Supritha Rajan’s scholarship is situated at the intersection of literature, intellectual history, and philosophy, with an emphasis on the Romantic and Victorian literary periods. Her first book, A Tale of Two Capitalisms: Sacred Economics in Nineteenth-Century Britain, was awarded the 23rd annual Modern Language Association Prize for a First Book. The book reconsiders traditional understandings of capitalism by examining the shared disciplinary genealogies of nineteenth-century literature, anthropology, and political economy. The MLA selection committee stated in their award citation that “A Tale of Two Capitalisms: Sacred Economics in Nineteenth-Century Britain offers an important new perspective on debates around secularization, providing a spellbinding account of how the emergence of the modern disciplines and discourses of political economy, anthropology, and the novel reconstituted the magical and communal, thereby seamlessly revealing how the sacred reemerged in our modern world…Rajan’s synchronic analysis may serve as an empirical and interpretive model with which to examine our moment’s intersection of ethics, economy, and culture, as well as the intricacies of neoliberalism and its narrative(s) and dominant ethos.”
Rajan is currently at work on a second scholarly book project, entitled Transparent Forms: Thinking, Feeling, and Doing in the Human and Natural Sciences. Transparent Forms draws on eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature, philosophy, and histories of science to investigate the formation of disciplinary-specific temperaments and the overlapping methodologies and cognitive/affective attitudes that operated across the human and natural sciences after the Enlightenment.
Her articles have appeared in such journals as Victorian Literature and Culture, RaVoN, and Nineteenth-Century Prose, and her research has received fellowship support from the American Council of Learned Societies. In addition to her scholarship, Rajan has completed a collection of poems entitled, Fabula, and is at work on a second collection.
Works in Progress
- Transparent Forms: Thinking, Feeling, and Doing in the Human and Natural Sciences (in progress)
- “Regret Without Limit: the Ends of Agency and Genre in George Eliot’s Middlemarch” (under review)
- Fabula (completed manuscript of poems, under consideration at various presses/contests)
- A Tale of Two Capitalisms: Sacred Economics in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Spring 2015, University of Michigan Press)
- “The Epistemology of Trust and Realist Effect in Charles Dickens’s Bleak House” (forthcoming, Nineteenth-Century Literature)
- “Animating Household Gods: Value, Totems, and Kinship in Victorian Anthropology and Dickens’s Dombey and Son.” Victorian Literature and Culture. 42.1 (March 2014): 33-58.
- “Networking Magic: Andrew Lang and the Science of Self-Interest.” Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. 64 (October 2013).
- “Sacred Commerce: Rites of Reciprocity in Ruskin.” Nineteenth-Century Prose. 35.1 (Spring 2008): 181-199.
- "Bharata’s Remorse.” Salt Hill. (forthcoming)
- "Repair." Colorado Review. Spring 2016.
- “Ode to an Error.” The Antioch Review. Fall, 2015.
- “Domestic.” The Cortland Review. Issue 66, 2015.
- “Daughter of the Sea.” Poetry Northwest. Fall/Winter, 2010-2011.
- “The Preterite Tense.” Poetry Northwest. Spring/Summer, 2009.
- “Fabula.” Literary Imagination. February 1, 2009.
- “The Cook’s Daughter.” Passages North. Vol. 29.1. Winter/Spring, 2008.
- “The Orphan of Time.” Poetry Northwest. Spring/Summer, 2007.
- “Widow Country.” Salt Hill. No. 19. Winter, 2007.
- “The Abduction of Sita.” Puerto del Sol. Vo. 41.1. Fall, 2006.
- “Inventing the Past.” Notre Dame Review. No. 21. Winter, 2006.
- “Lava and Kusa Recite The Ramayana.” Center: A Journal of the Literary Arts. Vol. 4, 2005.
Selected conference participation
- “The Social Life of Personae: Sensibility and the Victorian Man of Science and Letters.” The North American Victorian Studies Association. Arizona State University. Phoenix, AZ. Nov. 3-5, 2016.
- “Autonomy and its Affects: Regret and Sympathy in Rousseau and Smith.” The International Adam Smith Society and the Rousseau Society. University of Glasgow. Glasgow, Scotland. July 20-22, 2015.
- “Characterizing Knowledge: George Eliot and the Enlightenment Reclassification of Temperament.” The North American Victorian Studies Association. Western University. London, Ontario (CA). Nov. 13-16, 2014.
- “The Tempo of Judgment: Sensing the Pause in Walter Pater’s The Renaissance.” Victorian Division. Modern Language Association. Chicago, IL. Jan. 9-12, 2014.
- “Knowledge By Proxy: the Epistemology of Trust in Dickens’s Bleak House.” The North American Victorian Studies Association. University of Southern California. Pasadena, CA. October 23-27, 2013.
- “Networked Magic: Lang and the Science of Self-Interest.” The North American Victorian Studies Association. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, WI. September 27-30, 2012.
Selected Book Covers
- Courses in nineteenth-century British literature, critical theory, and creative writing.
Professional Honors and Awards
- Modern Language Association Prize for a First Book, 2015.
- Research Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 2015-2016.
- William Dougald MacMillan Award for the best dissertation of the year, Department of English, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2008-2009.
- Richard Hugo Prize, Poetry Northwest, The Orphan of Time, Spring/Summer 2007.
- Fred and Joan Thomson Award for outstanding dissertation work in eighteenth- or nineteenth-century British studies, Department of English, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2005-2006.
- Evan Frankel Dissertation Fellowship, Department of English, UNC-Chapel Hill, Fall 2006.