With a background in engineering as well as in the humanities, Gautama is interested in the way new technologies are creating new forms of narrative and new kinds of reader experience. His doctoral work, "Accepting the Unbelievable: How Fictional Worlds Become Real for Us" explored the cognitive/phenomenological aspects of fictional experience. Gautama also has an interest in postmodernist theory and aesthetics. His MPhil dissertation explored the mythopoeic aspects of David Mitchell's novel, Cloud Atlas.
Gautama studied civil engineering at IIT Madras, after which he spent six years as a software developer in various companies. He shifted to the Humanities in 2002 and got his PhD from EFL University in 2013. He has been Assistant Professor at SNU since July 2014.