Krupa Shandilya is Assistant Professor of Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies at Amherst College. Her monograph Intimate Relations: Social Reform and the Late Nineteenth Century South Asian Novel (forthcoming, FlashPoints, Northwestern University Press) engages in a comparative analysis in two South Asian literary traditions, namely Bengali and Urdu. Her book argues that both literary traditions resolve the "women's question" or the reform of marginal female subjects such as widows and courtesans through surprisingly similar notions of reform and literary narrative techniques.

She has also published a translation of and written a critical introduction to Urdu novelist M.H. Ruswa's novella The Madness of Waiting (Zubaan/University of Chicago Press, 2013; with Taimoor Shahid). Her third book project, The Poetics of Revolution: The Progressive Writers' Association and Contemporary Bombay Cinema, focuses on the influence of the romantic and political registers of Urdu poetry and literature in contemporary Bollywood cinema.

Her research and teaching interests include Hindi and Urdu literature and poetry, Bengali literature, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, and South Asian cinema. Her work has appeared in New CinemasPostcolonial TextGender and History and South Asian Popular Culture.


Ph.D., English, Cornell University, 2009
B.A., University of Rochester, 2004, English (major), Latin (minor), Women’s Studies (minor).
B.A., University of Mumbai (St. Xavier’s College), 2002, English.  

Book Projects

Intimate Relations: Social Reform and the Late-Nineteenth Century South Asian Novel. Forthcoming, January 2017, FlashPoints series, Northwestern University Press. A monograph that remaps the discussion on gender and the nation in South Asia through a close study of the Bengali and Urdu domestic novel as a literary genre and a tool for social reform in late-nineteenth century South Asia.

The Madness of Waiting (by M.H. Ruswa; co-translator, with Taimoor Shahid), 2013. [University of Chicago Press] [Amazon]

The Poetics of Revolution: The Progressive Writers' Association and Contemporary Bombay Cinema. In progress.


"The Widow, the Wife and the Courtesan: A Comparative Study of Social Reform in Premchand’s Sevasadan and the Late-Nineteenth Century Bengali and Urdu Novel." Comparative Literature Studies (special issue: Beyond the Anglophone: Comparative South Asian Literary Studies). [Forthcoming]

"Visible Dangers and Invisible Pleasures: Homosexuality and Muslim Identity in India after Section 377." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. [Forthcoming]

“Nirbhaya’s Body: The Politics of Protest in the Aftermath of the Delhi Gang Rape.” Gender and History, Volume 27, Issue 2 (2015). [Link]

“The Long Smouldering Night: Sex and Songs in the Desi Feminist Noir.” New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film, 12.1-2 (2015). [Link]

"Writing/Reading the Subaltern Woman: Narrative Voice and Subaltern Agency in Upamanyu Chatterjee's English, August." Postcolonial Text, Vol. 9, no.3 (2014). [Link]

 “Of Enraged Shirts, Gyrating Gangsters, and Farting Bullets: Salman Khan and the New Bollywood Action Film.” South Asian Popular Culture (July 2014) [Link]

“The Sacred and the Secular: Spirituality, Aesthetics and Politics in Rudyard Kipling’s Kim and Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games.” Modern Fiction Studies, 60.3 (Summer 2014). [Link]

“The fearless fight for women's freedom” (co-authored with Amrita Basu). January 10. 2013. [Al Jazeera Online]

Book Review of “Beyond Belief: India and the Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism” by Srirupa Roy. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 10.2 (2008) [Link]