Dr. Akshaya Kumar Rath Associate Professor
School of Humanities, Social Sciences & Management

Research Interests

Colonial Historiography; Bhakti Archives in India; Genders and Sexualities; Cultural Studies; English in India

Contact Details

  • akrath@iitbbs.ac.in, akrath2001@gmail.com

Other Profile Link(s)


 Degree Discipline Year School
  PhD English 2011 University of Hyderabad


Akshaya K. Rath specializes in Indian religions and Cultural Studies. His articles and monographs have appeared in Kavya Bharati, Hypatia, Interventions, Journal of Gender Studies, South Asia Research, Explicator, Rupkatha, etc. His interests include historical texts of the colonial period with a special focus on the discourse of 'criminality'. An Associate of IIAS Shimla (2014-16), Rath has completed a major research project sponsored by ICSSR, New Delhi, researching the history of convict transportation with a focus on the Andaman Penal Settlement. His current sponsored research project "Savarkar in the Andamans" seeks to reconstruct the relationships of important figures such as V.D. Savarkar, R.N. Tagore and M.K. Gandhi with imperial court of law and penal systems. He has been a visiting scholar at University of Louisville, USA.  Across the Black Water: The Andaman Archives (OUP 2022) is his most recent book. 


Scientific and Technical Writing
Introduction to Literature


Principal Investigator: "Savarkar in the Andamans: Trial, Transportation and Contemporary Social Relevance," ICSSR New Delhi (ongoing). 
Principal Investigator: "Prison Migration and the Regulation of Colonial Sexuality: A Study of the Sexualized Body in the Andaman Penal Settlement," ICSSR New Delhi. Completed. 
Principal Investigator: "Restoring the Sacred in Public Spheres." IMPRESS ICSSR. Report Submitted (with Rasheda Parveen).
Co-Investigator: "Intellectual Histories of Bhakti: Concepts, Institutions and Practices in Orissa, 1500-2000," IMPRESS ICSSR. Report submitted (with Urmishree Bedamatta & Siddharth Satpathy).
Co-Investigator: "The Psychology of Distraction: Social Media and Language Use in Technical Education in India," IMPRESS ICSSR. On-going (with Upender Gundala). 

Recent Publications (International Journals)

1Varghese, Ritu, and Akshaya K. Rath. "Gandhi's Mira: Debating 'Female' Suffering and the Politics of Iconography," Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. 1-17, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1017/hyp.2023.115.
2Choudhury, Ayan, and Akshaya K. Rath. "Partition in Bangla Little Magazines: Trajectories of Politics and Culture," South Asian Review. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1080/02759527.2023.2267831.
3Sarangi, Susmita, and Akshaya K. Rath. "Negotiating the Carceral Space: Reading Mercy Petitions of Political Prisoners in the Andamans," Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2023.2252795.
4Choudhury, Chaitali, and Akshaya K. Rath. "Tagore and Androgyny: The Politics of an Accommodative India," South Asian Review. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1080/02759527.2023.2250953.
5Varghese, Ritu, and Akshaya K. Rath. "Mirabai in Public Spheres," Women's History Review. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2023.2165775.
6Kuiry, Nibedita, and Akshaya K. Rath. "Nautch, Thuggee and Criminality in Nineteenth-Century Colonial India," South Asia Research. 43(1). 1-14. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1177/02627280221141710.
7Varghese, Ritu, and Akshaya K. Rath. "Mirabai and the Ethic of Universal Suffering: Reading Bhajans in Indian Pedagogy," The Explicator. 80(1-2) 24-28. 2022. https://doi.org/10.1080/00144940.2022.2048780.
8Choudhury, Chaitali, and Akshaya K. Rath. "The Mahatma and the Eunuch: Brahmacharya Education in Gandhian Nationalism," Journal of Gender Studies. 2022. https://doi.org/10.1080/09589236.2022.2039104.
9Rath, Akshaya K., ed. Across the Black Water: The Andaman Archives. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2022. [book] https://global.oup.com/academic/product/across-the-black-water-9780190130558?lang=en&cc=gb
10Rath, Akshaya K. (with Hoshang Merchant). Gay Icons of India. New Delhi: PAN Macmillan. 2019. ISBN: 9789386215956. (book; now out-of-print; revised and enlarged edition forthcoming)
11Rath, Akshaya K., ed. Secret Writings of Hoshang Merchant. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2016. [book] https://global.oup.com/academic/product/secret-writings-of-hoshang-merchant-9780199465965?cc=gb&lang=en&
12Rath, Akshaya K. “Sexualizing Kālā Pāni,” Hi(stories) of Desire: Sexualities and Culture in Modern India. Eds. Rajeev Kumaramkandath and Sanjay Srivastava. Cambridge University Press. 2020: 79-96. [book chapter] https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108637770.
13Choudhury, Chaitali, and Akshaya K. Rath. “Gandhi's Passion and the Poetics of Nonviolent India.” Contemporary Icons of Nonviolence. Ed. Anna Hamling. Cambridge Scholars Press. 2019. 47-68. [book chapter] ISBN: 978-1-5275-4054-5.
14Rath, Akshaya K. “Transgender Studies in India: Folklore, Mythical Tradition and Autobiographies,” Women’s and Gender Studies in India: Crossings. Ed. Anu Aneja. New York: Routledge. 2019. 225-234. [book chapter] ISSN: 9781138090064.
15Rath, Akshaya K. “Bhakti,” Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions: Faith & Culture across History. Gen Ed. Susan de Gaia. ABC CLIO: USA. 2018. Vol 1: 316-320. [encyclopedia article; long] 978-1-4408-4849-0.
16Rath, Akshaya K. “Matriliny,” Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions: Faith & Culture across History. Gen Ed. Susan de Gaia. ABC CLIO: USA. 2018. Vol 1: 353-356. [Encyclopedia Article; medium] 978-1-4408-4849-0.
17Rath, Akshaya K. “Allen Ginsberg in India: Life and Narrative.” Scripta Humana. Tom 7: 2016. 137-150. ISSN: 2353-1681.

Recent Publications (National Journals)

1Rath, Akshaya K. “Ethno-Sexual Violence: A Study of Agha Shahid Ali’s Kashmiri Poetry.” Kavya Bharati; Number 22, 2010. ISSN: 0975-3559.
2Rath, Akshaya K. “Queer Theory: Literary and Cultural Perspectives.” Theories of Women and Gender Studies, IGNOU, 2012. [course material] ISBN: 978-81-266-5756-8.
3Rath, Akshaya K. “Race of Poets / Saints: Review of Hoshang Merchant’s Sufiana: Poems.” E-Dhvani: UoH Journal of Comparative Literature. III, 2013.
4Rath, Akshaya K. “Language Debate and Canonizing Indian English Poetry.” The Challenge. Vol. 22 No 2. 2013. ISSN: 2278-9499.
5Rath, Akshaya K. “Poetics of the Sexualized Body during the Raj: The Andaman Connection.” Gay Subcultures and Literatures: The Indian Projections. Ed. Sukhbir Singh. IIAS Shimla, 2014. 247-263. [book chapter] ISBN: 978-93-82396-09-3.
6Rath, Akshaya K. “The Upside-Down Swan: Suniti Namjoshi,” Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities. VI:1, 2014. ISSN: 0975-2935.
7Rath, Akshaya K. “Either Sink or Swim': An Interview with Hoshang Merchant.” The Challenge. Vol 23, No 1, 2014. ISSN: 2278-9499.
8Parveen, Rasheda and Akshaya K. Rath. “Karbala as Discourse: Memory and Exile in Agha Shahid Ali’s Final Songs.” Kakatiya Journal of English Studies. Volume 34 (2015): 180-93. ISSN: 0971-8877.
9Rath, Akshaya K. “Interrogating Body Politic: Reflections towards Thuggee Cult in British India.” Osmania Journal of English Studies, 2015-16. 124-134. ISSN: 0474-8107.
10Rath, Akshaya K. and Rasheda Parveen. “The ‘Mating Dance’: Love and Exile in Ifti Nasim and Agha Shahid Ali.” Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences XX: 2015-16. 74-91. 00972-1401.
11Parveen, Rasheda and Akshaya K. Rath. “The Rise of Matriarchy: Suniti Namjoshi and Kamala Das.” Research and Criticism. Special Issue on “Twenty-First Century South Asian Literature.” Vol 7: 2016. 28-41.
12Rath, Akshaya K. “Towards an Alternative Literary Canon in India.” The Dhauli Review, Issue 9: 2016.
13Parveen, Rasheda and Akshaya K. Rath. “Positioning Kali in Thuggee Tradition,” Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities. 10: 2, 2018. 158-170. ISSN: 0975-2935.
14Choudhury, Chaitali and Akshaya K. Rath. “Gandhi as ‘God’s Eunuch,’” Anekaant: A Journal of Polysemic Thought. No. 7, 2017-18 (Spring). 55-62. Special Issue on Gandhi and Time-Binding: Interface between Principles and Practices. ISSN: 2320-6195.
15Rath, Akshaya K. and Ananya Parida. “Towards an Inclusive Transgender Autobiography.” Ahead of Their Times: Essays on Women Autobiography in India. Ed. K. Purushotham. Kalpaz: Delhi:2019. 61-74. [book chapter] ISBN: 978-93-5324-030-1.

Academic Honors & Awards

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Research Scholar

Parveen, Rasheda. "Religion and Sexuality: A Study of Select Indian English Poets" (Degree: July 2018; NIT Rourkela; Role: Supervisor)
Parida, Ananya. "Between Rebellion and Resistance: A Study of Select Andaman Penal Narratives" (Degree: December 2018: NIT Rourkela; Role: Supervisor)
Pujari, Jyoti Prakash. "Between Home and Exile: Locating Memsahibs' Texts in British India" (Degree: July 2019; Role: Supervisor)
Choudhury, Chaitali. "Reading Ascetic Ideals in Indian Nationalist Thought (Degree: December 2022, NIT Rourkela; Role: Supervisor)
Varghese, Ritu. "Mirabai as Text: Contested Histories, Liminal Spaces, and Marginalities" (Degree: September 2023, NIT Rourkela; Role: Principal Supervisor; Co-Supervisor: Upender Gundala, EFL University Hyderabad)
Wahida Tasnim (IIT Bhubaneswar: Continuing)
Bikranta Debroy (IIT Bhubaneswar: Continuing)
Shreeya Naik (IIT Bhubaneswar: Continuing)

Professional Experience

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