Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur


Gurumurthy Neelakantan

Professor of  English (HAG Scale)

Rahul and Namita Gautam Chair



Telephone: +91-512-2597872







B.A. (English) Loyola College (Autonomous), Madras, 1981

M.A. (English) Madras Christian College (Autonomous), 1983

Ph.D. (English) Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, 1989


Important Recent Publications

1. From Breakdown to Bliss: Waste Land Themes in Bellow's More Die of Heartbreak. Saul Bellow and the Struggle at the Center.

     Ed. Eugene Hollahan, AMS Press, New York, 1996, 119-127.


2.  Textualizing the Self: Adultery, Blatant Fictions, and Jewishness in Philip Roth's  Deception. Ed. Jay L. Halio, Shofar, 19. 1 (Fall 2000):

     40- 47. Reprinted in Turning up the Flame: Philip Roth's Later Novels, eds. Jay L. Halio and Ben Siegel. Newark: University of

     Delaware Press, 2005, 58-67.


3. Beast in Chicago: Saul Bellow's Apocalypse in The Dean's December. International Fiction Review, 30 (Spring 2003): 67- 76.


4. Abstract of Conference Presentation Philip Roth's Apocalypse in American Pastoral. Ed. Derek Park Royal, Philip Roth Newsletter,

    1.2 (Spring 2003): 9-10.


5.Monster in Newark: Philip Roth's Apocalypse in American Pastoral. Special Issue on Philip Roth, Studies in American Jewish 

    Literature 23 (2004): 55-66.                     


6. Sabbath's Complaint: Philip Roth's Black Comedy in Sabbath's Theater in Playful and Serious:Philip Roth as a Comic Writer,
     edited by Ben Siegel and Jay Halio,  Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2010, 195-207.


7. "'Dragon Daddies and False-Hearted Men'": Patriarchy in Toni Morrison's Love." Notes on Contemporary Literature, 35.5 (November 2005):

       2-4 (with Sathyaraj, V)


8. "Secrecy and Self-Invention: Philip Roth's Postmodern Identity in  The Human Stain." International Fiction Review, Vol.34 (2007): 27-39.


9. "Toni Morrison's Depiction of the City in Jazz." Notes on Contemporary Literature, 36.1 (January 2006): 14-16  (with Joe V. Yeldho).


10. "Family and Parenting in Toni Morrison's Love." Notes on Contemporary Literature, 36. 4 (September 2006): 9- 10 (with Sathyaraj, V).


11. "Immigration and Labor Patterns in Toni Morrison's Sula." Notes on Contemporary Literature, 37.2 (March 2007): 9-11 (with Sathyaraj, V).


12. "Forever Fearful of a Crash": Family vis-a-vis Materialism in Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. Notes on Contemporary Literature,

       37.4 (September 2007): 6-9  (with Srirupa Chatterjee).


13. Abstract of Conference Presentation Philip Roth's Nostalgia for the Yiddishkayt in The Plot Against America. Ed. Joe Kraus, Philip Roth

       Newsletter, 4.1 (Spring 2006): 5-6.


14. Rev. of Everyman, by Philip Roth. Houghton Mifflin, 2006 in Shofar 25.4 (Summer 2007): 168- 170. E-copy is available

      at <>.


15. "Toni Morrison's Quarrel with the Civil Rights Ideology in Love." International Fiction Review, Vol. 34 (2007): 139-146 [with Sathyaraj



16. History in Inquisition: Postmodernist Poetics in Toni Morrison's Beloved. ICFAI Journal of English Studies, Vol.II, No.1(March 2007): 7-12

      [with Sathyaraj Venkatesan].


17. "Philip Roth's Nostalgia for the Yiddishkayt and the New Deal Idealisms in The Plot Against America." Philip Roth Studies Vol. 4.2 (Fall 2008): 125- 136.


18. "'Lost Country': Themes of Exile in Tillie Olsen's Hey Sailor, What Ship?" Short Story Criticism, Vol. 103 Thomson Gale, January 2008,

       251- 253. Originally published in Indian Journal of American Studies Vol.27, No.1, Winter 1997, pp.55-58.


19. "Philip Roth's Quarrel with Realism in American Pastoral." Notes on Contemporary Literature, 38.2 (March 2008): 4-6.  (with Ansu Luis)


20. "Morrison's 'Sula.'" The Explicator, Vol.66, Issue.2 (Winter 2008): 113-115 (with Sathyaraj Venkatesan).


21. "Transnationalism in Anne Tyler's Digging to America." Notes on Contemporary Literature, 39.2 (March 2009): 2-4.  (with Swati Guleria)


22. "Oates's 'Beasts.'" The Explicator, 67.3 (Spring 2009): 224- 227 [with Srirupa Chatterjee]


23. "Woman as Survivor in Oates's Rape: A Love Story." Notes on Contemporary Literature, 39.4 (September 2009): 4-6 [with Srirupa Chatterjee]


24. A Foucauldian Reading of Paul Auster's Travels in the Scriptorium. Notes on Contemporary Literature, 40.5 (November 2010): 2-5 [with Sanjoy, C.K].

25. Two Versions of Oedipus in Philip Roth's The Human Stain. Philip Roth Studies, 6:2 (Fall 2010):167-187 [with Ansu Louis].

26. Rev. of The Early Fiction of Philip Roth, by Balbir Singh. Omega Publications, 2009 in Philip Roth Studies 7.1 (Spring 2011): 103-106.

27. Rage, Revenge and Regeneration in Joyce Carol Oates's The Rise of Life on Earth. Notes on Contemporary Literature 42.2 (March 2012): 8--10 (with Srirupa Chatterjee)

28. Rev. of Philip Roth: American Pastrol, The Human Stain, The Plot Against America, edited by Debra Shostak. New York: Continuum, 2011 in Philip Roth Studies 8.1 (Spring 2012):107-11

29. Fiction as Faith: Philip Roth's Testament in Exit Ghost. Philip Roth Studies 10.2 (Fall 2014):31--45.

30. Morrison's Prostitutes in The Bluest Eye. Notes on Contemporary Literature 44.2 (March 2014) (with Payelpal): 4-7.

31. Philip Roth's Heroic Ideal in Indignation and Nemesis. Critical Insights: Philip Roth. Ed. Aimee Pozorski. Massachusetts: Salem Press, 2013, 200-219.

32. Violence and the Textual Event in Toni Morrison's Beloved.Research and Criticism 4 (2013): 88-100 (with Joe Varghese Yeldho)




Neelakantan, G. Saul Bellow and the Modern Waste Land. With a Foreword by Eugene Hollahan (Editor, Studies in the Literary Imagination, USA). Indian Publishers Distributors, New Delhi, 2000.



Thesis Guidance

1. Chatterjee, Deepa. A Dialogic Approach to Post-Independence Indian Fiction: A Study of Women Writers in English and Bengali. IIT Kanpur 2000 (Co-guide).


2. Sathyaraj, V. Mapping the Margins: A Study of Ethnic Feminist Consciousness in Toni Morrison's Novels. IIT Kanpur 2008.[Currently with NIT Trichy]


3 Yeldho, Joe V. Subversive histories: Fictional Narratives in Select Novels of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. IIT Kanpur 2009.[Currently with NISER Bhubaneswar]


4. Chatterjee, Srirupa. Joyce Carol Oates's Cultural Politics of Psychosexual Violence: A Study of Her Late Novels. IIT Kanpur 2010.[Currently with IIT Hyderabad]


5. Louis, Ansu. Philip Roth's Critique of Expressive Representations: A Study of His Late Novels. IIT Kanpur 2012.[Currently with IIT Jodhpur]


6. Guleria, Swati. Journey to Selfhood: Anne Tyler's Late Fictions of Identity(2015).


7. Sanjoy, C. K. The Politics of Subversion in Cormac McCarthy's Novels. IIT Kanpur (Awaiting Defense).


8. Payel Pal. Rediscovering America: The Politics of Humanism in Select Fictions of Toni Morrison and Joyce Carol Oates. IIT Kanpur (Submitted).

Editorial Board Membership
  1. 2010- Present: Editorial Board Member; Philip Roth Studies, Purdue University Press, USA.
  2. 2010- Present: Editorial Board Member, Discourses; Social Sciences and Humanities, Union Christian College, Kerala.

Awards and Recognition


1.      Inclusion in American Biographical Institute, Inc USA.

2.      Inclusion in Marquis Who is who in the World. December 2003, 2004.

3.      Commendation letters from Director, I. I. T.  Kanpur for excellence in teaching.

4.      Reviewer for 2004 Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

5. Interview with Luke Ford available at

6. Member, International Association of University Professors of English,  Switzerland.

7. Felicitated at the International Seminar on Humanistic Language and Literature Teaching held at Anna University, Chennai during February 18-19, 2011 in recognition of significant research contributions to Contemporary American Literature.

8. Guest speaker in the valedictory of Holocaust Literature: Memories and Losses. University of Mysore, 24 September 2011.

9. Rahul and Namita Gautam Chair at IIT Kanpur.

10. Invited Entry for the special blog series on Philip Roth's decision to retire from novel writing. The Huffington Post, New york.Permanently available in the author's archive.

11. Invited to participate in a Roundtable titled, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Roth?" in Roth@80, a two-day conference organized at Robert Treat Hotel, Newark, NJ. during 18-19 March 2013.

12. Distinguished Teacher Award for 2013 of IIT Kanpur.

13. Eminent Alumni Award for 2015 conferred by St. Joseph's Higher Secondary School, Manjakuppam, Cuddalore (TN)

14. Erasmus Mundus Fellowship (EMINTE) to visit University College Dublin, Ireland during 20 May- 20 June 2015 Dublin


  • Tribute to Professor Vishnu Bhat of Madras Christian College

  • A Day with Philip Roth.

  • Philip Roth Bus Tour



    Current Projects:

    1. Jewish Intertextualities

    2. Modernist and Postmodernist writers.

    3. Trauma and Post -Apocalypse          


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    Page last update: 11 September 2015.