its contemporary historical and dramatic contexts, placing it against the Bermuda pamphlets as well as within the politics of the Stuart court, and considering the play’s formal and genetic characteristics. It will then go on to examine the mythicization of the Prospero-Caliban relationship and other elements of the play over centuries of re-reading, involving not only interpretation but re-working.

6.      Metaphysical Poetry                                                                      Eng/UG/O6

A close study of selections from the religious and secular poetry of Donne, Herbert, Vaughan, Traherne, Marvell and Crashaw.

7.      Shakespeare in the 20th Century                                       Eng/UG/O7

This course is designed to help students contextualise Shakespeare and tackle    issues of “relevance”:

a.   Twentieth Century reworkings, adaptations and appropriations of Shakespeare—Stoppard, Bond etc.

b.   Shakespeare on film

c.   Twentieth Century performances of Shakespeare

d.   Postcolonial Shakespeare—Shakespeare and “Us”

e.   The Shakespeare industry

8.      Introduction to the Renaissance                                        Eng/UG/O8

This course will provide students with a foundation for the study of the complex cultural movement known as the Renaissance in Europe. It will give an account of historical and social changes as well as of humanist scholarship and pedagogy, and their contribution to the development of Renaissance art, culture and literature.

9.      Literature of the English Revolution                                 Eng/UG/O9

The course includes a study of the social and cultural backgrounds of the English Revolution; study of select prose pamphlets; the poetry of Milton and Marvell

10.  The Age of Enlightenment                                                  Eng/UG/O10

This course will explore the intellectual movement called ‘Enlightenment’ which began in England in the 17th century and spread out to France and Germany in the 18th, by introducing students to selected texts from the domains of philosophy, political theory, economics, science and religion. It is designed to provide background readings to the study of literature, with a view to understanding what is Enlightenment and how it has increasingly come under criticism from the late 18th century to the present.

11.  The Romantic Novel                                                                       Eng/UG/O11

A reading of five novelists—Walpole, Mrs Radcliffe, Lewis, Scott and Jane Austen. The reading will examine their major thematic and stylistic characteristics, some of them already evident in the new poetry and drama of the time.

12.  British Romantic Poets                                                       Eng/UG/O12

This course will draw attention to the large corpus of women’s poetry in the Romantic period—in particular the themes and concerns of this poetry as well as experiments with form.

13.  Romanticism, Verbal and Visual                                        Eng/UG/O13

This course is intended to help define Romanticism by presenting the poetry of this period together with an audio-visual presentation of the works of Blake, Constable, Turner and others.

14.  The Industrial Novel                                                                       Eng/UG/O14

A reading of three of the five major industrial novelists: Mrs Tonna, Mrs Gaskell, Disraeli, Dickens and Charles Kingsley. The reading will attempt to formulate the ways in which the generic boundaries of the novel are extended by the new subject matter and setting.

15.  Images of the Orient in Romantic Literature                    Eng/UG/O15

This course is a selective reading of English prose, poetry and drama of the Romantic period with a view to studying the context and significance of certain images of the Orient recurring in these texts. It will help the students to assess how inadequately the concepts of an Oriental Renaissance or of Orientalism as ideology can be used to describe and explain a literary phenomenon which connected German idealism, revolutionary Romanticism and Orientalism as an academic practice.

16.  Victorian Women Poets                                                      Eng/UG/O16

This course will focus on the female poetic voices of the Victorian period, an age largely dominated by the male poets. The question of the female writer’s role / position in society, the tension between the private domestic sentiments and the larger public concerns, the contemporary responses and modern critical re-assessments: these issues will frame a discussion of the works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Emily Bronte, George Eliot, Felicia Hemans and Letitia Elizabeth Landon, among others.

17.  The Fallen Woman and the 19th Century Novel                Eng/UG/O17

The ‘fallen woman’ is a recurrent figure in the prose, poetry and art of the nineteenth century. This course seeks to trace the emergence of the ‘fallen woman’ from a marginal presence to a position of pivotal importance in 19th century English fiction. The novels selected for detailed study will be chosen from the works of Walter Scott, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy and George Moore. Comparative references may also be made to the works of 19th century European novelists like Flaubert and Tolstoy.

18.  Popular and Genre Fiction in the 19th Century                  Eng/UG/O18

This course will look at the following genres of popular fiction in the 19th century: the historical romance, children’s story, sensation story, science fiction, detective story and the adventure stories. Writers may include Bulwer-Lytton, Lewis Carroll, Mary Braddon, Wilkie Collins, Rider Haggard, HG Wells, RL Stevenson, Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker and others.

19.  Edgar Allan Poe                                                                  Eng/UG/O19

This course will deal with the life and selected works of Edgar Allan Poe, as well as with diverse critical approaches to his writings. Candidates opting for the course are expected to read at least one biographical study of Poe’s selected tales and poems, and several critical works representing the different schools of Poe criticism.

20.  Crossover: the uses of popular forms of fiction                Eng/UG/O20

Possible authors: Joseph Conrad (adventure/spy); sections of Ulysses; Graham Greene (Entertainments); John Fowles (The Collector, The French Lieutenant’s Woman); Doris Lessing / Murdoch (science fiction novels” The Good Terrorist/ The Black Prince); Truman Capote (In Cold Blood); Angela Carter (fairy tales); Ursula le Guin (science-fiction); Patricia Highsmith (the Ripley novels); Peter Carey (The True History of the Kelly Gang)

21.  Drama of Ideas in the 20th Century                                               Eng/UG/O21

This course will look at the development of ‘Drama of Ideas’ beginning with Ibsen and moving on to a detailed study of some of Shaw’s plays.

22.  American Poetry                                                                 Eng/UG/O22

This course seeks to introduce students to the social, historical, cultural and critical contexts of American poetry both in the 19th and 20th century. This background reading would enable students to better understand the close textual analysis of individual poems that would follow.

 23.  Modernist Prose                                                                 Eng/UG/O23

This course will require a close study of selected shorter prose pieces, fictional or non-fictional, of Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and DH Lawrence.

 24.  Crime Fiction                                                                                   Eng/UG/O24

Examples of early novels: Golden Age of Detective Fiction; American ‘hardboiled’ crime fiction; Police Procedure; Later Women Novelists; Spy fiction; early and post-Cold War; Domestic thriller. Secondary material: Julian Symons, Jerry Palmer, John Cawelti, Colin Watson, Stephen Knight.

25.  Literature and Censorship                                                 Eng/UG/O25

This course will look at the ways in which various kinds of censorship have impacted writers and writing. The course will look at the history of censorship in general and several case studies in particular. Possible topics: Samizdat, Clandestine publishing, Exile publishing, Expurgation, The Holocaust, Index Librorum Prohibitorum, Libel, Pornography, Press Regulation; Stamp Acts. Possible case studies: Mark Twain, DH Lawrence, James Joyce, Salman Rushdie and others.

 26.  History, Literature and Criticism                                       Eng/UG/O26

This course is intended to acquaint students with recent debates pertaining to the relationship of history, literary texts and critical theory. It will pay particular attention to theories of imitation and mediation, theories of ideology and world-views, and discussions of the relationship of text and event.

Selections from:

JP Sartre, What is Literature?

Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature

H. Aram Veeser, ed, New Historicism: A Reader

Claudio Guillen, Literature as System

Hayden White, Tropics of Discourse

27.  Tragedy                                                                               Eng/UG/O27

Through a historical survey of tragedy from Greek to modern times, this course presents the development of not only tragedy as a genre but also theatre as an art form across the world.

28.  Comedy                                                                               Eng/UG/O28

The course will concentrate on the main structures and themes of comic drama, beginning with the Old Greek Comedy and ending with modern comedy.

29.  Drama in Practice                                                               Eng/UG/O29

The idea that plays must be studies with reference to their staging is the pedagogical aim of this course. The instructor will direct a production of a text involving students in both onstage and backstage activities. Evaluation comprises papers and/ or examinations on the selected play or author, as well as assessment of the students’ involvement and creative contribution to the project. Admission to this course will depend on auditions and tests conducted in the first week. Therefore, interested students must submit their resumes with relevant information to the instructor in advance.

30.  Global Cultures                                                                   Eng/UG/O30

An interdisciplinary course that enables the undergraduate student to read literary and other texts in the context of globalization of culture from the colonial period onwards. The lectures will be followed by discussions on relevant literary or audio / visual texts. Students will submit a project at the end of the semester. Lectures will primarily focus on issues such as:

Colonialism old and new: the history of globalisation

The colonial and global subtext of post-1600 English literature

Globalism, education and language

The impact of evolving global infrastructures: the print and electronic media

‘Westernisation’ and its contestation

31.  Postcolonial Theory                                                                        Eng/UG/O31

This course on postcolonial theory will highlight basic concepts of the theory, outline the essentials of postcolonial criticism and move on to postcolonial ‘transformations’ and postcolonial ‘futures’.

32.  The American Novel                                                                       Eng/UG/O32

This course will look at the contribution of some major 19th and 20th century American novelists like Hawthorne, Melville, James, Crane and Wright relating them to some of the major trends in the American novel.

33.  The Novel and Modernity                                                  Eng/UG/O33

This course will look at the rise and development of the English novel as the main vehicle of a nascent modernity, connecting its formal characteristics and representational nature with its social, cultural and intellectual changes that accompany its emergence. It will attempt to link generic considerations with historical ones, reading the novel as a document of modernity from the 18th to the 20th centuries.

34.  African Writing in English                                                  Eng/UG/O34

This course will cover the history and development of African literatures in English, looking at politics, culture and social transformations. Notable texts from the literatures of Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, among others, will be covered.

35.  Settler Colony Literature                                                   Eng/UG/O35

While the core course on postcolonial literature focuses Indian, Caribbean and African literature, this optional course introduces the student to the literature of settler / invader colonies, which reflects a continuity with European culture as well as characteristic themes and patterns of development. Lectures may cover the following areas: defining the nation, the history of settler/ invader colony literature, major themes in settler colony literature and representing the ‘native’.

36.  Contemporary Drama in English                                       Eng/UG/O36

Reading of post-Second World War plays from the UK, US, Ireland, Canada, West Indies, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India.

37.  Cultures of Protest                                                              Eng/UG/O37

The twentieth century has witnessed not only the globalisation of economies and cultures, but the globalisation of protest as well.  This course examines the notion of cultural resistance, through a study of local and global movements in the last century and a survey of texts that respond to globalisation. A wide variety of ‘texts’ are explored, from treaties and agreements to posters, slogans, advertisement campaigns and literary/performance texts. Theories that have evolved out of protest culture, such as ecological criticism and eco-feminism will be studied to understand how cultures negotiate ‘development’. The course may occasionally involve fieldwork as well.

 38.  Writing in Practice                                                              Eng/UG/O38

This course is designed to give students the basic technical and stylistic skills necessary to write creative prose. It will use insights from critical theory but focus on the craft of writing and the art of evoking reader response. Students will develop their creativity through writing exercises and performance and become acquainted with the basics of writing professionally. They will be evaluated on the artistic quality, originality, and polish of their works. As endterm evaluation there will be four one-hour-long sessions of presentations open to the entire department in the final week of the course, and a final written examination.



  1. soumili das says:

    Where can i get detailed syllabi of extra departmental subjects?

  2. This post helped me a lot. I would like to know if this syllabus can help me in the entrance exam also for the master degree course from jadavpur university or I have to follow other syllabus or any extra exam syllabus for entrance.
    I would be highly obliged if you kindly reply to my message.
    -yours faithfully
    Tanushree Banerjee

  3. Writaja Chakravarty says:

    Helped me a lot as I am intending to join .

  4. Ripon dutta says:

    I wants a English syllabus for BA enthrans examinations. Because i attend the entrance examination on 17th June.

  5. Shiwangi choudhary says:

    I am shiwangi choudhary and I have passed 12th with 60%marks( PCB)and 78% marks in English .Can I give the test examination of this university? I want to do English Hons.

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