Department of English, Jadavpur University

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English Literature 1900-2000

PG2 core course: English Literature 1900-2000
Course coordinator: Abhijit Gupta


Some of the texts in this course have been chosen keeping in view that 2014 is the centenary of World War I. As a result, there is a greater emphasis than usual on themes of history, revolution, conflict between nations and terrorism. On the other hand, I have had to confine myself to those authors as are set down in the printed syllabus.


Required reading


Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes

James Joyce, Ulysses 

Harold Pinter, Birthday Party

TS Eliot, Waste Land; The Hollow Men

W.H. Auden, Spain; from Another Time

Seamus Heaney, from Collected Poems
Virginia Woolf, ‘Modern Fiction’ from The Common Reader 

Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That

George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation
Background reading

Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History
Ernst Bloch et al, Aesthetics and Politics
Marshall Berman, All That is Solid Melts into Air



  • Till mid-September, this course will be co-taught by Dr Saikat Majumdar, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Stanford University, currently Visiting Fellow at the Centre of Advanced Study in English, Jadavpur University
  • The Birthday Party will be taught by Prof. Ananda Lal
  • Homage to Catalonia will be taught by Dr Deeptanil Ray
  • The names of other teachers on the course will be announced later.


There is a course blog at


Students will have the option of either appearing for two class tests, or writing a 5-10,00 word research paper. Those writing research papers will have to face an open viva in the last week of term, before which their essays will have to be uploaded on the blog. The paper will carry 15 marks and the viva 5 marks. There are 20 slots open for the research paper. These slots will be assigned on a first-come basis till August 14.

The tests will take place on Aug 7 and Oct 27. There will be a re-test option on Nov 6, for those who have missed any one of the first two tests for legitimate reasons.



Classes: Mon-Thu 12.50-1.40


Week 1


Week 2

M7       Intro AG
Tu8      Intro SM
W9       Intro AG
Th10    Intro AG

Week 3

M14     Eliot AG
Tu15    Bloch SM
W16     Eliot AG
Th17    Eliot AG

Week 4

M21     Eliot AG
Tu22    Bloch SM
W23     Eliot AG
Th24    Eliot AG

Week 5

M28     Auden AG
Tu29    Id-ul-fitr
W30     Joyce SM
Th31    Auden AG



Week 6

M4       Auden AG
Tu5      Joyce SM
W6       Graves AG
Th7      Graves AG



Week 7

M11     Graves AG
Tu12    Joyce SM
W13     Joyce SM
Th14    Graves AG


Week 8

M18     Test 1
Tu19    Joyce SM
W20     Woolf
Th21    Woolf


Week 9

M25     Orwell DR
Tu26    Joyce SM
W27     Joyce SM
Th28    Orwell DR



Week 10

M1       Orwell DR
Tu2      Benjamin SM
W3       Benjamin SM
Th4      Orwell DR


Week 11

M8       Joyce AG
Tu9      Joyce AG
W10     Pinter AL
Th11    Pinter AL


Week 12

M15     Pinter AL
Tu16    Pinter AL
W17     Bishwakarma Pujo
Th18    Pinter AL


Week 13

M22     Sontag
Tu23    Mahalaya
W24     Sontag
Th25    Sontag


1-9 Oct: Vacation

Week 14

M13 Joyce AG
Tu14 Conrad
W15 Conrad
Th16 Conrad


Week 15

M20 Joyce AG
Tu21 Conrad
W22 Conrad
Th23 Kali pujo


Week 16

M27 Test 2
Tu28 Heaney
W29 Heaney
Th30 Heaney


Week 17
M 3 Heaney
T4 Muharram
W5 Joyce AG
Th6 Joyce AG/ Retest

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