History of English Language and Literature


Prof. Merin Simi Raj

IIT Madras

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SKU: IIT Madras Category:


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.


Any Interested Learners


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.


Dr.Merin Simi Raj is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras. She specializes in Postcolonial Writing, Modernity Studies and Historiography Studies. Her teaches History of English Language and Literature, Indian fiction in English, Literary Criticism, World Literature and Feminist Writings.

Certification Process

1. Join the course
Learners may pay the applicable fees and enrol to a course on offer in the portal and get access to all of its contents including assignments. Validity of enrolment, which includes access to the videos and other learning material and attempting the assignments, will be mentioned on the course. Learner has to complete the assignments and get the minimum required marks to be eligible for the certification exam within this period.

COURSE ENROLMENT FEE: The Fee for Enrolment is Rs. 3000 + GST

2. Watch Videos+Submit Assignments
After enrolling, learners can watch lectures and learn and follow it up with attempting/answering the assignments given.

3. Get qualified to register for exams
A learner can earn a certificate in the self paced course only by appearing for the online remote proctored exam and to register for this, the learner should get minimum required marks in the assignments as given below:

Assignment score = Score more than 50% in at least 9/12 assignments.
Exam score = 50% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100
Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.”

4. Register for exams
The certification exam is conducted online with remote proctoring. Once a learner has become eligible to register for the certification exam, they can choose a slot convenient to them from what is available and pay the exam fee. Schedule of available slot dates/timings for these remote-proctored online examinations will be published and made available to the learners.

EXAM FEE: The remote proctoring exam is optional for a fee of Rs.1500 + GST. An additional fee of Rs.1500 will apply for a non-standard time slot.

5. Results and Certification
After the exam, based on the certification criteria of the course, results will be declared and learners will be notified of the same. A link to download the e-certificate will be shared with learners who pass the certification exam.


Course Details

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

Books and References

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


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