How many roads must a man walk down/Before you call him a man?
Students of MA English course at Jamia Milia Islamia (JMI) will soon be delving deep into these lines by legendary singer Bob Dylan as part of their course.
The varsity is all set to introduce the semester system at the post-graduate level from the new academic session, starting July. The restructured courses across various disciplines include a host of contemporary authors and events.
The composition of the English course moves beyond the 60s and stresses on popular culture and contemporary writers. Nelson Mandela’s biography Freedom and Martin Luther King’s (Jr) “I have a dream” speech are also part of the 20th century non-fiction prose paper while Jhumpa Lahiri and Hanif Kureshi feature in the 20th century fiction.
Modern writers and authors from across the world such as Amartya Sen, Rienzi Cursz and Alamgir Hashmi also feature in the new course.
The literature course, which was last revised in 2003, will now have 16 papers—10 core and 6 optional—spread over two years and four semesters.
“Traditional literature is also there. With the inclusion of writers and authors from various parts of the world we are trying to widen the scope of literature. It is more of world literature rather than just British literature,” said Shyamala Narayan, Head of the Department of English.
The history department in the varsity, too, has moved beyond the time wrap. “The new course focuses on history of India and the world beyond the 1950s. The students will now be taught political developments relating to the central and state politics till 1977. In world history, in the new course, we are trying to read history from a different perspective—from Eurocentric to Asian,” said G.P. Sharma, head of department, history.
There is also a special focus on European civilization with reference to capitalism and colonialism. Historians such as Michael Pearson and Partha Chatterjee have made their way into the new curriculum. The number of papers have doubled from 8 to16.
Besides covering domestic political developments, the new political science course will also pay special attention to liberalisation, privatization and globalisation.
“We will cover the growth of multinational companies, the role of World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and World Trade Organisation and their political ramifications across the world,” said Nisar-ul-Haq, head of the department of political science.
The number of papers here too is 16.