Faculty Profiles
About Us
Rahul K. Gairola
Rahul K. Gairola Assistant Professor rahulfhs[at] Website
Areas of Interest
  • Postcolonial, Diaspora, & Migration Studies; South Asian Digital Humanities;, Comparative Ethnic American Literatures; Digital Pedagogy & Publication; New & Social Media Studies
Professional Background
2015nowAssistant Professor of English & Comparative LiteratureDept. of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IITR), India
20142015Assistant Professor of English (term)The City University of New York (CUNY); USA
20142014Adjunct Professor of Gender + Women's Studies and Africana StudiesUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County; USA
20112013Lecturer, Center for University Studies & Programs (CUSP)University of Washington, Bothell; USA
20122013Adjunct Professor of Film StudiesSeattle University; USA
20092012Lecturer of Humanities & Sciences (Integrated Studies)Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, USA
20102011Lecturer in English and American LiteratureUniversity of Washington, Seattle; USA
20092010Lecturer in the Comparative History of Ideas (CHID)University of Washington, Seattle; USA
20012009Doctoral Teaching AssociateDepartment of English, University of Washington; USA
19982000Graduate Teaching AssociateDepartment of English, Rhode Island College; USA
Honors and Awards
Paper Merit AwardCultural Studies Association of Australasia2015
Postcolonial Studies Group (PSG) HonorariumThe Graduate Center, City University of New York (NYC)2015
Travel Grant to ChicagoModern Language Association (MLA)2014
Travel Grant to Oxford UniversityUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore County2014
Mellon Grant in the Digital HumanitiesUniversity of Washington, Bothell2012
Modern South Asia Workshop GrantYale University, USA2014
Travel Grant to Cambridge UniversityTeaching & Learning Center, University of Washington, Bothell2012
Community Arts GrantCity of Redmond, WA2011
Travel Grant to Harvard UniversityAmerican Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)2009
Conference Grant, Comparative History of Ideas Program (CHID)University of Washington, Seattle2009
Research GrantInstitute for Transnational Studies, University of Washington, Seattle2007
Research FellowshipSimpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington, Seattle2006
Graduate University GrantHumboldt University of Berlin, Germany2005
Washington FellowshipPembroke College, Cambridge University, U.K.2003-2004
Summer Merit FellowshipThe School of Criticism & Theory, Cornell University 2002
Conference Support GrantDepartment of Comparative Literature, Cinema, & Media; University of Washington, Seattle2001
PhD Research FellowshipDepartment of English, University of Washington, Seattle2000-2001
Travel Grant to Pune, IndiaRhode Island College, USA1999
Educational Details
PhDEnglish Literature & Critical TheoryUniversity of Washington, Seattle; USA2010
PhC (MPhil)English Literature & Critical Theory (Candidate in Philosophy Certificate)University of Washington, Seattle; USA2007
Summer ResearchAmerican Studies, German Language & Culture StudiesHumboldt University of Berlin, Germany2005
Research Cluster Member"Migration"Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, & Humanities (CRASSH), Cambridge University; UK2003-2004
CertificateCritical TheorySCT @ Cornell University; USA2002
MAEnglish (Distinction)Rhode Island College, Providence; USA2000
CertificateEnglish Literature Cambridge University (St. Catharine's College); UK1999
BAEnglish and Film & Media Studies (Mason Scholars/ PAGE Program)George Mason University, Fairfax; USA1998
Administrative Background
2015nowArticle Editor"Postcolonial Text" (peer-reviewed journal)
20152016Staff AdvisorEnglish Soft Skills Development Cell, IITR
20132016 Editor"salaam: the newsletter of the south asian literary association"
20112016Executive Committee MemberSouth Asian Literary Association (SALA)
Participation in seminars
NamePlaceSponsored ByDate
Memorialising PartitionNew DelhiFaculty of Arts, University of DelhiApril 2017
Digital Humanities Winter SchoolPuneInstitute of Advanced Studies in English/ Center for Digital HumanitiesDec 2016
Digital Humanities: Tools, Texts, TheoriesIndoreIndian Institute of Technology IndoreMarch 2015
  • "Postcolonial Text", Article Editor and Anonymous Reviewer
  • South Asian Literary Association (SALA), Editor of "salaam: the newsletter of the south asian literary association"
  • Modern Language Association (MLA), Member
  • Association of Asian American Studies (AAAS), Member
  • American Comparative Literature Associaton (ACLA), Member
  • Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States (MELUS), Member
PHDs Supervised
TopicScholar NameStatus of PHDRegistration Year
Gender and Trauma in Kashmiri Women's LiteratureElham FatmaO2016
Postmodernity, Bengali Literature, and Digital Humanities TodaySudipta GhoshO2017
“Why Humanities Matters for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Fields.”Jaypee University of Information TechnologyI2016
“Literary and Cultural Returns to Partition.” 1947 Partition Archive + The Center for Studies in Violence, Memory, & Trauma; University of DelhiT
Google Talks: “Hide & Seek: A Conversation with Saad Khan & Rahul K. Gairola."Google New YorkT2014
"Minor Culture" annual conference of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia (CSAA) at the University of Melbourne, Australia. CSAAT2015
"Partition as Profit: Digital Advertising and Manipulation of South Asian Trauma in the 21st Century." Tracking Notions of Progress in South Asia: From the Colonial to the Postcolonial. Wolfson College, University of Oxford, UK. June 16, 2014.Oxford UniversityT2014
“British (Di)visions: Transreligious Alliances in Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day and Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan.” Partition Narratives and South Asian Diasporas pre-conference. University of Wisconsin, Madison. October 17-20, 2013. University of Wisconsin, MadisonT2013
“South Asian-izing the Digital Humanities” Panel Organizer and Chair, 2013 MLA Presidential Theme Panel. The 128th Annual MLA Convention. Boston, MA. January 3-6, 2013. Modern Language AssociationT2013
“Between Meritocrats & Aristocrats: South Asian Diasporic Identity and the Politics of “Home” in Hanif Kureishi’s Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987).” Art & Lives: Studies in the History & Representation of Sexualities. Christ’s College, University of Cambridge, UK. July 4-7, 2012. Cambridge UniversityT2012
“Partitions of Subjectivity: Gender & Nation in Tagore’s The Home and the World.” Re-visiting Tagore international conference. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. March 15-17, 2012. Jawaharlal Nehru University, IndiaT2012
“Engendering Cuisines: the Ideological Ingredients of Gender in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children.” South Asian Literary Association (SALA). Los Angeles, CA. January 7-8, 2011.South Asian Literary Association (SALA)T2011
“Spatializations of Diasporic Queerness in Shyam Selvadurai’s Funny Boy.” Global Languages, Local Cultures, ACLA Annual Conference. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. March 26-29, 2009. ACLA, Harvard UniveristyT2009
“Queering Home: Passing & Commodity Fetishism in the Fiction of Jackie Kay.” Masculinity and the Other: An Interdisciplinary Conference. Balliol College, Oxford University, UK. August 29-30, 2007.Oxford UniversityT2007
“Capitalist Houses, Queer Homes: Sexuality & South Asian Diasporas in Hanif Kureishi’s My Beautiful Launderette.” Global States conference. University of California, Irvine. May 5-6, 2006.University of California, IrvineT
“White Skin, Red Masks: ‘Playing Indian’ in Queer American Physique Pictorial Images from the 1960s.” Disciplinary Bodies conference. Cornell University. Ithaca, NY. September 13-14, 2004.Cornell UniversityT2004
“Re-Worlding the Oriental: Critical Perspectives on Madonna as Geisha.” Politics of Location in Literatures of the Americas Conference, MELUS-India. Indo-American Centre for International Studies, Osmania University. Hyderabad, India. January 3-5, 2002.MELUS-India, Osmania UniversityT2002
"The Kitchen as Liberatory Space: the Un-Gendering of Tita in Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate." Gendered Spaces/ Espacios De Genero Second Annual Interdisciplinary Conference. University of Huelva, Spain. May 9-11, 2001.University of Huelva, SpainT2001
"Burning With Shame: Symbolisms of Fire and South Asian Patriarchy in Gayatri Spivak's 'Can the Subaltern Speak?' and Deepa Mehta's Fire." Literary Studies and Global Culture: An Interdisciplinary Conference. University of Victoria, Canada. March 16-7, 2001.University of Victoria, CanadaT2001
“From Material Girl to Veronica Electronica: Skating the Edge of Music in Madonna's Ray of Light, or Madonna as Postmodern Signifier.” The California American Studies Association (CASA) On Edge Conference. University of California, Santa Cruz. April 30 - May 2, 1999.University of California, Santa CruzT1999
“’Always Historicize!’ – The Dialectics of Narrative in Toni Morrison’s Sula.” The 30th Annual College English Association (CEA) Conference. Philadelphia, PA. April 1-3, 1999.College English AssociationT1999
“A Diasporic View of Partition Fictions: Anita Desai's Clear Light of Day & Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan.” The 12th Annual Indian Association of Commonwealth Languages and Literatures conference. University of Pune, India. January 11-13, 1999.IACLAL, University of PuneT1999
Courses or Conferences Organised
Conference NameSponsored ByDate
"Partition Narratives and South Asian Diasporas"University of Wisconsin, Madison; USA17-10-2013
"Performing South Asia at Home and Abroad"South Asian Literary Association (SALA) Annual Conference in Seattle; USA05-01-2012
"States of Violence: Representations of Conflict in the Film, Fiction, and Media of South Asia"Comparative History of Ideas Program (CHID), University of Washington, Seattle; USA30-02-2009
"Emerging Forms: Media, Narrative, & Technique in the Twenty First Century"Simpson Center for the Humanities & the Dept. of Comp Lit, Univ of Washington, Seattle; USA30-11-2001
Special Lectures Delivered
“Digital Homes: Identity and Agency in Postmillennial India.” Institute for Advanced Studies in English & The Center for Digital Humanities11-12-2016
“Strategies for a Strong Research Proposal.”IIT Roorkee3-8-2016
“Research and Publishing in Today’s Global Academic Market.” IIT Roorkee, QIP16-6-2016
"Digital Humanities in India: Tools, Texts, and Theory."Indian Institute of Technology Indore12-3-2016
"India Rising: South Asian Digital Humanities, Online Advertising Critique, and & Rural Literacy" Indian Institute of Technology RoorkeeFebruary 6
"India Rising: South Asian Digital Humanities and Rural Literacy"University of Maryland, Baltimore County8-12-2015
"How to Write a Strong PhD Thesis"HSS Department, IIT Roorkee5-8-2015
"Migrations in Absentia"Seattle University, USA4-12-2015
“Migrations in Absentia: Partition, Trauma, and Digital Marketing in the 21st Century” The Graduate Center, City University of New York27-3-2015
"Role of Humanities & Social Sciences in the STEM Fields"Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee25-7-2015
“British (Di)visions: Transreligious Alliances in Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day and..."Modern South Asia Workshop, Yale University6-4-2014
“Between Homes: Western Disciplinary Education and Heteronormative Gender Roles in Michelle..."Fordham University, New York City19-3-2013
“Re-presenting Poverty: The Music of M.I.A. in Slumdog Millionaire” Film Studies Inaugural Lecture, Seattle University10-10-2012
“The Cooptation of Racism in the Rhetoric of ‘Marriage Equality’” Nassau Community College, State University of New York (SUNY)25-4-2012
“Queering the Art Museum: An Interdisciplinary Panel” Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington Seattle12-5-2012
“Queering Home: Neoliberal Nationalism and Diasporic Genealogies in Kureishi’s Sammy and Rosie"The Graduate Center, City University of New York19-03-2010
“Home, Identity, & Pedagogies of Belonging” University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth8-03-2008
“Counter-mapping America: Resistive Reading Practices in the Era of ‘Terror’ and Transnational Cap"Panjab University, Chandigarh12-03-2004
National International Collaboration
Books Authored

Digital Homes: Identity & Agency in Postmillennial India.  New Delhi and London: Routledge/ Taylor & Francis Group, 2018 (under contract). 


Migration from Garhwal: Gender & Home Economics in Rural North India.  Nalin Singh Negi, Dinesh K. Nauriyal, and Rahul K. Gairola.  Washington, DC: Lexington Books, 2017 (under contract).  


Homelandings: Postcolonial Diasporas & Transatlantic Belonging.  London & New York: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2016.  


Revisiting India's Partition: Memory, Politics, & Culture.  Amritjit Singh, Nalini Iyer, and Rahul K. Gairola, Eds.  Washington, DC: Lexington Books/ New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2016.


Refereed Journal Papers


  • How I today meditate on teaching has evolved from instruction at a number of institutions that was catalyzed by my graduate mentors many years ago at in Providence, RI. I began teaching as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Rhode Island College at the age of 22 in Fall 1998. Almost immediately, I learned that teaching is intimately linked to research, and that research constitutively impacts effective teaching. And this link has over time re-shaped my identities as an expat living in Northern India, a multilingual American citizen of South Asian origin, my postcolonial parents’ youngest son, a fraternal twin, etc. In that transformative period in New England, I learned that teaching engulfs far more than a mere intellectual transaction where knowledge is conveyed to students in a top-bottom exchange. Rather, teachers of the liberal arts are mentors in a profound philosophical journey that opens students to new thoughts and ideas while broadening the horizons of the minds of those along the way. As sharp critical reading, excellent soft, and strong writing skills empower students to challenge their boundaries, they compel themselves to critically examine values, goals, and ideals in relation to the world around them. They learn to sympathize and empathize with diverse peoples, which I feel is increasingly crucial in an increasingly intolerant, violent, and militarizing world.