Department of English, Punjabi University, Patiala
Department History | Teaching Faculty | Thrust Areas | Significant Achievements | Admission Procedure | Courses Offered & Admission Criteria | Infrastructure | Major Research Projects | Doctoral Dissertations | Contact Us

Department History

Ever since its inception in 1962, the year the Punjabi University was instituted, the Department of English has been among the premier Departments in the faculty of languages. In the early years the Department functioned from the Baradari Gardens and then from Government Mohindra College, Patiala. In 1967 it moved to the newly built campus. The first Head of the Department was Dr. Amrik Singh, an eminent educationist and erudite teacher of English Literature. He remained in the chair from 1962 to 1965. He was succeeded by Dr. Darshan Singh Maini – an internationally renowned Henry James scholar, brilliant teacher, academician and critic – who held the reins of the Department for the longest span, from 1965 to 1979. The other scholars of eminence who headed the Department in the following years included Dr. Gurdit Singh, Dr. B. R. Rao, Dr. G. S. Rahi and Dr. Sant Singh Bal, Dr. Gurbhagat Singh, Prof. M. L. Sharma, Dr. Gurkirpal Singh Sekhon and Dr. Ranjit Kaur Kapur. All of them have been teachers and scholars of extraordinary ability and integrity.

Many other distinguished teachers who joined the Department since its inception and superannuated at different stages after ably contributing to its academic life include Professors Gurbux Singh, Som P. Ranchan, B. M. Razdan, S. D. S. Chibber, R. S. Verma, Joginder Kaushal and Teja Singh Tiwana.

At present, Dr. Gulshan Rai Kataria, an eminent Tennessee Williams scholar and Fulbrighter, is heading the Department. He has published extensively in the field of Modern Drama and has active interest in Twentieth-century Literature as well as Elizabethan drama. The other members of the Department include Dr. Ranjit Kaur Kapur and Dr. Manjit Inder Singh, both Professors, Dr. Rupinder Kaur, Reader, Dr. Rabinder Powar, Senior Lecturer, Dr. Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Ms. Archna Sahni and Ms. Jaspreet Mander – all Lecturers.

The Department currently offers Post-Graduate Course on a regular basis under the semester system. The M.A. Part I curriculum begins with Chaucer and covers the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from the different perspectives of history, genre and authors. The M.A. Part II curriculum begins with the twentieth century literature and includes, among other areas, literary criticism, World Literature in English, Contemporary Drama and the latest critical theories. Besides these compulsory papers, the Department offers the following options to M.A. I and II students: English Phonetics and Phonology, Indian Writing in English, Modern British Fiction, American Literature, Post-Colonial Writing, and Language and Linguistics.

The Department serviced the M. Phil Course in English from 1976 onwards for many years. Under the supervision and guidance of the teachers of the Department, about a hundred M. Phil dissertations were submitted by the candidates in various areas of literary studies. The Department proposes to restart the M. Phil. Course in 2004. The Ph. D. programme was launched in the seventies. More than thirty candidates have since been awarded the Ph.D. degree.

In order to promote research and the dissemination of its fruits, the Department has also organised several National and International Seminars and Conferences.


Name:Dr Rupinder Kaur  
Qualifications:M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
Specialization:Victorian Literature Feminist Studies

Name:Dr. Rabinder Powar     
Designation: Professor  E-mail:
Qualifications:M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
Specialization:Modern Drama, Linguistics, Diasporic Writing.

Name: Dr. Rajesh Kumar Sharma  
Qualifications:M.A., Ph.D.
Specialization: Feminist studies, Critical Theory

Name: Jaspreet Mander Head
Designation:Associate Professor
Qualifications:M.A., M.Phil., PGDTE
Specialization: Linguistics and ELT, Indian Writing in English

Name:Dr Gulshan Rai Kataria (Re-employed       
Qualifications:M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D.
Specialization:American Drama, Elizebethan Drama,20th Century Literature


Thrust Area

  • British Literature
  • American Literature
  • World Literature in English
  • Indian Writing in English
  • Literary Theory and Criticism

Significant Achievements

1. The Department has successfully organized the following seminars and conferences in the last three decades:

(i) XXXVI International Conference of the Indian Association for American Studies (2004)

(ii) The Post Condition (1999)

(iii) Comparative and National Literatures (1991)

(iv) Feminine Sensibility and English Literatures (1989)

(v) Commonwealth Literature (1987)

(vi) Critical Approaches and Research Methodology (1984)

(vii)Silver Jubilee Session of All India English Teachers Conference (1974)

2. The Department has published the following monographs:

(i) The Post Condition: Theory, Texts and Contexts, ed. Ranjit Kaur Kapoor and Manjit Inder Singh (Proceedings of the Seminar organized in 1999).

(ii) Footprints: Critical Essays on Literature in the Memory of Professor G.S. Rahi, a Festschrift (1998).

(iii) Critical Approaches and Research Methodology, ed. B.R.Rao (Proceedings of the Seminar organized in 1984).

3. Besides these monographs, the following books have been published by the members of the department:

(i) Dr. D.S. Maini

Henry James: The Indirect Vision, Studies in Punjabi Poetry, Cry, the Beloved Punjab, The Spirit of American Literature, A Reluctant Flame (Poems).

(ii) Dr. Gurdit Singh

The Poetry of James Thomson, B.V.

(iii) Dr. B.R. Rao

The American Fictional Hero,The Novels of Mrs. Anita Desai

(iv) Dr. Sant Singh Bal

George Orwell: The Ethical Imagination

(v) Dr. G.S. Rahi

Edith Wharton

(vi) Dr. Gurbhagat Singh

Eastern Poetics and Western Thought, Studies in William Blake, Literature and Folklore after Structuralism, Transcultural Poetics, Sikhism and Postmodernist Thought, Japuji: A Translation.

(vii)Dr. Ranjit Kaur Kapoor

The Theme and Treatment of Evil in Joseph Conrad

(viii) Dr. Gulshan Rai Kataria

The Faces of Eve: A Study of the Plays of Tennessee Williams

(ix) Dr. Manjit Inder Singh

V.S.Naipaul and George Lamming: The Poetics of Alienation and Identity, V.S. Naipaul (Diasporic Writers Series), Milestones (Poems), The Critical Space: Studies in Literature, Theory, Nationalism and Diaspora (forthcoming).

(x) Ms. Jaspreet Mander

Lemons, Oranges and Pomegranates (Poems).

4. The members of the Department have on different occasions visited foreign countries to participate in conferences and seminars. Dr. Darshan Singh Maini was a frequent invitee to international seminars in the U.S., Canada, England, Poland, Singapore and other countries. He was also the National Lecturer for one year. Dr. Gurbhagat Singh visited Europe, America, Brazil and Japan to chair seminars and make innovative presentations. Dr. Gulshan Rai Kataria visited the U.S. as International Visitor to the United States on invitation from the American Council of Learned Societies in 1991. He was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in 1992. During this period, he was based at New York University in Manhattan. Dr. Manjit Inder Singh visited the United Kingdom and France to present papers at the International ACLALS Conference and World Literature Conference in 1989.

5. Every year the Department organizes the B.R. Rao Memorial Lecture which is attended by the University faculty as well as the students. The eminent speakers who have delivered talks in this ongoing series include Dr. Mulk Raj Anand, Dr. K. Satchidanand, Dr. M.L. Raina, Dr. Bhim S. Dahiya, Dr. K. L. Johar, Dr. Som P. Ranchan and Dr. Anil Wilson. Besides, the Department organizes the Annual Sood Memorial Symposium Contest every year in memory of an old student of the Department. Participants in this contest include students of the Department as well as of the neighboring Post-Graduate Departments of colleges and Universities. Each paper presentation is followed by an animated discussion.

The Department also organizes weekly seminars to keep the students actively engaged through regular presentation of papers and participation in discussions. The members of the faculty also contribute to these discussions.

The Department organized a Refresher Course in English from 8th to 28th March 2004. Thirty six Lecturers in English participated in this 3-week course. The next Refresher Course is scheduled for December 2004.

The Department has recently started a need-based, self-sustaining and path-breaking Remedial Course in English. It aims at improving English speaking and writing skills of students. The course though open to all is primarily meant for the campus students. Classes for this course are held in the evening in the Department.

Courses Offered and Admission Criteria

M.A. (2 yrs.)
Student Intake : 65
Pre-requisite : B.A. with English Literature
Career Options : Teaching, Research, Civil Service

Download Syllabus
1. B.A.
2. M.A.
3. Remedial Course in English
Duration: Three months (Evening Course)
Seats: 40

Admission Procedure and Eligibility

1. M.A. (English)
Admission Procedure: Direct admission
Eligibility: At least 50 % each in English Literature (Elective) and Aggregate at the B. A. level

3. Remedial Course in English
Admission Procedure: Direct admission
Eligibility: Preferably graduation in any discipline


M.A.(English) Part-I


Course I : Chaucer to the Renaissance
Course II : Jacobean to the Restoration Age
Course III : Neo-Classicism and the Rise of the Novel
Course IV : Any one of the following options:

a) English Phonetics and Phonology
b) Shakespeare
c) Greek Classics in Translation


Course V : The Romantic Age
Course VI : Victorian Poetry, Prose and Drama
Course VII : The Victorian Novel
Course VIII : Either of the following options:

a) Indian Writing in English
b) Translation: Theory and Practice

M.A.(English) Part-II


Course IX : Literary Criticism
Course X : 20th Century Literature
Course XI : European Literature
Course XII : Any one of the following options:

a) American Literature
b) Modern British Literature
c) Modern Canadian Fiction


Course XIII : Literary Theory
Course XIV : World Literature in English
Course XV : Contemporary Drama
Course XVI : Any of the following options:

a) Post-Colonial Writing
b) Feminist Literature and Theory
c) Language and Linguistics

2. M. Phil. (English)


Course I : Research Methodology and Critical Approaches to Literature (Compulsory)
Course II : Contemporary Diasporic Writing (Compulsory)
Course III : Either of the following options:

a) Theory of Fiction
b) Trends and Movements in Theatre


Course IV : Literary Theory (Compulsory)
Course V : Modern World Classics (Compulsory)
Course VI : Any one of the following options:

a) Contemporary Indian Literature
b) Feminist Writing
c) Literature and the Colonial Experience

3. Remedial Course in English

This is primarily a practical course aimed at improving the students’ speaking and writing skills in the English language.


Department Library
University Library

Major Research Projects (In Progress)

1. Hina Nandrajog: Partition as Metaphor of Betrayal and Violence in Selected Fiction in English and Translated Works.

Supervisor: Dr. G. R. Kataria

2. Karmjit Kaur Virdi: Search for Identity in the poetry of Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon and Paula Muldoon.

Supervisor: Dr. G. R. Kataria

3. Mandeep Singh Chahal: The Nation and Beyond: The Historico- Cultural Identity of Punjabi Character in 20th Century World Fiction in English.

Supervisor: Dr. Manjit Inder Singh

4. Swaraj Raj: Diasporic Consciousness in the Selected Novels of Salman Rushdie, Rohinton Mistry and Bharati Mukherjee.

Supervisor: Dr. G. R. Kataria


Anand Prakash Sharma- Mysticism and the Nature of Consciousness in Robert Frost

Avtar Singh Bhullar- India: Myth and Reality in the Fiction of Rudyard Kipling,

E.M. Forster, L.H. Myers and John Masters

Avtar Singh- Ethics and Aesthetics in the Novels of E. M. Forster

Ayesha Khosla- Marginalisation of Women in the Works of Mark Twain

Bhupinder Jit Kaur- Ethics and Aesthetics of Saul Bellow: A Selective Study

Daler Singh- Existentialism of the Absurd: A Study of Albert Camus’ Works

Harinder Sohi- Images of Women in Nayantara Sehgal, Anita Desai and Ruth Jhabvala

Jagroop Singh- D. H. Lawrence’s Concept of the Holy Ghost: A Study of His Fiction

Jolly Vrinda Bhardwaj- God in the Darkling Plain: Spiritual Quest in the Poetry of  Hopkins

Kumkum Bajaj- Towards Higher Self: Critical study of Iris Murdoch’s Novels

Manjitinder Singh- V. S. Naipaul and George Lamming: Two Approaches to the Problem of Alienation and Identity.

Mohinder Singh Dhillon- R. K. Narayan: Novelist of the Middle Classes

Narinder Kumar- Existential Concerns in the Poetry of Robert Frost

Nirmal Bajaj- Narcissism in Black Poetry Between the Wars

Paramjit Singh Ramana- Narrative Patterns in the Fiction of R. K. Narayan

Parveen Kaur Khanna- Socio-Cultural and Regional Interface of Women in Post- Independence Indian Fiction in English.

Perminder Bandesha- Comparative Study of Female Characters in the Major Fiction of Henry James and Anita Desai

Prabh Dayal- Philosophical Vision of Raja Rao: A Study of His Fiction in English

Rabinder Powar- Tragic Patterns in Modern American Drama: A Study of Selected Plays

of Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller

Rajesh Kumar Sharma- Kamala Das’s Work: A Feminist Perspective

Rajtinder Singh - Marginality vs. Centre: Paradigms of Colonial Experience in the Major Fiction of V. S. Naipaul.

Ranjit Kaur- Symbiosis of Drama and Imagery in Henry James

Rupinder Kaur- Faith and Doubt in the Poetry of Robert Browning

Rupinderjit Saini- Partition Theme: A Comparative Study of Indo-Anglian and Punjabi Fiction

S.K. Mushtaq Dwesar- Thomas Hardy and Graham Greene: Study of the Picaresque Saint in their Novels

Sant Singh Bal- George Orwell and the Ethical Imagination

Santosh Gupta- Nature and Patterns of Evil in the Fiction of William Golding

Seema Bansal- Images of Society in the Plays of J. B. Priestley

Sharan Pal Singh- Moral Paradigms: A Study of the Selected Novels of Herman Melville and Joseph Conrad

Sukhdeep Dhillon- Relationship Between Content and Form in the Plays of Arthur Miller

Contact Us
Name: Dr. Jaspreet Mander
The Head of the Department,
Department of English
Punjabi University, Patiala,Punjab.

Pin -147002

Ph: 0175-304-6246

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