Introduction

The history of the Department of English dates back to the very foundation of Women’s Christian College in 1945. Ms Stella Bose, Founder Principal of the College, headed the Department, and with the help of Ms Allen and Mr P.D. Bose, created a strong base for the study of English language and literature in this small college.

The Honours option in the 3-year B.A. Degree Course (under the University of Calcutta) came into existence in the late 1940s. Since then, Ms Anjali Chatterjee, Ms Jyotsna Chatterjee, Ms Premi Gergen, Ms Asha Biswas, Ms.Smritituku Roy, Dr Dora A. Mondal, Ms Soma Chatterjee and Dr Sunetra Sinha were, over the years, inductees into the departmental faculty. In terms of student number and activity, the Department of English has grown into one of the largest and most vibrant of the constituent units of Women’s Christian College.

At present, it is a matter of great pride that our Principal Dr Ajanta Paul is a part of this Department, whose other faculty members are Ms Soma Roy, Mr Kushal A. Biswas, Ms Devalina Gopalan and Ms Adharshila Chatterjee.

Departmental Activities: Curricular

  • Besides teaching English in the various courses offered by the college, the Department organizes and participates in seminars and special lectures to supplement the teaching process and help to build up a rich academic and cultural environment in the college. Quizzes based on the syllabus, presentations by reputed academics in observance of special days or events related to literary giants; writing and reading academic papers: the Department has regularly been part of all these activities, intended to augment the teaching-learning process, sometimes in collaboration with other institutions.
  • The Department regularly arranges film and documentary screenings, including those related to texts being studied, to supplement textual reading/discussions and help students get a broader perspective of the way textual issues are treated in another medium. The college’s smart classrooms enable this to be done as part of the regular classes being conducted; the most recent screenings include versions of The Rivals, Arms and the Man, Macbeth and The Secret Sharer. Students have also been taken to dramatic performances of texts media, to broaden the horizons of students’ understanding and appreciation.
  • The faculty members closely monitor the overall progress in the studies of the students. The department holds meetings between teachers and parents/guardians of the students/wards, to review the strengths and weaknesses of the students/wards and suggest corrective measures to be taken for desired results. The most recent teachers-parents meeting was held in October 2016.

 

Faculty Directory

 

Dr Ajanta Paul

Principal
M.A., Ph.D.
Profile

Ms Soma Ray

Associate Professor
M.A., M.Phil.
Profile

 

Kushal A. Biswas

Associate Professor and HOD
M.A.
Profile

Devalina Gopalan

M.A., M.Phil
Profile

Adharshila Chatterjee

Assistant Professor
M.A., M.Phil
Profile

 

Departmental Activities: Co-Curricular

  • The faculty members encourage the students to participate in sports, drama, social fests and talent search competitions, and to engage in creative writing for intra- and inter-college magazines. Our students have participated in NCC camps; won debates and creative writing competitions on campus; contributed to the college wall magazine; taken part in inter-college festivals; performed at college functions; and been part of self-defence workshops and presentations.
  • Students are also exhorted to do community work. Girls from the department have joined NSS, aided the visually challenged, participated in women-oriented programmes and workshops organized by the college’s Women’s Study Cell, and distributed clothes and medicines to victims of calamities and disasters. The diversity of exposure given to the students helps them build up a strong personality and tolerant attitude towards life. At the same time they are able to extend sympathy and help to the needy and troubled.
Departmental students presented papers at a students’ seminar on the Age of Romanticism, organized by Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri College in April 2014
Students of the Department were taken to watch a Bengali theatrical adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented by the faculty and students of Viswa Bharati University in Sep 2015
Prof Chinmoy Guha was invited by the Department to deliver a special lecture in observance of W.B. Yeats’s sesquicentenary in Jan 2016
Second-year English Honours students attended a Special Lecture on Macbeth, delivered by Dr Ralla Guha Niyogi at Asutosh College in Jan 2016
The Department organized a seminar on Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Sharer in collaboration with the Departments of English, Asutosh College and New Alipore College in Feb 2016
Departmental students participated in a Walk for Books organized by the American Library as part of National Library Week in April 2016
The Department organized a Literature and Arts Quiz and a Book Exhibition by Thema to commemorate World Book Day in May 2016

 

Departmental Library and Journal

  • The Department has a small Seminar Library. It started around with fifty books donated by a staff member. With regular contributions from different members and the College Library the number has now swelled to around 250. There are also cassettes, cds and vcds.
  • The Department has a journal, Polyphonic Ensembles, which includes contributions from past and present students.

Student Achievers

A quick check-list of recent achievers who have studied English:

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
Anurima Pal Ranked 1st  in Calcutta University’s B.A. examination 2014
Diya Bhattacharyya, Debapriya Bhatta Winners of the Founders’ Memorial Debate awards, 2014
Juliana Halder Champion of Champions at College Annual Sports, 2015 and 2016
Lovely Anamika Bachmann NCC – Best Cadet Award in 2016
Indira Priyanka Bachmann NCC – Second-best Cadet Award in 2016

 

Special Features of the Department

  • An entry-point test after admission, to assess the student’s aptitude with regard to the subject they have opted for
  • Extensive use of ICT in the classroom and beyond, to enrich the teaching-learning experience
  • Prizes and incentives to motivate departmental performers, including the recently instituted Smritituku Roy Memorial Award for Excellence