Comparative Literature as an Academic Discipline in India

  • Santanu Biswas


At a time when the relevance of English studies in India is up against a host of new challenges and questions are being raised about the approach to English studies being followed in various universities, the emergence and practice of comparative literature both as a method and a discipline in various Indian universities provide an alternative paradigm to approaching the discipline. This paper aims at tracing India’s response to the rise of comparative literature as an academic discipline in the First World countries, its genesis and development as a method and as an academic discipline in India and how comparative literature in India has transformed the approach to English studies. The study employs a comparative analysis to identify the differences and similarities between comparative literature in India on the one hand and in Europe and America on the other. Recent trends and approaches in various comparative literature departments across India with reference to their syllabi have been used as the framework for analysis in this study. The paper attempts to foreground the inclusive, dynamic and egalitarian nature of comparative literature in India and build a case for how, by propagating democratic value within the academic discipline and representing India’s cultural plurality, it makes English studies more vibrant and pertinent in the present context.


English studies in India Comparative literature Cultural plurality Democratic value Inclusive syllabus Politics of translation 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Santanu Biswas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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