Revisiting Literary Theory and Criticism
Indian and Western Perspectives

Edited by R.N. Rai, M.S. Pandey and Anita Singh


Recent developments in world literature have radically altered our perception of the nature of literature and its function in society. The present anthology explores the necessity/desirability of theory in our literary discourse and examines whether Indian scholars should blindly imitate the norms of Western literary theory/ theories and apply them to our Indian texts or they should develop, update and contextualize their own Indian theory in the view of the emerging trends in world literature. It acknowledges the fact that in the contemporary era literary criticism cannot survive without theoretical assumptions and ideological implications. Gradual erosion of boundaries between different disciplines has clearly shown a 'paradigm shift' in literary studies. New literary movements like dalit writing, women writing, tribal writing, nativistic writing, ecocentric writing and modern folk writing can hardly be explained by the norms of traditional Indian poetics. Hence Indian poetics should develop a theoretical system which must be assimilative, comprehensive and self consistent. The anthology contains fifteen research articles contributed mostly by senior distinguished scholars and academicians of the country. It is divided into three sections- first section enters into discourse on the demise/survival/ future prospect of literary theory, the second deals with the postcolonial and poststructuralist discourses of the West and the third section takes up different theoretical issues but examines them from Indian perspectives.

R. N. Rai was Professor in the Department of English, Banaras Hindu University till june 30, 2016. He was also Head of the Department from 2010 to 2013 and worked as Coordinator, Centre for Translation Studies, Faculty of Arts for more than 2 Years. He was awarded D.Litt in 1990. His published works include W.B. Yeats: Poetic Theory and Practice. Austria: Salzburg University Press, 1983 and Theory of Drama: A Comparative Study of Aristotle and Bharta. New Delhi: Classical Publishing Company, 1992. He has also co-edited two books, published research articles, reviews and translations in various reputed journals and anthologies.

M. S. Pandey is Professor and Head of the Department of English, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He published his first book on W.H. Auden and co-edited a book on Theory and Praxis. He took a postgraduate Diploma in E.L.T. from CIEFL, Hyderabad and is trained in both literature and language teaching. Dr. Pandey has been teaching and supervising research in the areas of Modern poetry, Contemporary literature and theory, Indian literature in English, Diaspora studies and English Language Teaching for three decades.

Anita Singh is a Professor in the Department of English and Co-coordinator of the Centre for Women's Studies and Development at Banaras Hindu University. Her areas of interest are Gender Studies and Performance Studies. She received Fulbright Fellowship in 2013. Her edited book is Gender, Space and Resistance: Women and Theatre in India (2013). She completed a project on 'Staging Gender: Performing Women in the Ramlila of Ramnagar' in 2016 and contributed to four chapters in Routledge Handbook of Asian Theatre, ed. Siyuan Liu, 2016.


R.N. Rai, Alok Kumar, G.B. Mohan Thampi, Kapil Kapoor, Amod Kumar Rai, Avadhesh Kumar Singh, Sanjoy Saksena, D. Venkat Rao, Rajesh Babu Sharma, Damodar Thakur, A.K. Awasthi, M.S. Pandey, Anita Singh, P. Dalai, Namrata Rathore Mahanta
ISBN 978-93-82178-22-4             2018      300 pages      Rs. 950 (hb)