English Honours

A listing of course requirements over the three years is given on the College website, along with details of authors, texts, editions and the University examination scheme, as well as concise descriptions of the courses as taught in St. Stephen’s College. Applicants are advised to consider carefully the rigorous demands of the English programme as a whole. It is several notches higher than the English that is read at the school level. The performance expected of a student who opts for English Literature is correspondingly higher. The website descriptions of individual courses offered will give applicants an idea of what precisely to expect over the three years. At the same time, the information there also aims at providing a sense of the exciting intellectual experience that awaits an applicant who is accepted into the Department.

English Studies today is trans-disciplinary in the texts, authors and genres it comprises and in the analytical or theoretical approaches it employs. You will read Shakespeare, Romantic poetry, Victorian poetry, and the novel. But you will also explore the Hellenic and Indic classics in translation. You will have ample space to delve into Nobel award winning postcolonial works from Africa, Asia, North and Latin America, and Modern Europe. At the same time, you will explore the idea of the popular and schools of theory and develop a sensitive alertness to a wide range of contextual frames—political, sociological and philosophical. You will also share in the discovery, in translation, of what has, over time, become somewhat ‘foreign’ to many of us: Indian literature in regional languages. To do so, the incoming first year student is expected to have read widely, and be intellectually curious in a way that transcends the rather limited ambit of syllabus and examinations. Prospective students are required to have reasonably well-developed writing skills.

Our faculty is uniquely qualified to challenge the student and develop these aptitudes. With advanced degrees from prestigious American, British, European and Indian universities and in a range of specializations, they bring to classes and tutorials pedagogical approaches as extensive and variegated as the works you are expected to enjoy and master. The tutorial practices in the department are both rigorous and exciting. Extra- and co-curricular contacts between faculty and students are an accepted and valued part of the learning experience at St. Stephen’s. The Poetry Society, English Literary Society, Shakespeare Sabha, Shakespeare Society and Fine Arts Society are only some of the avenues where the extra-curricular lives of our faculty and students take shape.

The English Honours programme has been a preferred platform for a variety of career options, besides higher pursuits in the domain of English literature itself. Some of our students have opted for doctoral research, some have distinguished themselves as authors and editors of prominent magazines, and some have gone on to do estimable things in the WWF, the Knowledge Commission and the bureaucracy. Again, some have done notable work in NGOs, national print and electronic media, theatre, film and the fine arts.

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