Reinstate three dropped texts, say Delhi University English professors

They object to varsity statement on revised English syllabus.

English professors from several colleges across Delhi University (DU) have objected to a statement issued by the university administration on the revised English syllabus where certain texts were dropped. A statement, endorsed by more than 100 professors, demanded the reinstatement of the three texts that were dropped.

The university had recently dropped texts by Mahasweta Devi, Bama and Sukirtharini from the syllabus.

In the statement, the professors said the English honours syllabus had been passed through a democratic process “until the entire process was flagrantly violated and bypassed by the Oversight Committee [OC].”

“Due to the interference of the OC, at the beginning of almost every semester since July 2019, there is no official syllabus available to students and teachers, costing us precious time and mental resources. This past month, the OC has put paid to every democratic deliberation and due process that we had ensured our syllabus came through,” the statement read.

Following criticism, the university had earlier issued a statement which said the current syllabus was “inclusive and diverse.”

Responding to the varsity’s stance, the statement endorsed by English department professors from various colleges read, “It is rather shocking that Delhi University makes a statement in which it says that diversity and inclusion can be done without consideration of religion, caste and creed when by definition diversity and inclusion mean including diverse voices.”

Referring to the university’s statement on the “language course,” the professors said the English literature department and its research and specialisations belonged to the “field of literary studies” and was “not a language teaching course.”

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