Head: Prof. Mala Renganathan
Contact: 272 3503/ 272 3509
Department of English
North-Eastern Hill University
The Department of English, NEHU, Shillong, established in 1973 is one of the oldest departments of the university that began to function in Elwin’s Building in Lachumiere and then moved its office along with other departments to Mayurbhanj Complex and finally to the permanent campus in 2002. The Department consisting initially of faculty who were alumni from prestigious universities like Cambridge University, Delhi University, etc has retained its standard throughout, with faculty receiving Padmashree award, Fulbright Fellowship, Chancellor’s Overseas Non-Resident Award and also faculty consisting of writers, poets and critics. The Department’s faculty members have contributed to various genres of English Studies, Creative Writing and Performance Studies through their serious engagement in teaching, research publications, research supervision, collaborations and research projects. The students of the Department too have contributed immensely through their all round participation in publication of magazines, in quiz, debate, creative writing and several other co curricular level activities / competitions and also in students’ union activities, contributing overall to the university’s vibrant social, academic and cultural atmosphere.
The thrust area of the Department is contemporary literatures in English and English translation and the following are some of the areas of research, which our faculty members have so far engaged in: New Literatures in English, South Asian Diasporic Fiction in English, Contemporary Literature in English and Translation from North-East India, Comparative Literature, Theories of Gender and Culture Studies, Ethnic and Cultural Studies, Folkloristic Studies and Theatre and Performance Studies, with special focus on the literature traditions of Europe, America and India in general and North East India and South East and South Asia in particular.
The Department’s PhD and MA Programmes are one of the best in the country with applications received far and wide from several states outside the North East.
The PhD Programme offered with course work in the even semester of every year, attracts some of the best scholars from and outside the North East. The scholars from the department are encouraged to keep abreast of the latest research methodology and current developments in the field of Literature research and work on the Department thrust areas of research. The department’s research scholars have engaged in serious research pursuits, through active participation in research scholars’ seminars, in national and international level seminars and also research contribution towards publications.
The Department’s MA Programme now offers purely literature courses, maintaining and preserving the sanctity of its canonical British literature courses; at the same time, in consensus with University’s geographical proximity to South East Asia and its primacy within South Asia, the Programme has also introduced new courses like South Asian Literature, North East Literature, other than contemporary literature courses such as Women’s Writings, Commonwealth Literatures, World Literatures, Indian Fiction in Translation, etc most of which are in good demand as Open courses. Occasionally the department had also offered a few other open courses like Indian Drama in English Translation. The Department members strive to update the MA syllabi with newer and promising courses with the intention to attract the best students to the Programme and to enhance the teaching of literature in the departments affiliated to the University.
The Department also boasts of some of the best student alumni who serve the state of Meghalaya and other North Eastern states as internationally known poets / artists, teachers, School / Colleges principals, politicians, administrative advisors, IAS Officers, bank officers and fashion designers.
The Department of English offers the following courses
The English Department conducts research in the following thrust areas: Contemporary Literatures including North East Literature Studies, South Asian Literature, New Literatures in English, Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, Comparative Literatures and Gender/ Ethnic/Cultural Studies with special focus on the literary traditions of Europe, America and India in general and North East India in particular.