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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) in the University of Delhi (SGTB Khalsa College). In India he also worked as a free-lance journalist and published for The Statesman, The Pioneer, and Encyclopedia Britannica. He received 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, primarily 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 was the President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) from July 2019 to June 2021. OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 30 Faculty Associations across Ontario. He was the Vice-President of OCUFA from July 2017 to June 2019, and he is currently serving as Past-President on the OCUFA Executive. He was Vice-President (External) of the Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) from 2014 to 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:

  • 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:

Dr. Sapra’s current research deals with diverse ways of reading Shakespearean drama in South Asia by analysing the unexplored areas of Hindi and Punjabi translations, English language stage productions, and “Bollywood” film adaptations (Monograph in progress: Is Shakespeare a Foreigner in India?).


Ryersonian of the Year (2021)