History of the Department
The department was first headed by the founder Principal Mr. A Srinivasa Raghavan (popularly known as Professor ASR’). He was a bilingual creative writer, critic and a Sahitya Academy winner. Two other Professors and Heads of English have also been the principals of the college: Mr. V. M. Sridhara Menon from 1970 to 1974, and Mr. R. Surianarayanan from 1997 to 2004.
Most of the former faculty members of English were sought after by many students for their erudite scholarship and learning. Some of them were eminent writers. Mr. K. Srinivasa Rangan authored the biography of Mr. A Srinivasa Raghavan. Mr. G. Vaidyanathan authored several books on modern British writers like Dylan Thomas and Samuel Beckett. Dr. S. Rengachari’s thesis on T. S. Eliot was published by Macmillan India Ltd and was received with acclaim by students of English all over India and abroad as well. The translation of ‘Tamil Thai Vazhthu” into English by Mr. M. Venkatachalam, former Head, for the first NAAC Report was acclaimed well by the NAAC Peer Team itself.
Mr. T.S. Arul Kumar, former faculty member of English, was awarded the Hornby Trust Fellowship to complete the course work for the award of Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at the Centre for Applied Language Studies in the University of Reading, Brighton, UK. He also attended an International Workshop on “Structural Cognitive Modifiability” at Jerusalem.
Under the headship of Mr. K. R. Unnikrishnan, a committed team of professors focussed more on effective teaching of English language and literature and conducting rigorous academic research. Mr. K. R. Unnikrishnan was interested in Modern American Drama. He was the Publisher of Cuckoo (A International Literary Magazine run by the Department). Dr. B. Manivannan worked on Irish Poetry and Absurd Theatre and published many Tamil poems in reputed magazines. He edited a book and also translated one. Dr. J. Ragu Antony’s research interest ranged over American Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Critical Theories and Translation. He has so far translated five books and edited one.
Mr. S. Nehru was interested in Postmodern Literature and his unexpected demise was a great loss to the department. He acted as the Editor-in-Chief of Cuckoo. He had thorough knowledge in the Research Methodology.Dr. V. Chanthiramathi was another recognised guide in the department. She was actively involved in many outreach programmes. She was the Coordinator of the Youth Welfare Department of the college.
Dr. P.D. Silvia’s specialization includes Indian English Literature, Linguistics. Dr. R. Mercy Latha’s interest lies in Postcolonial and Subaltern Literature in both English and Tamil. Dr. V. Rajarajeswari’s extensive reading has widened students’ interests in literature and opened many avenues to research. Dr. P. T. Selvi Kohila’s area of specialisation includes American Literature and African Literature. She is presently pursuing her doctoral research on John Barth, an American Novelist. Mrs. Colette Sharmila’s area of research is Anglo-Indian Literature. She has published many research articles and participated in National and International Conferences. She is also interested in Subaltern Literature. Dr. S. Nishanth’s areas of interest include Curriculum Development and English Language Teaching. He is the officer-in-charge of the National Cadet Corps, Navy wing of the college. He is also a member of the editorial board of VOCC Times, an official newsletter of V. O. Chidambaram College.
Dr. Anita Albert, Dr. R. Ajith, and Mr. P. Maruthupandian joined the department in 2017. Their areas of specialisation are Canadian Literature, African Literature, Australian Literature, Comparative Studies, Subaltern, Indian Writing in English, African-American Literature respectively.
Dr. V. Rani Priyadharshini’s area of interest is English Language Teaching. Dr. S. Anandha Vaishnavi’s research specialisation includes Indian Aesthetics, African - american Literature, Journalism & Mass media, Mrs. S. Priya’s area of research is Indian Writing in English, and Dr. Manju Muraleedharan’s area of interest incorporates Comparative Literature, and Latin American Literature. They joined the department in 2022.
Efforts have been taken by the successive heads and the professors to retain the legacy of the department and to cater to the needs of students in accordance with the changing scenario. The department is now headed by Dr. P. D. Silvia.