The English department, one of the oldest departments of the college, promotes an inter-disciplinary, non-canonical approach towards literature. It encourages students to go beyond the traditional genres of literature and explore other literatures in English and translation. The department started its MA English program in 2016 and plans to introduce research programmes in literature in order to facilitate meaningful research in the North Bengal region. The Department is committed to promoting inter-disciplinary research and imparting the CBCS curriculum in keeping with contemporary critical approaches in literature. The courses currently offered by the department are: BA Honours in English literature, Elective English for BA General Degree Course students, Communicative English for the COP programme and Masters in English literature.
The Masters in English program, Salesian College Siliguri Campus is geared towards facilitating a finer critical and analytical temper amongst students pursuing the degree. Affiliated to the Department of English, NBU, the MA program is mandated to follow the syllabus and assessment pattern set down by the university. However within this it tries to chart its own unique teaching and learning methodology made possible through close student-teacher ratio, research facilities, and exposure via national and international workshops, seminars and conferences. The department is committed to helping its students in learning the rudiments of research, critical thinking and developing strong analytical skills by incorporating a variety of critical reading, writing and learning strategies. An emphasis on postcolonial studies and marginalized literatures marks the program vision beyond the curriculum. It also seeks to make the study of literature more interdisciplinary by opening up space both literally, the classroom and metaphorically the ‘text’ to other disciplines. Students are encouraged to present and discuss their viewpoints in class. Special lectures are held on term paper writing focusing on MLA stylesheet, effective writing techniques and ethics. The department also follows a mentoring system and counsels students towards future career options in research, teaching, journalism, copy-editing etc.
Course 101: Renaissance Studies
General Outcome: This paper introduces students to the Renaissance through certain representative texts in order to help them gain a more comprehensive view of this complex age.
Specific Outcome: This paper aims at helping students understand the literary, socio-political and historical aspects of the Renaissance in England through four canonical writers spanning the genres poetry, drama, criticism and prose.
Course 102: Shakespeare
General Outcome: As one of the dominant writers of Elizabethan England, the study of Shakespeare’s plays is integral to the understanding of this age.
Specific Outcome: This course discusses four plays of Shakespeare encompassing the genres of tragedy, comedy, history and romance in order to enable students to undertake a critical perspective on the Bard through the lens of contemporary criticism.
Course 103: 17th Century Studies
General Outcome: Following the Renaissance, England witnessed several changes at the political and religious front which are reflected in the literature of the age. This course spanning the 17th century acquaints the students with the prominent writers and styles of the time.
Specific Outcome: The course is designed to help students understand the various styles pervading literature, more specifically drama at this point, through revenge tragedy, heroic tragedy and the city comedy. It also introduces students to the important figure of Milton through the text Samson Agonistes.
Course 104: 18th Century Studies
General outcome: In keeping with the chronological study of English literature, this course follows the 17th century and further helps students understand the trajectory undertaken by English literature through poetry, drama and prose.
Specific Outcome: A study of the long 18th century is integral to an understanding of the development of English literature. The dominant literary age of this time is the Neo-Classical age which is represented through poetry and criticism. Students are also introduced to the form of the novel which marks a distinct shift in the popularity of genres.
Paper 105: Gender Studies
General Outcome: Students are introduced to the concept of gender and sex through certain representative texts on the subject.
Specific outcome: The paper seeks to provide students an entry point into the inter-disciplinary field of gender studies through some key feminist texts. Through these texts the whole concept of gender as a fixed category is dismantled and students are introduced to the social and semiotic determinants of gender.
Course 201: The Romantics
General Outcome: This course introduces students to the complex age of the Romantics through poetry and criticism.
Specific Outcome: The Romantic age showcases a distinct departure from the Neo-Classical age in terms of both the form and content of poetry. It is also an age marked by several important critiques and discourses on the nature of poetry. This paper builds upon the students’ existing knowledge of the age by discussing the concept of the sublime, literary criticism and, through the transition poet Blake and the younger romantic poet, Keats, the broad range of Romantic poetry in all its complexity and beauty.
Course 202: 19th Century Studies-1
General Outcome: This paper will help students undertake a more detailed analysis of the dominant genre of the age, the realistic novel.
Specific Outcome: The 19th century was marked by sweeping changes in the social, scientific and literary sphere as a result of new ideas which challenged known beliefs and ideas. This period is also known as the Victorian age and presents a very vibrant age dominated by poetry and novel. This paper helps students understand the factors responsible for the rise and development of the novel, and the impetus for the key writers of the age to represent social realism through this genre.
Course 203: 19th Century Studies II
General Outcome: This paper is an extension of the previous paper and introduces students to Victorian poetry and thought.
Specific Outcome: The paper aims at making students aware of the complex issues of faith and doubt assailing the 19th century through the canonical poetry of the age. There is also an engagement with various forms of poetry; the elegy, ballad, dramatic monologue etc in order to help students understand the importance of form as well.
Course 204: 19th Century Studies III
General Outcome: The course builds upon the other two courses on the 19th century and acquaints students with the intellectual discourses of the age.
Specific Outcome: Focussing on the critical and philosophical discourses of the 19th century, the students are given a very comprehensive perspective of the challenges of this period. It also presents several very important texts on literary criticism.
Course 205: Cultural Studies
General outcome: This course introduces students to the discipline of cultural studies through the key thinkers of the 20th century.
Specific Outcome: The course deals with the inter-disciplinary field of cultural studies through some four seminal texts written by some of the leading thinkers of the 20the century. These texts problematise the categories of culture, race and knowledge, thereby enabling students to deconstruct the given notions of culture.
Course 301: The Moderns I
General Outcome: This course will allow students to understand (i) the shift in English novels from the Victorian to the modern period, and (ii) the diverse forms of narrative that together formed the ‘modern’ novel
Specific Outcome: Introduction to the works (novels) of Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce, Virginia Wolf and Graham Greene will enable students to understand how the social, political and cultural transformations during the last half of the nineteenth century, with the ideas propounded by the likes of Marx, Darwin, Freud, created an urge of the re-questioning the ‘givens’ in life.
Course 302: The Moderns II
General Outcome: This course introduces students to the era of modernism in predominantly British English poetry as well as poetry in reaction to the initial stage of modern poetry.
Specific Outcome: This course comprises a selection of four representative poets of what can broadly be termed as modernism in English poetry. The trajectory is – T.S Eliot, W.H. Auden, Dylan Thomas, Philip Larkin. Students thus get to critically analyse the arrival as well as dynamics of modernism in poetry, as well as poetry in reaction to that notion of modernism through Philip Larkin who, for instance, is representative of the ‘Movement’ period in British English poetry.
Course 303: The Moderns III
General Outcome: This course introduces students to the dramatic mode in the first half of twentieth century. The selection is quite exceptional and interesting because none of the three dramatists included in this course is of British origin. At the same time, this course also accommodates two (originally non-English) novels that introduce students to some significant philosophical developments during this turbulent age.
Specific Outcome: Three playwrights representative of the period have been included here – the Irish G.B. Shaw and Samuel Beckett, and the German Bertolt Brecht. Students thus get introduced to the varied socio-political as well as philosophical ideals that mark this age. Apart from the plays, the course also accommodates novels by Franz Kafka and Albert Camus, which allow students to negotiate with certain critical social and philosophical developments of the period.
Course 304: (Discipline Centric) Literary Theory and Criticism
General Outcome: This course aims at introducing students to the important developments in the field of literary theory and criticism through a selection of representative essays.
Specific Outcome: The course comprises four clusters of essays. The first includes works that analyse to the poststructuralist stance on the act of reading with criticism of the idea of the ‘author’. The second cluster devotes itself to the study of Postcolonialism. The third cluster negotiates further with the poststructuralist lens of reading a text as well as postmodernism. The fourth one deals with poststructuralist feminist criticism.
Course 401: American Literature
General Outcome: This course introduces students to literatures in English other than British literature, namely American literature through a study of its canonical writers.
Specific Outcome: The course starts from the period of American Transcendentalism through a discussion on the works of Emerson and Thoreau and moves across poetry, drama and novel to cover the broad range of American Literature. Through representative writers such as Arthur Miller, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison, Faulkner etc, the course not only familiarises the students with the literary aspects of American literature but also the history and social issues influencing this body of literature leading to a more nuanced understanding of other cultures.
Course 402: Latin American Literature
General Outcome: This course introduces students to literature in translation via Latin American Literature through select essays, novels, poetry and non-fiction.
Specific Outcome: Through a study of select texts, the course helps students understand the complexities of colonisation/modernity, the colonial matrix of power, and the process of decolonisation through the Latin American experience as enunciated by the critic Walter D. Mignolo. It also introduces students to the technique of magic realism and the creative use of language by Latin American writers such as Marquez, Borges, Neruda etc. The course helps students in understanding the nuances of literature in translation as also the importance of the Latin American body of literature.
Course 403: Indian English Literature
General Outcome: This course will help students understand the role of English in India’s literary and cultural sphere as well as in undertaking a postcolonial analysis of representative texts of Indian writing in English.
Specific Outcome: Through this course students will have a deeper understanding of the institutionalisation, role and place of English language and literature vis a vis a postcolonial framework. It will also offer an insight into the relation between English and regional languages as well as the specific features of Indian English Literature. This helps students in going beyond the canon of British literature and in imagining English as a global language which has been appropriated by the post-colonial nations in conjunction with their own literary traditions. Some of the key writers studied are Rushdie, Raja Rao, Karnad, Amit Chaudhuri, Kolatkar, Ramanujan etc.
Course 404: African and Caribbean Literature
General Outcome: This course will help students understand the cultural and literary expressions and experience of other regions and their response to colonisation.
Specific Outcome: This course adds richness and diversity to the semester’s focus on other literatures in English and in translation. The study of African and Caribbean literature in translation and in English opens up the students to issues such as those of identity, language, diaspora,race and nationalism. The experience of colonisation being difference for each colony, necessitates the understanding of the expressions of the people to have a more nuanced and wider comprehension of this experience. Students are introduced to the works of writers such as China Achebe, ChimamandaNgoziAdichie, V.S. Naipaul and Derek Walcott.