Courses » History of English Language and Literature

History of English Language and Literature

This course is a chronological survey of the major forces and voices that have contributed to the development of an English literary tradition. It intends to cover the literary ground from the Old English Period till the mid twentieth century focusing on the emergence, evolution and progress of English language and literature through different ages and periods. The course will showcase major literary moments, movements and events in the context of the social, political. religious and economic changes that shaped England and its history from the 5th century BC on wards. The objective of the course is to enable a critical understanding of the intellectual history of England and to equip the learners to analyse literary products within particular socio-historical contexts. 

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All content including discussion forum and assignments, is free

Final Exam (in-person, invigilated, currently conducted in India) is mandatory for Certification and has INR Rs. 1100 as exam fee.


No formal pre-requisites.However, a familiarity with and an interest in English literary studies would be much appreciated.Industry that will recognize this course.The course is best suited for the academic fraternity.  



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 Dr. Merin simi Raj teaches in the Dept.of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras.Her teaching and research interests include literary  historiography, Literary Criticism, Indian writing in English, Postcolonial literature and Narratives of marginality. 

Week 1: Introduction and Old English Period
Week 2: Middle English Period and Renaissance
Week 3: English Renaissance and Elizabethan Period
Week 4: The Age of Shakespeare
Week 5: The Restoration Age to Enlightenment
Week 6: Augustan Age
Week 7: The Romantic Age
Week 8: The Age of Wordsworth and Romantic poetry
Week 9: The Victorian Age
Week 10: The Rise of the Novel
Week 11:The Age of Modernism
Week 12: The Age of Postmodernism

An Outline History of English Literature – William Henry Hudson,The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature – ed. Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge,History of English Literature, Fifth edition – Edward Albert,The Oxford Illustrated History of English Literature – Pat Rogers, English Social History: A Survey of Six Centuries – Chaucer to Queen Victoria – G M Trevelyan,An Outline History of the English Language – Frederick T Wood,The Oxford English Literary History, Vol 12 / 1960-2000 – Randall Stevenson,A Critical History of English Literature (4 volumes) – David Daiches,The Routledge History of Literature in English, 2nd edition

  • The exam is optional for a fee.Exams will be on  28 Oct, 2018
  • Time: Shift 1: 9am-12 noon; Shift 2: 2pm-5pm
  • Exam for this course will be available in both morning & afternoon sessions.
  • Registration URL: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
  • The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published
  • Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score
  • 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of best 8 out of 12 assignments.
  • E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score.Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT MADRAS.It will be e- verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc