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Dr Rashmi Varma

Profile imageReader/Associate Professor

Director of Impact

Email: Rashmi dot Varma at warwick dot ac dot uk

Faculty of Arts Building 5.27

University of Warwick

Coventry CV4 7AL


I have a BA degree in English (Honours) from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, India and a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi. After teaching briefly at Jesus and Mary College at the University of Delhi, I moved to the United States to work on my Ph.D. in English and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to Warwick, I was as an Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

Research interests

My areas of research include: the postcolonial city, postcolonial Indian and African theory, literature and culture, feminism in a global context, representations of indigeneity in postcolonial India, and the theory of world literature.

I welcome PhD applications in any of the areas listed above.

In 2011-2012, I won a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship to work on my book entitled Modern Tribal: Representing Indigeneity in Postcolonial India.

I am a member of the editorial collective of the journal Feminist Dissent

Other research projects include:

See also:

Teaching and supervision

I teach courses on postcolonial literatures and theory, especially from Africa and South Asia, world literature, feminist literary theory and transnational feminism at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. My modules include:

I currently supervise the following doctoral student:

  • Raad Khair Allah
  • Tyler Ball (Chancellor's International Scholar)
  • Amirah Mohiddin, Hybridity, Islamic Feminism and Fantasy: Constructing a counter-memory of the stereotypical Arab female in Arabic fantasy literature (M4C co-supervision with University of Leicester)
  • Ragesree Roy

Recent publications


Co-edited with Sharae Deckard, Marxism, Postcolonial Theory and the Future of Critique: Critical Engagements with Benita Parry (New York and London: Routledge, 2018)

Co-edited with Subir Sinha, Marxism and Postcolonial Theory: What is Left of the Debate? Special symposium of the journal Critical Sociology (2017)

The Postcolonial City and its Subject: London, Nairobi, Bombay (Routledge, 2014; paperback)

The Postcolonial City and its Subjects: London, Nairobi, Bombay (Routledge, 2011; hardback)

(Reviewed in: Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies Vol. 15, Issue 2, 2013; Modern Fiction Studies 59.1 Spring 2013; Postcolonial Studies vol. 16, no. 3, 331-335, 2013; Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies vol. 1, no. 2, 2013; Journal of Postcolonial Writing vol. 49, issue 2, 2013

Co-edited with Robyn Warhol, et. al. Women’s Worlds: the McGraw-Hill Anthology of Women’s Writing in English Across the Globe (2008)


"Policing the Pandemic in London", in Social Text

*“Elleowen Deeowen: the Postcolonial Literary Republic of London”, essay in Ato Quayson and Jini K Watson, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Global Cities (forthcoming)

*“Essaying Solidarity: ‘Kamraid’ Roy and the Politics of Representation”, essay in special issue on Anglophone Literature, its Critics and the Left Modern Fiction Studies 67.2 (June 2021)

*“Extracting Indigeneity: Revaluing the Work of World Literature in These Times”. In Francesco Giusti and Benjamin Lewis Robinson, eds. The Work of World Literature (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press), forthcoming

*“Collectivity and Crisis in the Long Twentieth Century”, co-authored with Warwick Research Collective Modern Language Quarterly 81:4 (December 2020); pp. 465-489.


*"Anti-Imperialism", in Robin Goodman, ed. Bloomsbury Handbook of Twenty-First Century Feminist Theory (2018)

*“’Broken Histories’: the Tribal and the Modern in Arun Joshi’s The Strange Case of Billy Biswas”, in Sharae Deckard and Rashmi Varma, eds. Marxism, Postcolonial Theory and the Future of Critique: Critical Engagements with Benita Parry (Routledge, 2018)

*Co-authored with Sharae Deckard, “Against the Grain: An Introduction to Benita Parry’s Intellectual Itinerary” in Sharae Deckard and Rashmi Varma, eds. Marxism, Postcolonial Theory and the Future of Critique: Critical Engagements with Benita Parry (Routledge, 2018)

*"UnModifying India: Sexual Violence and the Politics of Hindutva in Contemporary India", Feminist Dissent, issue 2 Special issue edited by Nira Yuval-Davis and Nadje Al-Ali (April 2017)

*Co-authored with Sukhwant Dhaliwal and Chitra Nagarajan, "Why Feminist Dissent?" in Feminist Dissent, issue 1 (July 2016)

*Co-authored with Subir Sinha, "Marxism and Postcolonial Theory: What is Left of the Debate?" Introduction to a special issue of Critical Sociology (December 2015)

*"Prior to Erasure: Looking for Adivasis in Photographs", essay in Arundhati Boutier-Virmani, ed. The Aesthetics of Power and Protest (Routledge, 2015)

*"The Gleam and the Darkness: Representations of the Postcolonial City", in Ato Quayson, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Postcolonial Novel (2015)

*"Beyond the Politics of Representation: the Indigenous Subject of New Subaltern Politics", in Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy, eds. Reconceptualising Subaltern Politics (Oxford University Press, 2014)

*“Telling Lives: Secularism in the Time of Late Nationalism”, essay in Sukhwant Dhaliwal and Nira Yuval-Davis, eds. Women Against Fundamentalism: Stories of Dissent and Solidarity (Lawrence and Wishart, 2014)

*“Primitive Accumulation: the Political Economy of Indigenous Art in Postcolonial India”, Third Text 125 (2013)

*“Fast-Forward Backwardness: An essay on Patna”, in Moving Worlds: a Journal of Transcultural Writings – Special Issue on South Asian Cities (2013)

*“’Zone of Occult Instability”: Theorising the Postcolonial City”, essay in Isabel Carrera Suarez, ed. Transcultural Cities (Mallorca: University Press of the UIB, 2011)


  • BA; MA (Delhi)
  • PhD (University of Illinois, Chicago)

Office hours

(In-person and via Teams)



Wednesdays, 12-1 pm; Thursdays, 12-1 pm

You can book here: Office Hours

Please email me at for appointments at other times