arjun | Humanities & Social Sciences


Multi. Disc.
CV Summary: 

I am a Professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Associated Faculty at the Educational Technology Services Centre at  Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. I was formerly a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. I am the author of A History of the Jana Natya Manch: Plays For the People, Freedom from Profit: Eschewing Copyright in Resistance Art and an annotated translation of Bijon Bhattacharya’s Nabanna (with a critical introduction).

Contact Information

Tel:+91-11-2659 7316(O)

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Research Areas

Digital Humanities
Performance Studies
Technology in Society

(prospective applicants for the PhD programme - please check my website for details)

Employment History



Arjun Ghosh, Angelie Multani, Swati Pal, Nandini Saha and Albeena Shakil eds. From Canon to Covid: Transforming Literary Studies in India. Routledge India, 2023.

Bijon Bhattacharya Nabanna: Of Famine and Resilience (translated and introduced by Arjun Ghosh) New Delhi: Rupa Publications, 2018.

Freedom from Profit: Eschewing Copyright in Resistance Art Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, 2014.

A History of the Jana Natya Manch: Plays for the People New Delhi: Sage India, 2012.



Book Chapters

Forthcoming: “Visualizing the cultural history of South Asia” in Maya Dodd and Nirmala Menon eds. Practices of Digital Humanities in India: Learning by doing (Digital Humanities Asia Series). Taylor and Francis.

The Experience of the Left Cultural Movement in India: 1942 to the Present” in Paul McGarr and Ruth Maxey eds. India at 70: Multidisciplinary Approaches Routledge, 2019.

In a Fresh Hue: An Adaptation of Chaturanga” in Maryrose Casey ed. Embodying Transformation: Transcultural Performance. Sydney, Monash University Press, 2015.

The Politics and Methods of Epic Theatre” in Swati Pal ed. Modern European Drama: Ibsen to Beckett. New Delhi, Pencraft, 2012.





Recovering knowledge commons for the global southJournal of the Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa (DHASA) Vol. 5 No. 1 (2024): Digital Humanities for Inclusion

UTRNet: High-Resolution Urdu Text Recognition In Printed Documents Chetan Arora Abdur Rahman, Arjun Ghosh. 17th International Conference on Document Analysis and Recognition (ICDAR 2023). [Springer Link].

Resistance to Neo-liberal Economy and the Life of a Play: The Jana Natya Manch and Theatre Activism” in Theatre Research International. Vol. 47 Issue 3. October 2022.

Using N-grams to identify edit wars on Wikipedia” in 2019 IEEE Fifth International Conference on Multimedia Big Data (BigMM). pp. 398-403 DOI: 10.1109/BigMM.2019.00021

Censorship through Copyright: From print to digital media” in Social Scientist vol. 41. nos. 1-2 January-February 2013

“Challenges, Innovations and Commitment: Cultural Intervention and Cultural Resistance” in Economic and Political Weekly VOL 46 No. 24 June 11 – June 17, 2011.

“Performing Change/ Changing Performance: An Exploration of the Life of a Street Play by the Jana Natya Manch” in Asian Theatre Journal vol. 27, no. 1 (2010).

Theatre for the Ballot: The Use of Street Theatre for Campaigning in the Indian Elections”, The Drama Review Winter 2005, Vol. 49, No. 4 (T188).

“‘Meanings’ of the Revolution: Language in the Street Plays of the Jana Natya Manch” in Language Forum (Jul-Dec 2004).
[Republished in Sudhanva Deshpande ed. Theatre of the Streets New Delhi, Jana Natya Manch, 2007.]

How Far Radical?: Middle Class Politics, Youth and Women in the Literature of Bengal during National Liberation” in the Journal of the School of Languages (Spring 2005).





Other Writings

Study Material:

Online Course material on Vijay Tendulkar’s Ghashiram Kotwal, for the Institute of Life Long Learning, University of Delhi.

Encyclopedia Entry:

‘Tamasha’ in Rukmini Bhaya Nair and Peter Ronald DeSouza eds. Keywords for India: A Conceptual Lexicon for the 21st Century. Bloomsbury, 2020.

Book Review:

Neela Dabir and From Street to Hope: Faith Based and Secular Programs in Los Angeles, Mumbai and Nairobi for Street Living Children published in The Book Review Vol. 36 No. 7. Jul 2012.

Lata Singh ed. Theatre in Colonial India: Play-House of Power. New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2009, in History and Sociology of South Asia Vol. 5 No. 1, January 2011.

Rajeev S. Patke Postcolonial Poetry in English (Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures in English). New York, Oxford University Press, 2006, published in Postcolonial Text Vol. 3 No. 3 (2007).

Pradeep Trikha. Multiple Celebrations, Celebrating Multiplicity: Girish Karnad. Ajmer, A.R.A.W.LII. Publications, 2009, published in Summer Hill: IIAS Review, Vol. XV No. 1 Summer 2009.


Conference Papers


  • “Studying changes in English Literature curriculum in India using digital analysis” at the International Conference on Teaching English Literature and Interdisciplinarity organised by East West University and Association of Teachers of Literatures in English, Bangladesh on 28-29 July 2003.
  • “Reforming the ‘Eng Lit’ canon: Measuring the myths and realities of English literary studies in India through a computational analysis of university curriculum”, Digital Humanities 2022, Tokyo (online), Japan, 25-29 July 2022.
  • “Decolonizing English Literature curriculum in India: A Big Data Assessment”, DHARTI2022 (online), 21-25 Feb 2022.
  • Visualizing the Cultural History of South Asia” as part of the panel on “Contextualising and Contesting Digital Humanities in the Global South: Case Studies from India” at the DH2020 Conference organized by the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) 20-24 July 2020. (The abstract was accepted through a peer-review process, though the conference was held in virtual mode.)

  • “Caste on Wikipedia: A Case for Open Platforms for a Democratic Internet” at the Annual Conference of Indian Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies at Department of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata on 5-7 February 2020.
  • A Case for Distributed Archives” at “The Arts, Knowledge and Critique in the Digital Age in India: Addressing Challenges in the Digital Humanities” organized by the Department of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad on 28-29 November 2019.
  • Ideological battles on Wikipedia: A computational study of the linkages between academic and popular histories” at the Digital Humanities Conference organized by the Centre for Digital Humanities at the Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE.DH), Budapest on 25-27 September 2019.
  • “Mapping Cultural Production in India: A Computational Approach” at the Annual Conference of Indian Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies at University of Pondicherry, on 6-8 February 2019.
  • “A Study of Student Activism in the Digital Era” at the Annual Conference of the Digital Humanities Alliance of India at Indian Institute of Management Indore on 31 May – 2 June 2018.
  • “Nation and Biographies: Contestation on Wikipedia” at Dyal Singh College 26 April 2018
  • Campus Campaigns: User perceptions in pre-digital and digital eras at Internet Researchs’ Confrerence by Centre for Internet and Society atSambhaavnaa Institute, Kandbari,
    Palampur, Himachal Pradesh on 22-24 February, 2018.
  • “Back to the Commons: Democracy of Ideas and the Wikipedia” at the International Conference on Language, Literature and Culture held at the Insitute of Advanced Studies in English, Pune on 15-17 December 2017.
  • Experience of the Left in Indian Theatre: 1942 to the Present at India@70: Historical and Cultural Perspectives on 70 years of Indian Independence at University of Nottingham Sep 2017
  • “Socialisation in the 21st Century: Possibility of Democracy in a Digitised Society” at the conference on ‘Socialism for the Twenty-first Century’ at the University of Havana, 19-21 November 2014.
  • “Digital Relations: A Study of Media Wiki” at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi on 11 November 2014.
  • “Continuing Counterfactual from Orientalist Narratives to the Wikipedia” at Annual Conference of Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies at Panjab University, Chandigarh in February 2014.
  • “2014: Digital Reproduction: A Case of Missed Opportunity” at Interrogating English Studies in India, Bharati College, University of Delhi 5-7 February 2014.
  • “Cute Cats and Talking Mice: Theatre, Social Media and Intellectual Property: Thinking of property in theatre and the internet” at ‘Theater and Civil Society: Politics, Public Space, and Performance‘ at the Brown International Advanced Research Institutes at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA between 9-23 June 2012.
  • “In a different hue: An adaptation of Chaturanga” at the Australasian Association for Theatre Drama and Performance Studies Conference at Monash University, Clayton Campus, Victoria, Australia between 29 June – 1 July 2011. (This paper was selected as part of the panel for best papers by Early Career Researchers)
  • “Theatre, Sharing, Change’ at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla 15 July, 2010.
  • Not in My Name’: Who Benefits from Copyright?” at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. 5 November, 2009.
  • “Making Space for Change: The Spectator’s view of Proletarian Theatre” the Ninth  CLAI (Comparative Literature Association of India)  Biennial International Conference held at Hyderabad between 28-31 January 2009.
  • ” Political Theater of India- History, contemporary characteristics, and challenges in the Globalised era” at the first International Theater Festival of Kerala, (ITFoK) Asian chapter, 2008, held at Thrissur, Kerala from 22 to31 December 2008, convened by Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy with the support of various Kerala government departments and organisations.
  • “Comparative Perspectives on Politico-Cultural Performances in Contemporary India” (coauthored with Dr. Dibyesh Anand) at the 20th European Conference for Modern South Asian Studies at University of Manchester between 8-11 July, 2008.
  • “Theatre for Development/ Theatre of Resistance: Augusto Boal and Safdar Hashmi in Theory and Practice” at the International Seminar on “Development Paradigms and Cultures of Resistance: A Comparative Perspective on India and Latin America” jointly organized by the Centre for European and Latin American Studies and the Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia at New Delhi between 14-16 February, 2008.
  • “The Legacy of Nabanna” at the Annual Conference of the Indian Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (IACLALS) at Udaipur in January 2008.
  • “The ‘Liberal’ Babu, the ‘Good’ Peasant and the ‘Bad’ Sahibs: Violence and Political Strategy in Dinabandhu Mitra’s Neeldarpan” at the Annual Conference of the IACLALS held at the Banaras Hindu University in January, 2007.
  • “Challenges Before Cultural Resistance: Methods of Intervention” at the International Young Scholar’s Seminar organized by the Academy of Third World Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia and Leftword Books, in April 2006.
  • “Part(y)cipation in Culture” at a Conference on ‘Politics of Culture in Contemporary China and India’, organized by the Institute of Chinese Studies, Centre for Studies in Developing Societies (CSDS) in October 2005.
  • “Revolutionary Terrorism and Non-Violent Nationalism in Bengal of the Early 20th Century” at the 13th Triennial Conference of the Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS) at Hyderabad in August 2004.
  • “Valiant Self and Pernicious Foreigner: The Use of History for Nation Making in the Literature of 19th Century Bengal” at the Annual Conference of the Indian Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (IACLALS) held at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in January, 2003.

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