RIMLI BHATTACHARYA, Associate Professor, PhD (Brown)

Associate Professor

Tel. (off) +91-11-2766 6757; +91-11-2766 6287 (home)
e-mail: rimlibi@gmail.com
Office: Room No: 52 A, Arts Faculty, North Campus, University of Delhi
Preferred Contact hours:  Tues (3 – 4 pm) North Campus; Fri (2.30 – 3.30 pm) South Campus; and by appointment
BA (Calcutta 1977), MA (Jadavpur 1981), PhD (Brown 1986)



A comparatist by training, I work in different languages, literatures and media. My research interest in narratology is located in diverse genres: the nineteenth-century short story in Russian, French and English in my doctoral dissertation; autobiography (the Bengali stage actress Binodini Dasi); and in the last decade, on the fictional and autobiographical writings of Dhan Gopal Mukerji—the subject of an ongoing study. From the 1980s my research has focused primarily on performance theory and history, drawing on the print and visual culture of 19th and early 20th century Bengal and England. I am currently completing a monograph tentatively entitled ‘“The Dancing Poet”: Rabindranath Tagore and Modernity in Performance’. Translation has been a central activity in both these areas. Prose translations, primarily from Bangla to English, include short stories, novels (Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s Aranyak, Of the Forest), autobiographies and critical essays.

A major area of intellectual engagement has been to link my involvement with primary education in India with research on children’s literature.  I seek to combine classroom observation, the creation and critique of teaching-learning materials and theories of pedagogy in relation to multilinguality and the diverse visual and performative traditions of the Indian subcontinent. A particularly rich comparatist perspective in the area of language-literature learning of ‘subject English’ at the school level emerged during a two-year collaborative project with colleagues from India, South Africa and the UK. An area of sustained exploration  MPhil course ‘Children’s Literature: Childhood, pedagogy and literary forms’ (2003-2009). I have involved advanced students in short-term independent projects which I have conceptualised and supervised on language and image in school textbooks; lullabies and playsongs in several Indian languages; and aspects of visual culture.


Areas of interest/research:

Comparative Literature & Narrative Theory; Performance history and theory (19th and 20th centuries); Film and the visual arts; Primary education and children’s literature; Translation

Courses taught:

MA, University of Delhi:  European Comedy; The Nineteenth Century European Novel; Indian Literature in Translation (women Bhakti poets); New Literatures in English

2008: University of Pennsylvania: ‘The Jungle and the Book: From Kipling to Bhajju Shyam’

M.Phil. 2001- 2009: University of Delhi: ‘Children’s Literature: Childhood, pedagogy and literary forms’; ‘The body in performance: Comparative contexts in the 20th century’; ‘Theatrical formations and the politics of spectacle-making from mid-19th to early 20th century’ ‘The short story: texts and contexts’.

Honours, awards, appointments:

Research & Publication Grant: University of Delhi (2011-2012); Short-term research grants: Eklavya & Sir Ratan Tata Trust (2009); ICCR Visiting Chair: Dept of South Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania (2008); [Joint project with scholars from Britain and South Africa, funded by The British Academy Association of Commonwealth Universities]; Rama Watumull Distinguished Indian Scholar: Center for South Asian Studies, University of Hawai’i at Manoa (2000); Senior Research Fellowship: Ministry of Human Resources Development, India (1996-98); Small Studies Grant for Research at Institutions in the U.K: Nehru Trust (Summer 1995; 1996); Individual Research Grant: The Ford Foundation (1993-1995); Visitorship to the U.K. : The British Council (1993); Rockefeller Residency Fellowship: Institute on Culture & Consciousness, University of Chicago (1993); General Fellowship:   Indian Council for Social Science Research (1991-1993)

Representative publications:

2012  ‘Making a “Play-text”: Innovative Uses of Traditional Arts’ in Journal of Language and Language Teaching. Vol 1, No. 1, 40-45.

2011  ‘The performance of identity and histories of representation’ in Literatures and oratures as knowledge-system: texts from the north-east, Goutam Biswas, Subha Dasgupta and Samantak Das, eds. Delhi, Akansha Publishers. 43–76.

2011    ‘A Clean Slate?’ in Tagore and China, Tan Chung, Amiya Dev et al, eds. Delhi, Sage Publications, 221-240.

2007 ‘The Policy-Practice Nexus in Delhi, Johannesburg and London English Classrooms: Teachers and the Textual Cycle’ (Co-authored) TESOL Quarterly, vol. 41, No 3, September 2007, 465-85.

2007  ‘The nautee in “the Second City of the Empire” in The Indian Economic and Social History Review, 40, 2 192-235.

1998 Binodini Dasi’s ‘My Story and My Life as an Actress’. New Delhi, Kali for Women: [Autobiographies of the 19th century stage actress, Binodini Dasi. Translated and edited with Introduction, Notes and Appendices.]

1992  ‘Siting the Teacher’ in The Lie of the Land: English Literature in India, Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, ed. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.