The Department of English has made great contributions in shaping the literary, intellectual and cultural traditions of our nation by producing some of the finest educationalists, scholars and writers of our country over the last century.
Renowned authors including Buddhadev Bose, Munier Choudhury, Shamsur Rahman, Syed Shamsul Haque and Razia Khan Amin were all students of this Department making important contributions to the field of literature and culture. Many female students of the Department have played a pivotal role in spreading women’s education in Bangladesh. Among them, a great social activist and advocate for women’s education Leela Nag was the first female graduate of University of Dhaka. Charupama Bose was the second female teacher of the University. A. G. Stock who has successfully recorded the events of her time in her widely acclaimed Memoirs (1973) of the university was another female academic and Head of the Department. Professor Ferdaus Azim is a renowned feminist scholar today.
Teachers of the Department such as Professor Khan Sarwar Murshid, Professor Ahsanul Haque, Professor Serajul Islam Choudhury and Professor Kaiser M. Hamidul Haq played active roles in the movements before and after our Liberation War.
Professor Serajul Islam Choudhury was very keen to promote research in the Department as reflected in his establishment of M.Phil and Ph.D. programmes in the Department. He has authored a number of works on socio-political and literary issues. He is now Professor Emeritus in the Department. Professor Ahsanul Haque, during his chairmanship, took two very important steps for the Department: firstly, he introduced the Language stream at the Master’s level; secondly, he introduced a Basic English course for people outside the university (Shahiduzzaman, 1988). He also took the initiative to form the English Department Alumni Society (EDAS) in 1986. Professor Kaiser M. Hamidul Haq who participated in our Liberation War in 1971 is now an internationally renowned poet and translator. Professor Kabir Chowdhury, for his contributions in the fields of education and translation, was made National Professor. Professor Imtiaz Habib has been widely known as a prolific Shakespeare expert. In recent years, Professor Niaz Zaman, Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam and UGC Professor Fakrul Alam have made significant contributions in the fields of arts and literature. Professor Zaman has distinguished herself as a translator, and her leadership, particularly through her created platform Gatha, to give voices to female writers in the country is also widely acknowledged. Professor Islam is widely recognised for his short fictions and essays. Professor Alam is lauded for his outstanding translation work. Significant contributions to contemporary Bangladeshi poetry and fiction have also been made by Professor Khondakar Ashraf Hossain, Professor Kashinath Roy and Professor Kajal Krishna Bannerjee.
These academicians and authors are recipients of prestigious national and international awards. They are celebrated and admired for their outstanding contributions in areas of education, research and creative writing, nationwide.
The literary and cultural contributions of the teachers of the Department can also be understood in some of the national awards that they have achieved over the years:
Independence Day (ShadhinataPadak) Award Recipients:
Munier Choudhury (posthumously, 1980)
Kabir Chowdhury (1997)
Ekushey Award Recipients:
Kabir Chowdhury (1991)
Serajul Islam Choudhury (1996)
Razia Khan Amin (1997)
Syed Manzoorul Islam (2018)
Bangla Academy Literary Award Recipients:
Munier Choudhury (1962)
Kabir Chowdhury (1973)
Razia Khan Amin (1974)
Serajul Islam Choudhury (1978)
Syed Manzoorul Islam (1996)
Khan Sarwar Murshid (2010)
Kaiser Md. HamidulHaq (2014)
Niaz Zaman (2016)