Monday 27 January 2014

Research: The Review of Related Literature (The Literature Review)

Cedalion standing on the shoulders of Orion from Blind Orion

New Testament Evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) on the shoulders on Old Testament Prophets (Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Moses)

Review of related literature: 

  • This makes for the foundation - the stepping stones - for new research. It is like standing on the shoulder of the giants so that we can see farther than the giants (previous scholars) have visualized.
  • One should have birds-eye-view of the work done in the area of research which is to be explored. After understanding the work done, the research scholar should think of taking a step further in new direction in the research under consideration. The road-map of this new direction should be chalked out in research proposal. (While doing an online open course (MOOC) on Coursera - offered by University of London, i came across these articles on Literature Review. All three of them are worth reading: 

The Examples of Literature Review:

  1. Summarize
  2. Tabular Format
  3. What to do and what not to do
  4. Step by step guide
Important Steps in the Process of Literature Review
1. Make a table of all works reviewed or considered for review
2. Annotated Bibliography of selected works: It can be in chronological or alphabetical order.
3. Reorganise the 'order': Your 'hypothesis' shall guide you in reorganizing. This re-ordering depends on the flow of your arguments. Make your own trajectory.
4. Now write introductory and concluding lines. These lines shall be written to 'hook paragraphs' with each other. Write in such a way so the 'transitions' from one paragraph to another helps the 'flow of ideas'.
5. Now write 'Concluding Paragraph' of the 'Review of Related Literature'. Start with clear, strong and concrete statement. Make your conclusions about your 'Literature Review'.
6. Now, write 'Introduction'. The thesis statement shall be 'last' in the Introduction and 'first' in the Conclusion.

Video recording of the sessions on 'Literature Review'

Part 1: Ontology & Epistemology

Part 2: What, Why and How of Literature Review:

Part 3: Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Literature Review

The Presentation:

1. A focused reading with a specific purpose2. WHAT IS A LITERATURE REVIEW? • Many students are instructed, as part of their research program, to perform a literature reviewliterature review, without understanding what it is. Read more: Sources essential for LT • Sources are generally described as primary, secondary, or tertiary. • Primary: Primary sources are “materials that you are directly writing about, the raw materials of your own research.” • Secondary: Secondary sources are “books and articles in which other researchers report the results of their research based on (their) primary data or sources.” • Tertiary: Tertiary sources are “books and articles based on secondary sources, on the research of others.” – Tertiary sources synthesize and explain the work of others and might be useful early in your research, but they are generally weak support for your own arguments… at times they are challenged in your argument!4. What is Literature Review? • A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. • Occasionally researchers are asked to write one as a separate assignment (sometimes in the form of an annotated bibliography), but more often it is part of the introduction to an essay, research report, or also a chapter in M.Phil/Ph.D.thesis.5. What is the purpose ofWhat is the purpose of Literature Review?  • Purpose - to convey what knowledge and ideaswhat kn owledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and whathave been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.their strengths and weaknesses are. • As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding conceptdefined by a guiding concept (e.g., our research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your argumentative thesis). • It is not just a descriptive list of the material available, or a set of summaries6. What is ‘not’ Literature Review? – Not - chronological catalog of all of the sources, but an evaluation, integrating the previous research together, – But - it is to explain how it integrates into the proposed research program. All sides of an argument must be clearly explained, to avoid bias, and areas of agreement and disagreement should be highlighted. • Not - collection of quotes and paraphrasing from other sources. • But - good literature review should also have some evaluation of the quality and findings of the research.7. Why do a Literature Review? • to identify gapsidentify gaps in the research area • to avoid reinventing the wheelavoid reinventing the wheel • to carry on from where others have alreadycarry on from where others have already completedcompleted • to identify other people working in the sameidentify other people working in the same fieldsfields • to fathom the depth of knowledgefathom the depth of knowledge of your subject area8. Why do LR? • to identify opposing viewsopposing views • to put your work into wider perspectiveput your work into wider perspective • to identify methodsmethods that could be relevant to your project. • to identify seminal worksidentify seminal works in your area • to provide the intellectual context for your own work, enabling you to position your project in relationproject in relation to other work9. Two important objectives of LR:Two important objectives of LR: • Besides enlarging your knowledge about the topic, writing a literature review lets you gain and demonstrate skills in two areas: 1.information seeking: the ability to scan the literature efficiently, using manual or computerized methods, to identify a set of useful articles and books 2.critical appraisal: the ability to apply principles of analysis to identify unbiased and valid studies10. A literature review must doA literature review must do these things:these things: • be organized around and related directly to the thesis or research question we are developing • synthesize results into a summary of what is and is not known • identify areas of controversy in the literature • formulate questions that need further research11. Ask yourself questions like these: • What is the specific thesis, problem, or research question that my literature review helps to define? • What type of literature review am I conducting? Am I looking at issues of theory? methodology? policy? quantitative research (e.g. on the effectiveness of a new procedure)? qualitative research (e.g., studies )?12. Ask yourself questions like these: • What is the scope of my literature review? What types of publications am I using (e.g., journals, books, government documents, popular media)? What discipline am I working in (e.g., Engineering, Psychology, Humanities, Pharmacy, Management)? • How good was my information seeking? Has my search been wide enough to ensure I've found all the relevant material? Has it been narrow enough to exclude irrelevant material? Is the number of sources I've used appropriate for the length of my paper?13. Ask yourself questions like these: • Have I critically analysed the literature I use? Do I follow through a set of concepts and questions, comparing items to each other in the ways they deal with them? • Instead of just listing and summarizing items, do I assess them, discussing strengths and weaknesses? • Have I cited and discussed studies contrary to my perspective? • Will the reader find my literature review relevant, appropriate, and useful?14. Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: • Has the author formulated a problem/issue? • Is it clearly defined? Is its significance (scope, severity, relevance) clearly established? • Could the problem have been approached more effectively from another perspective? • What is the author's research orientation (e.g., interpretive, critical science, combination)? • What is the author's theoretical framework (e.g., psychological, developmental, feminist)?15. Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: • Has the author evaluated the literature relevant to the problem/issue? Does the author include literature taking positions she or he does not agree with? • In a research study, how good are the basic components of the study design (e.g., population, intervention, outcome)? • How accurate and valid are the measurements? Is the analysis of the data accurate and relevant to the research question? Are the conclusions validly based upon the data and analysis?16. Ask yourself questions like these about each book or article you include: • How does the author structure the argument? Can you "deconstruct" the flow of the argument to see whether or where it breaks down logically (e.g., in establishing cause-effect relationships)? • In what ways does this book or article contribute to our understanding of the problem under study, and in what ways is it useful for practice? What are the strengths and limitations? • How does this book or article relate to the specific thesis or question I am developing?17. Four Examples of Literature Review • Step by Step – drafting LR: Psychology. Systematic arrangement… • Ph.D. Thesis on ELT – Engineering Colleges in Tami . Summarizing… • Example with teacher’s remark on LR. What to do and what not to… • CALL – The best of all examples…18. Web Tools for LR:19. Web Tools helpful in LR: • Bookmarking sites: e.g. • Google Docs – - Prepare a ‘form’ – easy to manage records in auto-generated spread sheet. - Reference: • Read more: • Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination (Published in association with The Open University) Dr. Christopher Hart. • Any book on Research Methodology for respective subjects deals with ‘Review of Literature’. • Cooper, H. (2010). Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis: A Step-By-Step Approach. Los Angeles: Sage. (call number McHenry Stacks H62 C5859) • Machi, L.A. (2009). The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press. (call number McHenry Stacks LB1047.3 M33) • Deakin University. (2009). The Literature Review. Geelong, Victoria, Australia: Author. Retrieved 4th September 2009 from the World Wide Web: • The University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center. (2009). Writer's Handbook: Common Writing Assignments: Review of Literature. Madison, Wisconsin: Author. Retrieved 4th September 2009 from the World Wide Web: • Doing Your Literature Review: Traditional And Systematic Techniques (Paperback)by Jill Jesson, Lydia Matheson, Fiona M. Lacey (Sage Pub)21. Works cited:Afolabi, M. (1992) 'The review of related literature in research' International journal of information and library research, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 59-66.Bourner, T. (1996) 'The research process: four steps to success', in Greenfield, T. (ed), Research methods: guidance for postgraduates, Arnold, London.Bruce, C. S. (1990) 'Information skills coursework for postgraduate students: investigation and response at the Queensland University of Technology' Australian Academic & Research Libraries, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 224-232.Bruce, C. (1993) 'When enough is enough: or how should research students delimit the scope of their literature review?', in Challenging the Conventional Wisdom in Higher Education: Selected Contributions Presented at the Ninteeth Annual National Conference and Twenty-First Birth . pp. 435-439.Bruce, C. S. (1994) 'Research student's early experiences of the dissertation literature review' Studies in Higher Education, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 217-229.Bruce, C. (1994) 'Supervising literature reviews', in Zuber-Skerritt, O. and Ryan, Y. (eds), Quality in postgraduate education, Kogan Page, London.Bruce, C. S. (1997) 'From Neophyte to expert: counting on reflection to facilitate complex conceptions of the literature review', in Zuber-Skerritt, O. (ed), Frameworks for postgraduate education, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.Caspers, J. S (1998) 'Hands-on instruction across the miles: using a web tutorial to teach the literature review research process' Research Strategies, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 187-197.Cooper, H. M. (1988) 'The structure of knowledge synthesis' Knowledge in Society, vol. 1, pp. 104-126Cooper, H. M. (1989) Integrating research : a guide for literature reviews, 2nd ed, Sage Publications, Newbury Park, Calif. • Leedy, P. D. (1997) Practical research: planning and design, 6th ed, Merrill, Upper Saddle River, N.J.Libutti, P.& Kopala, M. (1995) 'The doctoral student, the dissertation, and the library: a review of the literature' Reference Librarian, vol. 48, no. 5, pp. 5-25.Mauch, J. E.& Birch, J. W. (2003) Guide to the successful thesis and dissertation: a handbook for students and faculty, 5th ed, Marcel Dekker, New York.

Friday 17 January 2014

Worksheet: Screening Movie The Da Vinci Code based on novel by Dan Brown

Worksheet: 'The Da Vinci Code'

The Da Vinci Code, Columbia Pictures (2006), directed by Ron Howard from a script by Akiva Goldsman (based on the novel by Dan Brown); producers Brian Grazer and John Calley. Cinematography by Salvatore Totino; score by Hans Zimmer. With Tom Hanks (Robert Langston), Audrey Tautou (Sophie Neveu), Ian McKellen (Leigh Teabing), Jean Reno (Bezu Fache), Paul Bettany (Silas), Alfred Molina (Bishop Aringarosa). 148 minutes. (Goldsman and Brown)
Pre-viewing Task:

·      Genre:

o   What is suspense thriller?
o   Have you come across any novels by Sidney Sheldon?
o   Have you watched any film by Alfred Hitchcock?
·        Central Theme:
o   What is conspiracy theory?
o   What is conspiracy fiction?
o   What is Mary Magdalene's role in the history of Christianity.
§  “The power of the female and her ability to produce life was once very sacred, but it posed a threat to the rise of the predominantly male Church, and so the sacred feminine was demonized and called unclean.
§  It was man, not God, who created the concept of 'original sin,' whereby Eve tasted of the apple and caused the downfall of the human race. Woman, once the sacred giver of life, was now the enemy."
§  “This concept of woman as life-bringer was the foundation of ancient religion.”
§  “Sadly, Christian philosophy decided to embezzle the female's creative power by ignoring biological truth and making man the Creator.”
§  “Genesis tells us that Eve was created from Adam's rib. Woman became an offshoot of man. And a sinful one at that. Genesis was the beginning of the end for the goddess."
* "It's important to remember that the ancients' view of sex was entirely opposite from ours today. Sex begot new life - the ultimate miracle - and miracles could be performed only by a god. The ability of the woman to produce life from her womb made her sacred. A god... It's a deeply sacrosanct ceremony".

While-viewing Task:

While watching the movie The Da Vinci Code, keep an eye on following questions:
1.     Compare the beginning of the Novel (Brown) and that of the movie. What difference do you notice? Which narrative seems to be more effective? Give your reasons.
2.     How is Christianity challenged in novel? What sort of religious controversy is discussed?
3.     Which truth from the life of Jesus Christ was buried and constant attempts were made to hide some facts? WHY?
4.     Da Vinci’s painting is symbolically observed by symbologists like Leigh Teabing and Robert Langdon. How do they read symbols? What do they deconstruct in the process of re-reading Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting?
5.     Explain the symbolism in ‘Holy Grail’? How is this symbol re-interpreted in the novel by Dan Brown?
6.     Concept clarification: Watch carefully to understand following terms:
a. Symbology (Iconography)
b.     Sarcophagus (Mary Magdalene's Sarcophagus in 'The Da Vinci Code')
c.      Merovingian Dynasty
d.     Opus Dei
e.      Priory of Scion
o. Sangreal = (Sang (blood) + Real (royal) / San (Holy) + Greal (Grail)
p. Pantacle (Up and Down Triangle) = Male + Female = Creation of Life  

7. How does the portrayal of Sophie's character in the movie observe the sanctity of 'Feminine Sacredness'?

Film Review - Da Vinci Code

Post-viewing Task: 

  1. Brown states on his website that his books are not anti-Christian, though he is on a 'constant spiritual journey' himself, and says that his book The Da Vinci Code is simply "an entertaining story that promotes spiritual discussion and debate" and suggests that the book may be used "as a positive catalyst for introspection and exploration of our faith."
  2.  “Although it is obvious that much of what Brown presented in his novel as absolutely true and accurate is neither of those, some of that material is of course essential to the intrigue, and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman has retained the novel's core, the Grail-related material: the sacred feminine, Mary Magdalene's marriage, the Priory of Sion, certain aspects of Leonardo's art, and so on[1].” How far do you agree with this observation of Norris J. Lacy?
  3. (If)You have studied ‘Genesis’ (The Bible), ‘The Paradise Lost’ (John Milton) and ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (Dan Brown). Which of the narrative/s seem/s to be truthful? Whose narrative is convincing to the contemporary young mind?
  4. What harm has been done to humanity by the biblical narration or that of Milton’s in The Paradise Lose? What sort of damage does narrative like ‘The Vinci Code’ do to humanity?
  5. What difference do you see in the portrayal of 'Ophelia' (Kate Winslet) in Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, 'Elizabeth' (Helena Bonham Carter) in Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or 'Hester Prynne' (Demi Moore) in Roland JoffĂ©'s The Scarlet Letter' or David Yates's 'Harmione Granger' (Emma Watson) in last four Harry Potter films - and 'Sophie Neuve' (Audrey Tautau) in Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code? How would justify your answer?
  6. Do novel / film lead us into critical (deconstructive) thinking about your religion? Can we think of such conspiracy theory about Hindu religious symbols / myths?
  7. Have you come across any similar book/movie, which tries to deconstruct accepted notions about Hindu religion or culture and by dismantling it, attempts to reconstruct another possible interpretation of truth?
  8. When we do traditional reading of the novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’, Robert Langdon, Professor of Religious Symbology, Harvard University emerges as protagonist and Sir Leigh Teabing, a British Historian as antagonist. Who will claim the position of protagonist if we do atheist reading of the novel?
  9. Explain Ann Gray’s three propositions on ‘knowability’ with illustrations from the novel ‘The Da Vinci Code’.
a.       1) Identifying what is knowable 
b.      2) identifying and acknowledging the relationship of the knower and the known
c.      3) What is the procedure for ‘knowing’?


    Brown, Dan. The Da Vinci Code. Great Britain: Transworld Publisher, 2003.
    The Da Vinci Code. By Akiva Goldsman and Dan Brown. Dir. Ron Howard. Perf. Tom Hanks. Prods. Brian Grazer and John Calley. 2006.

    [1] From: Arthuriana, Vol. 16, No. 4, SARACENS IN MALORY (WINTER 2006), pp. 83-85Published by: Scriptorium PressStable URL:

    Thursday 9 January 2014

    UGC - NET and Gujarat SET (English): Online Question Papers

    UGC / CBSE - NET and Gujarat SET (English): Online Question Papers

    This blog is for those students/scholars/teachers who are preparing for UGC (now CBSE) NET (English Literature) examination. The students of the Department of English, M.K. Bhavnagar University have prepared these online tests. All those who appear in this online test will get their grades with right answers in email. Scroll down for important links to know more about NET exam dates, notification and paper pattern.

    You are requested to inform on dilipbarad (at) gmail (dot) com for grade-sheet after appearing in the test.

    Please give correct email id, if you want to receive correct answers of these quizzes.

    Click on these links to practice online test on previous years' UGC NET and GSET question papers:
    1. English Paper II - Sept.13/12

    2. English Paper III - Sept/13/12

    3. English Paper II - J3013

    4. English Paper III - J3013

    5. English Paper II - Dec 2013

    6. English Paper III - Dec 2013
    7. GSET English Paper II - Sept 2016
    8. GSET English Paper III - Sept 2016
    9. NET English Paper 2 - Jan 2017 (New)
    10. NET English Paper 3 - Jan 2017 (New)
    11. GSET English Paper II - 2002 (New)
    12. GSET Eng P-II Aug- 17/12 (New)
    13. GSET Eng P - III Aug - 2017 (New)
    Please do not hesitate to write on above given email id, if you face any problem and report errors and omissions.

    Sunday 5 January 2014

    Chetan Bhagat: The Writer - Prof. Om Juneja

    Prof. Om P. Juneja, Prof. Emeritus, HMP Institute of English Teaching and Research (Vallabh Vidya Nagar), Former, Prof. Dept. of English, M.S. Universtiy of Baroda - having talk with studetns of Department of English, M.K. Bhavnagar University, Bhavnagar. The topic of discusion is 'Chetan Bhagat - the Writer'. The speaker discussed:
    * what is right / wrong with Chetan Bhagat
    * Politics of Awards
    * Young India and
    * why study Chetan Bhagat?

    The students of the Department of English are studying Chetan Bhagat's 'One Night @ The Call Centre'. They (especially Ajay Jajeda, Avani Dave, Deepti Joshi, Hirva Vora, Riddhi Jani and Nidhi Kunvarani) actiely participated in the talk via Google Hangout on Air.

    You can view the auto-recorded video (which is interesting feature of Google Hangout on Air. Keep in mind, it is not simple video call over Hangout. It is Google Hangout on Air!)with a few edits on YouTube. The video is embedded hereunder:

    Chetan Bhagat is quite a controversial write in the gallaries of canonical literary studies. Thus, he arouses quite contradictory reactions. There are people who are die-hard fan - and there are who do not miss a chance to attack him. View this wonderful video where the author meets the hater:

    There were interesting debates on news channels regarding Chetan Bhagat's new book 'Half Girlfriend'.
    Here are videos of those talk-shows:

    (Nepathya - Aside)
    Isn't the success story of Chetan Bhagat the success story of capitalism? The Capitalism functions on one mantra: 'Under the garb of Freedom, encash everything!" Turn everything into commodity, market it, create buyers and earn money. Be it faith or literature, market it like beverages and skin whiteners; and see the tamaashaa! Those who are not surprised to see the rising demand of Ganesh Pandals, are not surprised to see rising demands of Chetan Bhagat; as they very understand the market phenomenon in capitalist societies. However, the question is: "Are those who are surprised at Chetan Bhagat phenomenon, surprised or shocked at rising marketing and commodification of rituals/faith? (last two videos and this note updated on 29 Aug 2014)

    There was an interesting discussion on 'What makes for a canonical writer?' on ELTAI Literature SIG. Let me share some of the observations which were discussed on this thread: (To give due respect to the originality of all the contributors, their views are copy-pasted retaining font size, type and colour as they designed them :) )
    Some people say that Chetan Bhagat is not an "established writer". Some others say that he is not a literary author.
    • So making a research or study on his works is useless and wont bring any good response or help increase API. 

      Now may I request you learned masters to please help me appease my curiosity and tell me how to differentiate between 'an established writer' and a 'non established writer' OR how to know whether a particular author is a literary author or not.

      For ex. Adiga wrote a single novel and he is accepted as an established writer and a literary author but Bhagat, despite writing almost half a dozen books is still lacking this status.

      Please help me. I'm much puzzled. ~ J.K. Mishra

    • A difficult problem really. There are no set formulae to evaluate a writer to admit him in the literary fold. 
      A work should be faithful and true to the world it creates. It should present human problems and situations and not lead us into fanciful worlds of unreality. Apart from them there are formal features of a work which also help us to judge it.
      Try to read relevant chapters in Rene Wellek and Austin Warren's Theory of Literature. You may find them useful. ~ Nagarajan
    • I do not know if I will be able to satisfy you with my query but let me try to answer. No work is really literary or non literary. It is we who place it in categories. I personally think that if a book is able to touch us deep inside and make us feel then the book is good as it emotes with us. As students and teachers of literature it is our duty to remove hierarchies and accept differences. Unfortunately, we are caught in this mire of canonisation. Today in many universities there are popular fiction courses and you may know about the anthology on pulp fiction. I do prefer Adiga to Bhagat because I felt that Adiga brought out the problem of the poor beautifully while I feel with Bhagat the purpose of the story is more to gain an audience. These are my own views. ~ kalpana Rao

    • It's all politics of literature teaching within the academia.  It's the reader and his/her assessment that matters. A few Mphil students of mine have done research on Bhagat.  One is doing PhD.  I have recommended him for PG course in a few autonomous colleges.  Mostly, those who denounce him have not read him!
      Common people have rejected Adiga though he is accepted by academics and award-giving institutions like Booker because of a new moral standard the White Tiger seems to suggest.
      The idea of canonical text can be traced back to ten qualities of a great work in Aristotle's Poetics.
      If we judge by Aristotle' standard, most Dalit lit cannot be labelled lit at all. ~ John Sekar
    • I personally feel that no author, no art form, no form of any representation is either inferior or superior. Nothing is beyond the reach or relevance of academic interest.  These are days when we have serious research projects on cartoons, advertisements and even graffiti!  The crucial thing is probably the approach we take in analyzing or studying them, and the tools we use. ~ Lal C.A.

    • Chetan Bhagat is a master story teller and one the best-selling authors during the recent times.  All his books provide enjoyable reading.whether we consider them as literary works or not. It is  also a different question  altogether  if they would stand the test of time or not.  

      In my view one may take them up for research for the this level students are after all expected mainly  to get a thorough knowledge of methodology of doing literary research. But in the case of Ph.D. degree we expect  our scholars   attain a certain amount of scholarship at least in the field chosen. Can we expect it on the part of one who has just worked on Chetan Baghat?  ~ 
      S. Rajagopalan. 

    • Your point is worth arguing indeed. It all depends on how to classify the author in terms of literary canon. But if the canon is itself elitist how to identify the author for your project is a disturbing question. But one thing is sure, if the thesis statement accommodates the seriousness that is required, no one can reject it outright. In Malayalam literature also this kind of discussions happen especially (humorously) of course between two Varkeys. One is Muttath Varkey who is a popular writer of the late 50s and 60s and Ponkunnam Varkey who is a devoted Modernist with a strong moorings in native culture. The former was not generally taken seriously by the academia for "want of high seriousness" but the latter is adored by many researchers. Go ahead!   ~ 
      Dr.Muralikrishnan T.R.

    • I do not think that serious research on Chetan Bhagat is not possible and no univeristy can deny or invalidate degree, if a really serious work is done on any popular culture or literature. In fact, now it is time to give serious readings to contemporaneity in art, literature and culture.
      Popular fictions represent contemporary taste. If we deny its study, we will fail to understand it in future. They are cultural artefacts which requires serious attention. They have an appeal to the readers/viewers/audiences, which cannot be asked to abstain from. One should make genuine attempt to understand it. We should not forget that it was Aristotle's study of popular Greek dramatist and it was Dryden's study of popular English dramatist, that they are with us. We have glaring examples of writers like Wordsworth, who was considered as childish and his poem, nursery rhyms by elite critics - today the critics are dead, and Wordsworth is remembered as epoch-maker in hitory of Literature. Samule Beckett's 'absurdity' has an appeal to the people - and after bashing from elite critics, people started giving serious consideration - and Martin Esslin termed 'theatre of absurd'.

      So, the question of whether to study CB or Amish, or JKRowing or James Hadley Chase, Mills and Boons or for that matter any popular writer is irrelevant.

      But the important point is to give serious reading with scientific inquiry, objectiveness, systematic analysis, relevant hypothetical question, and with deep insight into the nature of research. The research tools/questions/methodology is important > in fact, it is 'the' important thing > rather than the object /text under evaluation. We can keep tools devised by Aristotle, Dryden, Dr. Samuel Johnson, Matthew Arnold, New Critics, Reader Response theorists, feminists, psychological critics, Northrop Frye, Marxists (this can be of great help in CB's case), post-structuralists (Derrida, Paul DeMan et all), post-colonial (Homi Bhabha, Spivak et all), new historicist (stephen Greenblatt) and New Cultural critics (from raymond williams, heidbige, hoggarth to Slovaj Zizek). . . . and if possible, device 'new canon' to read these new breeds of writers.

      The follwoing articles and books can be useful in the study: 
      Peter Swirski, "Popular and Highbrow Literature: A Comparative View" 
      Matthew Schneider-Mayerson "Popular Fiction Studies: The Advantages of a New Field" 
      Popular Fiction: Why We Read It, Why We Write It by Ann Maxwell/Elizabeth Lowell
      The Cambridge Companion to Popular Fiction EDITORS: David Glover, University of Southampton, Scott McCracken, Keele University. ~ 
      Dilip Barad

    • The ongoing debate on Chetan Bhagat needs some clarity. We can't question whether he is a literary figure or not. Keeping in view his books and their contents, we can easily observe the elements of literature .i.e. fictive background, ironical temper, imaginative impulse, comical vein, reformatory zeal, etc. that largely constitute the corpus of any literary piece. From all these angles, he stands as a literary figure.
      What we can question is- Is his language literary? that is also an important part of any powerful literature.From this angle, he doesn't have a literary pen at his command. A literary language is identified with a brilliant use of figure of speech, its narrative details, unconventional syntax intending to widen the horizon of literary expressions, unusual range of vocabulary, etc. Actually, it is the language of literature that induces irresistible reading of any literary writing. The force of language interwoven with thematic strings constitute a powerful literary creation. But Bhagat miserably fails in stuffing his works with this remarkable feature. We can juxtapose his writings with Arundhati / Kiran, etc. to understand this point more clearly. This linguistic weakness of Bhagat will always make the sensitive readers of literature doubt his literary potential to be reckoned in terms of universal and eternal values a literary piece truly inculcates.~ 
      Dr. Raj Kr Sharma

    • He is making so many young readers sensible towards zeitgeist. Beneath his seeming simplicity, hokey spiritualism n bollywoodish philosophy, there is 'something unnarratable - which compels people to read him. ~ Dilip Barad

    • To many, the call center has become the symbol of India's rapidly globalizing economy. While traditional India sleeps, a dynamic population of highly skilled,articulate professionals works through the night, functioning on U.S. time under made-up American aliases. They feign familiarity with a culture and climate

      they've never experienced, earn salaries that their elders couldn't have imagined (but still a fraction of what an American would make), and enjoy a lifestyle that's a cocktail of premature affluence and ersatz Westernization. It's a subculture that merits closer exam ination, and in Chetan Bhagat's One Night @ the Call Center, a breezy bestseller that has taken middle-class India by storm, the Samuel Johnsons of this brave new world have found their Boswell. ~ Shashi Tharoor.
    • Serious critics will no doubt quibble with the two-dimensional characterization, the pedestrian prose, the plot's contrved deus ex machina, and the author's hokey spiritualism. But non of that matters. ~ Shashi Tharoor.
    • Bhagat's tone is pitch-perfect, his observer's eye keenly focused on nuance and detail. Verisimilitude is all. ~ Shashi Tharoor.
    • multiplying, and the demand for skilled "agents" has driven salaries up to ever more attractive levels. Although many may suffer the angst this novel so effectively conveys, most see a job in a call center as a passport to a better life, one offering more possibilities and choices than were imaginable to the previous generation. These young Indians may keep unsocial hours, neglect their family obligations, drink excessive cocktails with names like "Long Island Iced Tea," and date each other with
      a casualness that horrifies their par ents. But they are part of a social and economic revolution that is enriching and transforming India, mostly for the better. Chetan Bhagat may not entrely approve, but it's this new India that's buying his book.
    • Do not miss to visit > and his blog on this site to read responses from the readers and author's answers.
    • One reason why I find Chetan Bhagat interesting is because he is so different from academically hyped `Indian Writing in English canon comprising mostly of the diasporic writers like Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri or Kiran Desai. The guy writes about people and world with which the ` Eng. Lit' academics are not really familiar. Bhagat's novels are about India that is more recognizable than the one you find in The Moor's Last Sigh or The Midnight's Children. The Eng Lit. scholars are more conversant with Jhumpa Lahiri's expatriate NRIs living in New York than with people who work in the call-centre just round the corner. ~ Prof. Sachin Ketkar, M.S. Uni., Baroda. Read more . . .

    All the students of Semester 4 (New Literature Course) are suggested to post thier views on how enriching it was to listen Prof. Juneja - on Google Plus Community of our Department or as comment under this blog.

    Do not miss to review following writeups on Chetan Bhagat: