English Studies in the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Mode: Possibilities and Challenges of Pedagogy

  • Nandini Sahu
  • Srideep MukherjeeEmail author


This paper examines the problematics of English studies in India. The institutionalised practices of equating English studies solely with the notion of a literary canon constitute the core of the issues. Considering the demands of two different categories of takers—literary/academic and functional/communicative—necessitates multiple standards and channels of delivery. It is here that the authors bring in the idea of open and distance learning (ODL) and the role it can play. Bringing their own experiences with ODL into play, the authors argue for a pragmatic approach to English studies within the phenomena of open and distance learning as a viable means of addressing the various issues.


English studies Interrogating literary canons Syllabi for empowerment Functional-communicative skills ODL pedagogy 


  1. Chaudhuri, S. (2015). Higher education policy and English studies in India. In S. Gupta, R. Allen, S. Chatterji, & S. Chaudhuri (Eds.), Reconsidering English studies in Indian higher education (pp. 22–38). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. IGNOU Silver Jubilee Lecture Series. Web. Accessed from: Accessed on 8 Aug 2016.
  3. Macaulay, T. B. Minute by the Hon’ble T. B. Macaulay, Dated the 2nd February 1835. Web. Accessed from: N. pag. Accessed on 8 Aug 2016.
  4. Mahanta, B. (2011). Disciplining English literary studies in India: A critique. Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, 18.1-2(2011/2014), 129–140 Accessed from: index.php/ SHSS/article/view/2991. Accessed on 8 Aug 2016.Google Scholar
  5. Nayar, P. K. (2015). The postcolonial studies dictionary (pp. 29–30). Chichester: Wiley Eastern.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Rajan, R. S. (1986). After ‘Orientalism’: Colonialism and English literary studies in India. Social Scientist, 14.7(1986), 23–35 JSTOR. Accessed on 8 Aug 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Recommendations for Courses in English. (2001). In UGC model curriculum: Recommendations of the curriculum development committee for English and other Western Languages. New Delhi: University Grants Commission.Google Scholar
  8. Rushdie, S. (1997). Damme, this is the oriental scene for you! In The New Yorker 23 June 1997. Accessed from: Accessed on 26 Sept 2016.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of HumanitiesIndira Gandhi National Open UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.School of HumanitiesNetaji Subhash Open UniversityKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations