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Shuhita Bhattacharjee

Assistant Professor of English Literature and Gender & Sexuality Studies, Dept of Liberal Arts;
Affiliated Professor of Design, Dept of Design;
Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad

Across my years of research and teaching in USA and India, my interests have been in the areas of Victorian Literature and Culture, Postsecular Theory, Studies on Religion and Secularism, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Queer Theory, Postcolonial Studies, Posthuman Theory, Cultural Studies, Thing Theory, Literature and Cinema of the Diaspora, South Asian Literature and Culture Graphic Novels, Popular Literature and Culture, New Woman Literature, Discourses of the Hijab, and Anglo-Indian Literature. A significant aim of my first monograph is to complicate the predominant geopolitical assumption of a modern 'crisis of faith' and 'decline' of religiosity. I am currently at work on my second monograph in which I examine the representations of colonial idols in fin-de-siècle literature and culture. A particular interest area is the notion of dark humour and subalterity in contemporary cultural discourses and performances. Several concurrent projects on graphic novels and on diasporic literature and cinema continue to engage me. 













Alongside my academic interests, I have worked extensively in the social sector at national and international levels in areas such as violence against HIV-positive women, sex education, and workplace anti- sexual harassment laws in educational institutions. This has in many ways shaped the core of my identity as a socially conscious academic and has contributed both to the pedagogical and the administrative techniques that I employ in institutions of higher learning. An active classroom, dedicated to changing delimiting socio-cultural narratives, and a program of scholarly training, invested in the joys of the archive, form the centrepiece of my pedagogical and supervisory approach. 


My current projects include polishing the final drafts of my second monograph and spearheading the Nineteenth-Century Diversities Research Network (NCDRN), South Asia Chapter, from IIT Hyderabad, as a partner network of the UK Victorian Diversities Network, and funded by a UKRI AHRC Grant. This is a major hybrid research network in progress that I envision as a platform for all nineteenth-century scholars who work from or on South Asia and wish to participate in international collaborations and conversations that bypass issues of access.

Projects On My Table



Edited Volumes/Journals
Article/ Book Chapters

Postsecular Theory: Texts and Contexts. Orient Blackswan (Literary/Cultural Theory Series), 2023.


Colonial Idols in British and Anglo-Indian Literature: Religion and the Non-Human in Postcolonial Culture. [Monograph, Forthcoming from Routledge, USA]


HIV and Violence Against Women: A Study. ActionAid Kolkata,

India, 2008. [Co-author]


Guest Editor of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. "(Un)disciplining Within the Nineteenth Century: Historical Hybridity in Self-Reflexive Writing by Women." Summer Issue 2024. Joint Editor, Michelle M. Taylor. [Forthcoming]

“The Insurgent Invasion of Anti-Colonial Idols in Late-Victorian Literature: Richard Marsh and F. Anstey.” English Literature in Transition. 61.1 (Jan 2018).

“Relocating Home and Diasporising the South Asian Queer in Divakaruni and Patil.” In Beyond Trishanku: Diaspora Poetics and Homing in South Asian Women’s Writing. Edited by Shilpa Daithota Bhat. Lanham, Boulder, New York and London: Lexington Books, 2018.

“Of Mahatmas and Chelas: Theosophy and the 'Cartography of the Supernatural' in Richard Marsh and F. Anstey.” In Victorian Popular Fictions Journal.  1.2 (2019). 

“The Colonial Idol, the Animalistic, and the New Woman in the Imperial Gothic of Richard Marsh.” In Gothic Animals: Uncanny Otherness and the Animal With-Out. Edited by Ruth Heholt and Melissa Edmundson. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.

“'Not a muscle at my command': Mesmeric Trance, Consent, and #MeToo in Richard Marsh." Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. 16.2 (2020).

“Reimagining Reluctance: The South-Asian Diaspora and Global ‘Homing’ in Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.” In Diasporic Inquiries into South Asian Women's Narratives: Alien Domiciles. Edited by Shilpa Daithota Bhat. Lanham, Boulder, New York, London: Lexington Books, 2020.

“Shockwaves of Rape and Shattering of Power in the Contemporary Indian Web-Series: The Case of

Delhi CrimeMade in Heaven, and Judgement Day.” In The Politics of Emotional Shockwaves. Edited by Ana Falcato and Sara Graça da Silva. Lisbon: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.

“Dark Humour and the Female Performance of Subversion in South- Asian Diaspora Cinema: Chadha’s Rich DeceiverIt’s A Wonderful Afterlife, and What Do You Call An Indian Woman Who’s Funny?South Asian Studies. 2022. DOI: 10.1080/02666030.2022.2035085 

“‘Rosy Ki Khwaheeshein’: Scripted Romance and Acquaintance Rape in Alankrita Shrivastava's Oeuvre of Female Desire," In Women Filmmakers in Contemporary Hindi Cinema: Looking through their Gaze. Edited by Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan. Palgrave Macmillan []

"'A Punch Back, . . . a Contagious Guffaw': Feminist Humor in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and the Professionalization of the Rebellious Laugh." Studies in American Humor. 9.1 (2023). DOI:

"Criminal Mesmerism, Culpability, and the Automaton in Richard Marsh," Victorian Automata: Mechanism and Agency in the Nineteenth Century. Cambridge University Press, 2024.

“'Ancestral Voices Prophesying War': Investigating the Legacy of the 1947 Partition in the 21st-Century Indian Cultural Imagination of Nuclear War." South Asian Review.  DOI:

 [Co-Author Souvik Kar]

"Producing the Vampire: Victorian Afterlives of the 'Un-Dead' and Contemporary Sexual Crime in the Cinema of Anushka Sharma." In Women in Films and Media and Beyond. Edited by Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan. Routledge [Forthcoming 2024]

Entry on ‘Mira Nair.’ Contemporary Literary Criticism. Gale-Cengage. [Forthcoming 2024]

The Indian Maushi with a “Soul so Pure”: Justice, Gender, and Rage of the Female Vigilante-Superhero in Abhijit Kini’s Post-Nirbhaya Graphic Novels [Final Stages of Review; Co-Author Deblina Rout]

Review of Imperial Women Writers in Victorian India: Representing Colonial Life, 1850-1910. In English Literature in Transition. 62.3 (May 2019).

Review of Capital Designs: Australia House and Visions of an Imperial London. By Eileen Chanin. In Victorian Studies. 64.1 (2021). 

Professional Experience and Academic Training
Professional Experience
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Liberal Arts (English), IIT Hyderabad (2018-Present)

  • Assistant Professor, Department of English, Presidency University, Kolkata, India (2013 - 2018)

  • Lecturer for ‘Interpretation of Literature,’ University of Iowa (2009 - 2013)        

  • Adjunct Professor at HMM College, Calcutta, India (2008 - 2009)

  • Research Supervisor in Social Sector Projects (2006 - 2009) [Comprising Academic Research on areas such as HIV & Violence against Women, the Indian National HIV/AIDS Draft Bill, and Adolescent Sex Education]



  • PhD English Literature (University of Iowa, USA; 2015) 

  • MPhil, Masters, and Bachelors in English Literature (Jadavpur University, India; 2008, 2006, 2004)​

Academic Training
Invited Talks and Conferences 
  • Papers presented at Midwest Victorian Studies Association Conference (2021), Victorian Popular Fiction Association Conference, University of Greenwich and Loughborough University (2019, 2022), Kingston University (2023), Baylor University, Texas (2016), Victorians Institute Journal Conference, North Carolina (2015), Midwest Victorian Studies Association Conference, University of Iowa (2015), University of Warwick (2014), University of Portsmouth (2014), University of Ireland, Galway (2014), University of Glasgow (2014)

  • Paper presented at the 'Women in Films, Media and Beyond' Conference organized by University of Guelph, Canada, and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (2021)

  • Resource Person for the Gender Sensitization Programs and Madan Mohan Malviya 'Higher Education and Society' Faculty Expert (University of Hyderabad, Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology Hyderabad, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Sreenidhi College, IIT Hyderabad; 2019-2023)

  • Invited talks for faculty/students/non-teaching staff across higher educational institutions as subject expert and Committee for Gender Concerns member (IIT Hyderabad) on gender-sensitization, socially equitable classroom pedagogies and institutional administration, prevention of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination (2019-2022)

  • Keynote Speaker at the Department of English Conference, Benares Hindu University, Varanasi, India (2018)

  • Invited Talks on Humanities, Gender, and Literature in the Modern Age, Government PG College Gopeshwar, Uttarakhand (2020)

  • Invited talks on graphic novels at Jadavpur University—SYLFF (Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund of Japan’s Nippon Foundation) (2018)

  • Series of invited lectures at Jadavpur University and Presidency University on Victorian Studies (2016)

  • Invited lectures at Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad  (2020)

  • Presentations at Dickens Universe, University of California Santa Cruz (2010) and Midwest Victorian Studies Association Conference, Cleveland (2014)

  • Paper presented at the Indian Association of Women’s Studies (IAWS), Lucknow,     India, 2008

Book Store


Editorial Boards

Cambridge Elements Series, 'Literature and Religion since 1500' (Cambridge University Press)
Journal of Victorian Culture (Oxford University Press)
Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies (Guest Editor)

Reviewer Boards

Routledge UK
Routledge India
Victorian Studies (Indiana University Press)
PMLA (Modern Language Association of America)
Victorian Network
Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature
Quarterly Review of Film and Video (Taylor and Francis)
Contemporary South Asia (Taylor and Francis) 
Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women's and Gender Studies
Journal of International Women's Studies 
Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 
Espacio, Tiempo y Educación 

Professional Memberships

Member, Modern Language Association

Member, North American Victorian Studies Association

Member, Victorians Institute

Member, Victorian Popular Fiction Association​

Member, Midwest Victorian Studies Association

Member, Society for Global Nineteenth-Century Studies



Academic Projects

  • India Coordinator, IIT Hyderabad Partner Organization in Research Grant for "Victorian Diversities Research Network", UKRI Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), 2023

  • Coordinator, Public Humanities Initiative, IIT Hyderabad

Social Sector Projects/Community Outreach



  • Principal Investigator, ICSSR Funded Project, "Adolescent Sexual Health Education through Picture Books: Designing and Disseminating Picture Books on Sexual Health---Taking the Conversation to Children, Doctors, Teachers [Ongoing]

  • Co-Principal Investigator, ICSSR Funded Project, ‘Intimacy and Risk: Understanding Violence taking place through Queer Dating Applications in Contemporary India’ [Ongoing]

  • Violence against Women and HIV/AIDS-I, School of Women’s Studies (Jadavpur University), in collaboration with ActionAid (India); Co-author of the Report (2006-2007)                                                                           

  • Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS- II: Media Campaigns in West Bengal, School of Women’s Studies (Jadavpur University), in collaboration with ActionAid (India) (2007-2008)                                

  • Gender Politics and the National HIV/AIDS Draft Bill, School of Women’s Studies (Jadavpur University), in collaboration with the National Commission for Women (2007)

  • Introduction of Sex Education in the Schools of West Bengal, School of Women’s Studies (Jadavpur University) (2007)                                                                                

  • Chairperson of UNICEF’s Children’s Borough Council set up to conceive, design and execute developmental projects for the children of East India (2001)  


Honours and Awards

Charles Wallace Grant for International Archival Research  (2020)

Marcus Bach Fellowship (2015)

Frederick P.W. McDowell Dissertation Award (2014)

Robert L. Platzman Fellowship, University of Chicago (2013)

Stanley Award for International Research, University of Iowa (2013)

Summer Dissertation Fellowship, University of Iowa (2013)

Discussion Leader at the Lumen Christi Institute’s Seminar ("Christianity, the Unity of Knowledge, and the Secularized Academy"), University of Chicago (2013)

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowship, 2014 (As Alternate)

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