PhD Project: English Language trade book piracy in contemporary India.

Funding: The Felix Scholarship.

Supervisor: Dr Nicola Wilson, Professor Fiona Ross (Reading).

Pritha received her MA in English from Presidency University, Kolkata, in 2016. She then worked as an editor (2016-2021) before joining the Department of English Literature as a PhD researcher. 

Her project, funded by the Felix scholarship, focusses on English language trade book piracy in contemporary India with reference to its material, economic, sociological and cultural impacts upon books and contemporary reading practices. It extricates pirated books from existing industry-level discourses of legal/illegal, authorised/unauthorised and original/duplicate by calling them “re-made” books instead. It interrogates how they operate as independent objects distinct from their authorised counterparts and focusses on their distinct material aesthetics. It also examines the complex ways in which they make knowledge accessible to the subaltern population of the country. Finally, the project asks what influence “re-made” books exert on readership practices and theories of reception—an important aspect of books’ role as cultural objects. The research will have two predominant foci: on the books as material objects, and on their readers and their sites of consumption (informal book markets).

Pritha also serves as the PhD representative for English Literature on the CBCP management board.