Faculty and Staff

Rajender Kaur

Professor • Department of Language, Lit, Culture, and Writing

Rajender Kaur is Professor of English, and Director of the Asian Studies Program.
She received her Ph.D from Rutgers, New Brunswick in 2002, and her B.A (Hons), MA (1986), and M. Phil in English from the University of Delhi (1989).
Her current work is on "India in the Early Republic" a study of the traffic of goods, people and ideas between the US and India as represented in print culture and literature from colonial times to the late 19th century.

Professional Interests

Anglophone South Asian and South Asian American literature, Famine Studies, Climate Change, Indo-American interactions in the Early Republic



Anglophone South Asian, and South Asian American Literatures and Cultures, Asian American Literature, Early American Studies, Postcolonial Literature and Theory, Social Justice issues related to the class, gender, and the environment, Twentieth Century British Literature, Literary Theory.

Representative Publications

India in the American Imaginary: Indo-American Interactions in the Long 19th Century (1780-1880).Co-Edited with Anupama Arora; New York; Palgrave Macmillan; 2017

“The Curious Case of Sick Keesar: Tracing the Roots of South Asians in Early America”; 2017

“Lamenting a Lost Cultural Imaginary: Lahore and Amritsar in Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters” in Postcolonial Text; Volume Vol 10, Issue No 3 & 4 2015

• “The Vexed Issue of Peasant Passivity: Nationalist Discourse and the Debate on Peasant Resistance in Literary Representations of the Bengal Famine.” ; Journal of Postcolonial Writing; Volume 50, 2012

• “Home is Where the Oracella Are:” Toward a New Paradigm of Transcultural Ecocritical Engagement in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide” ; Volume 14, 2007

Representative Presentations

"Kinship and the Uncanny in Amitav Ghosh’s Gun Island: Toward a New Eco-Ethics of Care." NEMLA, Baltimore, March 10-13, Baltimore, MD.
NEMLA, Baltimore, March 10-13, Baltimore, MD. NEMLA, Baltimore, March 10-13, Baltimore, MD.
Baltimore, MD 2022

The “Connected Histories” of India in Early America: Reframing Atlantic Worlds
The NYU Atlantic History Workshop New York University
New York, NY 2021

“Reading “Tipoo” in Early America: Some Cross-Continental Connections.”
Modern Languages Association Conference
Seattle, WA 2020

"Recovering Lost Histories of Labor and Protest of Early South Asian Americans"
American Literary Association Conference
Boston, MA 2019

• “Decentering Islamic nationalism in Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every Stone”
the South Asia Conference University of Wisconsin, Madison
Madison, WI 2021

Fellowships, Grants and Research

Fulbright-Hays Grant: Integrating South Asia and Diversity in New Jersey Classrooms: The Roots and Routes of Ethnic Communities

CAORC-AIPS Award, “Religion and Culture in the Postcolonial City.” Summer 2019 Lahore, Pakistan

Notable Courses Taught

English 5140: Studies in Asian American Literature
English 4800 (Capstone Seminar): British Literature in the wake of Brexit
English 3590: Literature and the Politics of Food
English 3540: Readings in Global Literature: Creation Myths, the Epic, and Drama

347 Grant Hall

By appointment