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Rahul Sapra

Dr. Rahul Sapra

Associate Professor
EducationPhD. (Queen’s); M.Phil (English) and MA (English), University of Delhi
Areas of ExpertiseEarly-Modern/Renaissance Literatures, Shakespearean Drama and Performance, Modernist/ South Asian Film Studies, Literary Theory, Postcolonial Studies


Before joining Toronto Metropolitan University in 2005, Dr. Rahul Sapra worked as a Permanent Lecturer (Tenured) at the University of Delhi (S.G.T.B. Khalsa College). He completed his PhD at Queen’s University, where he was also awarded a Teaching Fellowship. Dr. Sapra’s research interests include Early Modern / Renaissance Literatures, Shakespearean Drama and Performance, Film Studies, Literary Theory and Postcolonial Studies. His book The Limits of Orientalism: Seventeenth-Century Representations of India provides alternatives to Edward Said’s discourse of “Orientalism” by challenging recent postcolonial readings of the representations of India in seventeenth-century European, predominantly English, travel narratives and other texts such as Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Dryden’s Aureng-Zebe. The book exposes the ahistorical and essentialist tendencies in the works of theorists such as Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Kate Teltscher and others. The Limits of Orientalism has been praised for making a “useful contribution to the revisionist assault on Said’s Orientalism” (Times Literary Supplement). Dr. Sapra is currently the Subject Editor of the “Film Section” of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism.

Dr. Sapra has been an advocate for a high quality, accessible and affordable post-secondary education in Ontario. He has worked tirelessly for improved government funding of Ontario’s post-secondary institutions and for better terms and conditions of employment for faculty and academic librarians. For the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), he was Vice-President (2017-2019), President (2019-2021), and Past-President (2021-2023). OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 30 Faculty Associations across Ontario. He was also Vice-President (External) of the Toronto Metropolitan Faculty Association (TFA) (Formerly RFA) from 2014-2018.

Selected Publications:

  • ONGOING - Subject Editor (Film). Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. General Editor. Stephen Ross. London: Routledge. (Online). The Film section will consist of more than 300 entries. (Over 50% of the Film entries were published by 2019). (external link) 
  • BOOK: The Limits of Orientalism: Seventeenth-Century Representations of India (external link) . Newark: University of Delaware Press (Co-Published with The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), 2011.
  • “Film Subject: Overview”. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. General Editor. Stephen Ross. London: Routledge, 2016. (Online).
  •  “Modernism and Film in South Asia: An Indian Perspective”. The Modernist World. Eds. Stephen Ross and Allana C. Lindgren. London: Routledge, 2015. 109-116. 
  • “Orientalism or Capitalism: Hastings and the Rhetoric of Empire”. Tall Tales and True: India, Historiography and British Imperial Imaginings. Victoria: Monash Asia Institute, 2008. 19-30.
  •  “Shakespeare’s Intellectual Background: A Postmodern Perspective”. Ed. Bhim Dahiya. Collection of Essays on Shakespeare’s Intellectual Background. Delhi: Viva, 2008. 276-290.
  • “Akbar’s Dream: Religious Toleration and English Transculturation in Mughal India”. Modern Philology, University of Chicago Press, 2007 (Co-Authored with Dr. Paul Stevens). 379-411.
  • “The Favourable Representations of the Mughals in the English Travel Narratives”. Renaissance and Reformation. University of Toronto, 2006. 5-36.

Selected Workshops:

  • “Shakespeare and Adaptations” – Joint workshop with Kuljeet Singh, Creative Director, Atelier Expressions. Meraki Arts Residency, India. May 5-7, 2023. 
  • Shakespearean Theatre and Cinema: An Intertextual Dialogue. Workshop for Safdar Studio. Sponsored by Atelier Expressions. New Delhi. (2015).
  • Modernist World Cinema. University of Victoria. (2012).
  • Modernism in India. University of Victoria. (2012)
  • “See it Feelingly”: Global Shakespearean Cinema. Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication. New Delhi. (2012) 
  • Shakespearean Acting and Theatre (joint-workshop) - for the Shakespeare Society of St. Stephen’s College. University of Delhi. (2007).

Current Research:

Books Projects in progress:

  • Is Shakespeare a Foreigner in India?
  • The Disabled and the Divine: The Stigma of Mental Disability in Renaissance Literatures


Ryersonian of the Year (2021)