ANJANA SHARMA, Professor, PhD (Penn State)

Anjana Sharma
Telephone No: +91-124-
Office No: +91-11-27666757
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PhD (The Pennsylvania State University, 1990), MA (Delhi, 1984), BA (Delhi, 1982)



My Ph.D. in English Literature from The Pennsylvania State University–British Jacobin women novelists of the post Revolutionary period of the 1790s–was part of the ground breaking research in the ways the period had been canonically defined for almost two centuries.  My own research model was in large part defined by the steady reconfiguration of the ways in which ideas of feminist academic discourse had begun to re look at ideas of genre, gender and hegemony.  I was literally “growing up” on the ways in which the then new feminist scholarship (of the late 1970s and early 1980s) queried what we read, why we read it and what were “taught” to privileging as literary and non-literary.   My doctoral thesis (lAutobiography of Desire: English Jacobin Women Novelists of the 1790s, Macmillan, 2004)  contested the idea of the hegemony of the works of the six canonical, Romantic male poets despite the rich and diverse range of literary formulations being produced, circulated and consumed in post Revolutionary England.  The exploration of the works of the Jacobin women writers of the 1790s then flowed into my teaching and later publication of a volume of critical essays on what I see as a critique of the model of the masculine Romanticism in the seminal text by Mary Shelley: Frankenstein: Interrogating Gender, Culture and Identity (Macmillan, 2004).  These concerns govern the methodology of the MPhil Course I now teach at the Department on Revolutionary Aesthetics  and the Public/Private Sphere in England from 1760-1800.  

I have also consistently worked with and published on the area of on Indian Writing in English with a special focus on gender and culture.  Another area of critical inquiry that developed over the many years of  teaching undergraduates and post graduates Classical literature was the cross cultural examination of the idea of  the same that gave shape to a collaborative work with an Australian Scholar, the late Professor Terry Collits of La Trobe University entitled Agamemnon’s Mask: Greek Tragedy and Beyond (Macmillan, 2007). 

My current research-a collaboration with a sociologist, Dr. Gopa Sabharwal (Lady Shri Ram College for Women) is a two part book deal on the year 1947 in English language newspapers and  the “public” representation of M.K. Gandhi in the year 1947-48. Both works are commissioned by Penguin India. Theoretically we have brought together in this enterprise a direct model of inter disciplinarity. In addition, it also combines my earliest commitment to archival research and the politics of telling the story that is very often in resistance to received accounts of what constitutes an era and the consequent choice of what mode of narrative will be used to inscribe it within an emergent culture.

Courses Taught

Honours, Awards, Achievements

Fulbright, Faculty Exchange Co-ordinator between Lady Shri Ram College for Women, India and Kenyon College, USA.  Co-wrote with Professors David Lynn and Wendy Singer (departments of English and History respectively) a project on multicultural pedagogy and collaborative teaching.  We were one of the twenty international recipients in 2001. The project was run for two years under the aegis of the Fulbright and then Kenyon College funded it for an additional two years.

Edwin Earle Sparks Fellowship for the Humanities, 1989-90. The fellowship is awarded to a single Humanities’ doctoral student whose work is seen to be consistently excellent and has great academic potential.

Delhi University Merit Scholarship, 1982-84. Awarded to the Best Student in English literature in University of Delhi

N V Thadani Memorial Prize for First position in University of Delhi

Representative Publications

Editor, Revolutionary Aesthetics: Writing Nation/ Embodying Gender. The Yearly Review, English Department.  Delhi: University of Delhi, 2007.

Co-edited with Terry Collits, Agamemnon’s Mask: Greek Tragedy and Beyond. New Delhi: Macmillan, 2007.

Editor, Frankenstein: Gender, Culture, and Identity. New Delhi: Macmillan, 2004.

Autobiography of Desire: English Women Novelist’s of the 1790s. New Delhi: Macmillan, 2004.

“An Englishman’s Novel? Vikram Seth’s An Equal Music,” in GJV Prasad edited Vikram Seth: An Anthology of Recent Criticism. New Delhi: Pencraft, 2004.

“In Exile/ At Home: The Urban Middle Class in Shashi Deshpande,” in Meenakshi Bharat edited Desert in Bloom: Contemporary Indian Women’s Fiction in English. New Delhi: Pencraft, 2004.

“Transfiguring Hunger: Writing the Body in Indian English Women’s Fiction,” in Brinda Bose edited Translating Desire: The Politics of Gender and Culture. New Delhi: Katha, 2003.

“A Different Voice: Mary Hays and The Memoirs of Emma Courtney,” in the British journal, Women’s Writing. Volume 8, Number 1, April 2001.

“Romanticism Revisited: William Godwin’s Caleb Williams,” in In-between: Essays and Studies in Literary Criticism. Volume 6, Number 2, September 1998.  

Co-authored work with Gopa Sabharwal, India 1947: Lives Lived. Commissioned by Penguin Books, New Delhi, India. Due for publication in 2009 (work in progress)

Research Projects

Research Assistant as a doctoral student for Professor Robert E. Lougy’s  Martin Chuzzlewit: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Books, 1992.

Scriptwriter for six episodes of Writers at Work, a series of half hour interviews with leading English writers: Nissim Ezekiel, Khushwant Singh, Dom Moraes, Ruskin Bond, O V Vijayan and Geetha Hariharan.  The series was telecast on the Indian national channel, Channel 3, Doordarshan, New Delhi from September-December 1995.

Review, interview and write features for English language publications such as India Today, Outlook, The Hindu, The Indian Express, The Book Review, Biblio,, and