NANDINI CHANDRA, Assistant Professor, PhD (JNU)

Nandini Chandra
Assistant Professor                                                                               
Telephone No:  (91) 11-27666757
Office No: 44. Arts Faculty, North Campus, University of Delhi
Preferred Contact hours:  By appointment

Ph.D (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 2001), M.Phil. (JNU, 1996), MA (JNU 1994); BA English (Fergusson College, University of Poona, Pune, 1992)

Personal Statement

My field of interests includes the history of childhood in North India, twentieth century print culture, communist history of India via the Progressive Writer’s Movement, and theories of popular and visual print and media.

I am working on two book-length projects currently.  The first is a history of childhood in print and politics explored through inter-generational contradictions, and the attendant equations of space and time in the period 1900-1970 North India. The second is a project on middlebrow culture in neoliberal India, which assesses the changing contours of labour and class in an economy that is predominantly wageless. This includes a set of four essays on the hipster-oriented graphic novel, folk fusion music mediated through the form of the live improvisatory television video, new Bollywood cinema recuperating the figure of the lumpen, and mildly sadistic videos of children put up on you tube by parents.

My book The Classic Popular: Amar Chitra Katha (1967-2007), (Yoda Press, 2008) is a reading of visual practices and the multi-layered art history informing the comics that have acquired a hegemonic national status among the generation which can be described as the architects of neoliberal India. I am on the editorial board of the journal Studies in South Asian Film and Media published by Intellect UK. I have held visiting positions at the department of Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (2008-9) and the Centre D’etudes de L’Inde et de L’asie du Sud, CNRS/EHESS, Paris (December 2006). I have also been invited as a visiting faculty under the Rama Watamull Collaborative Lecture Series at the University of Hawaii (February 2014).

I have recently collaborated with the filmmaker Samina Mishra on an archival project called “Nehru’s children” about the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI, 1955), funded by the India Foundation for Arts, Bangalore. This project builds on my previous work on the child-centric Hindi cinema of the period immediately after the transfer of power in 1947.

Research Interests:

Hindi Literary and Social History

Theories of Popular Culture and Contemporary Capitalism

Childhood and Youth Studies


Courses taught

1. South Asian Women’s Writing. 2. Modern Indian Literature. 3.  Radical Readings in Culture 4. Popular Fiction. 5. Contemporary World Literatures

Current Courses (MPhil)

The Totality of Things: Raymond Williams (1921-88)

The Progressives (1932-86)

The Culture Concept from Comics through Graphic Novels

A Pervert’s Guide to Girls