Jigisha Bhattacharya, Churchill

Degree: PhD
Course: English
Supervisor: Prof Priya Gopal
Dissertation Title:

Aberrant, Martyr, Terrorist: A Study of Prison Autobiographies by Political Activist Women in Colonial and Post-Colonial India.

Biographical Information

I am a second year PhD student at the University of Cambridge, funded by the Gates Cambridge Trust at Churchill College. I am the co-convener of the faculty seminar, 'Postcolonial and Related Literatures,' for 2023-24. I co-organised the 'New Postcolonial Concerns Graduate Conference' in June, 2023. I research and write on art, culture and politics, and am interested in public-facing academic and creative work.

I am currently the Deputy Editor in Charge of The Scholar Magazine, and a panellist with the Declarations podcast. currently translating a series of dissident short stories from South Asia, and am a p. I volunteer with Project EduAccess as a graduate applications mentor, and have served as the first EDI and Accessibility Officer on the Gates Cambridge Scholars' Council. I am happy to be contacted for access, outreach, and diversity related work.

Before coming to Cambridge, I worked (2020-2022) as a lecturer in English at OP Jindal Global University in India. Prior to teaching, I completed my MPhil focusing on photographic archives in South Asia at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, India. Previously, I studied at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Presidency University, Kolkata, in India, for my MA, and BA (Major) in English, respectively. 

Research Interests

Postcolonial theory and literature, Empire, theories and literatures of decolonisation, global Anglophone, global South, South Asia and diasporic literatures; prison literature, literature and censorship, carceral theory, abolitionist theory; critical race theory, critical caste theory, anti-colonial thought, intellectual history; visual culture, film theory, literature and film adaptation, image-text interfaces, theories and histories of photography; theories of gender, global feminisms; dissident literature, protest poetry, global Marxisms; theories and politics of archives, material cultures, periodicals; 20th and 21st century poetry and fiction, 19th century fiction; trauma theory, historical traumatic events, memory studies, war literature, literature of conflict.

In general, I'm excited about close-reading, hybrid genres, and marginalised/ 'invisible' literature.

Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed articles

Bhattacharya, Jigisha. "Political Deification of Lord Parshuram: Tracing Brahminic Masculinity in Contemporary North India". Religion, vol. 52, no. 4, Routledge, 2022, pp. 550–575, https://doi.org10.1080/0048721X.2022.2094775.

Bhattacharya, Jigisha. "Tracing Rosa Luxemburg’s Legacy". Rosa Luxemburg Volume 2: Aftermath, edited by Frank Jacob, Albert Scharenberg and Jörn Schütrumpf (HG.), Büchner Verlag, 2021, pp. 17-52. 

Conference Papers:

"Dissident Political Rhetoric and the Imprints of Hunger: Tracing Afterlives of Bengal Famine in India after Independence", Royal Historical Society Transactions Workshop 80 Years of the Bengal Famine (1943): Decolonial Dialogues from the Global South (King's College London, July 2023)

"Writing the Imprisoned Self: Prison Memoirs as Alternative History of Women’s Political Subjectivity in Independent India", British Association for South Asian Studies Annual Conference (University of Leeds, March 2023)

Other Publications

Bhattacharya, Jigisha. “Seeing Kashmir as an Outsider: Snow as Metaphor.” ASAP Art, 19 July 2022.

Bhattacharya, Jigisha. “Women and Grief in Hindi Cinema.” Critical Collective, 11 July 2021.


New Books Network with the Nordic Asia Podcast: "Hindu Nationalism and the Politics of Lord Parshuram" with Jigisha Bhattacharya and Solano da Silva (2022). 

Jadunath Bhavan Archival Talks Series: "Writing a Social History of Photographic Practices in Calcutta" by Jigisha Bhattacharya (2021).