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Suvir Kaul

A. M. Rosenthal Professor of English


Fisher-Bennett Hall 310B

Office Hours

fall 2021

T R 11-Noon, and by appointment (on Zoom)

Suvir Kaul received his B. A. (Hons.), M. A., and M. Phil. degrees from the University of Delhi, and his Ph. D. from Cornell University. His first job was at the SGTB Khalsa College in Delhi; since then, he has taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, at Stanford University, and at the Jamia Milia Islamia as a Visiting Professor. He has also held post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Canterbury at Kent and at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University. He teaches courses in Eighteenth-century British Literature, Contemporary South Asian Writing in English, and in Literary and Critical Theory. He has published four books, Of Gardens and Graves: Essays on Kashmir; Poems in Translation (New Delhi: Three Essays Collective, 2015; Durham: Duke University Press, 2016), Eighteenth-century British Literature and Postcolonial Studies (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009), Poems of Nation, Anthems of Empire: English Verse in the Long Eighteenth Century (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2000; Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2001), and Thomas Gray and Literary Authority: Ideology and Poetics in Eighteenth-Century England (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992; Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1992) and has edited a collection of essays entitled The Partitions of Memory: the afterlife of the division of India (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2001; London: C. Hurst, 2001; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002). He has also coedited (with Ania Loomba, Antoinette Burton, Matti Bunzl and Jed Esty) an interdisciplinary volume entitled Postcolonial Studies and Beyond (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005; Delhi: Permanent Black, 2005). At Penn, he has served as the Director of the South Asia Center (2005-07) and as the Chair of the English Department (2007-10).

Academic Freedom Statement

The policies of the University of Pennsylvania protect academic freedom, as defined in the AAUP’s 1940 Statement of Principles.  This statement has been endorsed by over 250 scholarly and educational organizations in the United States, and its principles are written into faculty handbooks nationwide, including Penn’s. The principles of academic freedom were established to protect the integrity of research and teaching from interference by donors, trustees, politicians, and others who might seek to make universities serve private and political interests.  They are founded on the idea that a university’s purpose is to generate new knowledge that can serve the common good in a democratic society, and that generating new knowledge requires free and open inquiry.  To safeguard the university’s public mission, academic freedom entails the following rights for all faculty members—whether tenure-track or non-tenure track, and including graduate research and teaching assistants—and for students:  

The right of faculty members to full freedom in research, teaching, extramural speech (public speech on issues of general concern) and intramural speech (speech about the university itself, including criticism of it).

The right of students to freedom in learning, which includes freedom of association and expression and freedom of inquiry in the classroom.

Academic freedom is only as strong as the institutions, procedures, and professional norms that faculty members established over the last century to protect it: institutions of faculty governance such as Faculty Senates and unions; the institution of tenure; and due process procedures that protect both tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty against unjust discipline or dismissal.  For further information about academic freedom, see the AAUP-Penn website.



Doctoral Dissertations Chaired


Vikrant Dadawala "The Decades of Disillusionment: Essays on Indian Literature and Cinema after Nehru"


Chris Chan "Communal Lyricisms and the Lyricization of English Poetry, 1650–1790"


Ashley L. Cohen "The Global Indies: Reading the Imaginative Geography of British Empire, 1763-1871"


Anna Foy "Poetry and the Common Weal: Conceiving Civic Utility in British Poetics of the Long Eighteenth Century"

Courses Taught

fall 2024

ENGL 7760.401 Partition in South Asia  

fall 2023

spring 2023

ENGL 0519.401 Partition and the Making of South Asia canceled  

fall 2022

fall 2021

ENGL 102.001 Pirates: Real and Imagined  

spring 2021

fall 2020

ENGL 094.401 Intro to Literary Theory  
ENGL 600.301 Proseminar  

spring 2020

spring 2019

ENGL 210.301 Reading and Writing Poetry  

fall 2018

ENGL 102.001 Pirates  

spring 2018

fall 2017

ENGL 102.001 Pirates-Real and Imagined  

spring 2017

fall 2016

ENGL 600.301 Proseminar  

fall 2015

ENGL 094.401 Intro to Literary Theory  

spring 2015

fall 2014

ENGL 102.001 Pirates: Real and Imagined  
ENGL 790.401 Reading in Depth  

fall 2013

spring 2013

fall 2012

spring 2012

fall 2011

ENGL 040.301 British Poetry 1660-1914  

fall 2009

spring 2009

fall 2008

ENGL 571.401 Literary Theory  

spring 2008

spring 2006

fall 2005

spring 2005

spring 2004

fall 2003

spring 2003