The Department of English and Humanities aims to promote studies in English and Humanities. It fosters critical thinking and encourages students to think independently. The emphasis at the department is to inculcate reading and writing habits and to prepare students with adequate critical and analytical skills so that they can contribute to society and become an integral part of the contemporary world.
The Department of English and Humanities is the liberal arts core of the University. The Department fosters the imaginative, observational, analytical and communicative skills of its students through its three major streams: Literature, Applied Linguistics & ELT and Media and Cultural Studies. The Department also offers a Minor programme in History, which helps the students to contextualize their learning.
The Literature concentration introduces students to a wide variety of English writing from different historical periods and regions and aims to inculcate a strong analytical orientation, encouraging students to contextualize literary works in relation to their historical and cultural realities. A critical and analytical focus is encouraged through interactions with theoretical materials and writing exercises.
The Applied Linguistics and ELT concentration offers an understanding and analysis of language both as an acquired skill and a socio-cultural phenomenon, introducing students to different theories of language and their application in real life for English language teaching and beyond.
The interdisciplinary nature of the Media and Cultural Studies concentration equips students with an orientation based on the origin and evolution of “media”, study of cultural theories and an awareness of power-plays and world politics, enabling them to interpret the ever-changing cultural traditions and gain insights into global events and universal or personal experiences.
The undergraduate students excel in their final year, when they have to write a dissertation or a report of the internship done in a relevant organization. This exercise helps them to gain confidence and focus on the application of the knowledge and training they receive in their previous years in the University.
The postgraduate programme for the degree of M.A. in English has two streams: Literature and Applied Linguistics & ELT. In their literature concentration, students get exposed to a wide variety of subjects like postcolonialism, feminism, postmodernism and the many dimensions of contemporary literature, making it a unique literature programme in Bangladesh. The Applied linguistics & ELT concentration also equips the students with a deep understanding of English as a language and the different approaches adopted towards English teaching.
The introduction of the Minor in History allows students from all departments to take various History courses, making the Department of English and Humanities an interactive one, with a multi-disciplinary student body.
Faculty members represent a wide range of academic interests, imparting valuable knowledge in teaching and mentoring students in the very diverse fields across which this department spans. Specialisations range from translation studies and developing online teaching materials to research on historical and literary material. This is reflected in a wide variety of publications and seminars that have been hosted over the years.
The academic year 2016-2017 has seen talks by visiting scholars and those within the department on topics ranging from medieval Bangla writings to the latest teaching techniques or the phonological aspects of language learning. In keeping with its commitment to foster links between social and literary studies, the department hosted an international conference on “Redrawing Gender Boundaries in Literary Terrains” in May 2017. The conference was indeed well attended by scholars from home and abroad, including India and the US. The two-day conference comprised of over 50 papers, special plenary discussion sessions and readings by writers from their novels and short stories. This was a landmark conference not only for our department, but in the field of literary studies of the nation.
The ENH department is part of the Scholars’ Program, which is an initiative to draw together high-performing students from across disciplines. The program has generated a lot of interest and we are hoping to graduate the first cohort of students by the end of the Fall Semester 2017.
Situated in and fostered by the ENH department, BracU Media Lab is perhaps one of the major pioneering attempts at co-curricular activities taken up by BracU. Its aim is to give students complete access to a world of digital audio and video editing and mastering, helping to acquaint them with the digital world.