Introduction to the Programme
The BA English programme at Azim Premji University seeks to combine a rigorous training in the effective use of the English language with the cultivation of a literary sensibility that is empathetic and critical.
Students opting for the BA in English will learn to love literature: the craft of assembling words that move us, of people and worlds that we were too ignorant or preoccupied to notice, and of course arresting stories. Students will be guided through a selection of texts and reading practices that enable them to pay close attention to the formal and aesthetic aspects of texts from diverse locations and perspectives.
In addition, students in the English major at Azim Premji University will be trained in different forms of writing (critical, creative, journalistic) and given the choice to learn and use digital media technologies. At the end of three years we expect all our students to be able to use multiple forms of communication, empathetically and effectively, to address academic as well as larger, non-academic, publics. A crucial component of this is The Language Centre (TLC) whose activities range from enrichment sessions aimed at strengthening the English language communication capabilities of students, to workshops as well as semester-long courses on reading and writing.
In the BA English classroom, students will be encouraged to draw upon their lived experiences in their study of literatures, and to participate actively in their own learning processes.
Students enrolled in the BA English programme can complete their degree as a standard track (acquiring a total of 84 credits) or with an Honours (acquiring a total of 96 credits). Out of these, 36 credits accrue from Common Curriculum courses.
|Other discipline electives
The BA English Honours track requires students to successfully complete 96 credits in total—36 Common Curriculum credits, 48 English major credits, and 12 Honours coursework and thesis credits
BA English Curriculum
The English Core
The core courses offered are mandatory requirements for students who are enrolled in the English major and are distributed across six semesters. A list of courses in the English core are presented below to indicate their place in our curricular imagination.
(QRE for English Students) Statistics and Society
In this course, students will comprehend reports/studies on culture and society that use
statistics and explore how quantitative data can enrich the
understanding of textual materials.
An Introduction to Literature
First of two entry-level courses, the capabilities introduced here
relate to a broad spectrum of reading and writing in literature,
fostered through reading across genres and contexts (this is a
course informed by the experience of multiple iterations in the
An Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry and the Short Story
Second entry-level course; will work in tandem with the
Literature in Context 1 course, towards building a practical
understanding of the formal and structural elements of poetry
and the short story through exercises and forays into writing
them. This course will involve students becoming familiar with
contemporary and classic poetry and short story texts, critically
engaging with their craft, and attempting to produce writing in a
variety of forms and techniques.
Literature in Context 1: Poetry and the Short Story From around The World
First of the ‘context’ courses that focus on the capability of
situating literary texts in a particular cultural and historical
context. This course will inspect and discuss poetry and the short
narrative as reflections of social and cultural issues and as modes
of personal expression at various points in time and across many
Literature in Context 2: Contemporary India through Literary and Cultural Texts
The second of three courses on literature studied in its context -
context in this case being nation. The course brings together a
study of form, theme and context. It builds familiarity with Indian
literary texts and allows for an engagement with literature in
translation and a drawing on life experiences in written and
classroom responses. Capacities are built through a focus on
extensive reading and writing.
Literary History: The Romantics: Nature, Self and Society
The only course in the core that focuses on a traditional literary-
studies method of locating literature in a particular period and
region [Britain with connections to India where possible]. The
Romantics are chosen for a ‘period-style’ survey of literature to
best foreground literary sensibilities of reading ecologically.
Literature in Context 3: Drama as Text and Performance
This course continues the ‘context’ series with a close emphasis
on a single form: Drama. Drama was chosen for its capacity to
combine textual analysis and performance in a literary genre, and
the stage and audience become an important aspect of the
course. Students will discover the ways in which dramatic texts
and performances examine and critique socio-political issues like
class, race, caste, gender and sexual orientation.
Perspectives 1: Approaches to Literature
First of the ‘perspectives’ series that aims to inculcate critical
reflection by opening up the ‘core’ to other disciplinary
interventions. The course introduces the methods of literary
study to build specific capabilities in a student of Literature –
namely, the identification of recent debates in critical thought
within the discipline, the ability to apply theoretical insights in the
reading of both simple and complex texts and to understand and
evaluate the role of Literature and the Humanities in our present
Writing for the Public
A practice-based course offered at the end of the programme,
with a view to easing entry into professional writing-based study
or work after students graduate. The course builds capacities in
writing and allied skills, and builds sensibilities with which to write
for/engage with different kinds of readers and different sites of
reading and production (some of these sites include teaching and
the social sector).
Perspectives 2: Bangalore: Language, Media, Culture
The second in the Perspectives series, this course facilitates
intensive study of a single site through perspectives from
different disciplines and forms. This is the only course in the
English core that focuses on the City as a formation that emerges
through texts and textuality. It allows for engagement with local
contexts of meaning production in shaping. This course will allow
students to harness capabilities and perspectives gathered
through three years in the programme, including the insights and
field practice gained from the UI courses and IS.
Electives in BA English
The elective courses offered within the English major bring together perspectives from allied disciplines while allowing students to engage in practice. These allied disciplines and practices comprise courses in the following: Writing, Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, Translation, and Media & Communication.
We feel that these disciplinary themes that inform elective choices in the curriculum are best suited to achieve our programme-level objectives of diversity, critical and empathetic reading and writing as well as the capacity to engage in meaningful communication in the public sphere. The cluster of elective courses attempts to integrate the more theoretical and text-based aspects of the program with skills and competencies of writing, translating, and making media texts.
Representative List of Elective Courses within the English Major
Media and Communication
- Convergence Journalism
- Documentary Narratives
- Digital Texts and Textuality
- Literature of the Modern
- The Novel
- Literature of Dissent
- Life Writing
- Writing Children’s Literature
- Reading Culture
- Body in Society
- Indian Cinema and Society
- Introduction to Translation
- Sites of Translation
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