Theorizing a Praxis
Saugata Bhaduri
THEORY AND PRAXIS: CURRICULUM, CULTURE AND ENGLISH STUDIES by Prafulla C. Kar Pencraft International, New Delhi, 2004, 288 pp., 495.00
March 2004, volume 28, No 3

Anyone involved in the business of curricu- lar literature-mongering would agree that English literary studies in most Indian universities still revolves primarily around universalist and liberal humanist notions of essential truths and ‘great traditions’, and textual criticism comprises gut reactions based on outmoded and yet unproblematized aesthetic ‘values’. Furthermore, one would also admit that Indian academics who think otherwise have to either legitimize their existence by publishing (and in all probability settling down) abroad, or remain marginal entities in their own academic industry, for which the ultimate radical positioning is at best a cautious dabbling into ‘commonwealth literature’ with the theoretical assumptions being as unquestioned as ever. While some of the ‘elite’ universities may have organized several conferences on the implications of ‘contemporary theory’ and may have also radically altered their syllabi in the last decade or so.

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