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Professor Santanu Das

Senior Research Fellow since 2019
I work on early twentieth-century literature and culture, and am especially interested in the relationship between experience, writing and emotion in times of conflict. My first book examined the role of the senses, particularly touch, in First World War experience and literature, while my recent work has focussed on the colonial dimensions of war culture and memory through an expanded notion of the 'archive' - artefacts, photographs, paintings, rumours, folksongs and sound-recordings, as well as testimonial, political and literary writings. Having just completed a monograph on India and First World War culture, I am about to begin work on two projects: the Oxford Book of Colonial Writings of the First World War and a monograph on the experience and imaginings of sea-voyages in a global context, from Victorian times to now.
Professor Santanu Das
  • Background

    • Professor of Modern Literature and Culture, University of Oxford (from 2019)
    • Reader and then Professor (from 2018) in English Literature at King's College London (from 2012 to 2018)
    • Lecturer (2008-2009), and then Senior Lecturer (from 2009) in the Department of English, School of English and Drama, Queen Mary, University of London (from 2008 to 2011)
    • British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London (from 2005 to 2008)
    • Junior Research Fellow in English, St. John’s College, Cambridge (from 2001 to 2005)
    • PhD in English, St. John’s College, University of Cambridge (from 1998 to 2001)
    • BA in English, St. John’s College, University of Cambridge (from 1996 to 1998)
  • Research interests

    • Twentieth-century war literature and culture
    • Modernism and travel writing
    • Owen, Lawrence, Forster and Tagore
    • Colonial and postcolonial literature, particularly from South Asia
    • Theories of the body, emotion and the senses
  • Selected publications

    • India, Empire and First World War Culture: Writings, Images and Songs (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)
    • (Coedited, with Kate McLoughlin), First World War: Literature, Culture, Modernity (London: British Academy and Oxford University Press, 2018)
    • 1914-1918: Indian Troops in Europe /L’Inde dans la Grande Guerre, les Cipayes sur le front de l'ouest (Paris: Gallimard, 2014; Ahmedabad: Mapin, 2015).
    • (Edited) Cambridge Companion to the Poetry of the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
    • (Edited) Race, Empire and First World War Writing (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).
    • Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005; Paperback 2008; South Asia edition: 2008).
  • Research awards and grants

    • British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2005).
    • Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award for Touch and Intimacy (2007).
    • Philip Leverhulme Prize (2010).
    • British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (2013).
    • Humanities in European Research Area (HERA) Award (2013-2016) for the research project on ‘Cultural Exchange in the Time of Global Conflict' (CEGC).