Shuchi Kapila

Associate Professor of English

Brief Introduction

Shuchi Kapila teaches British and Postcolonial Studies at Grinnell College. She has taught at Miranda House (Delhi University, Delhi, India), Cornell University, and Kenyon College before coming to Grinnell. She received her B.A (Hons.), M.A. and M.Phil degrees from Delhi University, and a Ph.D. in English from Cornell University. Her courses at Grinnell include an upper-level seminar entitled "Imagined Communities: Tribes in Literature," "The Empire Writes Back: Introduction to Postcolonial Studies," "Feminism and Difference," and "Travel Narratives." Her research interests include colonial and postcolonial studies, Victorian fiction, South Asian fiction, and literary theory. She has published articles in major journals such as Interventions, Victorian Studies, and Nineteenth-Century Contexts. Her book Educating Seeta: Family Romances of British India, was printed and released by Ohio State University Press the summer of 2010.
return to top


Ph.D. in English, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, August 1996
M.Phil. in English, University of Delhi, Delhi, India, January 1990
M.A. in English, University of Delhi, Delhi, India, August 1987
B.A. in English, University of Delhi, Delhi, India, August 1985 (Honours)

For more details, please refer to my Curriculum Vitae: HTML Page | Word Document
return to top



Educating Seeta: Family Romances of British India. The Ohio State University Press, Printed/Released Summer 2010.

Articles and Reviews

Book Review “The Indian Mutiny and the British Imagination” by Gautam Chakravarty. Victorian Studies 48.1 (Autumn 2005): 157-159.

“The Domestic Novel Goes Native: Bithia Mary Croker’s Anglo-India,” Nineteenth-Century Contexts 26.3 (September 2004): 215-235.

return to top

Conference Papers

“Studying the Other of England.” Invited Plenary Talk. 18th- and 19th century British Women Writers Annual Conference, Univ of Iowa, April 2, 2009.

“Indo-Anglian wedding rituals in nineteenth-century India” at VISAWUS (Victorian Studies Association of the Western United States), Alburqueque, Oct 27-29, 2005.

"Bibis and Begums: Company Affairs in Colonial India." MLA Conference, San Diego, Dec 28, 2003.

“'I am a budmash. All governments put me in jail': the secular outlaw in the fiction of Khushwant Singh and Saadat Hasan Manto.” “Siting Secularism,” Oberlin College, April 19-21, 2002.
“Disrupting Genealogies: Sealy's Trotter-nama and the critique of Focault,”
INCS, George Mason University, April 11-14, 2002.
“The Gender of Good Rule: Queen Victoria and the Royal Widows,” The Victorian World:
“Britain, the Empire, and the United States in the 19 th Century,” University of California, Los Angeles, October 25-27, 2001
“Indira, India, and the limits of biography,” Conference on South Asia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 18-21, 2001.
“Pedagogy and Postcolonial Studies,” Postcolonial Studies Symposium, Kenyon College, April 1, 2001
Panel Discussant, “Speaking in Public: Narratives of Shame and Honor among Women in South Asia,” South Asian Women's Conference, Los Angeles, May 6-7, 2000.
“Suicide in Partition Literature: The Fiction of Khushwant Singh and Saadat Hasan Manto,” Narrative, Atlanta, April 6-9, 2000.
“Desperately Seeking Sufiya: The Question of Genre in Rushdie's Shame,” 9th Postcolonial and Commonwealth Studies Conference,” Feb 24-26, 2000.  
“Educating Seeta: The Colonial Romance in Nineteenth-Century British India,” Invited talk, South Asia Program, Cornell University, September 23, 1996.
“Theory and the Construction of a Project,” Annual Literature Club Conference, Cornell University, April 11-12, 1996.
“Policing the Boundaries of the Home: the Colonial State as Paterfamilias ,” Annual South Asian Studies Conference, University of Wisconsin-Madison, October 20-22, 1995.
“The Good Orientalist and the Native Woman: Reading the Historical Unconscious of Philip Meadows Taylor's Seeta,” Psychoanalysis and Postcolonialism: Nation, Identity, Self, George Washington University, October 12-14, 1995.
“Culture as Critique: Is There an Academy in This text?,” National Asian-American Arts Conference, New York, December 18, 1993.
“Theorizing the 'Self' in History and Psycholanalysis,” History and Theory: Disciplines and their Consequences, Cornell University, May 1, 1993.

return to top

Public presentations/talks

“Research Methods,” Jawaharlal University, New Delhi, Aug 20, 2009.

“The 18th and 19th century novel,” Jawaharlal University, New Delhi, Aug 13, 2009

“Postcolonial Theory” Jawaharlal University, New Delhi, Aug 10, 2009

“Religion in the liberal public sphere: ‘Elevating the pleasures of art above the pain of society’” Presentation for a panel at Grinnell College, April 26, 2006.

“Indian Writing in English” invited talk at Des Moines Area Community College, Newton, Tuesday, September 27, 2005.

“Indian Writing in English” invited talk at Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, September 29, 2005

Common-First Year Teaching Challenges: What I wish I’d Known the First Day I Stepped into a Grinnell Classroom”  Presentaton at New Faculty Orientation Panel, Monday, Aug 23, 2004

Presentation at Humanities Center Round Table for Globalization and Cultural Capital Symposium, April 9, 2004.

Invited talk at International Women’s Day, March 7 2004. Des Moines Community Center.  Organized by Monsoon: United Asian Women of Iowa.

Invited talk on “Religion and Vocation” as part of the activities sponsored by the Lilly Foundation Grant  Grinnell College, February 26, 2003.

“Theory and the Construction of a Project,” Annual Literature Club Conference, Cornell University, April 11-12, 1996.


Introduction to Indian Writing in English

return to top


215 Mears
Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA 50112
Ph.: 641-269-3655
Fax: 641-269-4733

return to top

Grinnell College | Department of English
Last update November 22, 2010