Vinod Balakrishnan


Vinod Balakrishnan is a Professor in English in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli. He is a practising poet, motivational speaker, reviewer of books and a yoga enthusiast. He earned his Ph.D in “Popular Fiction and the Use of History” from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala. He was at the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University, New York in 2008. He is a recipient of a Bronze Medal for poetry by the National Library of Poetry, USA. His poems have been archived and widely anthologized. He has coauthored The Language of Humour and its Transmutation in Indian Political Cartoons (2023), Somaesthetics and Yogasutra (2020)  and Politickle Lines: Conversations with Indian Political Cartoonists (2018) . He is also the General Editor of the 12-Volume Encyclopaedia of World Mythology (2013) in Malayalam. His articles have appeared in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, JALA: The Journal of Asian Linguistic Anthropology, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Visual Communication Quarterly, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, HUMOR, Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies, European Journal of Humour Research, Partial Answers,  The Journal of Creative Communications, Journal of Dharma, Pragmatism Today, Archiv Orientalni, a/b:auto/biography studies, Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities,  South Asian Review, Journal of Somaesthetics, LitCrit, Indian Literature, CIEFL Bulletin, Journal of English Language Teaching, IUP Journal of English Studies and Indian Express. His research interests include Somaesthetics, Politics of Representation, Film Studies, Life Writing and Narratives about India. Currently, he is working on “The Role of the Public Intellectual and the Future of the Humanities”.

Office:  +91-431- 2503694
Fax: +91-431-2500133

Awards and Honors

  • 1. Third Prize Bronze Medal-North Atlantic Open Poetry Competition-Conducted by the National Library of Poetry, Maryland, USA.
  • 2. Editor's Choice Award-For Outstanding Achievement in Poetry-Presented by and the International Library of Poetry-2000.
  • 3. Editor's Choice Award-For Outstanding Achievement in Poetry-Presented by and the International Library of Poetry-1997.
  • 4. The Fr. Pinto Medal-For Outstanding Academic Performance (for both the years) in English Literature at the Postgraduate Level-St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli-1991.
  • 5. The Fr. George Thottungal Medal-For Outstanding Academic Performance in II MA English Literature-St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli-1991.
  • 6. The S. Ganapathy Medal-For Outstanding Academic Performance (For all the three years)in English Literature at the Undergraduate Level-St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli-1989.
  • 7. The Fr. Quinn Medal-For Outstanding Academic Performance in III BA English Literature-St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli-1989.
  • 8. The Fr. George Thottungal Medal-For Outstanding Academic Performance in II BA English Literature-St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli-1988.
  • 9. Special Award- Medal for Cricket-Member of the St. Joseph's College Cricket Team from 1985-1988.
  • 10. Special Award- Medal for Debate-Member of the Quiz and Debating team of St. Joseph's College, Tiruchirapalli from 1985-1988.
  • 11. OUTSTANDING COLLEGE STUDENT AWARD-1988-Presented by the Trichy JAYCEES.
  • 12. OUTSTANDING SCHOOL STUDENT AWARD-1984-Presented by the Rocktown JAYCEES.

Workshops Attended

  • 21st-23rd December, 2008- In-House Program on “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Training Program” at NIT, Trichy.
  • 27th and 28th February, 2009- National Workshop on Technical Communication at IIITM-K.

Keynote Address/ Invited Lectures

  • 11-11-2008 – National Seminar on Essential Employability Skills at the Centre for Academic Excellence, Anna University, Tiruchirappalli- Spoke on “Language Learning and Staying Motivated.”
  • 18-8-2009- “Books that can Change your life”. – Talk at the Institution of Engineers (India), Tiruchirappalli Local Centre, at BHEL, Tiruchirappalli.
  • 09-9-2009- Lecture on “Circumstances Leading to Foucault’s fascination for the Marginalized.” To Research Scholars at Anna University, Chennai.
  • 28-10-2009- “Milestones in the Discourse on Indian English.” At the National Seminar on Promotion of Standard English in Teaching- at ULTRA College of Engineering and Technology for Women , Madurai.
  • 5-12-2009- “Reading for Empowerment: Discovering spaces for Improvement.” National Seminar on English Language Teaching-at Oxford Engineering College, Tiruchirappalli.

Resource Person

  • 24-1-2009- Canada-India Institutional Co-operation Project: Workshop for Teachers on Multimedia Language Lab and Communication Skills- Spoke on “Language Acquisition through Newspapers.”
  • 30-1-2009, 18-6-2009 and 13-8-2009- Handled sessions at TNPL, Karur for Engineers on “Business Communication.”
  • 31-7-2009- At the UGC-Academic Staff College, University of Kerala, Trivandrum- spoke on “Approaches to Foucault.”
  • 15-8-2009- Two-Week Program on Soft Skills and Personality Development at Alagappa Chettiar College of Engineering and Technology, Karaikudi- Spoke on “Attitudes to Learning English.”
  • 18-9-2009- Quiz Master at the Inter-University Literary Festival- Symphony- at Gandhigram Rural University, Dindigul.

Poems published (National and International)

By the

  • “As I See It.”
  • “Lecture Routines.”
  • “The Way it is With Journeys.”
  • “So Much Darkness Lets Us See.”

Poems published by Host Publications, INC. Austin,Texas.

  • “History: VERILY, verily.”
  • “Shantiniketan.”

Poems published by the Poetry Society of India

  • “Round and Round the Maypole.”
  • “Virgin Syllables.”
  • “Paper Boats in the Rain.”

Poems published by Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademy)

  • Red Cross Mind

Poems published in Chandrabhaga

  • Thoughts before Television

Books Authored/Co-authored/Edited

  • Encyclopaedia of World Mythology. 12-Volumes. DC Books. Kottayam. 2013.
  • Indian Classics in English Translation. Textbook for the Postgraduate program of Alagappa University, Karaikudi, Tamilnadu.
  • Literary Theory. Co-authored the Textbook with S.Lakshmi for the Postgraduate program of Alagappa University, Karaikudi, Tamilnadu.

Books Chapters

  • “Thinking through the Body of Maya: Somaesthetic Frames in Mira Nair's KAMASUTRA.” (Co-authored with Swathi Elizabeth Kurian) Aesthetic Experience and Somaesthetics. Edited by Richard Shusterman. Leiden: Brill, 2018. 197-216.
  • “How Conceptual Metaphors make Political Iconography: A Focus Group Discussion on the Psychological Aspects.”(Co-authored with Vishaka Venkat) Applied Psychology Readings. Edited by Man-Tak Leung and Lee-Ming Tan. Singapore: Springer, 2018. 325-344.
  • “When Humour Turns Violent: Theorizing the Affect of Political Cartoons.”(Co-authored with Vishaka Venkat) Creativity and Cognition in Art and Design. Edited by Aneesha Sharma and Jamuna Rajeshwaran. New Delhi: Bloomsbury, 2017. 3-15.
  • “Situations of Incomprehension: Arun Joshi's THE STRANGE CASE OF BILLY BISWAS.” Critical Responses to Commonwealth Literature. Edited by K. Balachandran. Delhi: Authorpress, 2010. 163-175.
  • “Drama as a Criticism of Life: Hayavadana.” The Plays of Girish Karnad: Critical Perspectives. Edited by Jayadipsingh Dodiya. New Delhi: Prestige, 1999. 218-225.

Seminal Publications:

Selected Conferences


  • 1. The Sahapedia-UNESCO Fellowship-2017-2018-Documentary on BOMMALATTAM (Puppetry).
  • 2. The Associateship of the UGC Inter-University Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (2016-).
  • 3. UGC-JRFellowship-1991- English Sl No. 483.

Summer School

2008: The School of Criticism and Theory (SCT) at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA.

Lectures/Talks on YouTube

Courses Taught

External Expert

    • “Location of History in a Spiritual Eco-System: Looking at Madhuram Gayati by O V Vijayan.” Indian Literature. March-April 2009, 180-185.
    • “Looking at the Woman in the Airport Novel.” CIEFL Bulletin. Vol.12. Nos. 1 and 2. Dec 2002. 71-81.
    • “A Time for Words: Further Thoughts on Newswatch.” The Journal of English Language Teaching (India). Vol XLV. No. 5. Sep-Oct 2007. 38-42.
    • 07-2-2009- National Seminar on Indian Drama in English- 7-8th Feb at Gandhigram Rural University, Dindigul. Presented paper titled: “Who Possesses the Body of Harvest?”
    • 25-3-2009- National Seminar on English and Communication Skills for Employability- 25-26th March at Department of Enlgish, College of Engineering, Anna University, Chennai. Presented paper titled: “Putting News to Use: The Newspaper as a Resource for Second Language Learning.”
    • 30-12-2009- International Seminar on “The Novel in the Twenty-First Century: Text and Context” organized by the Department of English and Modern European Languages, University of Allahabad, Allahabad- 29th Nov-1st Dec, 2009- Presented paper titled: “Bombay as Image, the Imagined and the Imaginary in Q and A and Sacred Games.”
    • National Seminar on Indian Drama in English at Gandhigram Rural University, Tamilnadu. 7-8 Feb, 2008. Paper Titled: “Appropriating the Body: Performing Harvest.”
    • National Conference on Innovations in English Language Teaching: IELT-2007 at Karunya University, Coimbatore. 27 Oct, 2007. Paper Titled: “Is there a Textbook in the Classroom?”
    • State –Level Seminar on Value Education at Gandhigram Rural University, Gandhigram. 30-31 Mar, 2002. Paper Titled: “Re-visiting the Hindu: The Emotive Content.”
    • National Seminar on The Awakening of the Marginalized in the Post-Colonial Indian Milieu at Auxilium College, Vellore. 23-25 Jan 2003. Paper Titled: “From Reading the Symbolic to an Acceptance of the Symbol.”
    • UGC National Seminar on Human Rights Education at National College, Tiruchirappalli. 25-26 Mar, 2000. Paper Titled: “Designing the Syllabus for Human Rights Education in the Indian Secular Context.”
    • Technical Communication (Undergraduate)
    • Professional Communication (Undergraduate)
    • Corporate Communication (Graduate)
    • Creative Writing through Literature
    • 08-4-2008- Board of Studies for BA and MA at Tasim Beevi Abdul Khader College for Women, Keelakarai
    • 18-19th September, 2009- Academic Inspection for Undergraduate and Postgraduate program in English at Karunya University, Coimbatore