Embracing Multidisciplinarity and Innovation: Emerging Trends in English Literature Research
Dr. Sourav Banerjee
Mahitosh Nandy Mahavidyalaya,
A Govt. Sponsored College Affiliated to the University of Calcutta, India
It is a misconception that Multidisciplinary research is new and is only applicable to the disciplines of science and technology. Recent trends have witnessed a sea change, and new innovations and multidisciplinary research are being practiced by the subjects of Humanities too. Research in English Literature is no longer confined only to studies based on themes, characters, and rhetoric. Recent research practices in English Literature have not only embraced multidisciplinary collaborations with other disciplines of humanities and social sciences, but also with disciplines of Science and Technology. In the present time people have witnessed how literary texts are being treated not only as stories but as alternative histories, subaltern narratives- providing voices to the economically weaker and the socially downtrodden people, whose stories are generally ignored in the state sponsored documents. Even popular genres like the Fairy Tales, comics and graphic novels are being reinterpreted in multidisciplinary research, through the lens of Gender and Culture Studies, to show how culture and or behavioral patterns were being codified and propagated for women and children. Also, the concept of the “text” in English Literature, which traditionally meant a book has now broadened to include street signs, advertisements, movies, paintings, songs, styles of clothing, or even body language, or anything that has meaning, and people can draw information from. It will be the endeavor of this paper to analyze how this evolved concept of the “text” and use of research methodologies from other disciplines have helped research in English Literature become multidisciplinary and innovative. It analyzed the changed “text-methodology” relationship with respect to the use of philosophy in Calvin and Hobbes, cultural studies and postcolonialism in Tintin and feminist studies in popular Fairy Tales, to see how research in English Literary has embraced multidisciplinarity and innovation.
Keywords: English Literature, multidisciplinarity, gender studies, postcolonialism, feminism