Marathwada University was established in 1958 and initially conducted M.A. (English) classes under the Headship of Dr M.N. Wankhade at Milind College of Arts, Aurangabad. The Department of English has completed around six decades of dedicated service to the cause of teaching and research in English language and literature. Dr. D V.K. Raghavacharyulu the first official Head of the Department was an eminent scholar and a noble human being. It was because of his academic leadership that scholars from different parts of the country were attracted to join the faculty. In the initial years though the Department had to function on the bare minimum human resources, there were only two members on the faculty and teaching in the Department had to depend heavily on contributory faculty from the region.
Dr. D.V.K. Raghavarcharyulu left for Nagarjuna University in 1968 and Dr G.S. Amur took over as the Head. An eminent scholar in Shakespeare Studies and Critical Theory, Dr. Amur helped the Department gain stability and most of the faculty positions were filled in during his tenure. Both Dr. D.V.K. Raghavacharyulu and Dr. Amur were responsible for the introduction of new courses and the up gradation of the post-graduate courses in the Department whereby American Literature. Translation Studies at the Masters and Psychoanalysis, Cultural Studies etc. at the pre-doctoral courses like M. Phil. were introduced. It was during Dr. Amur’s tenure that the Department had a full-fledged faculty comprising ten members.
Dr. Amur retired from the University service in 1985 and Dr V.R.N. Prasad took over as the Head and continued in that office until 1991, the principle of the rotation of headship was introduced in the year 1991-92 and Mr. N.K. Nihalani, Dr. P.S. Deshpande, Mr. R.S. Kimbahune, Dr. A G Khan, Dr. Mabel Fernandes and Dr K.G. Ranveer acted as heads for a tenure of two years each.
The Department had provisionally been offering traditional courses in English Language and Literature, focusing primarily on the study of mainstream British Literature. The focus started shifting in the late 1970s with the introduction of American Literature, Comparative Literature, Indian Writing in English, Translation Studies, and Creative Writing, etc. During the last two decades the Department has emerged as a major centre for post-graduate studies in all the recent disciplines and discourses in language, literature and critical theory. Dr. Amur and Dr. Prasad had brought the department into the academic limelight within the state and outside. Dr. D.V.K. Raghavacharyulu, Dr. G.S. Amur. Dr .V. R. N. Prasad and Dr. Kashinath Ranveer had been to the States on the Fulbright programme. Dr. A. G. Khan was a Shastri Indo-Canadian fellow in 1988 and the same year he was awarded the International visitor programme by the USEFI. He went to the University of Louisville in 2001 on a Fulbright Summer Programme. The faculty in the Department had been actively involved in literary and cultural activities both in English and other Indian languages such as Marathi, Hindi and Urdu. Dr. Bhalchandra Nemade, who was on the faculty, is a well-known novelist and critic in Marathi. He is a recipient of the Sahitya Akademy award and now a
member of the Sahitya Akademy. He has been awarded with the Prestigious Dnyanpeeth Prize for his novel in 2015. Dr. K.R. Shirwadkar is a committed critic in Marathi and has written a number of books on Contemporary English and Marathi Literature was also o the faculty. The late Mr. V.V. Yardi was our quintessential language man. He is known for his work in English Language Teaching and especially loved by the students’ community for his sense of repartee and humour. It was because of the efforts of the late Mr. V.V Yardi and Mr. N.K. Nihalani that the Department could successfully run a Post-graduate diploma in the teaching of English as well as a Certificate Course in Spoken English. Shri P.K. Nihalani another authority on English Language Teaching and spoken English was also on the faculty of the Department for a brief period. Dr. A.G. Khan has also served as a member of the Maharashtra State Urdu Akademy for two consecutive terms in the 1990s.
Mr. R.S. Kimbahune was actively associated with literary and cultural activities both in English and Marathi. He was editor of Pratisthan, an organ of the Marathwada Sahitya Parishad. Dr. Mabel Fernandes was an international scholar of British poetry. She initiated a new paper for students titled Literature and science. She worked as director foreign student cell and chairperson of Vishakha cell of the university. Dr. Kashinath Ranveer, a specialist in Afro-American Studies edited/published a quarterly, The Downtrodden India in English. He has worked as Director, Pre-IAS Coaching Centre of the University. Currently Dr. Geeta M. Patil is heading the Department. Most of the senior members of the faculty in the Department had visited all the major Universities of the State. Some are also associated with the Boards of University, Teaching and Research, and the Research and Recognition Committees. They are actively associated with all the academic programmes- Refresher Courses, Orientation courses, Seminars, Extension lectures and Workshops conducted by the Universities in the State of Maharashtra and outside. Dr. Hameed Khan a well known authority on American Literature and Critic of Urdu Literature also served in the Dept. for - years. He is a Fulbright scholar and edits an international journal writing Today. Currently he is UGC’s Maulana Azad Chair Professor.
The Department used to conduct a Post-graduate Diploma in the Teaching of English which was very popular in the seventies. The M.Phil, programme was introduced in 1979 with limited number of seats. Quite a few in-service teachers from the region have benefited from this course and have obtained their M.Phil, degrees. The course has three compulsory papers i.e. Research Methodology in Language and Literature, Literatures in English and Advanced Literary Criticism and provides a wide variety of specialized courses in Comparative Literature, Translation Studies, Linguistics and Applied Linguistic, and Cultural Studies as optional for the other papers. The Ph.D. programme of the Department has been conducted in areas such as American Literature, Indian Writing in English, Comparative Literature, British Literature, Linguistics and English Language Teaching. Total number of awardees of Ph.D. so far is 210 and that of M. Phil. is 180. The faculty members have been receiving funds from various funding agencies for Minor and Major Research Projects.
In 1980 the Department installed a language laboratory with a capacity of ten booths. Over the years the Department has acquired a wide variety of language lessons, cassettes,
video tapes and such other audio visual aids necessary for imparting instruction. We have a rich collection of records DVDs such as Shakespeare’s dramas and films based on texts. Poetry recitations of reputed English and American Poets and men of letters. We have advanced equipments like Tape-recorder. TV. V.C.R.. Microphones. Conference System, and LCD Projector, LED T.V., DVD player, Computers with Internet for conducting seminars and conferences. To encourage students’ participation in academic as well as extra-curricular activities fortnightly students’ seminar is conducted. The students also edit and publish wall papers. The Department conducts study tours and provides regular counseling facilities. The Department also has a small library of its own raised out of student’s aid fund.
Following is the list of some of the very prominent Alumni of the Department who have excelled in various walks of life.
1. Ms. Nirupama Menon-Rao (IAS topper 1972 batch), presently spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.
2. Dr. C.J Jahagirdar, Professor and Head, Department of English, Shivaji University, Kolhapur. Mr. V.D Sevekar, Chairman, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education, Aurangabad.
3. Mr. S.S. Solanke Deputy Superintendent of Police, Thane.
4. Mr. Ashok Dhivare I.P.S.
5. Mrs. Suthira, Head, Department of English, Assumption University, Bankok, Thailand.
6. Dr. J.M Waghmare, Former Vice-Chancellor, Swarm Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded.
7. Mr. Siraj Wahab Assistant Editor of The Arab News, (restigious English Daily from Jeddah). Saudi Arabia.
Plans and targets achieved, unachieved, provisions made to achieve them. At present there are seven faculty members and three non-teaching staff in the department. The department has introduced the semester system during the academic year 2005-06. The M.A. part I and part II syllabus was revised and introduced w.e.f. June 2008. The syllabus revision took place in accordance with the model curriculum development report of the UGC. All the faculty members were actively involved in the syllabus revision programme. Academic flexibility has been given by the university to the departments from June 2007. Under the Academic Flexibility Programme, semester system was introduced since 2007 based on 80:20 patterns. Again in June 2008 semester system based on 80:20 patterns along with continuous internal evaluation is introduced.