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Undergraduate Programme English

B.A. English

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.

Programme Structure

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.

Credit Structure
Curriculum Credits
English core 30 credits
Common curriculum 36 credits
English electives 9 credits
Other discipline electives 9 credits
Total 84 credits

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 past).

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 languages.

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 context.

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

Literary Studies

  • Literature of the Modern
  • The Novel
  • Literature of Dissent

Writing

  • Life Writing
  • Writing Children’s Literature

Cultural Studies

  • Reading Culture
  • Body in Society
  • Indian Cinema and Society

Translation

  • Introduction to Translation
  • Sites of Translation
Meet our Faculty:

Bindu Menon Mannil
PhD in Cinema and Cultural Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
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Neeraja S
Ph.D., Department of English, University of Hyderabad
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Nitya Vasudevan
PhD in Cultural Studies.
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Shalini Srinivasan
PhD, Department of English, University of Hyderabad
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Sonali Barua
Ph.D., Literatures in English, Rutgers University
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Usha Rajaram
Masters Degree, English Literature, Madras University
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