Centre of English Studies (CES)
The Centre for English Studies, formerly part of the Centre for Linguistics and English, which was formally bi-furcated in 2006, has the well-earned reputation of being one of the foremost sites for postgraduate work and research in English Studies in India. The annual entrance examination for the M.A. course in English, for example, attracts more than 2,400 candidates from all over India, and even from foreign countries, every year. We select only about 30 (or less than 1.5%) for admission. The Centre has gained national and international prestige for being a vibrant place of intellectual activity with lectures, seminars, colloquiums and visits by creative writers and academics from all over the world.
The Centre is also well known for its progressive and innovative outlook towards teaching and research in the fields of language and literature studies in English and for comparative literary and cultural studies. Our M.Phil. and Ph.D. research programmes are widely recognized for their inter-disciplinary approach. This Centre was one of the first in Asia to question the centrality of the British canon and introduce courses on “New Literatures” like American, African, Canadian, Australian, Indian English, and others. Translation Studies has had an important place in our programmes right from the beginning. Our programmes seek to develop in the students an ability to relate literature(s) to the Indian context, to compare literary theories and texts, and to explore the ways in which history, ideology and material forces condition literary texts. Also, the Centre has long been offering courses on Paņini’s Ashtādhyāyi, Bhartŗhari’s Vākyapadīya, Bharata’s Nātyaśāstra and the Indian grammatical traditions. The aim is to familiarize students with their own cultural and intellectual heritage in order to provide them with a balanced viewpoint when approaching predominantly Western literary and theoretical and critical texts. While we constantly innovate (our recent course on Disability Studies is another example), teachers, students and research scholars have always emphasized on developing a modern Indian methodology for English Studies, keeping in mind the growing competitive international standards as well as our location within a long and rich Indian intellectual tradition in all its complexity and historical depth.
It is therefore befitting that the Centre was recognized under the Special Assistance Programme (SAP) of the University Grants Commission (UGC) as a Department of Special Assistance with the thrust area "Indo-Centric Approach to Literary Studies." We see this as both a continuation of our work as well as a new challenge to develop an independent mode of critical engagement with what is predominantly a Euro-centric discipline and academy. The Special Assistance Programme extended by the UGC to the Centre has therefore been a much-needed and much-appreciated boost to the efforts of the Centre. The Centre's work under this programme has been appreciated and we have been sanctioned the second phase of the programme with a focus on "Indian and Cross-cultural Approaches to Marginal Literatures".
We also offer courses in English language and literature for undergraduate students of other centres in the School. The Remedial English course we offer for the university is always in demand is found useful by a wide range of students from various disciplines.