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Ph.D. Programme in English

The Ph.D. in English at Ashoka University is a fully-funded 5-year programme and aims to admit students who are passionate about literature and the world. As part of the Ph.D. programme, students study diverse modes of analysing texts, enabling them to formulate questions that are both rigorous and adventurous. The programme trains students in pedagogic practice, emphasising at every stage the dialogic nature of all learning and writing. The Ph.D. in English thus aims to produce colleagues who will inject both academic rigour and intellectual adventurousness into both their theory and practice.

The English Department at Ashoka University has strengths in literary theory, Indian literatures (including Dalit and Sufi literatures), Translation Studies, Renaissance literature (including Shakespeare), Indian Shakespeares, literature of discovery and cultural encounter, Queer Theory, Digital Humanities, literature, and science, Postcolonial Literature, Modernism and Postmodernism, Film Studies, and Cultural Studies.

Given the depth and breadth of Ashoka’s faculty and the university’s commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship, we also welcome applications that might require supervision across individual departments.

Students thinking of applying to the Ph.D. programme in English at Ashoka are advised to first visit the university website and acquaint themselves with faculty specializations before devising a possible topic of research. The programme will only accept students whose specific research interest makes a clear fit with the scholarship of one or more members of the faculty.

Requirements

Requirements to Apply

Students with an MA or MPhil in English (with 55% or higher). We will also consider applicants from non-English backgrounds so long as they can demonstrate expertise in the field of English literature.

To apply to the Ph.D. in English, applicants need to complete an online application form and to provide the following:

  • Statement of Purpose (700 words)

  • Research essay on student‚Äôs area of interest (3500 words)

  • Two academic letters of recommendation

Admissions to the Ph.D. programme are based on the online application followed by an interview of select shortlisted candidates.

Requirements for the Ph. D. in English

As part of the programme, students sign up for a maximum of 12 credits‚Äď3 4000L English courses of 4 credits each‚Äďduring each semester. Among the total of 12 required courses, students can opt for a maximum of two Independent Study Modules (ISM) on topics of their devising, and with professors of their choosing (provided the professors are willing). The maximum number of courses that students can take in other departments is three across the first two years.

Alongside these courses, the Ph.D. students also have to fulfill a teaching requirement for 6 semesters.

Admissions Timeline

Timeline for applications: 2021-22
Applications Open
January 15, 2021
Applications Close
March 15, 2021
Shortlist and Interviews
Early to Mid-April, 2021
Decisions
Early May, 2021

Skeletal Structure of Ph.D. in English

Years 1 and 2:
Students are expected to register for and complete 12 credits of coursework per semester. Since each course is the equivalent of 4 credits, this means students will register for 3 courses per semester for the first two years. The course distribution will be as follows:
Year 1, Monsoon Semester:
1.     Introduction to Literary Theory (mandatory)
2.    Two elective courses, at the 4000 level; classes at any other level will require special permission from the professor
Year 1, Spring Semester:
1.     Research Methods and Ethics (mandatory)
2.    One elective course at the 4000-level; classes at any other level will require special permission from the professor
3.    Pedagogy Seminar: TA for one undergraduate class
Year 2, Monsoon Semester:
1.     Three elective courses, including, preferably, a seminar in Advanced Theory
2.    GA for the ASP Proseminar
Year 2, Spring Semester:
1.     Three elective courses, including, preferably, a seminar in Advanced Theory
2.    GA for the ASP Proseminar
Notes: Among the total of 12 required courses, students can take up to a maximum of two independent studies on topics of their devising and with professors of their choosing (provided the professors are willing). The maximum number of courses you can take in other departments is three across two years.
Year 3:
By the end of the fourth semester, students will also have finished compiling a set of four lists for their Oral examinations.
Year 3, Monsoon Semester:
Every student is expected to spend the summer studying for the Orals, and then take the exam no later than the second week of their fifth semester in Year 3.
Year 3, Spring Semester:
By the end of their sixth semester at Ashoka ‚Äď students will write a prospectus for their dissertation. This prospectus will include a rationale for, and an outline of the stakes of, the proposed dissertation. There should also be a brief chapter breakdown at the end of the prospectus.¬†All students must pass their prospectus defence before being allowed to embark on writing their dissertations. After passing the Orals and Prospectus defence, students will officially advance to candidacy.
Years 4 and 5:
Students will be expected to spend the last two years of their Ph.D. writing their dissertation.
Additionally, students will be required to design and teach a Critical Thinking Seminar (CTS) for first-year undergraduates in each of the last two years of their Ph.D.
By the end of the summer of Year 5, students must defend their dissertations.

Handbook

Click here to view the August 2020 English Ph.D. handbook.

Ph.D. Batch of 2018

Ph.D. Batch of 2019

Ph.D. Batch of 2020

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka