I joined the English department at Shiv Nadar University, Delhi-NCR in 2019 from CNRS Paris, where I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the research project ‘Writers’ Organisation and Free Speech’. Prior to that I was at SOAS University of London, where I got my MA in Comparative Literature with additional specialisations in Literatures of South Asia and Postcolonial Theory and Literature, and my Ph.D. in Languages and Cultures of South Asia with my thesis Many Mahabharatas winning the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship. I am interested in theories and practices of cultural production and public culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. I am also interested in making academic research on culture available to a general audience. Thus, I started a podcast on producing and studying culture called Brainworm/Dimagi Keeda with SOAS Radio where I interview authors, artists and academics about their works (https://soundcloud.com/soasradio/brainworm-interview-with-mahesh-rao).
My research interests include the Mahabharata, Languages and Cultures of South Asia, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial studies, Film and Television studies, English literature, Hindi literature, Modern theatre, Print studies, International Modernisms, Public culture, World Literature, and Dalit Literature. I have presented on these interests at SOAS University of London, Kings College London, Princeton, and the American Comparative Literature Association, among other places.
My current research focuses on Mahabharata adaptations in Hindi and English TV, film, theatre and print cultures after 1947.
Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship