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Department of English
Sambudha Sen
Professor and Head
Department of English
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Education Details
PhD, Department of English, University of Delhi, 1991
M.Phil. Department of English, University of Delhi, 1981
M.A. St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi, 1978
B.A. St. Stephen’s College , University of Delhi, 1976
Professional Experience
1976 – 2002, Lecturer, Sr. Lecturer, Reader, Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi.
2002 – 2004, Reader, Department of English, University of Delhi.
2004 – 2015, Professor, Department of English, University of Delhi.
2011 -2013, Head, Department of English, University of Delhi.
January to July 1993, Foundation Fellow, Clare Hall, Cambridge.
April to August 1999, Andrew Mellon Fellow The Huntington Library, Pasadena.
October 2002, Residency at the Bellagio Center.
February – December 2006, Leverhulme Visiting Fellow Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.
March 16- April 7, 2007, ASIHSS Visiting Professor, Jadavpur University.
March 7 -21 2008, UPE Visiting Professor Calcutta University.
February 10 – March 1, Visiting Fellow, University of Exeter.
Research Interests
My current research is concerned with the ways in which the body was grasped and deployed in Victorian culture: on the one hand, in all its materiality, as something that laboured, consumed and needed to be protected from diseases but could, at the same time , be made to yield medical knowledge and, on the other as something that could work with posture, gesture, accessories to project a dematerialised, but powerful force field ,that unfolded outside its physical boundaries.

I have published previously on print and visual culture in 19th century England, the novels of Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray, visual representations of nineteenth century Calcutta and London, and the cinema of Ritwick Ghatak.

I also have a strong interest in novel theory, the relation between novels and the visual arts and in the fiction of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jose Saramago.
Select Publications

London , Radical Expression and the Making of the Dickensian Aesthetic ( Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2012).

Edited with an Introduction Mastering Western Texts : Essays in Honour of A N Kaul ( Delhi: Permanent Black, 2002)

Dickens Novels in the Age Improvement (Delhi: Manohar, 2000)

Editions with Introductory Essays

Hard Times ( Macmillan 2003)

Great Expectations ( Longman, 2006)


Meghe Dhaka Tara as a Tragedy of Everyday Life”. in Sabine Haenni, Sarah Barrow, John White ed. The Routledge Encyclopedia of Films (2013)

“Re- Visioning the Colonial City: Local autonomy vs the Aesthetics of Intermixtures in the age of circulating print culture” Literature Compass , ed Regenia Gagnier. ( Basil Wiley : October 2013) to be reprinted in Tore Kristensen, Anders Michelsen and Frauke Wiegand ed. Transvisualities : The Cultural Dimension of Visuality Vol 2 (Forthcoming Liverpool University Press, 2015)

“Radical satire and respectability: comic imagination in Hone, Jerrold and Dickens” in Aruna Krishnamuthy ed. The Working–Class Intellectual in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain (Ashgate : 2009)

“Hogarth, Egan, Dickens and the making of an urban aesthetic” Representations (California University Press: August 2008 , No.103).

Reprinted Jeremy Tambling ed. Dickens and the City (Ashgate: 2012)

Don Quixote and the Problem of Fiction Making” in Ignacio Arellano and Vibha Maurya ed. Cervantes and Don Quixote (Emesco Books:2008)

Bleak House, Vanity Fair and the Making of an Urban Aesthetic” Nineteenth Century Literature (California University Press: March 2000)

Reprinted Jeremy Tambling ed. Dickens and the City (Ashgate: 2012)

Bleak House and Little Dorrit: The Radical Heritage” English Literary History (Johns Hopkins University Press: Winter, 1998)

“The Idea of Poverty in the Novels of Dickens” in Anand Prakash (ed) Our Story (New Delhi: The Academic Publishers, 1992)

With Pradip Datta, Biwamoy Pati, Sumit Sarkar and Tanika Sarkar, “Understanding Communal Violence: The Nizamuddin Riots” Vol - XXV No. 45, November 10, 1990

“On the Radicalism of Little Dorrit”, The Yearly Review (Delhi: University of Delhi Press, 1988)

“State dignitaries, Liberals and Peasants: The Political World of Anna Karenina" in J.V.Paul ed. Studies in Russian Literature (Hyderabad: Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, 1982).

Reprinted in a revised form in Journal of Modern European Novels (Delhi: University of Delhi Press, December 1985)

Significant Reviews

Review of Art of the Everyday: Dutch Painting and the Realist Novel Victorian Studies, Winter 2009

Review of Sally Ledger, Dickens and the Popular Radical Imagination Victorian Studies, Autumn 2008

“Glimpses of Early Urban Culture”: Review essay on John Marriott’s six volume Unknown London in Economic and Political Weekly, April 16, 2005

Review of Meenakshi Mukherjee, The Perishable Empire: Essays on Indian Writing in English in The Yearly Review, March 2001
National and International Recognition
Life member, Clare Hall.

On Advisory Board of Victorian Studies

Invited respondent to Dame Gillian Beer’s post “Late Darwin and the Problem of the Human” in the National Humanities Centre project, On the Human

Panelist in Harriet Gilbert’s discussion on Great Expectations in the BBC World Bookclub program broadcast on February 12, 2012 to mark Charles Dickens’s bi centenary.

My book London, Radical Expression and the Making of the Dickensian Aesthetic earned the following endorsement

“This book shows us far more clearly than any before both why Dickens made so many artistic choices that have puzzled and disappointed his critics and how those choices fit into his larger aesthetic project.” —Catherine Gallagher, The Ida May and William J Eggers Jr. Chair in English, University of California, Berkeley

The book was also nominated by the publisher for the North American Victorian Studies Association award for the best book in 2012 on nineteenth century culture.

Invited Talks, Seminars

"Between Starvation and Dissection: The Bare Life of the 19th Century English Pauper" , University of Exeter, February, 2015

Plenary address, “Novelizing the Cartoon” The Dickens World, Post Imperial Readings, Jadavpur University , Kolkata 18-20 December, 2012

Plenary address , “City Sketches, Panoramas and the Dickensian Aesthetic” in “Dickens and the Visual Imagination” University of Surrey, July 9-10, 2012

“Technology, Visuality and the Making of a Modern Urban Imaginary” in “Picturing the Nineteenth Century” 2012, Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies Conference March 22-25, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY,

“Visuality, Technology and the Making of a Modern Urban Aesthetic”. La Trobe University, Melbourne, June 2011.

“Industry and Idleness” and the Makinig of an Urban Aesthetic in Nineteenth Century Britain”. Sussex University, June 2007

“Radical Expression and the Domain of the Literary in Early Nineteenth Century Britain”. Oxford University . November 2002
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