MA English -Course Outcomes

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreNANA

Name of the School/Centre proposing the Programme: School of Liberal Studies

School of Letters (since March 2017)

Level of the Programme: Masters

Full time: Full time

Duration of the Programme: 2 years

Proposed date/session for launch: The Programme was launched in August 2011

Programme Team Members: Dr. Gunjeet Arora, Dr. Vikram Singh Thakur, Dr. Usha Mudiganti, Ms. Bhoomika Meiling, Ms. Sanju Thomas, Mr. Sayandeb Chowdhury, Professor Alok Bhalla, Ms. Juhi Rituparna, Ms. Nupur Samuel, Dr. M. Murali Krishna, Dr. Diamond Oberoi Vahali (Coordinator).

Rationale for the Programme (Link with AUD’s vision, Availability of literature, source material, facilities and resources, Expertise in AUD faculty or outside, Nature of Prospective students, Prospects for graduates):

Vision statement

The Masters Programme in English proposes to dismantle the hierarchy between British Literature and other literatures in English, including literatures in translation. It seeks to bring into focus the significance of literatures belonging to lesser known languages and regions. Strengthening the overall vision of Ambedkar University, this Programme hopes to orient students towards engaged and reflective scholarship. A concern with social and literary margins will consistently guide the Programme’s overall vision, philosophy and content. It is hoped that the Programme’s ethical concern with linking education to the lives and struggles of individuals and communities will enable the students to form a holistic understanding of literature. It will also help them to develop deeper psychic, social and creative sensibilities. It is further envisaged that through this Programme the students will develop a critical sensibility towards the larger politics of culture, society and state so that they can actively and artistically interrogate and intervene within the givens of the hegemonic political and cultural order.

Programme Objectives

  • To integrate interdisciplinary paradigms to facilitate a greater amalgamation between various literatures, theory and practice on the one hand and between music, dance, theatre, cinema and the visual arts on the other.
  • To make students familiar with a wide range of inter-disciplinary courses
  • To held student situate literature in the context of other disciplines.
  • To enable critical thinking, intervention and praxis
  • To inculcate multicultural competence
  • To develop analytical thinking
  • To question formation of canons and concept of the ‘mainstream’ and sensitivity to margins
  • To develop sensitivity to literatures of Global South and those outside the traditional domains of Anglo-American culture.

Structure of the Programme

Total No. of credits: 64

Total No. of courses: 16

  • Compulsory Courses: 0 (Total Credits: 0)
  • Optional/Elective Courses: 16 (Total Credits: 64)
  • Optional Dissertation: (The students will be offered an optional dissertation for their III and IV semesters depending upon quality of proposal, faculty interest and other resources).

MA Programme in English

Areas of Study

The general Areas of Study designed by the English Faculty are based on the assumption that no literary canon or tradition can be fixed once and for all. It has to be rediscovered and recreated by each new generation of teachers, students, readers and critics in response to their own historical or cultural location. Indeed, even the definition of what is a text or what is literature has to be debated continuously. A literary and textual culture is, therefore, part of an on-going critical dialogue in a society about those civilizational, social, political, philosophical concerns which matter at a particular historical juncture. It is in this belief that the wide range of Areas of Study in this Programme invite students and teachers to become participants in an adventure of ideas; questors who understand that written texts, theatrical presentations, oral songs, folklores, paintings, films and music exist beside each other and are equally important components in a continuous tradition of thinking and knowledge-making.

The Areas of Study, indicating an open field of exploration, are further marked by some of the possible Courses of Study which the Faculty of English shall offer from time to time. The Courses of Study shall change from semester to semester and will depend upon the availability of faculty members, the current scholarly interests of the faculty and the changing debates around questions of literary function, critical tasks, the Self and its experiences in the surrounding world, discourses on religions and their role, peace and reconciliation in a world threatened by violence or war, crime and justice, caste and gender, notions of beauty and aesthetic pleasure, childhood and identity, genres and myths, oral narratives and written cultures, etc. The Areas and Courses of Study may be reformulated by the instructor concerned and announced at the beginning of each academic year. Though the current Areas of Study are listed yet the categories are not exclusive and there may be overlaps as well as interfaces across categories. The Areas of Study for the current English Programme are as follows:

  • Literatures of the Indian Sub-continent

Courses in this category will offer an introduction to the long and rich literary tradition of the Indian sub-continent. They could deal with the ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary periods in Indian Literature and may include specific literary forms. Courses on the epics, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata as well as on the Therigatha, the Sangam poets, the Bhakti and Sufi poets could be a part of this area. The writings of the bards during the medieval age in India, the discourses of the early reformers, the beginnings of Indian Literature in English, the journalistic as well as creative writing during the Freedom Movement, literature emerging from the partition of the sub-continent, the writing interrogating the Emergency of 1975 and the new literatures being written in the globalised India as well as courses around literature representing rural India and specific literary periods in Indian literature can fall under this area.

  • Literatures of North America and the British Isles

Courses in this category will deal with literatures from Britain, Scotland, Ireland and North America written in all possible genres over the ages. While some of these courses would explore works of specific writers and their influence on the times in which they lived and wrote, some other courses will approach specific ages and examine their impact on the writers and their work. Yet another category of courses would analyse the literary and historical ages and authors through the lens of themes that unite varied and yet inter-related literary, journalistic, artistic and cinematic productions. There may also be some survey courses that provide an overview of the representative literary works of a region over several centuries to understand the changes that literary styles go through with changing times. The following courses may be included in this category: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, Seventeenth Century British Poetry, Renaissance in America, Restoration Comedy, Jacobean Tragedy, Gothic Novel, The Age of Enlightenment, The Modern Novel, Twentieth Century British Poetry and Drama, Victorian Literature, Blake and the Romantics, Nineteenth Century American Literature, Twentieth Century American Drama and Poetry, African-American Literature.

  • Forms in Literature

Varied forms of literature that developed through the ages also reflect on the specific social and political perspective of a particular period. Courses under this broad area would thus look into the many associations, responses, specificities, challenges, experimentation and evolution with regard to a particular literary form. The courses will examine literary and oral forms such as Epic, Novel, Lyric, Drama, Comedy, Tragedy, Satire, Poetry, Realism and Magic Realism, Romance, Folklore etc. Some of the courses under this category will be The Indian Novel, Shakespeare's Tragedies, Popular literature, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Autobiography etc.

  • Literature and the Other Arts

The convergences, parallels and overlaps between literature and cinema, music, visual and performing arts will be explored through various courses in this category. These courses will study the written word in relation to other creative forms. Courses in this category may include Understanding Cinema, Fiction into Film, Problems of Identity in Modern European Cinema and Literature, Drama: Text and Performance, Literature and Architecture, Literature and the Visual Arts, Science Fiction and Cinema, Literature and Music, Cinema as Visual History etc.

  • Themes in Literature

The courses under this category will analyse ways in which literature has been shaped and in return shapes political, psychoanalytical, sexual, social and cultural movements and ideas; how a correspondence between literature and other forms of meaning-making enables literature to become a discourse, a willing and productive participant in the history of ideas. The courses would concern literature’s syncretic and complex engagement with marginality, dissent, war and resistance, race, gender, sexuality, class and caste imperatives, adventures and exiles, ecology and the environment, memory and the psyche, modernity and post-coloniality etc. The courses offered under this category may be Literature of the Marginalised, Slave Narratives, Literature of Dissent, Women's Writings, History and Literature, Debates around Caste in India, Literature and the Human Psyche, Literatures of Resistance, Adventure Literature, Environment and Literature, Modernity and its Discontents, Literature of Conflict and Reconciliation, Literature and the Holocaust, The (Post)-Colonial City, Literature and the Political, Exile and Literature, Literatures of Childhood, Interrogating Morality in Literature.

  • Oral, Indigenous and the Folk Imagination

The courses in this area would aim to understand the dynamics of the oral, the indigenous and the folk imagination. They would also attempt to sensitise students towards the linkages between these categories and their relation with the written word. As oral transmission of stories can also be through graphics and visual artistic forms, dance, music, rituals, the courses in this category will look into the various songs, stories, paintings, dance, music, tapestries, folklore and rituals that circulate in tribal cultures across space and time and will discuss as to how several communities survive as communities because they are bound up by their oral epics, myths and narratives. The courses will bring to the fore the songs of the Itinerant street singers, the folklore and tales of the mystics. The courses in the Indian context could be designed around the traditional forms of narration like the Dastangoi, Qissagoi, Brihat Katha, Panchtantra and tales of different languages and regions. Courses can also be designed around the Aborigine African, Australian, New Zealand (Maori), Canadian and Latin American story telling traditions and cultures. The courses can also attempt to refer to a few Indigenous knowledge systems and systems of healing and nurturing. Thus the courses in this area will delve into the indigenous imagination in its varied manifestations.

  • Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures

This category will focus on literatures emerging from colonial and postcolonial contexts either in English or in translation. The courses will address themes like empire, language, hybridity and mimicry, indigeneity, race, gender, caste, ethnicity, subalternity, cultural identity and diaspora, globalization, representation and resistance. Texts for study may be drawn from literatures written in Latin America, the Caribbean Islands, Australia and New Zealand, Africa and Asia.

  • World Literature in Translation

This category will study literature in translation from the dawn of the European and non-European intellectual traditions to the many complex and discursive practices in literature and the arts in the contemporary period. Courses in this category will centre around translations of significant literary texts from across the globe. Students may study the canonical greats of Western European Literature like Homer, Virgil, Dante Cervantes and Goethe or may study ancient Indian literature in translation as well as literature from across various continents. Courses under this category may include European Modernist Poetry, African Literature, Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Fiction across Continents, Literature of the Americas, Contemporary World Poetry, European Novel in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century, Australian Aborigine Literature, World Drama, Modern South Asian Literature, Modern South East Asian Literature.

  • Literary and Cultural Theory

This category is designed with the understanding that theory helps in questioning easy assumptions and problematizes accepted categories. This category of courses comprising literary, cultural and aesthetic theories also assumes that theory enriches and deepens our understanding of the world in which we live. It aims to introduce students to various strategies of reading, comprehending and engaging with literary and cultural texts. Courses in this category may include: Literary Criticism, Contemporary Literary and Cultural theory, Theories from the Global South, Theories of Marginality, Theories of Popular and Counter Culture.

  • Translation: Theory and Practice

This area of study takes into cognizance the rise of Translation Studies as a discipline with extensive theoretical and practical bearings. While negotiating within postcolonial, multilingual spaces like India, translation often becomes the silent, even unobserved tool in our routine transactions. A study therefore of the politics and mechanics of translation is significant. This area would address the translation question through a range of courses based on translation theory, history of translation, different types and methods of translations, processes and procedures for translating literary texts, politics of publishing translations, and translation as social practice. Through a study of translation practices, these courses would also engage with identity politics in cross-cultural communications. Multilingual courses would also be offered under this area in order to investigate the impact of translation on authors, texts and readers.

  • English Language & Language Education

A comprehensive understanding of English Language Education will equip students with skills in English language teaching, technical writing, content writing, instructional designing and soft skills training. These components will make students aware of research in language teaching and get a hands-on experience in using this knowledge in the classroom. It will also allow students to understand the differences between teaching literature and language. Courses in English Language Education (ELE) will focus on the following areas: Introduction to ELE, Approaches and Theories of Language Learning, English as a Second Language, Second Language Acquisition, Bi/Multilingualism, English for Specific Purposes, Pedagogic Practices, Developments in Language Teaching, Material Development, Educational Technology, Classroom based Assessment and methods of Evaluation.

Dissertation: On a wide variety of areas of enquiry, specially in under-explored, ignored or silenced areas of literary and cultural critique.

Course Design and Evaluation

Masters Programme in English will comprise of 16 courses of 4 credits each, amounting to a total of 64 credits. Each course will be of about 16-week duration.

In keeping with AUD’s emphasis on inter-disciplinary studies, students will be encouraged to opt for up to four optional courses from other programmes within the School of Liberal Studies or from any other School of the University. For all the courses, assessment will include term papers, class presentations, class discussions, workshops, group work, tests and assignments and also in cases, mid-term or term-end invigilated examinations. Students will be provided with a detailed reading list for most courses. Students are expected to attend and participate in all class discussions.