English literature is studied, at some stage or other, by almost every middle and upper-class person in India. Its importance as a discipline, or as a body of texts, that shapes the minds, attitudes, behavior and social aspirations of India's educated urban elite is often fundamental. Yet some of the most basic questions about English literary studies in India--their relevance and validity, their social functions, their institutional contexts, their pedagogic and publishing practices--are never posed. The seventeen essays in this volume break the silence and ask why. This volume will be invaluable to those interested in sociology, history, colonialism and culture, and to all who teach or study English literature anywhere in the world.