Associate Professor of Literature, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies


Ph.D., University of California, San Diego

Field of Specialty

Postcolonial Literature and Theory; Colonial Studies; South Asian Novel; Indian Film; Immigrant Literature; Women's and Gender Studies; South Asian Studies.

Contact Information

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for the Humanities 114

Harleen Singh

Harleen Singh is Associate Professor of South Asian Literature and Women's Studies. She served as Chair of the South Asian Studies Program from 2007-2016. She has published articles on novels from India and Pakistan, on Indian film, and reviewed books on Hip-Hop music, sexuality, and feminism. Her book The Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India (Cambridge University Press, 2014) interprets the conflicting, mutable images of an historical icon as they change over time in literature, film, history, and popular culture. The book is in its second reprint and has been reviewed in The Telegraph, Economic and Political Weekly, The Book Review, BIBLIO, and South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. Her work includes texts in English, Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi and is interdisciplinary at its core. She works on questions concerning history, politics, and identity in literature and film. Her current book projects include a critical translation of Amrita Pritam's seminal partition novel Pinjar and a monograph titled Half an Independence: Women, Violence, and Modern Lives in India.


Singh, Harleen. "New Feminisms in South Asia: Disrupting the Discourse through Social Media, Film, and Literature." Rev. of New Feminisms in South Asia: Disrupting the Discourse through Social Media, Film, and Literature, by Sonora Jha and Alka Kurian, eds. Studies in South Asian Film and Media 2018 (forthcoming)

Singh, Harleen. "Interior Spaces in Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age." Teaching Anglophone South Asian Women Writers. MLA Options for Teaching Series, 2017 (forthcoming)

Singh, Harleen. "Recalling Sahir Ludhianvi's Plea for Humanity as Religious Wrangling Rises." The Wire April 20, 2018: Religio

Singh, Harleen. "The Rani Rides Again: After Padmavati, Manikarnika’s Rani of Jhansi Gets Caught in the Crossfire." The Wire February 12, 2018: Fil

Harleen Singh. "Graphics of Freedom: Colonial Terrorists and Postcolonial Revolutionaries in Indian Comics." Postcolonial Comics Texts, Events, Identities. Ed. Binita Mehta, Pia Mukherji. Routledge, 2015. 142-156.

Singh, Harleen. "History's Witness." Rev. of Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary, by Anita Anand. BIBLIO: A Review of Books vol. XX of Nos. 7 & 8 July-August 2015: 21-22.

Singh, Harleen. "Review." Rev. of Prostitution and the Ends of Empire: Scale, Governmentalities, and Interwar India, by Stephen Legg. The American Historical Review vol. 120 (4) 2015: 1460.

Singh, Harleen. Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India. 1 ed. Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Singh, Harleen. "Cultures of Music." Rev. of Bhangra Moves: From Ludhiana to London and Beyond, South Asian Diaspora vol. 5, No. 2 September 2013: 1-2.

Singh, Harleen. "Music and its Others." Rev. of Hip Hop Desis: South Asian Americans, Blackness, and a Global Race Consciousness, by Nitasha Tamar Sharma. South Asian Diaspora vol. Vol. 5, No. 2, September 2013: 1-2.

Singh, Harleen. "Citizens of the World." Rev. of New Cosmopolitanisms, South Asians in the U.S., by Gita Rajan and Shailja Sharma. South Asian Diaspora vol. 4 No. 1 2012: 111-112.

Singh, Harleen. "Insurgent Metaphors: Decentering 9/11 in Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Kamila Shamsie's Burnt Shadows." ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature 43. 1 (2012): 23-44.

Singh, Harleen. "While We Were Making History." Rev. of Making a Difference: Memoirs from the Women's Movement in India, by Edited by Ritu Menon. BIBLIO: A Review of Books vol. XVII of 3 & 4 March-April 2012: 21.

Singh, Harleen. "A Legacy of Violence: Interview with Kamila Shamsie about Burnt Shadows (2009)." Ariel: A Review of International English Literature 42. 2 (2011): 157-162.

Singh, Harleen. "Beyond the Tragic." Rev. of Room, by Emma Donoghue. Biblio: A Review of Books vol. XV of 11&12 November-December 2010: 10.

Singh, Harleen. "Deconstructing Terror: Interview with Mohsin Hamid on The Reluctant Fundamentalist." Ariel: A Review of International English Literature 42. 2 (2011): 149-156.

Singh, Harleen. "The Gendered Pen." Rev. of Leela's Book, by Alice Albinia. Biblio: A Review of Books vol. XVI. Nos. 7 & 8 July-August 2011: 15-16.

Singh, Harleen. "In the service of his sexuality." Rev. of A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. Forster, by Wendy Moffat. Memoirs and Biography, Special Issue of Biblio: A Review of Books vol. XV of 7&8 July-August 2010: 8-9.

Singh, Harleen. "Jhansi ki Rani: Translating Rani Lakshmi Bai by Vrindavanlal Varma." Nationalism in the Vernacular: Hindi, Urdu, and the Literature of Indian Freedom. first ed. Ed. Shobna Nijhawan. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2010. 35-65.

Singh, Harleen. "Tur(Banned) Masculinities: Terrorists, Sikhs, and Trauma in Indian Cinema." Sikh Formations 2. 2 (2006): 115-124.

Singh, Harleen. "Acceptance and Identity." Rev. of The Impressionist, by Hari Kunzru. Globalization and Diaspora: Special Issue of the South Asian Review vol. 24:1 2003: 180-182.

Singh, Harleen. "Satirical Freedom and Myths of Modernity: R.K. Narayan's Painter of Signs." South Asian Review 23:1. (2002): 195-204.

Courses Taught

COML 100a Comparing Literatures and Cultures: Theory and Practice
IGS/SAS 160aj The Rise of India
SAS 100a India and Pakistan: Understanding South Asia
SAS 101a South Asian Women Writers
SAS 140a We Who Are at Home Everywhere: Narratives from the South Asian Diaspora
SAS 150b Gender, Sexuality, and the Nation in Indian Film
WMGS 5a Women, Genders, and Sexualities
WMGS 135b Postcolonial Feminisms
WMGS 205a Graduate Foundational Course in Women's and Gender Studies