Department of English Language & Literature

Research Areas

The major research areas of the department are:
  • Indian Writing in English
  • European Literature
  • Women’s Studies
  • Modern and Post-Modern British Literature
  • Witness Literature
A STUDY OF SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE IN THE SELECT NOVELS OF IRIS MURDOCH
RESEARCH SUMMARY
The concept of ‘purpose’ is studied both according to Eastern and Western philosophy, and applied in the analysis of select novels of Iris Murdoch, a modern British writer and philosopher. The project identifies and traces the journey of life from apparent purposelessness to the realisation of the latent meaning of life. It makes a sincere effort to highlight ‘purpose’ in absurdity and fragmentation, which are the predominant characteristics of the Modern and Post-Modern psyche.
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‘INTER- AND INTRA- PERSONAL UNITIES’ IN ‘POETRY AS A PROCESS’: A STUDY OF SELECT MODERN AND POST-MODERN POETS
RESEARCH SUMMARY
The project studies two kinds of unities – intra- and inter-personal – in the triad of poet, critic and reader, effected by ‘poetry as a process.’ Keeping in view the ‘aesthetic wisdom’ and the capacity of poetry to uplift humanity, a theoretical model has been conceived, named the dual unities in a deuce-ace model (d-u-d Model). This model highlights the metaphysical function of poetry. It assays a study of how a definitive Unity can be achieved through poetry. This model attempts to highlight the problem of the divided psyche in the contemporary world, and the remedy for its unification through the poetic process. The d-u-d Model is studied and explained in the light of relevant Post-Modern critical, philosophical and psychological theories. The project focuses on a selection of Modern and Post-Modern poets in the light of this Model, with a detailed analysis of two Post-Modern poets, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes.
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FEMINISM AND GENDER STUDIES
RESEARCH SUMMARY
The project is envisioned as an intensive study of femininity and Woman’s identity using select plays of Shakespeare as medium for discussion. It is an extension of similar work done in the genre of Fiction in the postgraduate and M.Phil. programmes. The study is both thematic and critical in its approach. The major themes under focus are patriarchal subjugation, feminine subjectivity, androgyny, and scrutiny of myths employed in the plot. The various critical schools that find place in this research, apart from feminist literary criticism, are psychoanalysis, structuralism, deconstruction and identity studies. The research explores the inevitability of spiritual growth as a necessary and primary step towards ‘emancipation’ of the feminine self to confront newer frontiers of identity, ripping apart the various masks of conventional role-playing.
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EUROPEAN DRAMA: HENRIK IBSEN
RESEARCH SUMMARY
This project studies the broad area of European Drama, with specific reference to the works of the nineteenth-century Norwegian dramatist, Henrik Ibsen. It attempts to define his oeuvre as a continual and complex growth of the self through the evolution of his heroes, and seeks to relate his works to the philosophical ideas of Heidegger and Nietzsche, critical concepts in literary theory like phenomenology, Post-Modernism, etc. It also reflects on the Eastern and Western views on concepts like awareness, realisation, dignity, the metaphysical self, suffering, hope, etc., and relates the same to the characters, motifs and symbols used in Ibsen’s plays. The research project will study Ibsen’s plays, both from the point of view of the ideas they embody, and the technical innovations he introduced in the theatre.
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INDIAN WRITING IN ENGLISH: R K NARAYAN
RESEARCH SUMMARY
This project is a study of the comic/ ironic vision of R K Narayan. The work stands on the assumption that all literature embodies or contains values in some form or the other, even when the writer is not consciously didactic. Therefore, an attempt is being made to look for a moral message that can be culled out of the ironic vision of Narayan. Hence, the research work focuses on thematic and character/ situation study that may, perhaps, highlight the values that could be garnered from a close examination of select novels of R K Narayan.
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