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Saikat Majumdar

Head of the Department of English, Professor of English and Creative Writing, Ashoka University

Ph.D. Rutgers University

Saikat Majumdar is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Ashoka University. He has taught previously at Stanford University, and has been appointed a Fellow at the Newhouse Center for Humanities at Wellesley College, the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study (JNU), the Stellenbosch Institute of Advanced Study, and the Institute of Advanced Study at the Central European University. He is also a Research Fellow in English at the University of the Free State in South Africa.


He is the author of three books of criticism and nonfiction Prose of the World: Modernism and the Banality of Empire (Honorable Mention, Modernist Studies Association Book Prize, 2014), a study of modern world literature in English, College (2018), a general nonfiction on liberal arts education in India, and the forthcoming  The Amateur: Self-Making and the Humanities in the Postcolony (2024); and the co-editor, with Aarthi Vadde, of a collection of essays, The Critic as Amateur (2019).


Saikat has published four novels, most recently, The Middle FingerThe Scent of God, a finalist for the Mathrubhumi Book of the Year Award, 2020, and one of Times of India’s “20 Most Talked About Indian Books of 2019”; The Firebird (published as Play House in the US), one of Telegraph’s Best Books of 2015 and a finalist at the Bangalore Literature Festival Fiction Prize and the Mumbai Film Festival Word-to-Screen Market, and Silverfish, 2007. His new novel, The Remains of the Body, will be published in 2024.


Saikat’s research has been published in several academic journals and collections, including PMLA: Publication of the Modern Language Association of America, NLH: New Literary History, Cambridge History of the Indian Novel in English, Cambridge Companion to the Essay, Cambridge History of the British Essay, Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World LiteratureModern Fiction Studies, and Literary Activism: A Collection of Perspectives, edited by Amit Chaudhuri. His work also appears in Hindu, Telegraph, Los Angeles Review of Books, Times Higher Education, Times Literary Supplement, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Scroll, Wire, Lit Hub, and other venues.

Books Written

  • The Amateur: Self-Making and the Humanities in the Postcolony (Bloomsbury, 2024)
  • The Remains of the Body (Vintage: Penguin Random House, 2024)
  • The Middle Finger (Simon & Schuster, 2022)
  • The Scent of God (Simon & Schuster, 2019)
  • College: Pathways of Possibility (Bloomsbury, 2018)
  • The Firebird/Play House (Hachette, 2015 & 2017; The Permanent Press, 2017)
  • Prose of the World (Columbia University Press & Orient Blackswan, 2013 & 2015)
  • Silverfish (HarperCollins, 2007

Works Edited 

  • The Critic as Amateur (Bloomsbury, 2019; co-edited with Aarthi Vadde).
  • Special Issue: American Book Review (“Little India”)
  • Literature and the World (University Foundation course)
  • Reading for Writers
  • Global English (MA/Ph.D.)
  • Empire, education, and cultures of reading (MA/Ph.D.)
  • Forms of Literature
  • Postcolonial Literature
  • Literary Modernism
  • Introduction to Creative Writing
  • The Craft of Writing
  • Fiction Workshop
  • Fellowship, Institute of Advanced Study, Central European University (2024)
  • Fellowship, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (2023)
  • Fellowship, Suzy Newhouse Center for the Humanities, Wellesley College (2017-18)
  • Recipient of grants and fellowships from The University of Chicago, and the Humanities Center at Stanford University (2018)
  • Fellowship, Jawaharlal Nehru Institute for Advanced Studies, JNU (2012)
Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka