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Studying English at St. Xavier’s College, whether at the Undergraduate (BA) or at the Postgraduate (MA) level, combines a focus on linguistic proficiency with an attempt to nurture critical thinking and engagement with creative literary works. While language skills are a recognized necessity given the competitiveness of the national and international job market, the development of the ability to read critically and empathetically, to critique cultural artefacts and to establish rigorous and current theoretical frameworks for social and textual analysis form an integral part of humane living. The humanities in general, and literature in particular, have the ability, through this focus, to further what has been a longterm aim as far as the College is concerned: equitable and just processes of learning, taking into account a multiplicity of positions from which this knowledge is produced.
About>Approach to Learning
The department follows the syllabus prescribed by Gujarat University, to which the College is affiliated. Classroom processes encourage student participation in the reading and interpretation of prescribed texts, subscribing to the belief that readings cannot be singular unilateral. What literature and criticism teach is an emphasis on the capacity to argue logically one’s point of view, as well as the value of a multiplicity of perspectives.
Various members of the department employ different teaching methods, in accordance with the papers they teach, ranging from discussions and presentations—which are encouraged in all papers—to creative reinterpretations and adaptations of classics and to the use of multimedia materials to enable linguistic development.
Students are also encouraged to have informal discussions with their seniors and their teachers outside of class hours, whether for clarification or to provide a platform to talk about literature beyond the syllabus.
Interdisciplinarity is written into studying English literature, which is no longer possible without an awareness of social contexts and social theorizing. English literature everywhere moves beyond what used to be the canon, into areas such as Indian literature and criticism, postcolonial literature, African-American literature, writing and gender etc. The department brings together staff and students who share a variety of these concerns and areas of expertise, creating the possibility for meaningful dialogue.
The Department of English was established in 1955. Over the years, it has developed from what used to be traditional, purely text-based criticism, to wider outlooks, taking into account various standpoints as well as various literatures. Alongside changes in the syllabi, there have been marked changes in teaching methodology, going in the direction of more and more open understandings of knowledge generation and transmission.
From the academic year 2000–2001 onwards, the department has been a recognized MA centre for the programme run by Gujarat University. This provides further opportunities to hone the skills instilled at the undergraduate level.
The BA (English) is a three-year programme designed to provide students with an overview of British literature, as well as literary criticism, ranging from Greek, to Latin, British and Sanskrit. The course also offers papers in English Language and Communication Skills as well as Media.
For students interested in learning English Language at a more advanced level, in order to pursue careers in media and mass communication as well as linguistics, the department has been offering a First Elective course in Functional English. This provides closer acquaintance with phonetics, writing skills, as well as Radio and TV studies.
The syllabi for English and the relevant ordnances can be downloaded from the website of
Gujarat University: http://www.gujaratuniversity.org.in/web/WebSyllabus.asp
The Department of English is a centre for the MA programme offered by Gujarat University. At this level, the focus is on a more detailed study of the British literary canon, with emphasis on literary history, meant to familiarize future researchers and teachers/lecturers with the nuances of various literary periods. An MA (English) is meant to also create in the postgraduate student valuable habits of research by offering training in research methods as well as the opportunity to practise her/his research skills under the guidance of supervisors who have research experience in various areas. Each semester, the course also includes a paper on communication skills.For a clearer view of the content and structure of the syllabus, see the file available for download on the Gujarat University website: http://www.gujaratuniversity.org.in/web/WebSyllabus.asp
Courses>Career oriented programme
From 2007 onwards, a career oriented course in English Language and Communication Skills has been run by Fr. Vincent Saldanha. This course is open to students from all departmentsespecially those coming from vernacular medium schools. It is tailored to develop in students the confidence and capacity to communicate fluently in English. What makes the programme even more valuable is the fact that not only teachers with experience in language teaching, but also postgraduate students who use English proficiently are given an opportunity to interact with the students who opt for this course. This is in keeping with the pedagogy of the College, which encourages the development of both students and staff in the process of class interaction.
During the three years of the undergraduate programme, students are expected to opt for one Soft Skills paper in each semester. Students of the department as well as of various other arts departments are encouraged to opt for courses in Creative Writing and Public Speaking, where their abilities to think and translate their thoughts into words are developed in a variety of innovative ways. These course offer ample possibilities for the expression of individual points of view and talents.Various members of the department are also involved in teaching courses in First Aid, Human Society and Ethics, and Broadcast Journalism to students across disciplines.
|1||Dr. Sarvar V. Sherry Chand||M.A., Ph.D.|
|2||Fr. Vincent G. Saldanha S.J.||M.A., M.S. (Ling.)-USA, PGDTE (CIEFL, Hyderabad)|
|3||Arti Kumar||B.A.(Hons.) M.A., M.Phil., PGCTE (Hyderabad)|
|4||Amarsinh Mansinh Vasava||M.A., B.Ed., Ph. D. (ongoing)|
|5||Saurabh Vaishnav||M.A., M. Phil.|
|6||Susan Vivien George||M.A., PGD (Women’s Studies), NET, Ph.D. (ongoing)|
As part of an ongoing attempt to keep up with developments in their respective areas of interest, various members of the department deliver lectures and courses in other institutions. These opportunities to interact with students who are part of different programmes (such as B. Arch, or degrees in design etc.) are then brought to bear in class interaction at Xavier’s.
Fr. Vincent Saldanha conducts teacher training programmes and seminars in personality growth for college students. He offers courses in teaching skills for teachers of English and courses in creative writing and public speaking, as well as in journalism and communication skills at NIEM and CEPT.
Research is an integral part of the MA programme, during which students are required to write at least one paper per semester. BA students are encouraged to explore a variety of areas of interest, under the guidance of staff members. Each year, up to 5 undergraduate students are selected to conduct research.
The students of the MA programme have participated in the A. K. Ramanujan Paper Reading Competition (MSU, Baroda) and have returned with the team trophy and the first prize.
Faculty members are involved in research in their respective areas of interest (see Faculty with Profiles) and they take part in conferences, and publish their research in journals and anthologies.
The college library offers a variety of books ranging from fiction to literary criticism, theory and philosophy, going beyond syllabus prescriptions. Apart from the college library, the department library provides approx. 400 books and students also borrow materials from the personal libraries of the staff members.
Seminars And Events
The department organizes the annual A.R. Sen Memorial Seminar, on a variety of themes such as Media and Ethics Workshop, Shakespeare Today, etc.
St. Xavier’s College,