The Department of English was established as one of the pioneer departments of the Arts Faculty in 1948. At its inception the Department taught courses that were patterned after similar departments in the UK. However, from the 1960s, the dominant theme of the Department of English has been the need to make its courses reflect the requirements of the nation, Ghana.
It has been necessary to study the problems arising from the use of English as a Second Language and to build up both the material and the expertise to address them. Change in the Department has therefore been gradual.
Indeed, until the 1980s, the Department’s programme retained an essentially metropolitan character as this was considered the best way to equip students with the requisite mastery of the Language.
But in the year 2004, the Department did a major revision of its courses, under the leadership of Prof. K. Anyidoho, and came up with a new syllabus in English Studies. In Literature, the review meant expanding the Department’s courses to reflect our position in a changing world in which our original offering, which was almost entirely based on the literature of the colonial metropolis, was clearly unsatisfactory.
Today, the Department’s New Syllabus for English Studies for the Bachelor of Arts degree gives students the opportunity to offer a variety of courses that the Department believes will prepare them to meet some of the demands or challenges of the job market.
Creative Writing, Technical and Expository Writing and Children’s Literature are some of the specializations which the department offers. Our African Literature courses are also very attractive to both local and foreign students. The courses have actually revived interest in our graduate programmes on which student enrollment is increasing significantly with a bias towards research in Ghanaian Literature or Comparative Studies in African and other Literatures.