From Canon to Covid : Transforming English Literary Studies in India. Essays in Honour of GJV Prasad book cover
1st Edition

From Canon to Covid
Transforming English Literary Studies in India. Essays in Honour of GJV Prasad

  • Available for pre-order on June 6, 2023. Item will ship after June 27, 2023
ISBN 9781032508436
June 27, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge India
232 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This multi-genre collection of essays presents the dramatic transformation of English Studies in India since the early 1990s. It showcases the shift from the study of mainly British literature and language to a more versatile terrain of multilingualism, culture, performance, theory, and the literary global South. Tracing this transition, the volume discusses themes like Indian literary history, post-colonial theory, post-pandemic challenges to literary studies, the state of Indian-English drama, vernacular literature in English studies and pedagogy, translations of feminist writers from South Asia, caste, and othering in literature, among other key themes. The volume, with contributions from eminent English Studies scholars not only reflects the altered terrain of English Language and Literature in India, but also invites readers to think about the transformative potential of the present juncture for both literary imagination and literary studies.

This timely book, in honour of Professor GJV Prasad, will be of interest to scholars and researchers of English studies, cultural studies, literature, comparative literature, translation studies, postcolonial studies and critical theory.


Table of Contents

Foreword by Suman Gupta


Angelie Multani, Swati Pal, Nandini Saha, Albeena Shakil and Arjun Ghosh


Sub-Theme I: Literary Studies in India

1. Re-situating Literary Historiography in India

M. Asaduddin

2. Coronavirus Spacesuits: Or Hard Times as Launching Pads For Literary Travel

Rukmini Bhaya Nair

3. The Pandemic and the Postcolonial

Meena T Pillai

4. Literary Studies and the Global South: A Perspective

Mala Pandurang


Sub-Theme II: Drama

4. The State of the Stage: An Interview with Mahesh Dattani

Angelie Multani

5. Performing the Dalit: A Reading of Dalit Plays

B. Mangalam

7. An Equalising Act: 'Medea' in Delhi and Rajasthan

Anuradha Marwah


Sub-Theme III: Poetry

8. Poetry, Plague and Locusts: About writing sonnets on the Black Death

Keki N. Daruwalla

9. Literary Cultures, Reading Practices and Contemporary Literary Studies in India

Udaya Kumar

10.   Of Dreamtime and Dream-tracks: Revisiting Australian Aboriginal identity construction with reference to select poems by Oodgeroo Noonuccal and Kevin Gilbert

Santosh Sareen


Sub-Theme IV: Translation and Transcreation

11. An Equal Music

CS Lakshmi

12. Translation, Interpretation, and Transcreation: Texts and Contexts in the Indian Scenario

Somdatta Mandal

13. Translating South Asia: Women and Radical Textuality

Radha Chakravarty


Sub-Theme V: Fiction, Language and Context

14. Are the Ghosts in Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw Real?

Tabish Khair

15. Marginalization and Dispossession in the Kashmiri Novel

Meenakshi Bharat

16. Calling Local/Talking Global: the Cosmo-politics of the Call-center Industry

Jisha Menon

17. An Overview of Writings in English from the North East

KB Veio Pou, Achingliu Kamei


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Angelie Multani is Professor of Literature at the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, IIT Delhi, India.

Swati Pal is the Principal of Janki Devi Memorial College University of Delhi, India, where she is also Professor in the Department of English.

Nandini Saha is Professor and HoD of the Department of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.

Albeena Shakil is Professor of English at the O.P. Jindal Global University, India.

Arjun Ghosh is Associate Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India.




"I celebrate this collection of incisive and animated essays by some of the sharpest scholars of literary studies in India; but even more, I salute the man who has inspired it. 

GJV Prasad—longtime friend and colleague, sharer of laughter and bon mots at so many locations over the years and finally at JNU offices two doors apart—has worn both his erudition and his popularity with a rare, and equal, lightness. It may be said with certainty that an overwhelming number of English teachers and students across India know him slightly or well: and not merely for his translations, his academic writing, his courses and his talks, but for the generosity of his time, humour, advice and affection. All of these—with the exception of his hugely anticipated classes each semester over an eventful forty-one years at Jawaharlal Nehru University, whose Centre for English Studies he grew synonymous with—should remain unaffected by his retirement from teaching.

Yet, the retirement of a stalwart teacher and mentor such as GJV Prasad is a moment of pleasant pause for all the minds he touched and shaped over decades. This volume of essays in honour of him is timely, thoughtful and fitting. It traverses the wide reach of his scholarly interests in the collated work of his friends, students and colleagues; they pay tribute to his place in their intellectual lives through this gesture that will speak the most eloquently to him, as well as to all those who occupy the field of English literary studies in contemporary India. It is a public encomium that carries with it a scent of friendship: there could hardly be a better gift."

Brinda Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru University 

"An extraordinary tribute to teacher, translator and creative writer Prof. GJV Prasad, the book From Canon to Covid: Transforming English Literary Studies in India tracks every significant signpost in the evolution of the most ‘aspirational’ subject in the country. From questioning the canon to offering insightful readings of Indian writing, from analysing syllabus change to noting corresponding developments in translation and publishing, from creative writing to theorisations, the essays constitute a  comprehensive understanding of literary studies in the context of national dynamics. Scholars of renown, associated with the long and illustrious career of GJV, have come together in a remarkable expression of solidarity to create a book of outstanding quality and significance."

Malashri Lal. Dept. of English, and former Dean of Colleges, University of Delhi