English

Vision

The English Department seeks to expand the parameters of English Studies by fostering a meaningful dialogue between various disciplines and by giving an impetus to the concept of Cultural Studies without totally breaking away from the canon or traditional ways of teaching/reading literature. Including translations of well-known works originally written in regional languages enhances commitment to literatures produced by national and regional writers within a complex postcolonial society. Regular seminars and talks with non-literary components that expand our vision and redefine our approaches to our subjects truly inter-disciplinary in the context of a changing world will continue to boost the range of our vision.

Mission

The mission of the department is to train students in the study of literature by acquainting them with established classics as well as significant new works in the English language, and by familiarizing them with various critical tools and precepts from early times to the present age. Class-room lectures are supplemented by tutorials catering to specific needs of students and various extra-curricular activities with an academic base such as seminars, film shows debates, and group and panel discussions organised by the English Association of the Department). This is done in order to foster a composite and comprehensive approach towards the creation of future scholars and teachers.

HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT

1955-1959: Origins

The Department of English, Gauhati University, came into being in 1955. It started with Sri Manikanta Ganguli joining the Department as a Lecturer on 2 August 1955. Dr Sukumar Ganguli, a distinguished medievalist and Chaucer scholar, joined the department as its first Professor on 12 September 1955. Sri Jyotibhusan Bhattacharyya, a distinguished alumnus of Calcutta University joined the department on 1.10.1955 and the first Master's Degree programme in English was organized with the requisite strength of staff. This was the three-member group that took it upon itself the responsibility of building a sound academic base for the department, with the legendary scholar K.K. Handiqui (1898-1982) at the helm of affairs as Vice-Chancellor of the university. Some of the finest educationists of the India -- of the likes of Professor S.C. Sengupta, eminent Shakespeare scholar and author of Shakespeare's History Plays were contributors to the development of an appropriate curriculum et al. Dr Hilton Francis and Dr Sudhangsu Charan Bhattacharyya served as part-time teachers of the department at the initial stage - the latter eventually joining the department as a whole-time lecturer on 28.2.59, followed by Sri G.V.L.N. Sarma and Sri Jambunathan Rao joining the department as lecturers.

1960 - 80

The sixties saw several bright young teachers joining the department, some of the most distinguished being Dr Amaresh Dutta who joined as a Reader on 17.3.60, Sri Motnahalli Surappa Prabhakar (Lecturer, 6.2.62), Sri Brajdeo Singh (Lecturer, 23.11.62.), Sri G. Rajaram Rao (1963), Sri Hirendranath Dutta (1964), Sri Bhola Banerjee (1965), Sri Dilip Kumar Barua (Reader, 1966), Sri Bhaben Barua (Lecturer, 1968) and Dr Hiren Gohain (1970). Dr Amaresh Dutta, a celebrated Shakespeare scholar and poet, is well-known for his two books, Shakespeare's Tragic Vision and Art, and The Captive Moments - the former a study of Shakespeare's tragedies and romances and the latter a collection of poems that won him international acclaim. Motnahalli Surappa Prabhakar went on a Fulbright Scholarship to the U.S.A. in 1964-65 and later earned his doctorate on "George Orwell and the Crisis in Civilization" from Mysore University, Karnataka. Dr Dilip Kumar Barua, Dr Hiren Gohain, Sri Hirendranath Dutta, and Sri Bhaben Barua have also distinguished themselves with their contribution to Assamese letters - poetry and criticism in particular. A brilliant alumnus of Calcutta, Delhi and Cambridge Universities, Dr Hiren Gohain is well-known for his two works on Shakespeare and Milton, namely, Nature and Art in Shakespeare and Tradition and Paradise Lost: A Heretical View. The thesis on which Dilip Kumar Barua earned his Ph.D. from Sheffield University, United Kingdom - Edward Carpenter 1844-1929: An Apostle of Freedom, was eventually published by the University of Burdwan in 1991.

Outstanding Individual Achievements of Faculty Members

Sri Bhaben Barua got the Sahitya Akademi award in 1979 for his collection of poems Sonali Jahaj and Dr Hiren Gohain in 1989 for his monograph Asamiya Jatiya Jibanat Mahapurusia Parampara. Dr Gohain was a visiting Professor at Delhi University in 1988 and Sri Bhaben Barua a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, during 1998-2001. Sri Hirendranath Dutta represented Assam a number of times at the national level poetry-meets held in Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and Calcutta and was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award for his poetry in 2004. Dr Prafulla Kotoky's thesis on Indo-English poetry was brought out by the Publication Department of the University. This batch of the sixties thus put the department on a firm footing and the significant strides it made in teaching and research during the period 1960-80 may be attributed to the leadership of Professor Amaresh Dutta who headed the department for a record period of two decades, first as a Reader till May 1963 and then as a Professor (2.1.64 - February 1980).

1980s and After

The teachers who joined the department in the next few decades include Dr G.P.Sarma, Ms Gayatri Bhattacharyya, Ranjit Kumar Dev Goswami, Ms Anita Barua, Ms Aparna Bhattacharyya, Ms Nandana Dutta, Dr Pradipta Borgohain, Ms Asha Kuthari Chaudhuri and Ms Manashi Bora. Dr G.P. Sarma's Nationalism in Indo-Anglian Fiction (Delhi, 1978), a well-known work on the topic, is among the prescribed readings in several universities of the country. Professor Sukumar Biswas of the Department of Bengali, a distinguished philologist, taught the history of the English Language in this department from 1964 till his retirement in 1992. Professor Upendranath Sarma, formerly on the staff of the Department of English, Cotton College, Guwahati, also served here for a period of four years (1989-1993) as a guest faculty.

Visiting Scholars

This department has also attracted some outstanding scholars including Professor S.C.Sengupta, Professor Amalendu Bose, Professor V.K.Gokak, Professor C.D.Narasimhaiah, Professor Kitty Datta, Professor Subhash Mukhopadhyay, theatre personality Utpal Dutt, Professor Sisir Kumar Das, Professor Naresh Chandra, Professor Bhabatosh Chatterjee, Professor Amiya Dev, Professor Mrinal Miri, Professor Philip Gerber, Professor Huck Gutman, poets Richard Harteis and William Meredith, Professor P.C.Kar, eminent dancer Sonal Mansingh.

Research

Ranjit Kumar Dev Goswami: Criticism, Theory & Poetry

Work supervised / Scholars / Ongoing Projects (2000-2007)

The Use of the Metanarrative in the Short Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe (by Nandana Dutta, now Professor of English, Gauhati University) Ph.D. awarded in 1998

The Nature Of Experience in the Novels of Virginia Woolf (by Bibhash Choudhury, now Reader in English, GU) Ph.D. awarded in 2002

The Novelist as Craftsman : A Study of the Novels of R.K.Narayan (by Nityananda Pattanayak, Lecturer in English, ADP College , Nagaon) Ph.D. awarded in 2004

Scepticism and Belief in T.S. Eliot's Poetry (by Sanjeev Kumar Nath, now Reader in English, Gauhati University) Ph.D awarded in 2004

Asamiya Kavitat Adhunikata (Modernity in Assamese Poetry with Special Reference to Four Poets by Kamaluddin Ahmed, Senior Lecturer, Department of Assamese, GU) Ph.D. awarded in 2005

T.E.Hulme: A Study of His Poetry, Criticism and Influence (by Tora Mahanta, Lecturer in English, Gauhati Commerce College ) Ph.D. awarded in 2008

Ideas of Language and Linguistics in French Feminism (by Manashi Bora, Lecturer in English, Gauhati University ) Thesis submitted in 2008

Representation of Class and Gender in Postcolonial Indian Drama: A Study of the Plays of Vijay Tendulkar (by Pranjal Sharma Basishtha, Lecturer in Assamese, Gauhati University ) Work in progress

The “Girmitya” Consciousness in V.S. Naipaul’s Fictional and Non-fictional Works (by Nipam Kumar Saikia, Lecturer in English, Biswanath College) Work in progress

The Notion of “Indianness” and Its Representation in Contemporary Indian Fiction in English: A Study of Salman Rushdie and Amitav Ghosh (by Prasenjit Das, Institute of Distance and Open Learning, Gauhati University) Work in progress


Nandana Dutta: Theory, Post-Colonial Literature & Women's Studies

Work supervised / Scholars / Ongoing Projects (2000-2007)

Language -Literature Divide in English Teaching in India: A Study of the Undergraduate Syllabus of Assam University (by Rajat Bhattacharjee, Lecturer in English, Karimganj College) Work in Progress.

Selves in Society: A Study of the Representation of Women in the Novels of Desai, Sahgal and Deshpande (by Sarika Saleh, independent scholar) Work in Progress.

The Politics of Translation: Gender, Culture and Identity in Translating Women's Fiction. (by Ipsita Bhattacharyya, Lecturer in English, Sibsagar College) Work in Progress.

Narratives of Marriage in the Novels of Shashi Deshpande and Anita Desai (by Jayati Das, Sr. Lecturer in English, S.B. Deorah) Work in Progress.

Nationalism and the Woman’s Text: A Study of Women's Writing in Pre-Independence Assam (by Krisha Das, Lecturer in English, Handique Girls College) Work in Progress.

Women's Writing and the Body in Post-Independence India (by Payal Jain, now Lecturer in English, Dibrugarh University) Work in Progress.

Women's Voices in Indian English Poetry: A Study of Toru Dutt and Sarojini Naidu (by Kakoli Dutta, Sr. Lecturer in English, Nalbari College) Work in Progress.


Pradipta Borgohain: Victorian Fiction & Theory

Work supervised / Scholars / Ongoing Projects (2000-2007)

Exile and Incarceration: A Study of Female Loneliness in Victorian Fiction (by Subhalakshmi Nath, Sr. Lecturer in English, S.B. Deorah College) Ph.D Awarded – 2008.

Aspects of Individual Conscience in Doris Lessing's Diction (by Darshana Deka, Lecturer in English, Don Bosco University) Ph.D Awarded – 2008.

Religion and Radical Comedy in Victorian Fiction (by Bandana Handique, Lecturer in English,) Work in progress.

Woman to Woman: An Exploration of the Problematics of Female Identity in the Novels of D. H. Lawrence (by Dolikajyoti Sharma, now Lecturer in English, GU) Work in progress.

Thomas Hardy’s Novels: Narratives of Progress and Regress. (by Gayatri Goswami, Lecturer in English, Sibsagar College) admitted 2008.

The Metaphor of Discontent: A Study of Select English Fiction from India’s Northeast. (by Rupam Gogoi, Lecturer in English, Lakhimpur) admitted 2009.


Aparna Bhattacharyya: Drama, American Literature and Post-Colonial literature.

Work supervised / Scholars / Ongoing Projects (2000-2007)

Tradition and Change. Women in Indian English Fiction: With Special reference to the Novels of Nayantara Sahgal, Kamala Markandaya and Anita Desai. (by Abonti Barua Bharali, Sr. Lecturer in English, Cotton College) Ph D awarded in 2007.

The Victorian Family: An analysis of the Role of the Family in the Victorian Novel with special reference to the Bronte Sisters (by Deetimali Barua, Sr. Lecturer in English, Cotton College) Ph D awarded in 2007.

'The Inner Voice': A Study of the Fiction of Alice Munro. (by Mala Sharma, Lecturer in English, Ramkrishnanagar College) Ph D awarded in 2007.

Women in Arnold Wesker's Plays with special reference to his Six One Woman Plays.(by Rajesh Tiwari, Lecturer in English, Abhayapuri Puri College) Thesis Submitted in 2009.

Europeans on the Khasis and the Khasi Response: A Study of Pre and Post Independence Writings. (by Madeline Tham, Lecturer in English, Lady Keane College) Work in progress.


Bibhash Choudhury: Literary Theory

Work supervised / Scholars / Ongoing Projects (2000-2007)

“The Notion of ‘Space’ and its representation in Contemporary Indian English Writing: a study of the fiction of Rohinton Mistry” (by Sanghamitra De, Counsellor, IDOL, GU) Admitted 2008.

“The idea of Indian Feminism in the discourse of gender in Non-Fiction by Women writers 1960-2007” (by Mushrifa Ibrahim, Lecturer in English, J.B. College, Jorhat) Admitted 2008.


Asha Kuthari Chaudhuri: Drama, Performance & Film Studies

Work supervised / Scholars / Ongoing Projects (2000-2007)

Performing Gender, Confronting the Binary: Liminal Gender Acts in the plays of Mahesh Dattani and two Hindi Films (by Monami Porasor, part-time Lecturer in English, Mirza College) Admitted 2008.

Performing Violence: Representation of Women and Violence in the Plays of Mahesh Dattani, Vijay Tendulkar, Manjula Padmanabhan and Dina Mehta. (by Saurabhi Sharma, JRF, ICHR) Admitted 2008.

Literature and Film: ‘Dual Existence’. A Study of Assamese Film Adaptation. (by Pulak Talukdar, Sr. Lecturer in English, Boko College) Admitted 2009.


Sanjeev Kr Nath: African Fiction, T.S.Eliot’s Poetry, Assamese Folk Literature

Work supervised / Scholars / Ongoing Projects (2000-2007)


Anjali Daimari:

Work supervised / Scholars / Ongoing Projects (2000-2007)

Staff

Asha Kuthari Chaudhuri
MA (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati) Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, Elizabethan and Jacobean Poetry, American Literature, Indian Writing in English, Gender Studies, Media, Communication and Film Studies
Anjali Daimari
MA (JNU) PhD (NEHU) MPhil (JNU) African Literature in English, Contemporary South Asian Literatures in English, Translation Studies, Life Writing, Bodo Life and Literature, Literatures of the Northeast of India
Dolikajyoti Sharma
MA (Delhi) PhD (Gauhati) Modern Poetry, Fiction, Women's Studies, Green Studies, Contemporary South Asian Fiction, Indian Writing in English
Bibhash Choudhury
MA (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati) Literary Theory, European Literature, Assamese Literature
Farddina Hussain
MA (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati) Indian Writing in English, Speculative Fiction, Film Studies, Cultural Studies, Ecocriticism, Travel Writing
Nandana Dutta
MA (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati) MPhil (Gauhati) American Studies, Postcolonial Literary Theory, Narratology, Women's Studies
Lalan Kishore Singh
MA (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati) Literary Theory, Postmodern Fiction, African Literature
Pradipta Borgohain
MA (Delhi) PhD (Illinois) MPhil (Delhi) Victorian Literature, Modern Fiction, Life Writing
Manashi Bora
MA (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati) PGDTE (CIEFL, Hyderabad) Women's Studies, Languages & Linguistics, Translation Studies
Sanjeev Kumar Nath
MA (Gauhati) PhD (Gauhati) Modern Poetry, African Literature in English, Translation Studies

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES

The English Association and the drama Society actively engage in co-curricular activities, organizing lectures, performances, film shows, and student activities at different levels.

Endowment Lectures

The Anita Baruah Sarmah Memorial Lecture was set up in 2006 and is held annually. It is sponsored by the Anita Baruah Sarmah College of Education and organized by the Department of English, Gauhati University.

Facilities

The Departmental Library has over 7500 books that are accessible to students and teachers.

Journal

A Journal of Literature and Culture

Contact

                       
Head,
The Department of English,Gauhati University
GNB Nagar,Guwahati - 781014
Assam, India
Phone No : 2570262 ,
Email : eltstudies.gu@gmail.com
Website : english.gauhati.ac.in
                       

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