Skip to page Content.

Rajeswari Sunder Rajan

Global Distinguished Professor of English

George Washington University, Ph.D., English, 1983 Bombay University, M.A., English, 1971 Bombay University, B.A., English, 1969

Office Hours: 

English UA 712.002, Major Texts in Critical Theory: Tuesdays 10:30am -12:00pm Engl-GA 2900.00, Postcolonialism and the politics of religion: Tuesdays 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Areas of Research/Interest: 

Postcolonial studies; feminist theory; gender and culture in South Asia; Indian writing in English; British Victorian literature

External Affiliations:

Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World (co-edited with Supriya Chaudhuri, Josephine McDonagh, and Brian Murray) (London and New York: Routledge, forthcoming 2017) The Crisis of Secularism in India (co-edited with Anuradha Needham) (Durham and London: Duke University Press, and New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2006) The Scandal of the State: Women, Law and Citizenship in India (Durham and London: Duke University Press, and New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2003). Postcolonial Jane Austen (co-edited with You-me Park) (London and New York: Routledge, 2000). (ed.) Signposts: Gender Issues in Post-Independence India (New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1999; reprinted by Rutgers UP, 2000). Real and Imagined Women: Gender, Culture and Postcolonialism (London and New York: Routledge, 1993). (ed.) The Lie of the Land: English Literary Studies in India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992). Series editor of Issues in Indian Feminism (New Delhi: Women Unlimited), from 2005-2011: 7 volumes. Journal special issue, ‘Righting Wrongs, Rewriting History?’ (co-edited with Homi Bhabha), Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (2000).


Rajeswari Sunder Rajan was educated in Bombay and Washington DC. She taught for many years in India before moving to the U.K. where she was Professorial Fellow at Wolfson College and Reader in the English faculty at the University of Oxford. Dr. Sunder Rajan has been a Senior Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and at the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi; in 2001 she was a Shansi Visiting Professor at Oberlin College, Ohio. Dr. Sunder Rajan’s work spans debates about the relationship between gender, postcolonialism and culture in the context of post-Independence Indian nationalism. Additionally, she works on British nineteenth-century literature and Anglophone postcolonial literature. Recent publications include ‘Zeitgeist and the Literary Text: India, 1947, in Qurratulain Hyder’s My Temples, Too, and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children,’ in Critical Inquiry (Summer 2014), ‘Feminism's Futures: The Limits and Ambitions of Rokeya’s Dream,’ in Economic and Political Weekly (Oct, 2015), and ‘A Woman’s Worth’ in Granta (2015). A volume of essays, Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World, jointly edited with Professors Supriya Chaudhuri, Josephine McDonagh, and Brian Murray is forthcoming (Routledge, 2017). The volume is the product of a three-year international collaboration on a project titled ‘Commodities and Culture, 1851-1914’, funded by a Leverhulme Network Grant. Dr. Sunder Rajan is currently completing a book on the post-Midnight’s Children Indian novel in English, while starting another (jointly with Anuradha Needham) on Women in Indian Cinema. Dr Sunder Rajan has offered a series of graduate courses under the rubric ‘Concepts in Postcolonial Theory’, which over the years has covered such topics as ‘modernity’, ‘the other’, ‘subalternity,’ ‘gender and feminism,’ ‘the production of knowledge,’ ‘diaspora, exile and migration,’ ‘postcolonial thought’, ‘World Literature’, ‘development’ and, in spring 2017, ‘the politics of religion and secularism.’ She is currently setting up a research project on Postcolonial Print Cultures with Dr Neelam Srivatsava at Newcastle University (UK) that will bring together scholars from both institutions, along with other scholars from India, the UK and the USA, to collaborate in a series of workshops to map this new and rapidly growing field of research in postcolonial studies.

Updated on 02/13/2017