Faculty at School of Humanities and Social Sciences
I joined Shiv Nadar University in January 2015 after leaving Delhi University where I was the Head of the English Department from 2011- 2013 .
My research has focused predominantly on the nineteenth century novel in England, especially the novels of Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray. I’ve written extensively on how a powerful strand within the 19th century novel veered away from the more literary forms of novel writing to draw its energies from the language of popular politics ; cartoons, urban prints, panoramas, stereoscopic entertainment, in short from what I call the London aesthetic. My essays on these topics have appeared in journals like Representations , Victorian Studies, Nineteenth Century Literature and English Literary History . My 2012 book London, Radical Culture and the Making of the Dickensian Novel ( Ohio State University Press) was nominated for the North American Victorian Studies Association prize.
More recently I’ve worked on the complex ways medical knowledge in the 19th century mutated as it as it was drawn into the expressive economy of the novel and, in 2017 , I published a long essay on the subject in Victorian Studies . I became interested , too , in the early novel in India , and I wrote two essays on the 1861 Bengali text Hootum Pyanchar Naksha before collaborating with Baidik Bhattacharya on a collection of essays called Novel Formations brought out by Permanent Black in 2018.
Shiv Nadar IOE gave me the mind space and time to begin a new chapter in life as a university teacher. In 2017 I published my first short story in Wasafiri. Another story of mine won an honorable mention in the “Family Matters” story competition run by the American magazine Glimmer Train . In 2021 I was awarded the prestigious Hawthorn Castle fellowship to complete a novel.
My research has been supported by several international fellowships including the Foundation Fellowship at Clare Hall, Cambridge, the Mellon Fellowship at the Huntington Library Pasadena, the Rockefeller Residency at Bellagio , the Leverhulme Fellowship at Anglia Ruskin University and the Institute of Advanced Studies Fellowship at Durham University . I was an invited speaker at the BBC book club event, curated by the iconic Harriet Gilbert to commemorate Charles Dickens’ bicentenary. I was also an invited respondent to Dame Gillian Beer’s post “Late Darwin and the Problem of the Human” which was part of the National Humanities Project “On the Human”.
I serve as a member on the advisory board of Victorian Studies .
- 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
- 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.
- 2015-Present. Professor , Department of English , Shiv Nadar University
- 2011 -2013, Head, Department of English, University of Delhi.
- 2015 – 2022 Present. Head, Department of English Shiv Nadar University.
2017 "Alo Pishi and I " Honorable Mention in 2016 short story competition ?Family Matters?, conducted by one of America?s most important fiction magazines The Glimmer Train
- My submission to the 2016 short story competition “Family Matters”, conducted by one of America’s most important fiction magazines The Glimmer Train earned a honorable mention
- My book London, Radical Culture and the Making of the Dickensian Aesthetic was nominated by the publisher for the North American Victorian Studies Association prize for the best book on the year on Victorian Studies.The book has been favorably reviewed in several significant journals including Victorian Studies , Nineteenth Century Literature, Journal of Victorian Culture , Romantic and Victorian Literature on Line and The Dickensian
- Panelist in Harriet Gilbert’s discussion on Great Expectations in the BBC World
- Bookclub program broadcast on February 12, 2012 to mark Dickens’s birth centenary.
- Invited respondent to Gillian Beer’s post “Late Darwin and the Problem of the Human” as part of National Humanities Center’s project “ On the Human” June, 2010
- “From Dispossession to Dissection: The Bare Life of the English Pauper in the Age of the Anatomy Act and the New Poor Law.” Victorian Studies, vol. 52, no. 2, 2017, pp. 235-259
- “Revisioning the Colonial City : Local Autonomy vs the Aesthetics of intermixtures in the age of Circulating Print Culture” Literature Compass, vol. 11, no. 1, 2014 pp.26-35
- “Hogarth, Dickens and the Making of an Urban Aesthetic”, Representations Vol. 103, Issue 1, August 2008 pp 84-106.
- “Bleak House, Vanity Fair and the Making of an Urban Aesthetic” Nineteenth Century Literature vol. 54, No. 4, 2000, pp. 480-502
- “Bleak House and Little Dorrit: The Radical Heritage” English Literary History, vol. 65, no. 4, 1998, pp. 945-970
- With Pradip Datta, Biwamoy Pati, Sumit Sarkar and Tanika Sarkar, “Understanding Communal Violence: The Nizamuddin Riots” vol. 25, no. 45, 1990), pp. 287-295
- “On the Radicalism of Little Dorrit”, Yearly Review, 2, 1988, pp 31- 49
- “Some Political Aspects of Anna Karenina”, Journal of the Modern European Languages vol. II, no. 2,
- London, Radical Expression and the Making of the Dickensian Aesthetic (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2012).
- Dickens’s Novels in the Age Improvement (Delhi: Manohar, 2000)
- Novel Formations: The Indian Beginings of a European Genre ( Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2019)
- Mastering Western Texts: Essays in Honour of A.N Kaul (Ranikhet : Permanent Black, 2002)
Scholarly Editions with Critical Introduction
- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (Delhi: Longman, 2006)
- Charles Dickens, Hard Times (Delhi: Macmillan, 2003)
- “Boz in London: The 1830s and the Urban Turn in the English Novel” in John Gardner and David Stewart ed. Nineteenth Century Literature in Transition: 1830s ( Cambridge :Cambridge University Press, 2023)
- “Introduction”, A. N. Kaul, The Domain of the Novel :Reflections on Some Historical Definitions ( Delhi : Routledge , 2021)
- “Hootum Pyanchar Noksha, Colonial Modernity and the Making of the Post Modern Novel in India” in Novel Formations: The Indian Beginings of a European Genre ( Ranikhet: Permanent Black, 2019) pp. 211 -254
- “Hogarth, Egan, Dickens and the making of an urban aesthetic” and “Bleak House, Vanity Fair and the Making of an Urban Aesthetic “
- Reprinted Jeremy Tambling ed. Dickens and the City (New York : Routledge, 2016) pp 275-299 and 473-497
- “Re-Visioning the Colonial City: Autonomous Spaces, Stereotypes and the Aesthetics of Intermixtures in Kaliprasanna Sinha’s Hutom Pyanchar Noksha.” TransVisuality: The Cultural TransVisuality: The Cultural Dimension of Visuality. Volume 2: Visual Organisations, edited by Frauke Wiegand, Anders Michelsen and Tore Kristensen (Liverpool University Press, 2015), pp. 44 -58
- “Meghe Dhaka Tara as a Tragedy of Everyday Life.” The Routledge Encyclopaedia of Films
- edited by Sabine Haenni, Sarah Barrow, John White (Routledge: New York, 2016), p
- “Radical satire and respectability: comic imagination in Hone, Jerrold and Dickens” The Working–Class Intellectual in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain, edited by Aruna Krishnamuthy (Burlington: Ashgate, 2009), pp 143 -167
- “Don Quixote and the Problem of Fiction Making” in Ignacio Arellano and Vibha Maurya ed. Cervantes and Don Quixote (Hydrabad : Emesco Books, 2008), pp 3-16
- “Dickens, Thackeray and the Language of Radicalism”, in Sambudha Sen ed. Mastering Western Texts: Essays on Literature and Society ( Ranikhet : Permanent Black, 2003) pp.157-180
- “The Idea of Poverty in the Novels of Dickens” in Anand Prakash (ed) Our Story (New Delhi: The Academic Publishers, 1992), pp 41-62
- “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), pp. 36-47
Institute of Advanced Studies Fellows Public Lecture , Hootum Pyanchar Noksha and the Post Modern Imagination. University of Durham , November 2018. "You ain't got a thing if you don't have that swing" Music Appreciation Program, Public Lecture India International Center , Delhi. October 2022. "Between Starvation and Dissection: The Bare Life of the 19th Century English Pauper" , University of Exeter, February, 2015 Plenary , Novelizing the Cartoon The Dickens World, Post Imperial Readings, Jadavpur University , Kolkata 18-20 December, 2012 Plenary , 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
- Advisory Board , Victorian Studies. Indiana University Press. 2012 - present External Research Evaluator for Tenure Promotion to Associate Professorship , New York University , 2021.
- “Guddu, I the Qawallis at Vijay Mandal” in Prasanta Chakravarty ed. Shrapnel Minima (Chicago Univeristy Press, 2014), pp 53-59
- “God Tussi Great Ho”, Wasafiri, Winter 2017 pp. 70-76
Plenary Speaker, Public Lecture, Public Engagements
- “Hootum Pyanchar Naksha and Making of the Post Modern”, Institute of Advanced Studies Fellows’ Public Lecture , Josephine Butler College, Durham, December 20
- "Between Starvation and Dissection: The Bare Life of the 19th Century English Pauper" University of Exeter, February, 2015
- Plenary , “Novelizing the Cartoon” The Dickens World, Post Imperial Readings, Jadavpur University , Kolkata 18-20 December, 2012
- Plenary , “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 ConferenMarch 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 Making of an Urban Aesthetic in Nineteenth CenturyBritain”. Sussex University, June 2007
- “Radical Expression and the Domain of the Literary in Early Nineteenth Century Britain”. Oxford University. November 2002
Popular Lectures and Public Engagements
- “You Ain’t Got a Thing if you Don’t Have that Swing: Jazz Culture 1900-1950” India International Centre August 30,2022
- “Extending the Novel: Fiction , Non Fiction , Translation” Adam Foulds, Kanan Sundaram , Meelis Friendenthal, Rodan Al Galidi , winners of the European Prize for Literature in conversation with Sambudha Sen . Jaipur Literary Festival, Feb.24, 2021
- Member of Advisory Board , Victorian Studies
- New York University invited me to evaluate research done by candidate applying for a tenured promotion to associate professorship.
- Exeter University , UK , invited me to evaluate research done by candidate applying for a chaired professorship.