Richa Chilana

Richa Chilana

Assistant Professor

Profile Summary

Richa Chilana has been teaching literature and cultural studies for the last thirteen years in various colleges of University of Delhi. She teaches courses on popular fiction, crime fiction, stand-up comedy and singlehood studies at the School of Liberal Studies, UPES.

She did her graduation and post-graduation from Maitreyi and St.Stephen’s College respectively. She completed her doctoral degree at Centre for English Studies, JNU. Her doctoral thesis engaged with the complexities of veiling practices in twentieth century Indian English Writing. She is currently working on the emergence and evolution of stand-up comedy in India. Her edited volumes, Punching Up in Stand-Up Comedy: Speaking Truth to Power (Routledge, 2022) and Politics of Recognition and Representation in Indian Stand-Up Comedy (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming) engage with the aesthetics and politics of comedy.

While teaching in University of Delhi, she organised various seminars and conferences such as National Students’ Seminar titled, “What Do You Meme?”, Inter-College Student Paper Presentation Webinar titled, “Politics of Humour” (2020), Student Monthly seminar titled “Speculations about the Spectacular: Reading Fantasy Films” (2018), Inter-College Student Seminar titled, “Literature’s Engagement with Technology”, as part of Ekphrasis, the annual literary fest of the Department of English. She is also the President of Maitreyi Alumna Association.

Work Experience

She started her teaching career at University of Delhi in 2010. She taught in Maitreyi College, Bhaskaracharya College of Applied Sciences, Institute of Home Economics and Ram Lal Anand College. She has taught a wide variety of courses such as canonical literature, classical literature, literature of the Indian diaspora, literature and cinema, women’s writing, postcolonial literature, popular fiction, detective fiction, critical thinking and writing etc. She has also created course modules for various programs offered by universities such as Jamia Millia Islamia and IGNOU and worked as a consultant for IBPS, Mumbai.

Research Interests

Her doctoral research engaged with the representation of the complexities of the veil in twentieth century Indian English Writing wherein she discussed the intersection of space, gender and faith. She is currently working on the aesthetics and politics of stand-up comedy, particularly in the way it has emerged and evolved in India. She is also interested in looking at the predicament and representation of singlehood and singlism in India.

Teaching Philosophy

Richa believes that in a world where there is no dearth of information, educators should be more than mere providers of knowledge. It is imperative that they pique the curiosity of learners and make the subject engaging and pertinent. The classroom should be a democratic space where students are enabled to voice original thoughts and ideas without fear of censure. She believes in an approach that combines theory and praxis and encourages students to learn from their peers through group projects, learn from and apply the learning to both local and global contexts and have the confidence and conviction to voice their beliefs.

Courses Taught

She has taught courses such as classical literature, British literature 18th and 19th century, women’s writing, literature and cinema, popular fiction, detective fiction, postcolonial literature, literature of the Indian diaspora, critical thinking and writing, living conversations and leadership and teamwork.

Awards and Grants

She was a recipient of POSCO scholarship for scoring the highest grade in the annual examination at Delhi University.

She was conferred the Distinguished Alumna Award by Maitreyi College, University of Delhi.

Scholarly Activities

She has edited Punching Up in Stand-Up Comedy: Speaking Truth to Power (Routledge, 2022) and Politics of Recognition and Representation in Indian Stand-up Comedy (Palgrave Macmillan, Forthcoming). She has presented her research at various national and international seminars and conferences such as the Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, the Global Conference on Women and Gender at Christopher Newport University, International Seminar on “Locating the Neighbourhood in Global South at Tezpur University, among many others. Her papers and book chapters have been published in journals of national and international repute.