Suman Gupta

Suman Gupta
The Open University (UK) · Department of English

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99
Publications
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173
Citations
Citations since 2017
14 Research Items
99 Citations
201720182019202020212022202305101520
201720182019202020212022202305101520
201720182019202020212022202305101520
201720182019202020212022202305101520

Publications

Publications (99)
Article
This article offers a polemical comparison between conceptualizations of the University in the late 1960s and now. It has two main sections. The first and more substantial of these sections focuses on the left-wing student movements of the 1960s. These were underpinned by an understanding of the University as a political site: that is, an instituti...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents some conceptual observations on how the condition of poverty is brought to public attention and discussed, i.e. on mediations of poverty. It is proposed that such mediation is largely monopolised by those who are not-poor, though attempts to describe the not-poor as a category call for circumspection. As such, mediations are bas...
Article
Creative Writing programmes in universities now offer both an education for and employment to literary writers. This papers asks how literary writers apprehend their relatively recently institutionalised position, as university staff and students. The concept of ‘patronage’, it is argued, offers a useful way into reflecting upon such academic insti...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines how “resilience” appeared and became embedded as a keyword in Arts Council England’s (ACE) policy discourse from 2010, initially in response to the financial crisis in Britain and the government’s call for austerity. The general dynamic of what we call policy keywords here is thereby exemplified, while throwing light on Arts p...
Article
This article discusses the wider relevance of recent, 2014 and onwards, student protests in Indian higher education institutions, with the global neoliberal reorganisation of the sector in mind. The argument is tracked from specific high-profile junctures of student protests toward their grounding in the national/state level situation and then thei...
Article
Full-text available
Over 2013-2014 I had maintained a blog on contemporary Chinese art, entitled Small Notes on Chinese Art 《看画随笔》(http://sumangupta.blog.163.com/). It consisted in brief essays, each analysing a single work of art. The blog continues to be accessible online. However, in 2016 five of the postings were removed by the site’s administrators and I have no...
Article
Full-text available
Trata-se da tradução da conferência de abertura do XXXI Encontro Nacional da ANPOLL, pronunciada pelo Professor Doutor Suman Gupta (Open University) em 29 de julho de 2016 no Centro de Conferências da Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Gupta discute a herança filológica como horizonte das práticas acadêmicas correntes nos estudos literários, suas t...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses the institutional relationship between Creative Writing and Literary Studies, with their erstwhile close association and current drift towards disciplinary separation in view. It is in three parts. The first outlines some histories of the academic discipline of Creative Writing in the university. The second examines what's invol...
Book
Full-text available
Can an individual act of suicide be socially significant, or does it present too many imponderable features? This book examines suicide like no other. Unconcerned with the individual dispositions that lead a person to commit such an act, Usurping Suicide focuses on the reception suicides have produced – their political, social and cultural implica...
Article
Full-text available
The Introduction begins by outlining the general theme of this special issue, “Race and Crisis”. It then moves to examine populist right-wing politics from 2015. Of the various ways in which the rise of such politics could be charted in this period, here the “success” of anti-immigrant and anti-E.U. parties in national-level elections is the focus....
Book
Full-text available
Across the world at present, researchers and teachers are being exhorted to become entrepreneurial. Universities are being restructured accordingly. The debate presented in this book considers what that involves and portends for academia. Literary studies are often regarded as the most resistant to – unfit for – entrepreneurial purposes. Literary r...
Chapter
In communism, Marx and Engels wrote in 1845–1846, everyone is able ‘to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, […] without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic’ (Marx and Engels 1976, p. 47). Now, is this not how everyday life of today’s academics looks like? Are they not also t...
Chapter
India is the first Asian country, and amongst the first in the world, where English Studies was established as an academic discipline in higher education (HE). Developments therein from the mid-nineteenth century onwards have often been significant for disciplinary pursuits elsewhere, especially as the study of English language and literature tried...
Article
The paper examines various approaches to telling the ‘story’ of the financial crisis in the EU and USA after 2007/2008. The idea here, however, is not to thereby try to explain the financial crisis but to understand the preconceptions which attach to telling a ‘story’ – to understand the idea of the ‘story’ itself. The first section of the paper ar...
Research
“Conceptualising the Art of Communist Times”, Third Text (Routledge) Issue 106, September 2010. 571-82. ISSN 0952-8822
Article
Full-text available
There are two sections, threaded around two abstract nouns in the title: one on ‘financial crisis’ and another on 'media representation’. The latter outlines how the role of the media apropos the financial crisis has been accounted already, but from a relatively unusual perspective: not so much in terms of what media coverage did, but in terms of w...
Article
Pixacao is a stylistically distinctive form of graffiti which is associated mainly with Sao Paulo but is also found in other cities in Brazil. Pixacao often uses letters/signs which are known only to an inner circle, appears in seemingly inaccessible spots (such as tall buildings) and principally consists in tagging (stating the pixadore's nom de g...
Book
This book examines the status of English Studies in India, aspirations pinned on the subject by students, teachers, policy-makers and society in general, and how these are addressed at the higher education level.
Book
Production and reception patterns in five areas of contemporary Indian publishing are analysed: commercial fiction in English, vernacular pulp fiction in English translation, Hitler’s Mein Kampf, group discussion guidebooks, and public sector “value education” publications. The methodology is that of bibliographical sociology, which is conceptualis...
Book
This book retraces the formation of modern English Studies by departing from philological scholarship along two lines: in terms of institutional histories and in terms of the separation of literary criticism and linguistics. It is argued that the full potential of the discipline’s global scope and pluralistic formation can only be realized by depar...
Chapter
Characterizing continental Europe and India as the former hinterlands of English Studies may seem a somewhat misleading retrospective view. Philological scholarship in Old English was centered firmly within Germanic studies in the early nineteenth century, spurring both the initial desire to align English Studies with philological models and later...
Chapter
Retracings in this study follow two trajectories to fathom the proliferating diversities and global scope of English Studies, with the retrospective horizon and persistent remnants of philological scholarship in view. The first trajectory revisits accounts of departures from philology in institutional histories, in the UK, USA, continental Europe (...
Chapter
In the Epilogue of her book From Philology to English Studies (2013), centered on the study of language in the nineteenth century (along the historicist line briefly sketched in Chapter 3 above), Haruko Momma wrote: In the twentieth century, the study of language and literature blossomed in the fields of linguistics and literary analysis. These two...
Chapter
Turning to the area — English Studies — in question here, with the above general characterization of philology in view, involves registering a curiously schismatic situation in the present. The features of this situation have been mentioned already: histories of English Studies have repeatedly traced departures from a philological horizon; in Engli...
Chapter
Various narratives of the emergence, development, and contemporary condition of English Studies have consistently charted a path away from philology, arguing that philological rationales and worldviews were superseded and gradually forgotten as this area of scholarship and pedagogy, with proliferating divisions and context-specific diversities, cam...
Chapter
What direction Theory should take as an institutional domain was a concern even while it was being constructed as such. Both de Man’s and Said’s works were replete with self-reflexive observations on literary pedagogy, the scholar’s profession, the organization and history of humanistic disciplines. Since Theory was conceived as interrogative of in...
Chapter
This and the next chapter give an overview of histories of English Studies as an academic discipline in various contexts, which have, as observed earlier, repeatedly traced departures from philology. These are primarily institutional histories. That is, they are structured according to careers of the discipline in institutional contexts — particula...
Chapter
I should, of course, carry on with the kind of case studies of “uncultured books” which occupy the previous seven chapters. Various areas of contemporary Indian print circulations could repay close attention and analysis. An enticing array of leadership guidebooks, sex manuals, biographies of VIPs (“spiritual” or down-to-earth), astrology readers,...
Chapter
In contemplating Group Discussion guidebooks I am a bit undecided about whether these should be regarded as textbooks (i.e. whether guidebooks are a subset of textbooks) or whether these are distinctively guidebooks. Textbooks could be thought of as presenting an existing area of knowledge in an organized fashion, predominantly for the institutiona...
Chapter
The following seven chapters of this study analyse the social significance of five kinds of English-language books which are produced, circulated and received in India with varying but marked degrees of market success. Their significance is generally played down or entirely neglected by academic researchers, which is itself a matter of some interes...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the implications of the recent appearance of some Indian vernacular pulp fiction texts in English translation for Indian readers. As background, the first of three main sections outlines the current scope of Indian Translation Studies, and also briefly examines recent thinking about the position of English in India. The second s...
Book
‘Contemporary Literature’ is among the most popular areas of literary study but it can be a difficult one to define. This book equips readers with the necessary tools to take an analytical and systematic approach to contemporary texts.
Article
Full-text available
There are two ways in which we can contemplate the global/local dimension in relation to Indian commercial fiction in English: first, in terms of processes of publication and circulation (the means of production); and, second, in terms of the broad characteristics and reception of such fiction (product and consumption). This paper discusses Indian...
Book
An enormous number of literary texts engaged with the build-up towards, undertaking of and aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, 2003-2005. This book both provides a survey of such texts and presents a particular critical perspective on them. The idea here is to examine how certain literary texts appeared within and 'spoke' to a specific socio-politic...
Chapter
2004 was a good year for poet Don Paterson. His 2003 volume Landing Light had won the Whitbread Poetry Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize. Paterson had also been awarded the latter in 1997; in 2004 it merely reconfirmed Paterson’s standing in the British poetry establishment. In the tradition of Eliot, Paterson’s place in that establishment was due bo...
Chapter
I have argued in previous chapters that in literature the invasion of Iraq has been unquestioningly constructed as ‘war’ (i.e. implicitly as a more or less equitable military engagement between opposed alignments), largely by drawing upon a tradition of war literature. Thus, anti-invasion poetry in 2003 found it expedient to allude to past ‘anti-wa...
Chapter
Harold Pinter’s short collection of poems, War — which Paterson was to denounce as a ‘big sweary outburst’ — appeared in June 2003. It contained six poems already published in newspapers between August 2002 and March 2003 (during the build-up towards invasion), one from the 1991 Gulf War period (the controversial ‘American Football’) and one from 1...
Chapter
Often the most knowledgeable informants about relatively distant countries and cultures in the UK and USA are émigrés from those countries. This is understandable; they can be expected to have a close awareness of both their countries of origin and domicile, some degree of allegiance to both, and a stake in mediating between them. And indeed an ‘in...
Article
The relative neglect that art from the communist period of former Eastern Bloc countries suffers now has much to do with the dominant ideologies of the present and the consequent preconceptions and framings that have been retrospectively imposed. This article argues the need for critical analysis of such preconceptions and framings themselves, and...
Article
Full-text available
This paper argues that the classroom is a critically salient space for English Studies in ordinarily non-Anglophone contexts, where disciplinary boundaries are negotiated in ways that are redefining the discipline. In other words, in such contexts the classroom is not simply a space where the discipline as it is currently constituted or determined...
Article
Full-text available
This paper begins by observing that art from former Eastern Bloc countries which was celebrated and received official approval within the communist period tends to be neglected now. However, the role that such art played at the time was more complex than is currently presumed. By way of illustrating this, the paper first gives details of art policy...
Article
Full-text available
This volume arises from a collaborative project on English Studies in Bulgarian and Romanian higher education which began in 2007, the year when both countries formally joined the European Union. Four broad areas of research and discussion are covered in it: Canon, Curriculum and Change; Pedagogy, Practice and Policy; Collaborations and Circulation...
Book
A study of mass market literature, with the Harry Potter books and films, and the so-called Harry Potter “phenomenon”, as a case study. With four additional chapters, covering a world-to-text approach, reception in Bulgaria and China, and fanfiction.
Book
Presents an overview of the relationship between globalization studies and literature and literary studies, and the bearing that they have on each other. It is argued that, while literature has registered globalization processes in relevant ways, there has been a missed articulation between globalization studies and literary studies.
Chapter
I have argued above that the Harry Potter books have had certain significant social and political effects, of which their enormous sales (to readers across age boundaries), their effortless reach across cultural and linguistic borders, and the unease they have aroused among certain (primarily religious) ideologically defined groups are symptoms. If...
Chapter
What sort of bearing the above definitions may have on a serious text-to-world reading of the Harry Potter books would naturally depend to some extent on the sort of presumptions that exist about the relationship of such books to readers before they are thinkingly read (an area that is connected to the book covers with which I began). This involves...
Chapter
Apart from the genre of ‘children’s literature’, the Harry Potter books are also often located in the genre of ‘fantasy literature’. Literary critics have been attentive to the nuances of ‘fantasy literature’ as a genre in two ways: either by attempting to describe its formal and thematic characteristics (there is a longish tradition of this), or b...
Chapter
The Harry Potter novels constantly echo the faintly familiar. The names of magical characters, the motifs and rituals of magic, the stories and histories that give body to the Magic world appear often to refer back to a shimmering vista of folklore, fairy tale and myth drawn indiscriminately from a range of sources and contexts. The books do not pe...
Chapter
The first time Harry actually sees Voldemort it is as a hooded figure in the forest feeding on a wounded Unicorn’s blood (Stone 187). At that time Voldemort had usurped Quirrell’s (the stammering teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts) body, his face manifest on the other side of Quirrell’s head. Chamber is about the opening of subterranean vault...
Chapter
An article by Christine Schoefer, ‘Harry Potter’s Girl Trouble’, in Salon Magazine had argued plausibly that the Harry Potter novels uncritically present a male-dominated society with conventional assumptions regarding women. The basic argument is best given in her introductory statement: Harry’s fictional realm of magic and wizardry perfectly mirr...
Chapter
Advertising, in its modern forms ...operates to preserve the consumption ideal from the criticism inexorably made of it by experience. If the consumption of individual goods leaves that whole area of human need unsatisfied, the attempt is made, by magic, to associate this consumption with human desires to which it has no real reference. You do not...
Chapter
[A]nalytical and thinking reading is likely to be close to literary criticism or interpretation (the institutional prerogatives are designed to encourage analysis and thought); but is not necessarily so. Literary criticism or interpretation may also be weak in analysis and thinkingness, may be constructed on questionable premises, may have contradi...
Chapter
Through most of this text-to-world analysis of the Harry Potter books I have suggested that there is an underlying theme that connects up observations about races, servitude, sexual desire, class, advertisements made above; and that this underlying theme would take me back to the preoccupation with unthinkingness with which this essay started. It a...
Chapter
What about the author? I can see this question creeping up upon me from several directions. Did she intend that her books have the social and political effects that they have had? Is she responsible for those effects?
Article
Globalization in India: Contents and Discontents reviews the importance of the term ‘globalization’ through an examination of the social, political, economic and cultural contexts in which globalization exists and influences our everyday lives. With the economics of globalization at the core, the essays chart the contents and discontents of globali...
Article
Full-text available
A special issue of the journal Wasafiri, guest edited and introduced by Suman Gupta. Includes interviews with authors Mo Yan, Yan Lianke, Lin Bai and Li Rui; and presents newly translated poetry by Duo Duo and Yin Lichuan and fiction by Lin Bai.
Article
This fascinating interdisciplinary study presents a critique of social constructionist identity politics, which is distinguished from specific identity-based political positions, from within and with social constructionist commitments. The first half of the book focuses on the conceptual aspect of such politics with regard to the humanities general...
Book
A critique of social constructionist identity politics, and an examination of the institutionalization of identity politics in literary studies.
Chapter
Anti-essentialist social constructionist identity politics is becoming institutionalized in literary studies. The same could be said of other areas of academic study, across the humanities and the social sciences. Indeed the same could be said of a wide range of political, social, and cultural formations in our time. That the second part of this bo...
Chapter
The travel of theory to the construction of Theory, and then to the constructions of ‘after Theory’ and ‘against Theory’, instilled an increased demand for self-awareness in literary studies. Self-awareness in literary studies has two directions which usefully obtrude upon and refine each other. On the one hand, there is the self-awareness that app...
Chapter
I began the previous chapter with a rather glib distinction between two kinds of text-based material that could be used to both demonstrate and clarify the institutionalization of social constructionist identity politics in literary studies. One of these is self-announcements in literary critical texts, which present self-aware reflections on insti...
Chapter
At the end of Gerald Graff’s ‘institutional history’ of the development of literary studies in the USA, Professing Literature (1987), and in view of the impact of Theory on the discipline, he speculated on the following institutional outcome: If history runs true to form once more, then we can expect literary theory to be defused not by being repre...
Chapter
Beyond textual expressions which chart the entrenchment of social constructionist identity politics in literary studies — and arguably more widely in the humanities and social sciences — lie other relatively intractable, unrecorded, transient, and yet familiarly institutional expressions. The recorded tracings of Theory-‘against Theory’-‘after Theo...
Book
Full-text available
Examines concepts of democracy in the international/transnational domain from a politically realist perspective, and makes a case study of the rhetoric and policies surrounding the invasion and occupation of Iraq (September 2002-June 2004).
Article
Full-text available
This essay examines the academic institutionalization and the affiliated professionalization of children's literature. A sociological analysis of this area is attempted, with the larger context of academic enquiry and associated professionalism in our world in mind, and with an awareness of the ideological imperatives implicit therein. Three direct...
Article
Journal of Modern Literature 27.1 (2003) 26-35 Eliot's position as editor of The Criterion and as director, with responsibility for the poetry list, of Faber & Faber made him one of history's most influential publishers of poetry. His conviction that the critic and the poet should exist together in one person informed his activities as a publisher...
Chapter
The Harry Potter novels constantly echo the faintly familiar. The names of magical characters, the motifs and rituals of magic, the stories and histories that give body to the Magic world appear often to refer back to a shimmering vista of folklore, fairy tale and myth drawn indiscriminately from a range of sources and contexts. The books do not pe...
Chapter
[A]nalytical and thinking reading is likely to be close to literary criticism or interpretation (the institutional prerogatives are designed to encourage analysis and thought); but is not necessarily so. Literary criticism or interpretation may also be weak in analysis and thinkingness, may be constructed on questionable premises, may have contradi...
Chapter
I have argued above that the Harry Potter books have had certain significant social and political effects, of which their enormous sales (to readers across age boundaries), their effortless reach across cultural and linguistic borders, and the unease they have aroused among certain (primarily religious) ideologically defined groups are symptoms. If...
Chapter
What sort of bearing the above definitions may have on a serious text-to-world reading of the Harry Potter books would naturally depend to some extent on the sort of presumptions that exist about the relationship of such books to readers before they are thinkingly read (an area that is connected to the book covers with which I began). This involves...
Chapter
Apart from the genre of ‘children’s literature’, the Harry Potter books are also often located in the genre of ‘fantasy literature’. Literary critics have been attentive to the nuances of ‘fantasy literature’ as a genre in two ways: either by attempting to describe its formal and thematic characteristics (there is a longish tradition of this), or b...
Chapter
The first time Harry actually sees Voldemort it is as a hooded figure in the forest feeding on a wounded Unicorn’s blood (Stone 187). At that time Voldemort had usurped Quirrell’s (the stammering teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts) body, his face manifest on the other side of Quirrell’s head. Chamber is about the opening of subterranean vault...
Article
This is the first extended text-based analysis of the social and political implications of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Arguments are primarily based on close readings of the first four Harry Potter books and the first two films - in other words, a 'text-to-world' method is followed. This study does not assume that the phenomenon concerns children...
Book
A study of the place of managerialism in contemporary corporate capitalist organization, and its evasive philosophical underpinnings.
Book
A close analysis of British and US media reportage on “international terrorism” in the three months after 11 September 2001.
Book
Traces the development of constructions of "intellectuals" in socialist political philosophy, and offers a modest proposal for future socialist transformation.
Book
A critical introduction to all Naipaul’s published works till 1999, with a particular emphasis on their political underpinnings.
Article
This chapter explores the tensions between a philological model for English Studies, whereby English language and literature are studied in a cohesive fashion, and an Anglo-American model of the discipline, in which language and literature are regarded as distinct disciplines. This chapter also introduces the volume as a whole and the contributions...
Article
Guest co-edited special journal edition bringing together substantial papers on the history, curriculum and pedagogic practices of the academic discipline of English Studies in Romania, with brief response papers in some instances.
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the conceptual considerations that underpin classroom teaching observations within the research methodology for a project on Higher Education English Studies in ordinarily non-Anglophone contexts. The parameters of the broad project are outlined, and the methodological purpose served by classroom teaching observations therein e...
Article
Responses to the Stone Art Institute discussions on the theme "Art and Globalization" in the context of observations on the painter Zlatyu Boyadzhiev in the Bulgarian context.

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