Shuhita Bhattacharjee


Professor of English Literature

Department of Liberal Arts

Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad





Room 541, Academic Building C,

IIT 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, Sexuality and Queer Theory, Postcolonial Studies, Posthuman Theory, Cultural Studies, Thing Theory, Literature and Cinema of the Diaspora, 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. 


Postsecular Theory: Texts and Contexts. [Monograph, Orient Blackswan (Literary/Cultural Theory Series), In Press, 2021]


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]


Article/ Book Chapters

“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. Lisbon: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021.

"Criminal Mesmerism, Culpability, and the Automaton in Richard Marsh," Cambridge University Press [Forthcoming 2022] 

"'Rosie Ki Khwaheeshein': Pulp Erotica and Sexual Abuse in Alankrita Shrivastava's Cinema of Female Desire," Palgrave Macmillan [Forthcoming 2021]

“Black Humour and Women Enactors: Chadha’s Rich DeceiverIt’s A Wonderful Afterlife, and What Do You Call An Indian Woman Who’s Funny” [South Asian Studies, Forthcoming 2022]

"Female Stand-Ups and The Politics of  Docile Humour: The Case of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." [Final Stages of Review, Forthcoming 2021]

"Producing the Vampire: Victorian Afterlives of the 'Un-Dead' and Contemporary Sexual Crime in the Cinema of Anushka Sharma." [Forthcoming 2022]

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

  • 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)

  • Golden Key International Honor Society (2014)

  • National Junior Research Fellowship for PhD, National Eligibility Test, India (2009)

  • National Scholarships at Bachelors and Higher Secondary levels (2001, 2004) 

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]

Academic Training


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

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

Invited Talks and Conferences 
  • Papers presented at Midwest Victorian Studies Association Conference (2021), Victorian Popular Fiction Association Conference, University of Greenwich (2019), 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, University of Hyderabad and CBIT, Hyderabad (2020, 2019)

  • 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

Reviewer Boards
  • Routledge India

  • PMLA

  • Victorian Network

  • Espacio, Tiempo y Educación  


Professional Memberships



  • Member, Modern Language Association

  • Member, Victorians Institute

  • Member, Victorian Popular Fiction Association​

  • Member, Midwest Victorian Studies Association

Social Sector Projects

Community Activity, Academic Research, Dissemination, Sensitization, and Publication under the following projects: 


  •  Urban Patterns of Gendered 'Productivity,' Emotional Abuse, and Anxiety during the Covid-19 Pandemic (2020)

  • "The Right of the Child: Interdisciplinary Interventions in Sanitation and Safety in Peri-UrbanAreas," a project dedicated to ensuring the safety of peri-urban children from child sexual abuse in particular (2020)

  • 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)