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Department of English

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English Department

Inception

Established in 1969, the story of the Dept of English of Utkal University, the oldest University postgraduate department of English in Odisha, is one of continuous expansion and renewal. It has the distinction of being founded by a woman who was not only accomplished in the lore of English literature and language with her A.M degree from the University of Minnesota, USA but was also an early pioneer in the field of women’s higher education in Odisha. Pravat Nalini Das gave academic leadership to the English Department at Utkal since its beginning in 1969 till her retirement in 1987.

Consolidation through the Canon

The 1960s was a heady time for English studies in the country as a whole in the wake of the establishment of the American Studies Research Centre (ASRC), at Hyderabad. With the enthusiastic and liberal support from the USEFI (now USIEF) the English Department at Utkal soon became the nodal centre in the state for the study and cultivation of American literature. It did not of course lead to a slackening of interest in the traditional core area of British literature and especially of the iconic British writers. On the contrary, the British literary canon was a favoured area of teaching what with the British Council facilitating exposure by bringing learned and renowned professors from England to lecture at the Department. Thus for a decade English and American literature continued to move at tandem and dominated the pedagogic scene in the English Dept at Utkal. The department also continued to expand by hiring more people in these core areas. Sarat Satapathy pursued the British thread, teaching and researching drama, especially Shakespeare, Webster and Beckett.  

The alumni of those heady years especially recall the teaching stint of the Fulbright professor Donald Goodyear in the Department of English in the late 1970s and the unforgettable British Council-sponsored 8-day seminar and lecture series on Shakespeare, Dickens and Orwell with the redoubtable Oxford professor John Carey and the eminent Warwick Professor John Mulryan. With Prafulla C. Kar rejoining the Department after a PhD on Saul Bellow from the University of Utah, USA the Department’s American literature programme got a bigger boost. Kar became first an Academic Associate and then the Deputy Director at the ASRC, Hyderabad and considerably helped in the expansion of the scholarly pursuit of American literature among the doctoral students. Kar left the Dept in the late 1980s. It was left to P.G. Rama Rao, an internationally reputed Hemingway Scholar, and Biyot Kesh Tripathy, the author of a critically acclaimed book on the victim in the American novel, to keep the ship of American literature afloat, although Tripathy had only a short time to do so, having joined the dept towards the end of his career.

Homeward Bound

The postcolonial writing back to the centre at the Dept of English was of course not long in coming. Jatindra Mohan Mohanty, another early stalwart of English studies in Odisha, was the first to opt for the dual life that an Indian teacher of English is obliged to lead, earning his bread by teaching English by day and feeding his soul by writing and researching on Odia literature by night. His lasting contribution was a history of Odia literature which he wrote in English. Mohanty also roped in Sahitya Akademi to bolster up the indigenization of the English studies programme at the department. He also was a winner of the prestigious Kendra Sahitya Akademi award. Ganeswar Mishra too embraced the dual life of the Indian teacher of English, making it a cause for celebration. He pursued the hybrid form of Indian English literature professionally and wrote creatively in Odia extensively. He is remembered today as the creator of a fine and delicate artist novel or kunstlerroman in Odia called Sakalara Muhan (Face of the Morning).  Thanks to Mishra a niche for translation (from Odia into English) was carved out in the syllabic and curricular space of the department. It was the first time ever that it happened in Eastern India. More glory was in store for the department in later years as Jatindra Nayak, moving from Sambalpur University to Utkal University in the late 1990s, chose to concentrate on translation and got his work published by prestigious houses such as OUP and Penguin.

The Skilling Turn

Linguistics and English Language Teaching is an area no English department can do without and it has not been otherwise in the department of English. ELT is, in fact, the pragmatic other side of the coin of English. Happily for the department, it had two passionate crusaders for the ‘how-to’ of English teaching in Jugal Kishore Chand and Kalyani Samantray whose legacy is very much visible.  The skilling turn in English has advanced further into the area of composition and editing. The English department at Utkal has been quick to take advantage of the situation, contributing a highly relevant course in professional writing that students from other departments can benefit from under the newly introduced choice based credit system of courses.

The Road Ahead

Thus, the story of English at Utkal has been the story of continuous expansion and revision. Within the span of 47 years it has organized three major international conferences and is on the cusp of organizing in January 2017 its fourth and, by far, the most ambitious international conference on ‘De-centring English Studies: Studying Literature in the Global South’. Hopefully, this will be a forum for reviewing all that English has been and for charting the future course of English studies at Utkal in close interaction with the global trends. (by Himansu S. Mohapatra, Head, English)

Vision

  • To unlock the speaker, thinker, writer in every student. To give every student a share in the enlightened life of the mind and spirit that it is the prerogative of literature to build and nurture. 
  • Mission

    • Being an English department, our first mission is to promote excellence in English studies.
    • Being an English Department in India, our additional, but no less important, mission is to render English studies relevant in a richly diverse multilingual and multicultural world.
    • A third important objective is to produce employable and in-demand postgraduates who can make decisions ethically, problem solve effectively and communicate efficiently.

    Goal

    • We aim to promote a robust cultural literacy and a full-blooded communicative competence of which English language proficiency is a natural byproduct.
    • We teach our students how to weave texts - by way of critiquing, writing and translating - in which we find ourselves already woven.
    • We care, first and foremost, to be - and to produce - ardent readers and interpreters.
    Name : Asima Ranjan Parhi
    Designation : Professor & HEAD
    Qualification : MA, M. Phil, Ph. D
    Phone No. : +91-9436049121
    E-mail ID : asim.parhi@gmail.com
    View Details
    Name : Jatindra Kumar Nayak
    Designation : Professor
    Qualification : B.A., M.A., Ph.D., M. Litt,
    Phone No. : 0674-2548947 (R), 09337116987 (M)
    E-mail ID : nayak.jatin@gmail.com
    View Details
    Name : Pulastya Jani
    Designation : Lecturer/Asst. Professor
    Qualification : M.Phil
    Phone No. : +91-9668735524
    E-mail ID : pulastya.jani@gmail.com
    View Details
    Name : S. Deepika
    Designation : Assistant Professor
    Qualification : M.Phil
    Phone No. : +91-9437933035
    E-mail ID : ideepika87@gmail.com
    View Details
    Name : Himansu Sekhar Mohapatra
    Designation : Professor
    Qualification : B.A., M.A., Ph.D. (University of East Anglia, U.K.)
    Phone No. : +91 (0) 94374 04431, +91 (0) 674 - 2535877 (H), +9
    E-mail ID : heironymo@gmail.com, h_mohapatra@yahoo.com
    View Details

    • M.A.
    • M.Phil.
    • Ph.D.

    Courses Outline

    M.A. (Semester). The Course will cover the following subjects in general.

    • Theories of Literature
    • History of Literature
    • Comparative Studies
    • Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Play
    • Non-fiction
    • 24X7 Reading room with Air condition
    • Department Library
    • Audio visual facilities
    • During 2007-08 English department was inducted under the SAP programme of UGC and got admitted into DRS I. The duration of the programme was 5 years. During this time the department organized several seminars and workshops relating to the thrust area “Translating Orissa”. Two important monographs came out of these seminars and workshops. The books published are:
    • A World Elsewhere: Images of Kolkata in Oriya Autobiographies. Bhubaneswar:  Department of English, Utkal University and Grassroots, (Ed. Dr. J.K. Nayak) SAP PublicationDark Loneliness: Selected Short Stories of Gopinath Mohanty. Department of English and Grassroots. (Ed. Dr. Mauricio Aguilera Linde) SAP Publication.
    • The department runs a reading group named ARIEL (Ardent Reader and Interpreters of English Literature) to promote love of reading and books among students. It holds monthly discussions and occasionally screens classic movies. It attracts students from outside. City-based creative writers attend special sessions of ARIEL.
    • The department has announced a writing contest called “Nothing like the Sun: Shakespeare@400” to mark the quarter centenary of Williams Shakespeare’s death on 4 November 2016. Two top students will go on a trip to England in April 2017. The trip is being sponsored by a friend of the department who organized a Shakespeare festival in Bhubaneswar earlier this year.

    The department has applied for projects  Titled

    1. English Communication Skills Enhancement (ECSE) project for Graduates and Postgraduates of Odisha to improve their job prospects.

    Name of the PI: Prof H S Mohapatra

    Name of the Co-PI: Dr Kalyani Samantray

    Name of the Co-PI: S Deepika

    Budget: Rs. 68,49,600.00/-

     

    1. History of English Studies in Odisha

    Name of the PI:  S. Deepika

    Name of the Co-PI: Pulastya Jani

    Budget: Rs. 2,27,000/-

    SEMINARS

     

    Sl. No

    Seminars

    Resource Persons & Keynoters

    Funding Agency

    1

    Independence or interdependence: Is Postcolonial Literature truly Postcolonial?

    5 October 2010

    Alastair Niven, Principal Cumberland Lodge, U.K

     

    Departmental Seminar

    2

    Odia Writers Writing in English and Odia Literature in English Translation      March 30 – 31, 2011

    Prof. Sachidananda Mohanty (Professor of English, University of Hyderabad)

    UGC

    3

    Literature, Culture, Language: New Perspectives 

    26 – 27 November 2011

     

     

    Prof. Paul St-Pierre, Adjunct Professor of Translation, University of Montreal and

    Prof Mauriceo De Aguilera Linde (Professor of English, University of Granada, Spain

    Departmental Seminar

    4

    Intertextuality in the Works of Jhumpa Lahiri

    8 March 2011

    Prof. John Cussen, Fulbright Visiting Professor in India

    Urmila Foundation

    5

    Staying in Literature

    26 April 2012

     

    Chandrahas Chaudhury, Novelist and Editor

    Departmental Seminar

    6

    Feminist Narratives in the Public Domain

    30-31 March 2012

     

    Dr. K. Suneetha Rani, Assoicate Professor, University of Hyderabad

    Departmental Seminar

    7

    Topographies of the Mind, Society and Culture: Identities and Crossovers

    9-10 November 2012

     

    Dr. Pramod K. Nayar, Associate Professor, University of Hyderabad

    Departmental Seminar

    8

    National Seminar on Publishing and Editing

    28-29 March 2014

    Prof Swapan Chakravorty, Retired Professor of English, Jadavpur University

    UGC

    9

    Seminar-cum-Workshop on Research in English Studies: Trends, Methods and Mechanics

    12-13 November 2015

    Dr. Amlan Dasgupta, Professor of English and Director School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University

    Dr. Devalina Mukharjee, Jadavpur University

    Departmental Seminar

    Workshop

    Sl .No

    Workshop

    Resource Persons & Keynoters

     

    1

    Collaborative Workshop on Research Methodology with ITER SOA

    21-22 December 2010

    Prof. Jitendra Narayan Pattanaik, Prof. H.S Mohapatra, Prof. J.K Nayak, Dr. Ashok Kumar Mohanty, Dr. K. Samantray, Dr. Swayamprava Satapathy, Dr. Stithapajna, Prof. Amulya Kishore Purohit, Prof, Ramshankar Nanda, Prof. Kalidas Mishra, Prof. Diptiranjan Pattanaik

    SOA University

    2

    The Mechanics of Language Use : Trends and Boundaries Today

    1 February 2013

    Prof. K. Narayana

    Chandran, University of

    Hyderabad

    UGC

    3

    Skill Based Workshop on Enhancing Reading, Writing and Editing Skills

    21-22 November 2015

    Prof. Dipti Ranjan Pattnaik, Dr. K. Samantray, Prof. H.S. Mohapatra, Dr. Chinmaya Hota, Prof. Bikram K. Das, Dr. S.N. Tripathy, Dr. A.J. Khan

    UGC

     

    Publications of the department (faculty wise)

    Prof. Himansu S. Mohapatra

    Peer Reviewed Journal

    1. “The secret of Ganeswar Mishra’s story telling art. Journal of the Odisha Association of English Studies.6. 2016.
    2. “In Search of the Writerly Text.”Journal of the Odisha Association of English Studies. Vol. 5. 2015.
    3. “Odia Literature, Pomophobia and the Fiction of Biyotkesh Tripathy.”Journal of the Odisha Association of English Studies.Vol 4. 2014.
    4. “English against Englishing: The Case of an Early EnglishTranslation of an Oriya Novel.”TTR. December 2010.

    Edited Books

    1. Vistas and Visions: A Textbook of Prose and Poetry. Orient BlackSwan, India(K. Samantray, H.S. Mohapatra, J.K. Nayak, Arun K. Mohanty and Gopa Mishra). 2015.
    1. Endless Adventures: A Collection of English Prose. Orient Black Swan, India. UG General English Prose Textbook (Prof. H.S. Mohapatra et al). 2012.

    Book Chapters

    1. “Babu Fiction in Disguise: Reading Arvind Adiga’s The White Tiger.” University of Amsterdam Press, 2013.
    1. “Two Classic Tales of Village India” in Satya P. Mohanty (ed) Colonialism, Modernity and Literature: A View from India. London: Palgrave-Macmillan. 2012.

    Authored Books

    1. Model of the Middle: Essays and Musings. BirdNest, Bhubaneswar. 2014.
    1. Pitching for the Middle. Createspace, South Carolina, USA. 2013.

    Prof. Jatindra Kumar Nayak

    Peer Reviewed Journal

    1. ‘Gopinath Mohanty: A Centenary Tribute’, Indian Literature, September- October, 2014.
    2. “Re-viewing the West: A Perspective on Gyanakosh or Encyclopedia Orissana.”Jadavpur Journal of Comparative Literature. 2012.
    1. ‘Story-teller, Poet and Playwright:Three Odia Translations of Shakespeare in Orissa’, Shakespearean International Yearbook, Tom Bishop. Sukanta Chaudhury (ed), Ashgate Publishers, U.K. 2012.

    Edited Books

    1. Vistas and Visions: A Textbook of Prose and Poetry. Orient BlackSwan, India(K. Samantray, H.S. Mohapatra, J.K. Nayak, Arun K. Mohanty and Gopa R. Mishra). 2015.
    1. A World Elsewhere: Images of Kolkata in Oriya Autobiographies. Bhubaneswar:

    Department of English, Utkal University and Grassroots, UGCSAP Publication. 2010.

    1. Reflections on Literature and Culture: J P Das , Rupantar, 2010.
    1. Memory, Images, Imagination: Bengalis and Oriyas in Burma (1900-1948). Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, 2010.

    Conference Proceedings

    1. “Autobiographies as a Counterarchive.” Proceedings of the National seminar on Autobiography held in Ravenshaw University, January 2014

    Prof. Asim Ranjan Parhi

    1. Peer Reviewed Journal “Language as Effective Cultural Practice: The English Language and the Glocal Narrative”. IJMT (International Journal of Multidisciplinary Thought, CD-ROM. ISSN- 2156-6992). 5 (1): 285–293 (2015)
    2. “Rekindling Innocence: Environmental Justice in Children’s Ecofiction”. Inter Views (Joint with Harini P Das).Vol-2, No.1, July 2015,pp.39-55. ISSN“-2349-400X. 2015.

    Edited Books

    1. The Widening Arc: A Selection of Prose and Stories. (Ed) by Asima R. Parhi, S.Deepika and Pulastya Jani. Bhubaneswar: Kitab Bhavan, 2016

    Pulastya Jani

    Edited Books

    1. The Widening Arc: A Selection of Prose and Stories. (Ed) by Asima R. Parhi, S.Deepika and Pulastya Jani. Bhubaneswar: Kitab Bhavan, 2016 

    S Deepika

    Edited Books

    1. The Widening Arc: A Selection of Prose and Stories. (Ed) by Asima R. Parhi, S.Deepika and Pulastya Jani. Bhubaneswar: Kitab Bhavan, 2016
    • Abhishek Upadhyay, Jr. Lecturer OES Group B
    • P Murlidhar Shrama, Assistant Professor OUAT Odisha
    • S Deepika, Lecturer/ Asst Professor Utkal University
    • Pulastya Jani, Lecturer/ Asst Professor Utkal University
    • Dharmapada Jena, OTS TS Lecturer Govt. of Odisha
    • Gayatri Lenka, OTS TS Lecturer Govt. of Odisha
    • James Sunnit Ekka, OTS TS Lecturer Govt. of Odisha
    • Hirendra Kumbhar, OTS TS Lecturer Govt. of Odisha
    • Anuja Khatua, OTS TS Lecturer Govt. of Odisha
    • Debasmita Paul , Jr. Lecturer (Adhoc) Govt. of Odisha
    • Tania Ranjan Behera, Jr. Lecturer (Adhoc) Govt. of Odisha
    • Anibha Ekka Jr. Lecturer (Adhoc) Govt. of Odisha
    • Andrea Shabar Jr. Lecturer OES Group B
    • Bharati Munda Jr. Lecturer (Adhoc) Govt. of Odisha
    • Sagar Kumar Bhoi Jr. Lecturer (Adhoc) Govt. of Odisha

     

     

    Almost 50 of our students found employment as teachers and trainers in technical and private institutes within and outside Odisha.

    P.G. Department of English, Utkal University

    Alumni

    1. Satyananda Mishra, I.A.S, Retired, Formerly Information Commissioner Govt. of India
    2. Ashok Acharya, I.R.S, Retired Chief Commissioner of Income Tax
    3. Srimoy Kar, Resident Editor, New Indian Express
    4. Yasodhara Mishra, Poet and Novelist
    5. Sura Prasad Rath, Professor of English, University of North Texas ,Dallas, USA
    6. Dharanidhar Sahu, Formerly Professor Berhampur University
    7. Dilip Kumar Das, Professor of English, EFLU, Hyderabad
    8. Dipti Ranjan Pattanaik, Professor of English, BHU and Leading Creative Writer in Odia
    9. Kalidas Mishra, Professor of English, Sambalpur University
    10. Rupashree Nanda, Senior Reporter CNN-IBN
    11. Ranendra Pratap Swain, Member, Odisha Legislative Assembly
    12. Rabi Behera, President Samajbadi Party