The Department of English is one of the oldest departments of the college. Staffed by a committed team of professors, the Department has attained a high standard of academic excellence. The undergraduate programme in English has been designed to provide students with a strong foundation in English Literature. Covering a wide range of texts, authors, movements, literary trends, theories and schools of criticism, the course equips students for further study and research in the subject. It is also intended to be proactive and to make the study of literature exciting and challenging. Students are encouraged to participate in the teaching-learning process to develop their skills for original, independent and analytical thinking and appreciation. Strategies of teaching include the lecture method, audio-visual techniques, student seminars and class discussions.
The Department offers a B.A. (Honours) programme in English as well as elective courses in English (Ancillary) and English (General). The courses in Compulsory English and Alternative English (Modern Indian Language) are also conducted by the Department.
The three-year undergraduate programme in English is divided into six semesters. The syllabus in each semester introduces the students to literary study and focuses on critical techniques, approaches and debates to provide the students with the basic tools for literary analysis and appreciation. The introductory survey of the history of English Literature is complemented by the study of set texts which have been contextualized within specific literary periods allowing the study of major figures/ works within their cultural, literary and political contexts. The final semester offers a special course in American Literature.
Continuous Internal Assessment is an integral part of the curriculum. Continuous assessment in each semester is on the basis of tutorials, term papers, seminars and tests.
The department offers an English (Ancillary) course to students with Honours in Political Science, Sociology and Bengali. Over three semesters the program introduces the student to major English poets, novelists and dramatists. The course is designed to teach the student the basics of literary analysis and appreciation and update him with major trends and works of English Literature. The syllabus also has a language component intended to train the student in reading, comprehension and writing skills.
The English (General) course, designed for B.A. (General) students, is for three years divided over six semesters. The course offers an overview of English poetry, prose and drama aims to create an interest in the study of English Literature through a study of texts, literary terms and related concepts.
The department conducts a course in Compulsory English which has to be taken by all B.A. and B.Sc students. The Alternative English course is generally offered to students who did not have Hindi or Bengali as Second Language in their Board examination.
As part of the college’s vision of academic expansion, the Department will begin a Postgraduate programme in English from July 2017. The department sees the M.A. as a natural extension of the undergraduate course and has consequently carefully designed the B.A. syllabus to seamlessly segue into the M.A. programme.
In a single lecture period, a teacher addresses a class of sixty students.
The professors of the Department are involved in serious academic research. Prof. Christina Mirza, specializing in Victorian women’s poetry and Modern poetry, has also pursued research in literature and music. Prof. Bertram Da Silva’s interests include Modern Poetry, American Fiction post 1960 and music. The research interests of Prof Partho Mukherji include Philology, Modern drama, Romantic and Victorian poetry. Dr. Chandrani Biswas, specializing in African-American women’s writing, has contributed to reputed anthologies. Dr. Argha Banerjee, whose research interests include Romantic poetry, Modern poetry and Indian writing in English, has several publications to his credit in national and international journals. Dr. Suchandana Bhattacharyya’s research interests include American Literature, modern drama and fiction. Rev. Fr. Shaju Joseph specializes in modern American theatre, literature and films. Prof. Uddalak Dutta is currently engaged in research on Indian Theatre.
Faculty members of the department regularly attend and make presentations at both national and international level seminars. Some of these presentations have been converted into publications in various literary journals. Some faculty members have been involved in post-graduate teaching. Faculty members have also been part of syllabus-formation and revision committees, besides fulfilling their regular academic obligations as paper setters, moderators and examiners in various University and Public Service Commission examinations.