Sophia College for Women
(Empowered Autonomous)
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Senior College


The College follows the University syllabus which introduces students to British Literature, Indian Literature in English and American Literature. The study involves the critical analysis of prescribed texts and a history of literature. The programme also includes courses in the structure of English and the study of English grammar, literary theory and practical criticism as well as feminist writing and criticism. In addition, the department teaches Communication Skills in English at the First Year level, and Mass Communication at the SYBA level.

About the Department

The syllabus of the Department of English covers a wide range of literary, cultural and theoretical texts from various time periods and cultures. Students are exposed to a wide range of texts from various periods of English literature (from the Renaissance to the 21st century), Indian literature in English and American literature. Students are encouraged to question the boundaries of what constitutes literature. The syllabus incorporates diverse areas of study such as children’s literature, popular fiction, visual arts, cyberculture studies, film studies, fan fiction, disability studies, food studies, climate studies, and performance studies. Students are trained to critically analyse the prescribed texts and their relationship with the cultural contexts in which they are produced and consumed. Ample space is given to texts  - literary, visual, cinematic - produced by members of socially marginalised groups. 


As part of their internal assessment and class work, students are provided an opportunity to work both independently and in pairs/groups. Emphasis is placed on collaborative, research-based peer learning. Students are encouraged to participate in class discussions and to engage creatively with the syllabus. The Department organised an open mic event based on Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, titled “Marooned”, in October 2021, a science fiction paper presentation competition in January 2022, a photography exhibition titled “Sophia Re-viewed”, in September 2022, in which photographs of Sophia College taken by students were displayed and discussed in class, and a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in March 2023.


The Department of English has organised a wide range of events over the years. In addition to film screenings, stage productions, writing and theatre workshops, and competitions, the Department has organised various national and international conferences and seminars some of which are listed below: 


  • a national conference on “Oral Narratives: New Voices, New Tales” (sponsored by the Luigi and Laura Dallapiccola Foundation) in association with the Department of History, Sophia College for Women, and the Sophia Centre for Women’s Studies and Development, in January 2016

  • a national conference on "Worlds within Words: A National Conference on Kiran Nagarkar" in December 2017 

  • a two-day national conference on “Folk Performance Traditions” in 2018 

  • a two-day international conference on “Mythology in Indian Culture, Literature and Art” in January 2020 in association with the Departments of History, Sophia College for Women 

The Department has hosted student-led initiatives such as the RUSA-supported online international conference on the theme of diaspora, culture and identity, titled “Qissa”, in February 2022, and a discussion on the films Coda and Sound of Metal, in September 2021

Ms Jihasa Vachharajani 

Head of the Department


Areas of expertise and research interests: 

Travel Writing, Popular Culture, and Film Studies

Dr (Sr) Ananda Amritmahal

M.A., B.Ed., M. Phil., Ph. D., L.T.C.L. (Speech and Drama)


Dr (Sr) Ananda Amritmahal is Principal of Sophia College (Autonomous).
She is also Honorary Director of the Sophia Centre for Women’s Studies and Development.

Her areas of specialisation include Women’s Writing and Feminist Literary Criticism, and Indian Writing in English. Her doctoral thesis was on “Feminist Critical Perspectives on Indian Women’s Writing, with special reference to Shashi Deshpande and Mahasweta Devi”. Her other research interests are Women Mystic Poets, Children’s Literature, and Feminist Theology.

Dr Amritmahal has written a book, Relatedness and Resistance: A Feminist Critical Analysis of Some Indian Women Writers, as well as a number of articles on women’s issues.

She was awarded the Smt. Savitridevi Phule Adarsh Shikshika Puraskar (prize for exemplary teachers) by the University of Mumbai, for her contribution to the field of women’s education and empowerment.

Dr Amritmahal was awarded the Fulbright Teaching Fellowship as Visiting Lecturer at Loyola University, Chicago, for the spring semester of 2012. She was also appointed the Gannon Visiting Research Scholar at Loyola during the same period


M.A. M.Phil. (Assistant Professor)


An alumnus of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, and the University of Calcutta, Samrita Sinha has expertise in Postcolonial Literature, Critical Theory, Body and Sexuality Studies and Anglophone Literatures from the northeastern borderlands of India. Her doctoral research is in the domain of Northeast Indian Anglophone Literatures. She has published several articles in journals and contributed to book chapters. She is currently co-editing two books, one titled, Female Narratives of Protest: Literary and Cultural Narratives from South-Asia from South Asia and the other on Women Crafting the Form: Literary Practices from South-Asia, both to be published by Routledge, in 2023 and 2024 respectively. She has been the recipient of the Charles Wallace Research Grant for the academic year 2022-23, to pursue research at libraries in SOAS and London. The topic of her research project was, “Entangled Memories: A Humanistic Reappraisal of WWII in Post-Colonial Northeast India”. She completed two Minor Research Projects with grants received from Mumbai University and RUSA in 2018 and 2022 respectively. In 2018, she completed the MRP titled, “Negotiating Identity with Otherness: A Study of Select Literary Texts from Northeast India” and in 2022, she completed the MRP titled, “Registers of Protest: A Comparative Analysis of Poetic Voices of Dissent from Northeast India, Kashmir and the Dalit Community”. Apart from several publications, both national and international, Samrita Sinha has been invited as resource person to deliver talks and lectures at colleges like Wilson College, Mumbai, and Vivekananda College, Kolkata. She was also invited to conduct a course on Elizabethan Comedy at the English Department of Jadavpur University in 2014. 

She was invited as a resource person to present her doctoral research work at the International conference on South-South Feminisms organised by Stellenbosch University, South Africa in collaboration with SNDT University, Mumbai. Recently, her article “Narrative Strategies of Decolonisation: Autoethnography in Mamang Dai’s The Legends of Pensam” was published by Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities which is indexed by Web of Science, Scopus, ERIHPLUS, EBSCO, and UGC. Her article, “Pathologies of Body Fiction: A Comparative Study of Margarita with a Straw and Kuch Bheegay Alfaaz” in the book Female Body Image in Indian Cultural and Literary Narratives is, shortly to be published by Temple University Press, Pennsylvania, USA. She is a member of IACLALS and IPPL. Her publication details can be found at her ORCID account.

ORCID account – 0000-0003-1021-4988

Ms Nishtha Dev

MA, MPhil 



An alumnus of Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi University, Nishtha Dev joined Sophia College in 2013. She has also been associated with the English Department at SNDT University as an invited faculty since 2021. She completed her M.Phil. thesis titled “Translation and the Canon of Indian Literature” from Delhi University. In 2022, she completed a minor research project on “Translation and Twentieth Century Hindi Satires” which was supported by the RUSA grant. She has also prepared content for learning modules for School of Open Learning, Delhi University.

Her current research interests include Translation (Theory and Practice), Popular Culture, Graphic Narratives, Visual Literacies and Critical Theory. She is working towards her doctoral thesis on Graphic Fiction on which she has also published articles and presented papers in national and international conferences. In addition to this, she has been invited as a resource person for FDPs and workshops some of which are listed below.

·  Keynote speaker and resource person for a Workshop on “Soft Skills, Communication Skills and Employability Skills” organised By Adarsh College in 2017

·   Resource person for a Faculty Development Program on “Communication Strategies & Pragmatics for Teaching Pedagogy” from July 25, 2022-July 30, 2022

·  Resource person for a History of English Literature Certificate Course, 2022 and 2023, offered by the Department of English, Ram Lal Anand College, University of Delhi

She has also contributed to the syllabus development for the four-year BA B.Ed course, (English) Mumbai University. Ms Dev is a lifelong member of Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies which is an officially recognised Indian Chapter of International ACLALS.

Dr. Elwin Susan John

MA, M.Phil, Ph.D


Dr Elwin Susan John joined the Department of English at Sophia College in 2015. Prior to this, she was a UGC-Senior Research Fellow at the University of Hyderabad, where she worked on the socio-cultural intersections between body and disease narratives. She was awarded an M.Phil in 2012 for her dissertation titled, Lure of the Body: Images of Health in Travel Literature. She holds a Ph.D degree for her thesis titled, Skin Cultures: Reconfigurations of the Body through Narratives which was awarded in 2018. Ever since, she has been actively involved in interdisciplinary research ventures along with full-time teaching.

Her research articles have been published in reputed journals and as book chapters. In 2023, she co-edited a volume titled, Media Technology and Cultures of Memory: Mapping Indian Narratives which was published by Routledge. Her research publications can be accessed through the following link Dr John has been invited as a speaker in academic sessions and, some of which are listed below:

·    Resource person at the National Webinar on “The Human Subject: Disability and Post-Apocalyptic Narratives”, organised by the Department of English, Government College, Daman on July 21, 2020

·    Resource person at the National Webinar on “Translating Boundaries: Nation, Culture and Body”, organised by the Department of English, SH College, Chalakudy, Kerala on March 26, 2021

·  Resource person at the National FDP on “Recent Trends in Literature”, organised by Marthoma College, Perumbavoor, Kerala on November 12, 2021

·   Resource person for a talk titled, “Multiculturalism and the Way Ahead” at Samajik Sociology, the annual students’ initiative of the Department of Sociology, Sophia College, on April 30, 2022

·   Resource person for a talk, “An Introduction to Medical Humanities”, at St Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai on August 10, 2022

·   Resource person for a talk, “Literature and Media: Exploitation and Empowerment of Women”, at the Sophia Centre for Women Studies and Development on October 3, 2022 as part of the online certificate course on “Women’s Empowerment”.

Her areas of expertise and research interests include 17th and 18th century British Literature, Indian Writing in English, Medical Humanities, Cultural Studies, Travel Studies, and Memory Studies. She has been guiding student research projects that pertain to these broad domains. In 2022, she completed a Minor Research Project on “Disability Studies and Indian Literature” which was supported by the RUSA grant. She is a content writer for English literature courses at S N Open University, Kerala, and is also on the editorial board of journals like Sambha?a? (Mumbai University research journal), Sophia Lucid (college research journal for teachers) and Sophia Luminous (college research journal for students). She has contributed to the development of several syllabi, namely, Diploma Course in Memory Studies, University of Mumbai, the four-year BA B.Ed course (English), University of Mumbai, and the TYBA course on Introduction to Cultural Studies, University of Mumbai. She is a member of the Indian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (IACLALS) which is an officially recognised Indian Chapter of International ACLALS, and the Indian Network for Memory Studies (INMS) which is the first Memory Studies network in India.

ORCID ID: 0009-0000-4633-0011