Anuradha (Anu) Needham

  • Donald R. Longman Professor of English, Cinema Studies, and Comparative Literature


  • BA, University of Delhi, 1971
  • MA, University of Delhi, 1973
  • PhD, Pennsylvania State University, 1980


Anuradha Dingwaney Needham is author of New Indian Cinema in Postcolonial India: The Cultural Work of Shyam Benegal’s Films (2013) and Using the Master’s Tools: Resistance and the Literature of the African and South Asian Diasporas (2000). She is editor, with Carol Maier, of Between Languages and Cultures: Translation and Cross-cultural Texts (1996) and more recently, with Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, of The Crisis of Secularism in India (2007). She has published on Anglophone literatures of the “Third World,” including the work of writers like Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy, on cross-cultural and interdisciplinary pedagogies, and on Feminist theory and practice.

She is the recipient of many national and international fellowships including those from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright-Nehru Award for Academic & Professional Excellence.

Her teaching interests include: Anglophone Third World literatures; British Romanticism; post-structuralist theory, post-colonial theory, feminist theory, and more recently, Indian cinema.


Anuradha Needham Gives Presentations

April 16, 2019

Longman Professor of English and Cinema Studies Anuradha Dingwaney Needham recently presented a talk titled "Sites of (Affective) Engagement: Song, Melodrama, and the Making of a Female Subjectivity" for the seminar on Indian Melodrama: Transnational Mobilities, Cross-Pollinations and Cinematic Re-inventions at the American Comparative Literature Meeting (March 7-10, 2019). Needham gave an invited lecture for the India Studies Program at University of Houston titled "Bibi aur Tawaif (Wife and Courtesan): Conformity and Defiance in Representations of Female Agency in Sahib, Bibi Aur Ghulam/Master, Wife, and Servant (1962; dir. Abrar Alvi)." At University of Houston, she also lead the discussion for a round-table on "Women in Post-Millennial Indian Cinema." Both took place on April 8, 2019. 

Anuradha Dingwaney Needham Receives Fellowship

February 21, 2017

Anuradha Dingwaney Needham, the Donald R. Longman professor of English and cinema studies, has received a Fulbright-Nehru fellowship to conduct research in India on a collaborative project with well-known feminist scholar Rajeswari Sunder Rajan. Together, they are working on a monograph provisionally entitled Sighting/Citing/Siting Women in Postcolonial Indian Cinema: Feminist Readings. This project examines two periods, 1945-1965 and 1970-1990, in Indian cinema that witnessed a slew of women-centered films (i.e., films centering women as protagonists and/or engaging with issues related to women’s status and roles in society). The fellowship will enable Needham to examine archival materials at the Indian National Film Archives and meet with her collaborator and Indian film scholars. 

Elle Magazine Recognizes Courses by Margaret Kamitsuka, Anu Needham

July 7, 2016

The courses Theologies of Abortion (taught by Margaret Kamitsuka, Francis W. and Lydia L. Davis associate professor of religion) and Women In/and Bollywood (taught by Anu Needham, Donald R. Longman professor of English) were included in the Elle magazine article “63 College Classes That Give Us Hope for the Next Generation.” See the article on this web page.

Anuradha Dingwaney Needham Publishes in South Asian Review

February 12, 2014

Longman Professor of English Anuradha Dingwaney Needham's essay “’Performing Women’ and the Gendered National Imagination: An Exploration of Shyam Benegal's Sardari Begum,” has appeared in a special issue of South Asian Review/ (34.3 [Winter 2013/14] focusing on gender and sexuality in South Asian literature and culture. The article draws upon a chapter from Needham’s recently published book New Indian Cinema in Post-Independence India.


Those Who Can, Teach

May 20, 2020

Rania Adamczyk ’20 plots a course for India through a Fulbright teaching assistantship.

English Professors Receive GLCA Grant

October 9, 2015

Professors Anuradha Dingwaney Needham, Danielle Skeehan, and Harrod Suarez—along with three faculty from Kenyon College—have received a $47,520 grant from the Great Lakes Colleges Association under its Expanding Collaboration Initiative, which is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.