Literature and Life

By Prof. S P Dhanavel   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 1571
About the Course:

The primary objective of this course on Literature and Life is to help learners make sense of their own lives through the prism of literature. Hence, it will explore the interconnections between literature and life to understand and appreciate the complex but fragile human relationships at various levels like the individual, family, society, business, politics, etc., as represented in selected essays, poems, plays and short stories from British, American and Indian literature.

INTENDED AUDIENCE : Students, faculty, and general public


INDUSTRY SUPPORT : Industries interested in human understanding and well-developed personalities may recognize this course as a value addition to their employees
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • English Studies
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate
Start Date : 24 Jan 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Enrollment Ends : 07 Feb 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Elements of Literature
Week 3: Prose - 1
Week 4Prose - 2
Week 5: Poetry - 1
Week 6: Poetry - 2
Week 7: Drama
Week 8: One Act Plays
Week 9: Novel
Week 10: Short Story - 1
Week 11: Short Story - 2
Week 12: Panel Discussion

Books and references

1.Barnet, S., Burto, W., and Cain W.E. 2008. An Introduction to Literature. New York: Pearson Longman.
2.Bennett, A., and Royle, N. 2015. This Thing Called Literature: Reading, Thinking, Writing. London: Routledge
3.Kusch, C. 2016. Literary Analysis: The Basics. London: Routledge.
4.Scholes, R., Comley, N. R., Klaus, C. H., and Silverman, M. Eds. 2013. Elements of Literature, 4th ed. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
5.Watson, L. E. Ed. 1951. Light from Many Lamps. New York: Simon and Schuster. 

Instructor bio

Prof. S P Dhanavel

IIT Madras
Prof S P Dhanavel is a Professor of English at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai. He has published over 80 papers in national and international journals of repute and in some edited volumes. He has published three volumes of poetry Poetry of Life (1997), Muse Time (1998), and Purpose of Life (1998), a critical study The Indian Imagination of Girish Karnad (2000), a booklet Writing for Mass Media (2005), and an edited volume Critical Perspectives on American Literature (2008). He has also brought out innovative textbooks for college students: English and Communications Skills (2009), English and Soft Skills Vol. 1 (2010), Communication and Soft Skills (2015) Positive Traits for College Students (2015), Personality Development (2018), and English and Soft Skills Vol. 2 (2019). Further, he has authored English Language Teaching in India: The Shifting Paradigms (2012), which is a resource book for English teachers in India. His edited volume on Continuing Professional Development of English Language Teachers: Indian Perspectives and Practices is under review. Currently, he is teaching an online course on Poetry through the NPTEL/ SWAYAM portal.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 April 2022  Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
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. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

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.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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