The Shenoi Goembab School of Languages and Literature is established by the amalgamation of six conventional language departments active in the field of languages and literature, viz., Department of Konkani (established in 1987), Department of Marathi (1970), Department of Hindi (1965), Department of English (1965), Department of Portuguese (1987) and Department of French (1965).
Through the varied languages we embrace, we usher in vibrant possibilities for academic programmes and research. The erstwhile language departments dealt with a variety of literatures—Konkani, Hindi, Marathi, Goan Marathi, Dalit, British, Indian, American, Portuguese, Indo-Portuguese, Lusophone, French, Francophone, to name a few. Comparative Literature, Post-colonial Literature, Travel literature, Folk literature, Classical Literature, Christian tradition in Marathi literature, Feminist Writings, Literary Criticism and Contemporary Theories expand the scope of literature studies in the School. Other thrust areas include, but are not restricted to, Cultural Studies, Translation Studies, Media Studies, Linguistics and Comparative linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Didactics of language teaching, Performative Arts and Traditions, Mythology and Folklore Studies, Indian and Western Poetics, Diaspora Studies and Gender Studies.
Goa University’s School of languages and literature is aptly named after Shenoi Goembab, a renowned Konkani writer and activist. Besides his mother tongue Konkani, he mastered diverse languages during his life journey—Marathi, Portuguese, English and Sanskrit, just to mention a few. They left a vivid imprint on his monumental corpus of works, which includes translations of the Bhagavad Gita and plays by renowned English and French playwrights (Shakespeare and Moliere) into Konkani. The school carries forward Shenoi Goembab’s visionary perspective toward languages: it stays deeply rooted in local issues and opens up to global influences. As with Shenoi Goembab, Goa occupies centre stage and the School embraces interdisciplinary domains of knowledge to better cater to the specifics of the state. Thus, in this multifaceted framework, interdisciplinary areas like Sociological Study of Literature, the Language Movement, Goa Cultural Studies, Subaltern Studies, LGBTQ Studies, Law and Literature, Human Rights, Cartography and Archives, Heritage and Material Culture, Stories of Migration, India-Lusophone Relations, and Contemporary Art are explored and taught under the purview of the School.
Many eminent personalities were associated with the Faculty of languages before it became the School. Prof. B.V. Nemade who was the Founder Head of the erstwhile Department of English won the reputed Jnanpith award in 2014 for his contribution to Marathi literature. Similarly, Prof. Arvind Pandey from the former Department of Hindi was an outstanding scholar of Sanskrit and Urdu besides being an established literary critic of Hindi literature. Dr. Manohar Rai Sardesai, who was an eminent teacher of French, was also a renowned poet in Konkani. Dr. Olivinho Gomes, who was the Head of the erstwhile Department of Konkani contributed significantly to Konkani sociolinguistics. Moreover, Konkani Department has various projects from Sahitya Academy, NCERT, UGC, Central Directorate of Hindi, New Delhi, Commission for Scientific & Technical Terminology, New Delhi and Goa Konkani Academy, Goa. A Centre for Konkani Development Studies had been set up with the support of UGC in the IX Five-Year-Plan as an adjunct of the Department of Konkani which was engaged in multiple academic projects like the preparation of terminology, dictionaries, translation from Indian and foreign classics especially those relating to literary criticism, transliteration of Konkani texts from one script to another and the publication of the same for the benefit of the students. The Centre has done video documentation of Dasro, Ghumat vadan (Sakaarat), Rannamale (folk drama), Fugddi (folk dance) and the Three Kings Feast of Chandor under the unique programme called "Know our Culture".
The erstwhile Department of Portuguese and Lusophone Studies is the only one of its kind in the entire Indian Subcontinent. Through the Joaquim Heliodoro da Cunha Rivara Chair, it actively promotes Indo-Portuguese studies. Joaquim Heliodoro da Cunha Rivara (1809 - 1879) was a Portuguese historian, philologist, administrator, politician and a Professor of Philosophy who defended the Konkani language and published a grammar and a history of the language titled Ensaio Histórico da Língua Concani. Thanks to the Cunha Rivara Chair, students, faculty and the public in Goa are able to benefit from interactions with international visiting research professors in the areas of language contact, ethnomusicology, social and economic networks, maritime communities, political and cultural history and history of art.
The amalgamation into a School is promising in more ways than one: inter-language and inter-linguistic synergies in a variety of domains, translations with local and international languages, opening up of new research opportunities and an innovative offer of courses await. Down the years, students have benefited from the quality education and industry preparedness offered by the language departments. The synergies of the School will multiply the advantages for our students. On the whole, it is our belief that The Shenoi Goembab School of Languages and Literature will be able to offer exciting possibilities for our students and researchers to express themselves by incorporating interdisciplinary perspectives and vision.