Sathyaraj Venkatesan

Contact          +91.431.250 3699

Fax                  0431.2500133

Email              sathya@nitt[dot]edu | sathyaiitk@gmail[dot]com

Office              Room #310 | Lyceum Building

Office Hours   By appointment only 


Academic Profile [External Link]


Dr. Sathyaraj Venkatesan is an Assistant Professor of English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli. He received Ph D from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. He was a Fellow at the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University, New York and currently, an International Field Bibliographer with the Publications of Modern Language Association of America (PMLA). 

He is widely travelled including USA, UK, France, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand. 

He is the author of The Idea and Practice of Reading (2017, Springer; forthcoming) with R. Joseph Ponniah, Edgar Allan Poe: Tales and Other Writings (2016, Orient BlackSwan; forthcoming), AIDS in Cultural Bodies: Scripting the Absent Subject (1980-2010) (2016, Cambridge Scholars Publishing) with Gokulnath Ammanathil and Mapping the Margins: A Study of Ethnic Feminist Consciousness in Toni Morrison’s Novels (2011).

His articles have appeared in SCI journals such as The Explicator (Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group), International Fiction Review, MELUS (Oxford Journals), Journal of Language, Literature and Culture, AMULA, American Notes and Queries and also in a number of renowned publications including The London Film and Media Reader, Notes on Contemporary Literature, Journal of Comics and Graphic Novels (Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group), Facts on File Companion to American Literature, Encyclopedia of African American Women, among others. His interview/article/profile is mentioned in media such as The Hindu, JoongAng Libo (South Korean), Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhoomi.  

Research Interests

Literature and Medicine, Graphic Medicine, Critical Medical Humanities 

Research Overview/Statement

My current research is situated in the intersection of comics and medicine or, what is generically termed as “Graphic Medicine.” I am interested in issues such as the rhetorical function and affordances of images; the palpable tension between image and word; the cultural potency of images in the realm of graphic medicine; the implications of graphic medicine in medical science and literary studies; critical perspectives on medical practice; representation of illness and their imperatives; doctor-patient relationship; comics in the age of biopolitics; comics' negotiation and representation of medical ethics among others. This productive conversation between comics and medicine, I believe, is rewarding in that it has implications for science studies, cultural and literary studies, biocultural studies, policy studies and medical humanities. I also teach a doctoral course on "Graphic Medicine" and offer a minor course titled "An Introduction to Graphic Novels and Comics Culture" for undergraduates starting 2017.

My research group comprises of four doctoral graduate students who concentrate on topics pertaining to graphic medicine and a range of issues broadly termed “medical.” They include Raghavi Ravi Kasthuri (Breast Cancer), S. Pushpanathan (Caregiving), Anu Mary Peter (Eating Disorders) and Sweetha Saji (Metaphors and Graphic Medicine). Our research articles have appeared in various international/professional journals including, The Explicator, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (both published by Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group), Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities, Research and Humanities in Medical Education among others. My co-authored book with Gokulnath Ammanathil titled "AIDS in Cultural Bodies: Scripting the Absent Subject" (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016) is first of its kind in that the book examines the various psychosocial and sexual ordeals of African Americans living with HIV/AIDS as depicted in African American literary narratives published from 1980 to 2010.  


  • Inclusion in Marquis Who’s Who in the World 2011.
  • Library Fellowship, the Center for Contemporary Theory, Baroda, India. 
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) Bibliography Fellowship, Publications of Modern Language Association (PMLA), USA. 
  • School of Criticism and Theory (SCT) Fellowship, Cornell University, USA.
  • Senior Research Fellowship, IIT Kanpur, India.
  • Junior Research Fellowship, IIT Kanpur, India. 

Journal Reviewer/Professional Service

  • Consulting Editor, The Explicator (SCI Journal), published by Taylor and Francis.
  • Editorial Board Member, Palimpsest: International Scientific Journal. 
  • Review Editor, GNOSIS: An International Journal of English Language and Literature.
  • Editorial Consultant for Special Issue on "Democracy and its Discontents"; "The Public Intellectual." Humanities Circle: International Journal of Central University of Kerala. ISSN 2321-8010.  

Academic Signposts

  • National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET).  
  • National English Language Test Service (NELTS) administered by CIEFL and Orient Longman.

Thesis Supervision

  • Gokulnath. A: Corpses that Live: Social Death and Coping in selected African American AIDS Literary Narratives. [Completed]


  • AIDS in Cultural Bodies: Scripting the Absent Subject (1980–2010). UK:  Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016.
  • Edgar Allan Poe: Tales and Other Writings. Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2016.
  • Mapping the Margins: A Study of Ethnic Feminist Consciousness in Toni Morrison’s Novels. Germany: VDM Publishing House Limited, 2011   

Selected Publications

  • "Royal Road to Wisdom: Tarot Cards and Justin Green's Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary." The Explicator. 74.3 (2016): 170-172. Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group. (with Sweetha Saji) [SCI Journal]
  • "Rhetorics of the Visual: Graphic Medicine, Comics and Its Affordances." Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities. 8.3 (2016): 221-231. (with Sweetha Saji) [Elsevier Scopus Journal]
  • "From Diaries to Virtual Narratives: Breast Cancer and Feminism." Literaria 6.1-2 (2016): 30-41 (with Raghavi Ravi Kasthuri).
  • "'Telling Your Story Git You Over That River': AIDS and Scenes of Reading and Writing in Sapphire's Push." Journal of Language, Literature and Culture60.2 (2013): 109-117.  [SCI Journal] 
  • “Origins of AIDS.” Encyclopedia of American Myth, Legend and Folklore (3 vols.). Eds. Jeffrey B Webb and Christopher Fee. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2016. 6-8. Print.  
  • "Life is a Game: Visual Metaphors in Brain Fies's "Mom's Cancer." Hektoen International: A Journal of Medical Humanities. Fall 2015.  ISSN 2155-3017.  
  • "Celluloid Closet: Condensed Queerity and Displacement in Harikrishnans." Gnosis: An International Journal of English Language and Literature. 2.1 (2015): 38-45.
  • "Plotting the Crisis: HIV/AIDS and the African American Literary Response: 1981-1990. IRWLE. 8.2 (2012): 1-7. (with Gokulnath Ammanathil).
  • "Journeys into Caregiving: Lessons from Sarah Leavitt's 'Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother, and Me.'"  Research and Humanities in Medical Education [RHiME Internet]. 2015 Oct. 06. 4 Pages. 
  • "The Spectacle of AIDS: Mapping Indian Queer Cinema, 1985-2010." The London Film and Media Reader 3. London: The London Symposium, 2015. 369-378. [Book Chapter]  
  • "Toni Morrison's Quarrel with the Civil Rights Ideology in Love."  The International Fiction Review. 34 (2007): 139-146. [SCI Jornal]  (with G. Neelakantan) 
  • "Toni Morrison's Home." AUMLA: Journal of the Australasian Univeristy of Modern Language. 118 (2012): 108-110. [SCI Journal]
  • "I am all things Marvelous": Beauty and AIDS in Marvelyn Brown's 'The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive." Samyukta: A Journal of Women's Studies. 14.1 (2014): 65-73. (with Raghavi Ravi Kasthuri)
  • [Book Review] "Lisa's Story: The Other Shoe," and "Billy, Me and You: A Memoir of Grief and Recovery." Find at <>
  • [Book Review] "The Test of My Life: From Criker to Cancer and Back." . 2014. (with (Internet)]Research and Humanities in Medical Education [RHiME Ragahavi Ravi Kasthuri)
  • "Transgressing the Borders: Ambiguous Queer Spots, Homoerotic Silences and Tagore's 'Gora' and 'Two Sisters.' The Apollonian: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies. 2.2 (2015): 175-184. ISSN: 2393-9001. (with Rajesh James)
  • "The Bad Doctor" Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. 6.4 (2016): 1-2. Published by Routledge, Taylor and Francis.    <> 
  •  “Online Communities, Social Networking Sites, Teaching English.” Published conference proceedings of the National Seminar on Technology Integrated Language Teaching. Published by B.S. Abdur Rahman University in association with the University of Cambridge ESOL Exams. (2012): 11-14. [ISBN: 978-81-923661-0-4]. 
  • Toni Morrison's Sula. The Explicator. 66.2 (Winter 2008): 113 -115. (with G. Neelakantan) [SCI Journal]
  • "Graphic Medicine Manifesto." Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics. 6.4 (2015): 1-2. Published by Routledge, Taylor and Francis. <>  7.1. January 2016, 93-94.
  • "AIDS in Cultural Bodies: Textualizing the Virus in Indian Writing in English." Recent Trends in Indian English Literature. Ed. Saikat Banerjee. Power Publishers,  Kolkata, 2014. 219 - 223. [Book Chapter]
  • "If Yuvi Can, you can: Reconstruction of the Self and Body in Yuvraj Singh's The Test of my Life: From Cricket to Cancer and Back." Lybyrinth. 5.4 (2014): 35-40.
  • "Picturing Illness: History, Poetics and Graphic Medicine." Research and Humanities in Medical Education. 1.2 (2015): 1-6 (with Ragahavi Ravi Kasthuri)
  • "Toward a Theory of African American Motherhood." Critical Perspectives on American Literature. Ed. P. Dhanavel. New Delhi, Sarup and Sons, 2008. 287-297. [Book Chapter]
  • "Testing Times: The Q-Factor and English Language Testing." "Proceedings of the National Seminar on 'English for Specific Purposes - A Reappraisal.'" Published by the Department of English, Anna University. (2015): 77-82.
  • "History in Shreds: Reading Shashi Tharoor's Riot. Indian Writings in English. Ed. Binod Mishra and Sanjay Kumar. Delhi: Atlantic Publishers, 2005. 57-65. [Book Chapter] (with Joe Varghese Yeldo).
  • "Centering the Margins: Locating Black Feminist Theory and Praxis." Critical Responses to Feminism. Ed. Binod Mishra. New Delhi: Sarup and Sons, 2006. 191-200. [Book Chapter]
  • "From Pages to Real Life: Oppositional Consciousness in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and Sula."  Protest and Aftermath in Post-War Literature in English. Jaipur, Surabhi Publications: 2005. 171-181. [Book Chapter]
  • "Color of Consciousness: A Selected Bibliography of African American Literature." Indian Review of World Literature in English 5.1 (2009). 2 Feb. 2009. 
  • "Humour and Tumour: Breast Cancer, Graphic Memoir and Miriam Engelberg's "Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person: A Memoir in Comics." Gnosis: An International Journal of English Language and Literature. 1.2 (2015): 51-58.
  • "Toni Morrison's What Moves at the Margins." MELUS. 34.1 (2009): 239-241. [SCI Journal]
  • "Dragon Daddies and False Hearted Men": Patriarchy in Toni Morrison's Love." Notes on Contemporary Literature. 35.5 (2005): 2-4. (with G. Neelakantan)
  • "Family and Parenting in Toni Morrison's Love."  Notes on Contemporary Literature. 36.4 (2006): 9-10. (with G. Neelakantan)
  • "Toni Morrison's Love."  The Facts on File Companion to the American Novel. 3 Vols. Edited by Abby H. P. Werlock. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2006, Vol. 2. 794-796. [Book Chapter]  
  • "Amelia E. Johnson." Encyclopedia of African American Women Writers. Greenwood/Heinemann Press: Westport, Connecticut, 2007. 309-311.
  • "Students Nonviolence Coordinating Committee (SNCC)." Africa and the Americans: Culture, Politics and History. Eds. Richard M. Juang and Noelle Morrissette. ABC-CLIO: Santa Barbara, California. (2008). 1033-1034. [Encyclopedia Chapter]
  • "Jazz"  Encyclopedia of African American History. ABC-CLIO Publishers. USA. (2008). [Encyclopedia Chapter]
  • "History in Inquisition: Postmodernist Poetics in Toni Morrison's Beloved." ICFAI English Studies. 2.1 (March 2007): 7-12. (with G. Neelakantan) 
  • Venkatesan, Sathyaraj. Rev. of Love, by Toni Morrison. Journal of Literature and Aesthetics. 3 (2003): 178-179.
  • "Psychosis, Incest and Narration: Reading Rushdie's Midnight's Children." Readings. 2 (2004): 74-79. (with Joe Varghese Yeldho)
  • "A Marxist Approach to Song of Solomon."  Littcrit. 31.2 (2005) 69-79.
  • "Black Power Movement (US)."  Encyclopedia of American History. Vol. 5. (2009).
  • "Trauma, Self and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye." The Atlantic Literary Review. 6.4 (2005) 53-58. (with Joe Varghese Yeldo).
  • "Immigration and Labor Patterns in Toni Morrison's Sula." Notes on Contemporary Literature. 37.2 (2007): 9-11. (with G. Neelakantan)
  • "Signs and Cities: Black Literary Postmodernism." American Notes and Queries (ANQ). 10.10 (2007): 57-60.
  • "Ishmael Reed." Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Literature. Ed. Tarshia L. Stanley. Greenwood Press: Westport, Connecticut, 2009. 199 -200.
  • “From the Paralysis of Fear to the Response of Solidarity.” The IUP Journal of American Literature. 3.3 (August 2010): 7–13.
  • “‘HIV is not an Advocate”: Self-love, Self- respect and Responsibility in Marvelyn Brown’s The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and (HIV) Positive.” The IUP Journal of American Literature 4.3 (2011): 7-13.


  • "Graphic Medicine, Comics and its Affordances." 6th International Conference on Social Science and Humanities (ICSSH), Global Research and Development Services, 17-18 October 2016, Hong Kong.

  • [Workshop Moderator] "Writing and Publishing Research Papers: Theory and Praxis." Workshop organized by the Department of English, Sacred Heart College (Autonomous), Ernakulam, Kerala. November 25-26, 2016.

  • "The Spectacle of AIDS: Mapping Indian Queer Cinema, 1985-2010." The Third Annual London Film and Media Conference held at the Institute of Education, 27-29 June, 2013. University of London, UK.

  • “Talking in Tongues”: AIDS, Black Church and Pearl Cleage’s What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day.” Two-day National Seminar on Harlem Renaissance: Its Impacts on American Literature, 20-21 October 2016, Department of English, Annamalai University, Tamilnadu. (with Raghavi Ravi Kasthuri).  

  • "Beyond On, Off, Zat: Superheroes in Graphics Cancerland." Three-day International Conference on Comics as Visual Literature. Dr. M.G.R Educational and Research Institute, Chennai. 2-4 September 2015.

  • "Life Writing: Trends and Perspectives." [Workshop Moderator]. Organized by the Department of English, Lady Doak College (Autonomous), Madurai, Tamilnadu.  09 September 2016.

  • "Holocaust, Memory and Comics: Reading Art Spiegelman's "Maus." Two day Conference on Mass Violence and Memory sponsored and organized by the Jindal School of International Affairs, Middle East Institute, New Delhi, SSRE and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC. New Delhi. 18 and 19 May 2016. 

  • "Scripting Lives and Drawing Wounds: Autobiography and Comics." [Plenary address] Dr. Dan Thottakkara Memorial National Seminar. Organized by the Department of English, Sacred Heart College (Autonomous), Cochin, Kerala.  28-29 March 2016.

  • "Horrors of Food: Eating Disorders, Gender Politics and Graphic Medicine." International Conference on The Culture of Food: Literature and Society. M.E.S. College of Arts and Commerce, Goa. 25 to 27 February, 2016.

  • “Social Networking Sites (SNS) Enabled Language Learning.” International Seminar on Humanistic Language and Literature Teaching at the Department of English, College of Engineering, Anna University, Chennai. 18 and 19 February, 2011. 

  • “Public and Private Spaces of Care in Stan Mack’s Janet and Me: An Illustrated Story of Love and Loss and Angelo Merendino’s The Battle We Didn’t Choose. International Conference on Exploring Moral Interfaces: Private Worlds and Public Systems, The English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), 07-09 October 2015. (with Raghavi Ravi Kasthuri)

  • "Fertile/Infertile Subjectivities, Contested Masculinities and Indian Cinema." International Conference on Language, Literature and Culture (ICLLC), Institute of  Advanced Studies in English,  Pune. 15-17 December, 2014.  

  • “Performing AIDS in Literature: Opening Questions.” International Conference on English Literary Studies: Current Trends and Concurrent Challenges organized by Thassim Beevi Abdul Kader College for Women in collaboration with ELTAI,   Ramanathapuram. 21 – 23 September, 2012.

  • “Plotting the Crisis: HIV/AIDS and African American Response.” International Conference on Recent Trends in Literature: A Global Perspective organized by Department of Languages, Garden City College, Bangalore.  27-28 January 2012. (with Gokulnath. A).

  •  “Online Communities, Soc