St. Joseph's College for Women, Alappuzha



The importance of English is undeniable in the contemporary scenario.  Veering away from being a mere colonial legacy, it is now an essential and definitive component in global skill requirements, a prerequisite for progress and advancement in the present day world.  Its literary compoment fosters critical thinking and promotes artistic appreciation in the students while the language component hones up their skill sets and enhances their employability.  English is no longer the study of British canonical literature but encompasses a wide gamut of exciting areas of interest including film studies, gender studies, cultural studies, postcolonial literatures, media studies etc. The accelarating multidisciplinarity of the subject makes it a very stimulating subject to pursue, with several options to branch out academically and careerwise. 

The PG Department of English in St. Joseph's College for Women was established at the inception of the college, on 1st July 1954.  It started functioning originally to cater to the intermediate / Pre-degree level students, and for the General English students at the Degree level.  In 1971, it came into its own when the Under Graduate Course in English Language and Literature was introduced.  The first ever Post Graduate Course in the college was started in English Language and Literature in 1999.  In 2014, a new Career Related undergraduate course in English and Communicative English was begun to cater to the changing times and needs.  The Department has been imparting quality education for more than six decades and is the biggest department in the college.  It reaches out to all streams of study, thus placing itself in an influential position, capable of moulding all the students under its umbrella.   



                                      INCEPTION OF THE DEPARTMENT:                                        1954

                                      BA ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE COURSE:       1971

                                      MA ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE COURSE:       1999

                                      BA ENGLISH AND COMMUNICATIVE ENGLISH COURSE:    2014 

Annals proclaim that Ms. Elizabeth George Anthraper was the first person to be in charge of the Department.  In 1955, M. Josephine D'Mello joined the department and went on to be its head for several years till she became the second Principal of the college in 1979.  In 1958, Prof. Kunjannam Andrews (Kunjamma K.A.) joined the department as its permanent staff.  She succeeded M. Josephine as its head.  The department swelled into the largest in the college as various faculty members joined in the ensuing years:  Prof. Philomena Thomas (Mrs. Mathews) (H), Dr. Celine K J (Celine Francis) (H), Prof. C.D. Matilda (Matilda John), Prof. Leela Mary Koshy (Leela Chummar), Dr. Elizabeth Valsa Koshy (Valsa Mammen) (H), Prof. Thresiamma Xavier (Maniyamma Joseph), Prof. Kunjamma Mathew (Ramani Varghese).  The department stood at the vanguard with multiarious activities under various fora like the Literary Association, Cine Forum, The Poetry Club, The Debating Club etc.  In 1970s Prof. Sushila George (Sushila Thomas) (H) and Dr. Marie Louisa Francis (Evelyn Antony) (H) joined the long line of stalwarts the department.  In the meantime, BA English Language and Literature was introduced as an undergraduate course.  In 1979 when the shift system was introduced, fresh blood was infused in the guise on Prof. Tessy Xavier (Tessy Lalachan) (H), Prof. Mary Agnes Fernandez and Dr. Correya Blazy.  In 1987, Dr. Sheena George (H) and Dr. Sandhya Pai joined the department.  Dr. Sheena George went on to become the tenth Principal of the college in 2017 and Dr. Sandhya Pai is the present head of the department.  In 2010, in the new millennium, Ms. Sharon D'Cunha, Ms. Geethu Amar, Ms. Mirium Xavier, Ms. Divya Mary Varghese and Dr. Anupama Varma joined the department.  In 2012, Ms. Anjali George, Sr. Ligy Jose, Ms. Nimisha Francis and Ms. Manju Thomas joined the permanent staff of the department.  At present the department has eleven permanent faculty members, and five guest faculty. 

The teachers as well as the students of the department have been a vibrant presence in the college.  The faculty has occupied positions of leadership within and outside the college.  Prof. Kunjannam Andrews was the first Chairman of the Board of Studies in English (Pass) from the department.  Prof. Matilda John was the first senate member from the college and the District Panchayat Member. Dr. Marie Louisa Francis was a member of the UG Board of Studies. Prof. Leela Chummar is a noted writer in Mlayalam.  Prof. Ramani Varghese is the lyricist of the College Anthem.  Dr. Valsa Mammen, Dr. Marie Louisa Francis, Prof. Tessy Lalachan,  Prof. Mary Agnes Fernandez, Dr. Sheena George and Dr. Sandhya Pai were/are Chairmen of university examination boards. Dr. Marie Louisa Francis and Dr. Sheena George were the IQAC coordinators of the college for the first and second cycles of accreditation.  Prof. Sushila George and Dr Sandhya Pai were the convenors for the Golden and Diamond Jubilees of the college, respectively. Dr. Sandhya Pai is the present Board of Studies (Pass) Chairman for English in the University of Kerala.  Dr. Sheena, Dr. Sandhya, Ms. Sharon D'Cunha, Ms. Mirium Xavier, Ms. Manju Thomas and Ms, Nimisha Francis (present) have been programme officers of the NSS.  Several of them have been editors of the college magazines and souvenirs.  The first Multidisciplinary journal of the college "Journal Josephian" was brought out under the aegis of the Department, as was the first documentary film.  The department has organised two UGC sponsored National Seminars, of which Prof. Sushila George and Dr. Sandhya Pai were the convenors, respectively.  Five UGC Minor Projects have been completed with Dr. Correya Blazy, Dr. Sheena George, Dr. Sandhya Pai, Ms. Geethu Amar and Ms. Mirium Xavier as principal investigators.  The department conducted three 21 day residential skill development programmes of ASAP with Dr. Sandhya Pai and Anjali George as convenors in the years 2013 and 2014 respectively..  The college was awarded a five star status by the Department of Higher Education, for the conduct of the same in 2013. The department has won M. Josephine D'Mello Award for the Most Innovative Department thrice and was the first and second runner up one time each.  At present there are three PhDs in the department, a fourth one undergoing research under FDP, and three members having registered for the same. 

The students of the department too excel in all arenas: academic, extra curricular and sports.  Down the years there have been several university rank holders, youthfestival toppers, kalathilakams and international and national sports stars.  Our students are invariably at the helm of the College Unions down the ages, and are a glorious presence in NSS, NCC and various other clubs and committees.  Many of our students also excel in Canoeing and Kayaking winning National and International Gold

ILLUSTRIOUS ALUMNAE: The department has the largest alumnae.  Several of the alumnae occupy prestigious positions including Civil Services and Educational field and other areas.  Noted alumnae include, Rev. M. Margaret Peter, the former Congregational Leader of Canossians, Mini Antony IAS, DIG Shiny IPS (Odisha Cadre), Award Winning actress Jalaja,  Danseuses and Cine Artistes Devi Chandana and Saranya Mohan, Fulbright Scholars Veena Mani and Anchitha Krishna, Award winning poet Adila Kabeer, to mention a few.  


Since the introduction of Choice Based Credit and Semester System (CBCSS), the department offers following courses: Language and Foundation courses for the first and second year B.A./ B. Sc. Students, and Language Course for the B. Com students of the first and second year degree.  The courses of  English Language and Literature and English and Communicative are offered at the undergraduate level and a course in English Language and Literature is offered at the Post Graduate level.


1. B A in English Language and Literature   

Sanctioned Seats:             50 

Complementary Courses: History of English Literature

                                          History of English Language

Elective Courses:              Translation Studies

                                          Copy Editing

                                          Creative Writing

Open Course:                   Communication Applications in English


2. B A in English and Communicative English (Career Related)

Sanctioned Seats:             50 

Complementary Courses: History of English Literature

                                          History of English Language and Phonetics

Elective Courses:              American Literature

                                          Communication Applications in English

Open Course:                   Creative Writing


3. M A in English Language and Literature

Sanctioned Seats:     16 

For 2013 admissions: (ending with the present II MA BATCH)

Electives: Semester III South Asian Fiction

                                     Dalit Writing

                Semester IV Travel Writing on India

                                     Technologies of Self: Writing Lives, Making Histories



For 2017 admissions

Electives: Semester III European Fiction

                                     European Drama

                Semester IV Travel Writing

                                     Theorizing Sexualities



The department trains and grooms the students in event management and public speaking, creative writing, histrionics, declamation, recitation, debates, and seminars.   Innovative teaching techniques are introduced by the department to keep the teaching-learning process vibrant and interesting. Incentives for sports personnel, recognition and awards for outstanding performers, are given by the department and the faculty which include financial aid, scholarships and sponsorships.

The department has several fora which aim to help the students develop holitistically.  The English Literary Association The West Wind conducts literary competitions in English and helps develop the leadership and organizational capabilities of the students. The Cutting Edge is forum of the department which arranges lectures from noted academicians to keep the students abreast of the latest in academic subjects.  Entrada is yet another forum which arranges Lyceum lectures for students to help them go beyond the academics. The Podium is the knowledge sharing forum of the department where teachers as well as students present papers. The Magic Lantern offers a platform for film exhibitions, flim related talks and shows.  The department offers NET Coaching Classes for NET and JRF aspirants. Pot Pourri is the trimonthly department Newsletter.  The academic performance and result analyses reveal that the department is one among the top colleges of the University. 

The department has been conducting the Josephian Spellathon from 2013 onwards, an annual Intercollegiate Spelling Bee Competition for the R.P. Pai Memorial Everrolling Trophy, which has turned out to be one of the prestigious programmes organized by the department.  The IGA Memorial Lecture which was instituted by Dr. Sheena George and her siblings in the memory of their mother Professor Ivy George Andrews, is a well-acclaimed annual event of invited lectures by eminent academicians.  The English Queen of the Campus Contest is an annual intramural contest with several rounds of exacting competitions to pick out the student most well versed in English.  The Pride of India Elocution Competition conducted by the Lakecity JCI in collaboration with the department has been an annual affair for the past several years.  The department also has collaborative programmes with BUEI (Board of Unaided Educational Institutions, Diocese of Alleppey), such as conducting spelling bee competitions and organizing Communicative Skill Development Classes for the faculty etc.  


The PG Department Library cum reading room is a haven for students and teachers.  The library houses around 1000 books.  The Celine Francis Memorial Language Lab is equipped with software to train students in English speaking skills.  The proposed Mini Theatre is coming up in the new Diamond Jubilee block and will be ready to function in a few months.


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The Cutting Edge Edition 1
"Search for what is good and strong in your society and elaborate from there." - Michel Foucault. The Cutting Edge Lecture Series was flagged off on Wednesday, 5 July, 2017, in the Bakhita Hall. Dr. Siby James of St. Thomas College, Pala, delivered the Keynote address on the Topic"DIPLOPIA OF KNOWLEDGE: THEORY THERE, THEORY HERE." The whole Literature sorority assembled to listen to the scholar.
ICT Initiatives in Teaching-Learning
The department has created specific e-mail ids for each class, thus initiating circulation of notes and notifications to all the students. The students access the class mail ids with the specific passwords given to them. The department has also started a blog: The departmental reports and minutes of HOD meetings are accessed through the departmental mail id by the members of the department. The department also has a facebook page on which photos and details of activities are uploaded.
The English Speaking Campus
The English Speaking Campus Project with its walk and talk concept was born from the ever creative mind of Prof. Tessy Lalachan. Now it has been embraced wholeheartedly by the entire college community under the initiative of the principal.
Spellathon - Intercollegiate Spelling Competition
As part of the Reading Week Competitions, the Department of English launched an Intercollegiate Spelling Competition - Spellathon. The R. P. Pai Memorial Ever- Rolling Trophy to be presented to the winning college was sponsored by Dr. Sandhya P. Pai, faculty member of the Department. Students from many reputed colleges in the district took part in the competition. Anjali Dev, a III DC Literature student of St. Josephs College for Women bagged the first prize.
Film Show
The Department, in collaboration with the Mattancheriyil Kalakshetra and Josephian Cine Forum, organised a Film show The Exhibits on Kaatha , wife of Thakazhy Sivasankara Pillai, the noted literary figure.
Inauguration of the Literary Association
The inauguration of the Literary Association became a special occasion as the inaugurator was from overseas. Dr. T.T. Sreekumar, hailing from the National University of Singapore, one of the most reputed figures in Media Studies, the world over, delivered a talk on Emerging Trends in New Media.
Rhapsody: A Collection of Poems by the Students
Rhapsody features the poems written by four talented young poets of degree classes. The book includes 21 poems by Julban Karyath (II DC), Manjusha Babu (I DC) and Sreeja Thankaraj (I DC). The significance of the volume is enhanced by the foreword of Ms. Juju abraham, the noted Indian poet writing in English, who was an erstwhile guest lecturer in the college.
Avant Garde - Volume III
The Manuscript Magazine brought out by the Department this year won the prize for the best in this category at the interdepartmental level. The magazine showcased budding talent in writing, sketching and editing. The novelty about this years magazine is the interview with the HOD, articles in Gujarathi and Oriya and an autographed sketch of Dr. Shashi Tharoor.
Student Activities
Read to know Read to Grow : Book Review - To foster reading habit and to augment the critical insight of students, a project on Book Reviews was conducted in which the whole of II and III Literature students participated.
National Seminar "Scripting Success"
The UGC sponsored National Seminar on Movie Scripts titled Scripting Success was a major event undertaken by the Department. The seminar was inaugurated by the Honble Minister of State for Power in the Union Ministry, Shri. K.C. Venugopal while the Valediction was delivered by none other than Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Honble MP. Other speakers included Shri. Fazil, the famed director, Shri. John Paul, the noted script writer, Dr. Biju, the award winning director whose movies had been shown even at the Cannes Film Festival, Prof. Bindu Menon and Prof. R. Indulal, noted critics and scholars in film studies. A film show was organised at the end of the first day. The award winning movie, The Day I Became a Woman by the famed Iranian director Marzeieh Meshkini was shown to the delegates. The details of the seminar were published in NBUSEMINAR, a portal for scholars, which features news about seminars organized all over the country. A separate mail id and blog were created especially for the event. An event page was created on Facebook with regular updates. A signature video was prepared to make a visual statement about the theme. There were movie clippings , incorporating bytes from various dignitaries involved in the event. Close circuit televisions were used in the auditorium where the seminar was organised to show the signature videos, demonstrational movie clippings, and live video during plenary sessions and valedictory function. The seminar scripted great success, standing apart as a truly innovative venture.
First National Seminar in the college Improvement of Professional Competence of Faculty
The members of the teaching faculty keep themselves updated in subject knowledge as well as other competencies such as ICTs, Research Methodology, Guidance and Counselling, Quality Management, Value Based Education, Soft Skills etc by regularly attending orientation programmes, refresher courses, training programmes, workshops, seminars, conferences, symposia, software training programmes, language lab training programmes, and undertaking research and research projects, etc. The department pioneered such ventures as PowerPoint presentations in classrooms, e-notes, group mailing for specific classes etc. in the college.
Year Students Pass % A B C D E A + B + C + D +
2018 49 83.67 5 16 18 2 0 0 0 0 0
2017 45 60.00 2 12 12 1 18 0 0 0 0
2016 48 73 1 5 0 0 13 0 22 7 0
2015 47 93.60 3 17 0 0 3 0 19 5 0
2014 46 100 0 17 1 0 0 1 14 13 0
2013 54 96.30 0 27 0 0 2 0 10 15 0

The Department won M. Josephine D'Mello award for the Most Innovative Department thrice. 1999, 2007 and 2013.  In 2016 - 17, the department was the first runner up for the said award.  




1. Dr. Sheena George did a Minor Research Project on the topic Translating Indulekha: A Comparative Study of the Practice, Politics and Poetics of Selected Colonial and Postcolonial Translations of O. Chandu Menon’s Indulekha, for which she received a grant of Rs. 1,20,000/-

2. Dr. Sandhya P. Pai did a Minor Research Project on the topic The Net Impact: Divergent Conventions and Shifting Paradigms in the Expressive Traditions of Kerala in the Cyber Age, for which she received a grant of Rs. 1,50,000/-

3. Geethu Amar did a Minor Research Project on the topic Literature of Terror from Gothic and Horror Fantasy to Paranormal Romances and Vampirism: A Literary Anagram or Cultural Diabolatory, for which she received a grant of Rs. 40,000/-

4. Mirium Xavier did a Minor Research Project on the topic Ambiguity in Frames: Rebellion or Conformity? An Analysis of New Generation Malayalam Cinema, for which she received a grant of Rs. 1,20,000/-

5. Dr. Correya Blazy (retd) did a Minor Research Project on the topic Literary Activism and Human Rights, for which she received a grant of Rs. 50,000/-


The Undergraduates as well as the postgraduates of the department submit projects to the University annually as a part of their final semester requirements. While undergraduates (both BA English Literature as well as Communicative English students) submit group projects, MA students submit individual projects.  The UG and PG students also face individual vivas based on their projects.

At present the department has four PhDs: Dr. Sheena George, Dr. Sandhya P. Pai, Dr. Anupama S Varma and Dr. Anitha J Mattam.  And a fourth member Sharon D'Cunha is proceeding with research leading to PhD under FDP scheme, nearing completion.  Anjali Goerge, has completed the registration process and is pursuing part time PhD.  Two other faculty members, Divya Mary Varghese, and Manju Thomas have recently registered.  


Contact Number
0477 2244622
0477 2244622