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This two-year (2012-2013) project examines the content, curriculum and pedagogic practices of English Studies — including English language and linguistics, literatures in English, and Anglophone culture studies — of contemporary Indian higher education programmes, in relation to institutional and disciplinary expectations and aspirations. Further, the situation in this regard in India will be considered comparatively with that in Britain. The project is funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant, and supported by the universities of the project members.

The project is coordinated by members from the English Department, The Open University, UK, and from three universities in Delhi, India – the English Department, The University of Delhi; The Modern Languages School, Jawaharlal Nehru University; and The English Department, Jamia Millia Islamia. The area of the project is delineated by a list of project questions prepared by the coordinating members. To give a sense of the context of the project, a project bibliography relevant to Indian English Studies is available.

The project consists mainly in the organisation of a series of meetings and three workshops in India and Britain. The workshops will involve Indian and British teachers, researchers and administrators of English Studies, and also education policy-makers and representative employers of English Studies graduates outside academia, i.e. media and arts industries, firms providing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services, publishing and education/training enterprises, etc. These workshops will engage with some of the questions which are the core concern of this project. Reports and publications will be prepared arising from the workshops – see documents.

The aims of this project are:

  • To discursively develop models for understanding institutional and disciplinary arrangements – working practices and principles, curricula and pedagogy, research and scholarship, policy, financing – for English Studies in contemporary Indian higher education.
  • To discursively explore the extent to which English Studies thus understood are cognisant of student expectations, the aspirations of the academic discipline, national and international employment markets.
  • To explore how the above-described situation for Indian English Studies compares to and bears upon the situation in British English Studies.
  • To consider whether reform of English Studies curricula and pedagogic practices in both India and Britain need to be discussed in the light of the above.
  • To evolve a programme for further exploration of the above, and arrange dissemination of information and analyses to interested parties.

Prospects for English Studies: India and Britain Compared is funded by

The Arts and Humanities Research Council