History and Eminent Alumni
The history of English teaching at Presidency can be traced back to 1828, when it was known as Hindu College. Henry Louis Vivian Derozio was appointed Master of English Literature and History. The Department of English owes its distinct identity to the efforts of Principal H R James, who in 1909-10 separated the various disciplines in view of their specialized requirements. A long line of distinguished scholars and eminent teachers contributed to the Department's heritage. Among the luminaries were D L Richardson, C H Tawney, Hugh Melville Percival, F J Rowe, W. T. Webb, John Mann, N. L. Hallward, S C Hill, Henry Rosher James, Manmohan Ghose, Praphulla Chandra Ghosh, Srikumar Banerjee, T S Sterling, J W Holme, Rabindra Kumar Dasgupta, S C Sengupta, Tarapada Mukherji, Taraknath Sen, Jadunath Sarkar, Harinath De, Rabindranath Ghosh, Birendra Binod Roy, Phiroz E. Dustoor, Hiran Kumar Banerji and Somnath Maitra.
The Department has produced several notable thinkers and critics like Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Ahmed Ali, British Council Visiting Professor of English, The National Central University, Nanking, Jasodhara Bagchi, Former Chairperson, West Bengal Women's Commission, Calcutta,Swapan Kumar Chakravorty, Director-General, National Library, Kolkata, Sukanta Chaudhuri, Emeritus-Professor of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Former Professor of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Peary Charan Sarkar, Former Headmaster, Hare School, Kolkata. Distinguished alumni also include Rajendra Prasad, former President of India, Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Humayun Kabir. Professor Malabika Sarkar, the First Vice-Chancellor of Presidency University was an alumna of the department.
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