Three year Honours Degree Course (Calcutta University).
U.G. General Course for students with Honours in other Humanities/Science subjects.
Two year Post-Graduate Course in English (affiliated to the University of Calcutta).
About the Department
The Department of English may be fittingly described as a 'heritage' department of a heritage Institution because English has been taught as a subject right from the inception of Bethune College in 1879, when A. W. Croft, arranged the transfer of Baboo Sosi Bhushan Dutt, 'a master of English and of Philosophy', from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack to Bethune College (then part of Bethune School) in Calcutta, to teach Kadambini Basu in the F.A. class. In 1890, Bethune College opened its course in B.A. (Honours) Examination of Calcutta University with three women candidates among whom Sarala Ghosal (later Sarala Devi Choudhurani) scored the highest marks and won the Padmavati Gold Medal. The year 1918 saw four female professors managing the department - Mrinalini Emerson, Lotika Bose, Stella Bose and Dorothy Moses. The English department thereafter flourished in the hands of eminent and dedicated teachers like Prof. Sujata Chaudhuri, Prof. Karuna Chakraborty; Prof. Manisha Sen, Prof Ishita Dutta and Prof. Santa Mahalanobis.
In keeping with the NAAC Peer Team's recommendation, a Postgraduate Course was introduced in the year 2007. The Postgraduate Department was granted academic autonomy and was responsible for formulating the syllabus and conducting the examination and being in charge of the evaluation process. The postgraduate syllabus includes modules on partition and film studies. To orient the students towards research, term paper presentations and dissertation are incorporated in the evaluation procedure. From the session 2015-16, the PG Department of English has introduced the Semester System of evaluation.
Research and Extension Activities
- The Head of the department, Dr. Anasuya Guha, has to her credit several books as well as a large number of publications. Her translation of Virginia Woolf's seminal text on feminism, A Room of One's Own as Nijaswa Ek Ghor has been widely acclaimed critically and is also listed as present in the Paris-Sorbonne Library. Professor Guha's book Glimpses of the History of English Literature is a perennial favourite of the students for its lucidity and comprehensive elucidation of important issues.
- Dr. Debalina Banerjee has worked extensively on the Victorian Age in English Literature and has a number of publications in that area. Her book The Woman Question and the Victorian Novel has been reprinted and is well-appreciated.
- Dr. Anushila Hazra Bhattacharya has worked on the Irish poet William Butler Yeats for her PhD. She has several scholarly articles published in academic journals on modern poetry and Yeats. She also has an Advanced Diploma in French to her credit.
- Smt. Mandira Mitra has to her credit scholarly papers on narratology and has also completed a UGC-Sponsored Minor Research Project titled 'A Narratological Study of Amitav Ghosh's Calcutta Chromosome.'
- Smt. Piyali Gupta specializes in gender theory and autobiographical narratives. Her papers have been published in a number of books and she is presently occupied with a UGC-Sponsored Minor Research Project on the intersection between disability and autobiographical narratives.
- After submitting her Ph. D in July 2015, Smt. Samata Biswas started a research project on the makings of Haldia as a logistical space, in collaboration with Western Sydney University and Calcutta Research Group. The project will come to an end in April 2016.
- Smt. Neelanjana Basu, the youngest member of the department who joined service in 2014, is working on Nineteenth Century English Literature.
- The department has always attempted to inspire interpretive and critical skills of the students. With this view, the department organizes film shows and student seminars where an active participation of the students is ensured. An Interactive Study Circle organized by the Multifacility Centre for Arts in collaboration with the PG Department of English on 'Reconnaissance with Mahesh Dattani: Reading Tara and Bravely Fought the Queen' on September 30, 2015. Eight UGIII, PG I and PG II students read papers that provided new insights into these two texts.
- Eminent scholars like Dr. Krishna Sen, Former Professor, University of Calcutta, Prof. Jashodhara Bagchi, Former Chairperson, West Bengal State Women's Commission, Dr. Shoma A. Chatterjee, eminent film critic and journalist, Dr. Peter McDonald, Professor of English and Related Literature, St Hugh's College, Oxford University have enlightened the students on various occasions.
- The department had organised a State Level UGC sponsored Seminar on Tagore in Translation in August 2013, in collaboration with the departments of Bengali, Sanskrit and Hindi. Eminent personalities like Shri Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, renowned Sanskrit scholar, Sri Samik Bandyopadhyay, celebrated literary critic and Dr Ramkumar Mukhopadhyay, Adhyaksha, Visva-Bharati Granthan Bibhag were the resource persons at the Seminar.
- The Department has been provided with computers and internet facility.
- It also has a television set so that film shows can be organized for the students.
- The Central Library has more than 11000 books related to the subject. The Department has over 600 books in its Seminar Library and the Book Bank.There are a well-maintained Seminar Library of 220 text and reference books as well as a Book Bank having 100 books, from both of which students borrow books regularly.
- Bethune Prize: Student of the institution who stands first in English Honours in the B. A. Examination from Bethune College.
- Prasanta Kumar Guha Memorial Award for Leadership &Social Awareness: Awarded to a deserving student of English Department.
- Rina Ghosh & Shyamal Ch. Ghosh Memorial Silver Medal : (initiated in 2007) Awarded to the best all-rounder of Department of English, Bethune College.
- Debkumar Gupta Memorial Prize (initiated in 2016): Awarded to the students securing highest marks in the M.A. Part I and Part II Final Examinations.
- There are staff prizes for students securing highest marks in the B.A. Final Part II & Part III Examinations as well as M.A. Examination.
- The UG & PG students of the department presented a street play "The Agony & Ecstasy: Voices & Silences" on Annual Prize Day in February 2017. The play was received with great appreciation.
- The department inspires the students to pursue higher education by honing their critical thinking abilities. Many of our students are engaged in research. Our students have made their mark in various fields. Some of our illustrious students include Smt Nandini Maliya (actor), Dr Madhumita Mukherjee (Associate Professor, Muralidhar College).
- The students of the department are involved in a number of extra and co-curricular activities. They actively participate in the Annual Fest of the college, Aalap and have won several prizes at various competitions. They are also involved with the NSS wing of the college.
- Our students have performed plays at inter-college competitions and one such play "Shaking Shakespeare" performed by our students was awarded the First Prize in the Inter-College Drama Competition held at Jadavpur University in 2011.
Other Academic Websites :
The Department of English became Departmental
Champions jointly with Chemistry department in the Intra
Three students of UG III, Patrali Pradhan, Srijeeta Saha and Maitri Chatterjee were selected in the on-campus recruitment drive conducted by Tata Consultancy Services, 2018.
Shalinee Das of UG II, won 2nd Prize in All Bengal Debate Competition held in commemoration of Sister Nivedita's 150th Birth Anniversary. She was 3rd in Debate held in National Institute for Locomotor Disabilities.
Nirajana Chakraborty of UG I, won the Pritilata Ghosh Memorial Prize for Best Talent in English Literary Creation in 2017.
The department organised a talk on 'Monalisa and Renaissance Art' on 11th of December, 2017. Sri Manosij Majumdar, Former Associate Professor of English, Sri Chaitanya College delivered the lecture.
Kanchan Saraf of PG, 4th Semester and Oindrila Roy Chowdhury of UG III were selected in the recruitment drive conducted in the college campus by Cognizant in 2017.
Oindrila Roy Chowdhury, Lahari Sengupta, Priyanka Jaiswal, Smritilekha Sarkar and Somwrita Mondal of UG III were selected in the on-campus recruitment drive conducted by Tata consultancy Services in 2017.
Three invited lectures were organized in the Department in the session 2016-17. The first "T.S. Eliot & Modernism" was delivered by Dr. Chinmoy Guha, renowned academician & Professor, Dept of English, University of Calcutta in December 2016.
The second and third were delivered by Dr. Tista Das, Assistant Professor, Bankura University & Dr. Anwesha Sengupta, Assistant Professor, Institute of Development Studies on March 8, 2017. Both of them spoke on various aspects of the Partition of Bengal.
Shalinee Das, UG I, represented our college in a panel discussion on the occasion of World Values Day on October 20, 2016 at Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark.
Sukanya Bagchi, UG III, represented our college in a panel discussion on "Priority of Planning a Career at high school and the dilemma of the learners" held at Vivekananda Hall, Kolkata on July 30, 2016 organized by the Institute for Inspiration and Self Development.
Sukanya Bagchi also delivered the students' address on the occasion of Bethune Day in the college on August 12, 2016.
In the 2016-17 session, two Students' Seminars have been organized. The first 'Reading Texts Critically' was held in August 2016 comprising of students of B.A. First Year. The second was held in September 2016 where the students of PG II presented papers on 'Interrogating Orientalism'.
Regular film shows relevant to UG & PG syllabus have been organized in the department in the session 2016-17. Dead Poets' Society, Bright Star, Mayor of Castorbridge, Come September, Wuthering Heights, 1947 Earth, Becket, Maqbool, Throne of Blood, Rear Window, Orson Welles' Macbeth and Polanski's Macbeth were some of the films that were screened.
- The results of the Postgraduate Examination (2015-16) were declared on September 27, 2016. Four students of PG II secured First Class. The results of Semester II of PG I were also declared on the same day. The students performed consistently well.
- Results of the Postgraduate Exams (2014-15) were declared on September 14, 2015. Two students from PG II and 3 from PG I got First Class marks. There were no failures.
- In 2013-14, three students of the department secured First Class marks in the B.A. Part III Final Examination of Calcutta University.
- In 2013, Anurag Basu secured the 10th rank in the B.A. Part III Final Examination of Calcutta University.