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Cluster B: English Literature 1630-1760
The course will study the relations between society and culture of the English Civil War period. Apart from components on social and economic history, the course of study will include historical and philosophical texts; various kinds of Presbyterian, Independent and sectarian writing; poetry and autobiography.
C. Russell, ed., The Origins of the English Civil War (1973)
C. Hill, The World Turned Upside Down (1972)
H. Brailsford, The Levellers and the English Revolution (1961)
A.L. Morton, The World of the Ranters (1970)
Nigel Smith, Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion 1640-1660 (1989)
Course components: Life and education; Civil War, Regicide and Protectorate; the Restoration; study of selected texts.
Nativity Ode, Comus, Lycidas, Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, Of Reformation, Areopagitica, Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, Ready and Easy Way
This course will take stock of the movement known as the European Enlightenment, tracing its beginnings in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, its links with the spirit of rational enquiry and philosophical empiricism fostered by the Royal Society and John Locke, and its pan-European spread through the thought of the eighteenth century philosophes. Attention will be focussed on representative English writers, such as Jonathan Swift, and reference made to the larger context of European thought.
This course will focus on the rise and development of the novel in English, and its emergence as the vehicle of a new representational impulse in the early eighteenth century and thereafter. Beginning with examples of Elizabethan prose fiction, the course will require students to read representative texts from Defoe to Sterne, and to relate them to social and historical contexts.
The hundred years from 1660 to 1760 constitute a great age of public poetry, a poetry directly and vividly informed by social and political concerns. This course will examine the contexts within which this poetic discourse was shaped, the formal choices (such as the choice of genres) that resulted. The course includes and selective reading of English poetry produced in the age of Enlightenment with a view to analysing how far the political and social concerns of the English poets are representative of the trends of the Enlightenment, and to what extent they are fraught with the tensions inevitable to a process of transition from the domination of aristocratic culture to bourgeois hegemony.
The reopening of the theatres in England at the close of the Interregnum led to a great resurgence in drama. This course will study the variety of new dramatic forms in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, focussing especially on the heroic play, the comedy of manners, and the sentimental drama (both comic and tragic) which took precedence at the turn of the century and thereafter.
Cluster C: English Literature 1760-1830
The years immediately preceding and succeeding the French Revolution produced a body of works with responded to the spirit of the Revolution in a variety of ways. This course will survey a sample of such works, on both sides of the English Channel. Possible authors: Tom Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Beaumarchais, the Marquis de Sade, Andre Chenier, Edmund Burke, the early Romantics, William Godwin.
Recent work by New Historicist critics throws fresh light on many familiar poems by Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats and others. This course will direct attention to the existence of a number of dissenting groups, specially in London, and the close connection between them and mafor4 poets of the Romantic period as a way of encouraging a fresh look at the poetry of the time.
This course will require a sustained and specialised study of the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, placing him in the contexts of history and politics. Shelley’s revolutionary thought, the political impetus he sought to give to his lyrical gift, and his dramatic experiments, will all be considered in relation to the central corpus of his poetry.
This course focuses on Keats’s poems and letters, as well as letters written by others to Keats. The course looks at the phenomenon of ‘Cockney’ romanticism, and tries to locate Keats in his time.
This course looks at the importance of the Lake District and the interactions taking place there, as well as the politics of walking in the period.
Starting with Walter Scott and the rise of the historical novel at the beginning of the nineteenth century, this course intends to trace the development of the form looking forward to George Eliot’s Romola.
This course will deal with the new forms of writing that emerge in the later part of the eighteenth century, arguing for a general shift in feeling and in the structures of representation. The literature of sensibility, productive both f fiction and of poetic texts; the treatment of travel as a form of moral education; and the gothic romance, which tends to combine sensibility with travel, will provide the main texts under review.
CLUSTER D: ENGLISH LITERATURE 1830-1900
The Empire figures strongly in the life and literature of this period. Representative texts in prose, poetry and fiction will be read.
The beginnings of the genre will be examined in the Victorian period using texts such as those of Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and samples from the Gothic bibliography of Montague Summers.
This course will examine the social, political, economic and legal conditions which led to the emergence of the ‘New Woman’ in England in the 1880s and ‘90s. Fictional representations of the ‘New Woman’ in the works of Olive Schreiner, Grant Allen, George Egerton, Sarah Grand, Thomas Hardy and George Gissing will be selected for detailed study. Journalistic responses to this literary phenomenon will also be reviewed, e.g. in the works of Eliza Lynn Linton, Margaret Oliphant, and Mona Caird.
This course is designed to take a holistic approach to Thomas Hardy’s cast literary output — fourteen novels, fifty-plus short stories, nonfictional prose (prefaces and essays), approximately a thousand poems, and the epic drama The Dynasts — in order to focus on reiterative motifs and imagery patterns, and also certain unifying artistic and philosophical concerns. This course will highlight modern critical approaches to Hardy especially feminist interpretations of his work.
This course will look at the Evolutionary debate carried on in the nineteenth century, culminating in Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1859). The fictional reverberations of this challenge to traditional religious belief as reflected in the novels of the Victorian writers, especially George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, George Gissing, will be discussed.
This course will examine the impact of science and technology on Victorian poetry with special reference to the poems of Tennyson, Arnold, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, A.C. Swinburne, William Morris and D.G. Rosetti.
An assessment of George Eliot’s contribution to women-centric issues in nineteenth century fiction, taking on board modern — especially feminist — revaluations of her work.
This course will survey the profession of authorship among women in nineteenth century England in general and certain key fictional texts in particular. This course will focus on novels by the following authors: George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Margaret Oliphant, Olive Schreiner and Sarah Grand, among others.
CLUSTER E: LITERATURE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
This course will deal with the life and major works of Greene (including travelogues, short stories and letters), place him against the socio-political background of the period and students are also expected to be acquainted with the diverse critical approaches to his writing.
The theory, practice and literature of the modern stage form the focus of this course. Readings include Stanislavsky, Brecht, Artaud, Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg, Pirandello, Lorca, Tagore, Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Pinter, Grotowski, Brook and Sircar.
This course includes a study of the socio-political background of the period (1914-1939) relating it to novelists such as Joyce, Lawrence, Woolf, Huxley, Waugh, Isherwood and Orwell.
This will be a reading course in some of the most significant examples of the modern European novel from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries. Students will move from texts of high bourgeois realism (such as Tolstoy) through modernism (Kafka) to postmodernism (Kundera). The emphasis of the course will be on reading a wide variety of texts, placing them in their appropriate historical, political and formal contexts.
This course will consider the impact of Modernism as a cultural and aesthetic movement in English poetry of the early twentieth century, taking into account the major European influences. Beginning with the works of the Symbolists and the Imagists, it will trace the lines of development represented in the poetry of Yeats and Eliot. It will then go on to consider the poetry of the post-war period, looking at the influence of radical politics, social change and altered notions of individuality, selfhood and psychological process.
This course will introduce students to the range and variety of postmodern fiction, especially the novel, produced in the second half of the twentieth century. It will begin with theoretical considerations regarding the nature and definition of postmodernism, and continue by applying these theoretical insights to the study of a number of fiction texts.
CLUSTER F: POSTCOLONIAL AND AMERICAN LITERATURE
This course will cover Indian writing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, written originally in English or in translation. 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 the development 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 of the course.
This course introduces the student to issues in subaltern studies not only as they apply to India but to alternative writing of other indigenous peoples of the world. The course will introduce students to relevant concepts and controversies in the social sciences regarding subaltern groups and develop sensitivity to key issues in nation-building in India, North America and Australia such as reservations, separatism and land rights and the way literary/paraliterary texts deal with them. Audio-visual elements may be included in the course. Lectures may cover such areas as: the subaltern studies project; orality and literacy; Dalit issues and Dalit literature; women and subalternity; Fourth World studies; native writing; culture and history; constructing identity.
This course will outline the social, historical, cultural and critical contexts of American literature in the nineteenth century. It will seek to define ‘trends’ in the different genres and link them up with individual authors/texts.
This course will look at some of the major American novelists of the twentieth century like Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison, dramatists like O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, and poets like Frost, Wallace Stevens, Langston Hughes, and Alan Ginsberg.
This course directs attention to the Ethnic –American writers who, despite inhabiting ‘borderlands’, are determining national discourse. This course seeks to analyse different texts by Native American, Indian-American, Chinese-American and Mexican-American writers and relate them to the ‘borderland’ theory.
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.
This course will focus not only on literary texts but on the various forms and manifestations of popular and performance texts — such as Calypso, dub poetry etc — tracing the origins of these forms in the social and historical contexts of the Caribbean islands.
This course provides an opportunity to students to specialize in diaspora writing of the category of their choice, such as the literature of the South Asian diaspora, Caribbean diaspora and so on. Some of the theoretical aspects of the course may overlap with the requirements of the core paper in Postcolonial studies. Since this optional paper offers several categories of diaspora literature from which the student can choose, emphasis will be laid on individual research work, projects and student seminars. The general lectures will focus on the themes of immigration patterns in colonial and postcolonial history; displacement and the nation; hybridity; multiculturalism; authenticity/ethnicity; imagining homelands.
This course explores the development of the Canadian canon and the exclusions from it. As this is a course on the literature of a geographically and culturally diverse region that has traditionally defined itself in relation to or in opposition to Britain and the USA, students will be given an overview of Canadian politics and history and contemporary issues of national importance. Works by prominent Canadian theorists of nationalism and multiculturalism will be examined and the course may include Quebecois or French Canadian writing in translation.
The course will introduce the students to the major developments in Australian literature, from the literature of contact to various movements in poetry and contemporary writing. Mainstream writing, immigrant literature and popular/fringe culture will feature in the course. The interaction of the Maori and white populations and the persistent influence of British literary traditions in New Zealand will be explored. Literature and theoretical writing emerging out of Southeast Asia may be incorporated in order to develop an understanding of Asian/Australian identity.
This course will deal with the emergence of Shakespeare studies in colonial India and the political and cultural implications of introducing Shakespeare in Indian curricula by British educationists and colonial administrators from the 1830s.The course will include the diverse range of responses to Shakespeare by the indigenous elite of mid-19th and early 20th century Bengal and the ambivalence of such encounters between Shakespeare the intelligentsia of colonial Bengal. Ultimately the course will be directed at exploring the connection between Shakespeare and the Empire.
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