Emerging Trends in English Studies in India: An Overview
Though English emerged as a discipline towards the end of the nineteenth century, it has been the center of academic debates in the country of its origin. The rise of English studies is a process motivated by social rather than intellectual ends, with the discipline being promoted as uniquely suited to a mission of national cultivation. Then onwards, English has polarized its position on its function in education; from single standard language to recognition of varieties, from emphasis on writing to attention to speech, from dictionary definitions and grammatical rules to flexibility of usage, from canon of great works to open for no canon, from national curriculum to local syllabus, from single dominant cultural identity to multicultural differences and from national views of the subject to conceptions which are at once more regional/local and more international/global.
India is one of the most important countries in the world as far as the development of English Studies is concerned. The issues discussed here are; alienation in the teaching of English literature; cultural baggage that the English literature carries; the need for introducing Indian Literature and reducing our focus on British literature; resisting mono-lingual and metropolitan bias by taking advantage of bilingualism and traditional culture in our approach to the practice of the discipline; lang-lit debate, so on and so forth. But few studies have paid close attention to understand research trends in English studies. Of course, research in English Studies is relatively a recent phenomenon. So it would be a fascinating study to analyse the different trends prevalent in English studies in India. One clear observation shows that there is clear shift in research interest from literature study to language study. In this context, the present paper takes an overview of emerging trends in English studies in India.