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Discipline: Digital Humanities
Pillar / Cluster: Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences


Sayan Bhattacharyya is currently Lecturer in the Humanities at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and 2018-19 Digital Studies Fellow at Rutgers University, Camden, USA. His research focuses on digital humanities and on postcolonial studies.

Sayan Bhattacharyya’s current interests are in how humanists can utilize the large bodies of textual data made available as a result of digitization taking place around the world. His teaching interests are in literature, digital humanities, speculative fiction and literary theory and philosophy. He has been exploring how capturing phenomenological properties of text — such as degrees of descriptiveness and narrativity — through quantitative metrics can help inform comparative interpretive work in the humanities. This work covers epistemological questions in the digital humanities as well as practical matters of text processing and analysis by algorithmic means. His broad interests encompass both global digital humanities and literary/cultural theory as it has developed since the postcolonial turn, as well as the connections between these fields.

Prior to coming to SUTD, he was Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Price Lab for Digital Humanities, University of Pennsylvania, and CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Selected Publications

  • Bhattacharyya, Sayan. “Revolution and race in C.L.R. James’s writing with text analysis tools”. In Digital  Black Atlantic (Debates in the Digital Humanities series), Kelly Joseph and Roopika Risam (Eds.), University of Minnesota Press, 2019.  [Forthcoming]
  • Bhattacharyya, Sayan. “Dialectical Play: The Theatrical Imagination of C.L.R. James.” In The Black Jacobins Revisited: Rewriting History,.Rachel Douglas (Ed.). (C. L. R. James Archive Series). Durham: Duke University Press. 2019. (Forthcoming.)
  • Bhattacharyya, Sayan. “Epistemically Produced Invisibility.” In Global Debates in the Digital Humanities. Domenico Fiormonte, Sukanta Chaudhuri, and Paola Ricaurte (Eds.). Part of the Debates in the Digital Humanities series. (Series editors: Matthew K. Gold and Lauren F. Klein). University of Minnesota Press. 2018.  [Forthcoming]
  • Downie, J. Stephen, Sayan Bhattacharyya, Eleanor Dickson, Francesca Giannetti, and Peter Organisciak.The HathiTrust Digital Library’s Potential for Musicology Research.” International Journal on Digital Libraries. [Forthcoming.]
  • Bhattacharyya, Sayan. “Words in a World of Scaling-up: Epistemic Normativity and Text as Data”, Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry, Vol 4, No 1, 2017.
  • Bhattacharyya, Sayan, Peter Organisciak and J. Stephen Downie. “A fragmentizing interface to a large corpus of digitized text: (Post)humanism and non-consumptive reading via features”.  Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, special issue on ‘The Future of Reading’, March 2015. [Peer-reviewed journal article.]
  • Bhattacharyya, Sayan. “A World-Oriented Disposition: Rabindranath Tagore’s Political Imaginary in the Play Raktakarabi (Red Oleanders)”. In The Politics and Reception of Rabindranath Tagore’s Drama, Arnab Bhattacharya and Mala Renganathan (Eds.) London: Routledge. 2015.


  • Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • M.S., Computer Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • M.S.I., Information Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • B.E., Electronics Engineering, Jadavpur University


  • Digital Humanities
  • Literary theory
  • Cultural studies
  • Computational analysis of text
  • South Asian Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies


  • 2018-19 Digital Studies Fellowship, Rutgers University, Camden
  • 2018 Fellow, Institute for Critical Social Inquiry, The New School for Social Research
  • 2016-18 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Price Lab for Digital Humanities, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2013-2016 CLIR Fellowship, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign