phd in english literature

phd in english literature

Exploring New Frontiers in English Literature: A Comprehensive Study for PhD Scholars

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1. Introduction to the Study of English Literature

A thorough study concerning the cultural and societal authenticity and the associated choreographic, folk and popular traditions has entered the current themes in literary studies. The narrative practice influenced through English literature can portray a wide variety of societal actions and deeds. Literary criticism with the underlying social community matrix in the course of the study plays a great part in the understanding process. The evaluative theory and practices of the critic give life to literature through manifold paths of the literary arts. Exclusive portrayal of ethnic similarities leads to reformulating a broader knowledge bank. The special study of traditional and expressive manual features of identity, culture, and belonging demands a reform in the interpretations of English literature as part of valuable research documents. The literary-culture sign is significant. Literature’s strength expands its vision across societal axes. It is also viewed as popular storytelling or the other cultural narrative. The dynamics, aspects of myriad perspectives, social consciousness, social horror arguments and revolution appeals, which mainly concentrate on the common citizens, defend the folklore literature studies and the social duties. Literature does stand as a representative of the public narratives, upholding the diverse societal occupation thresholds. Social responsibility warrants the shared principle of the oppressed and every member of the public. The most thought out parliamentary argument stage, a literary performance that crisscrosses to the social reality and acts as dual purposive realistic or imagined and momentary narrative texts in the English literary performance rally to surge through the social reality discussions.

Contemporary literary theory and criticism look for the relation between language and society. The theoretical speculation is rooted in language theory. The late twentieth-century social deconstructionist manner signifies the reader-centered method of the new explanations. For a comprehensive study of the subjects of literature, social surroundings and predictions must be recognized. It is English that is the universal social language. English literature manifests the international societal, social, class, communal and the universal spirit in the current day. Even in the postcolonial era, English literature upholds an all-encompassing authority. It is commonly known that the scenario of the reading world has changed today. English literature is accepted as the paradigm of the common reader in the postcolonial world. It is hoped that through the eruditions and the interpretative perception of this narrative thesis, one can understand that being a discussion is the life world background of those writers of English literature specifically with reference to society’s contemporary reflections. This will, of course, benefit students, teachers, and scholars of this faculty.

2. Historical Context and Evolution of English Literature

The Renaissance is a period of European history, that is, the main cultural influences occurred in mainland Europe. Yet the Renaissance has had a profound and wide-ranging effect on English literature. “The most important single work which began the Renaissance was the reintroduction of the Greek language and literary culture by the fall of Constantinople in the hands of the Zionan in 1453,” remarks J.W.H. Atkins in his comprehensive survey of the Renaissance in the introduction to his Elizabethan essays. The spirit of the Renaissance ushered into England along with Greek. Such Renaissance followed humanism, which was nothing else but the study of the ideology and art of the ancient Greek and Roman writers and artists. The Protestant Reformation assisted in the outburst, and there was no dearth of individuals to appreciate and comprehend the new learning. The Protestant principle of the restriction of power by religious authority indirectly upheld the individual and his abilities and talents. It is true that the Renaissance promoted a tolerant attitude of mind, but the uneasy echoes of Puritanism could be observed even during the period, showing explicitly how complex and subtle any broad and general characteristic may be.

The earliest efforts of writers in English have a position of prestige in particular situations because they are the precursors of creativity in more than one way. The history of English literature starts with the Anglo-Saxons and two characteristically Old English literary forms are the heroic epic and the riddles. The finest achievement of Anglo-Saxon poetry is “Beowulf,” composed in the 7th or 8th century. It is the only heroic epic that has survived. The author of the poem is unknown and the materials of the poem are mythological; yet the author has treated them from a realistic standpoint. Though “Beowulf” is a pre-Christian poem, the Christian element is present in it. With the Norman Conquest in 1066, a large number of Norman-French words entered the English language, and it marked the beginning of English as we know it today. The origins of the Renaissance are many and can be found in various factors such as economic expansion, trade, exploration, war, the Black Death, scientific, geographic, and family of historical interest, and the medieval tradition.

2.1 Introduction

3. Key Theories and Approaches in English Literary Studies

Questions about tradition in the English Department abound. It has long been customary to think of English studies as a kind of three-branch academic tree composed of literature, linguistics, and composition. The literary part of the curriculum has most often been understood to be a careful balance of a chronological study of the historical development of the dominant formal and generic features of different kinds of literature – poetry, prose, and drama. Careful reading of evidence in depth is as conventionally an important avenue of this study as is the reading nearer to the speed of light of the synopsizing humanities or literature survey course. All this adds up to many the feeling that the best literary students wind up in graduate studies in English.

English literature, like other disciplines, has incorporated several new theories into its disciplinary fabric since the second half of the 20th century. Introducing the concepts of postmodernism, postcolonialism, identity politics, queer theory, gender, feminist theory, Marxism, psychoanalysis, new historicism, and post-structuralism – this chapter raises questions about the adequacy of existing understandings of literary genre, periods, and movements in English studies and their preparedness for prospective doctoral students. It examines the ways in which the modern university system disciplines and civilizes independent intellectual activity in the so-called periphery with intellectual projects on intersectional identities.

4. Critical Analysis of Major Literary Movements and Genres

Literature has always been influenced by and arranged into categories corresponding to the major social, historical, and political concerns of its times. The historical development in England, as in other cultures, of certain groups of genres created by Western Europeans up to the end of the eighteenth century exercised a formative role on the literature of modern nations and cultures. Interestingly, for thousands of years, these genres have enjoyed a remarkably greater continuity on the Indian subcontinent, but their development until now has had minimal influence on these studies. Many scholars in India have contributed by instilling Western critical theories or received and appreciated the Indian texts as repositories of traditional wisdom. Therefore, the study of genres is one of the major tasks of research scholars who are studying English literature. Genres are modes or somewhat differentiated types that represent a family of forms determined by a kind of base material, a basic technique, and a basic communicative function. They are categories that are produced by the fiction of a theory or system of theory, mainly of critical or analytical theories, and so classify some of the aspects of literature and shape the reading that is done of it.

In the present context, literature is understood as a wider concept and it covers what is generally and traditionally organized under the term literature, as well as the stories, writings, and readings engaged with daily life, and those that are associated with the development of various sciences and disciplines. From this broad understanding, literature is seen to record modes of inquiry, experimentation, observation, and thought. In this work, literature is considered as a record of human thought, and the scholars in the fields of science are invited to go through some of the historical writings that are related to their fields. The investigation of the texts helps us to understand the relationship between the times and the state of the human mind. The present work will be useful to all the students, research scholars, teachers, and writers of English literature. Research scholars of other Indian and foreign universities are encouraged to analyze Indian English literature critically related to their regions and to conduct cross-regional literary studies to construct the strengths and weaknesses of various literatures.

5. Emerging Trends and Future Directions in English Literature Research

Dilutions, Ongoing Debates, and Emerging Thrust Areas Dilutions: Many dilutions could have happened over the years if one looks at it from a value chain and ecosystem perspective; what should be apparent at undergraduate or bachelors’ level may not be so at postgraduate or Master’s level and vice-a-versa. Basic English grammar is not similar to an advanced version prescribed to PhD researchers. However, it is glaring that English literature education from undergraduate to postgraduate and post-doctoral levels have undergone a significant amount of dilution. However, the most crucial part that directly affects all other parts of an institution today is research. The fundamental building blocks of research questions, determining the reliability of the data and information, the analysis of the data and information and so on rest in the allied discipline or center’s methodology building blocks. As such, these blocks stand as defining one key subset of the destination. Research in the discipline is also fraught with several problems related to quality education and reskilling challenges. The current generation of researchers needs to be expertly trained to focus on this aspect. The lack of understanding of the context also makes it difficult to appreciate the milestones in English literature. In the realm of job offers, while good to excellent teachers and the best experts in the industry and corporate entities, even banks provide excellent pay scales with related perks, the researchers are poorly counted with no prima facie salary. This fact is one of the major reasons for the dilutions often manifested in an increasing lack of interest among good teachers and researchers.

Introduction In this concluding chapter, the authors of this comprehensive book on “Exploring New Frontiers in English Literature: A Comprehensive Study for PhD Scholars” try to bring to light some of the key dimensions of dilutions, ongoing debates, emerging thrust areas, and future policies, research directions for the wholesome development of English literature research. It is vital to bring policymakers’ and institutional stakeholders’ attention to many myriad aspects and pressure points, as the authors argue, for the improvement and enhancement of the future research scholars of the discipline.

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