Mohini Gupta


Mansfield College

Course and Supervisors:

DPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, supervised by Prof Imre Bangha and Prof Nayanika Mathur


Educational Background:

As a DPhil student at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, I aim to conduct research in the field of South Asian language politics and translation, specifically the language politics between English and Indian languages, and the relationship of the urban youth with the languages they speak. I have been investigating this topic as a student of literature and culture studies, independent researcher, literary translator, writer, and higher education professional over the last decade.

My research at Oxford will push my project further to apply the lenses of postcolonialism, sociolinguistics, as well as anthropology to understand the reasons behind the attitudes of the urban youth towards its mother tongue, within the frameworks of ‘postcolonial shame’ and language-based humiliation. The faculty at Oxford will enable me to broaden the scope of my research through their expertise in these disciplines.


  • MA Cultural Studies, SOAS University of London (2014)
  • BA (Hons) English, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi (2012)


  • Charles Wallace India Trust - Literature Across Frontiers Fellowship in Creative Writing and Translation (2017)
  • Sarai Research Fellow, hosted by Sarai - Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) and SOAS, University of London (2015)
  • Dhvani Fellow at the Sangam House International Writers' Residency (2015)
  • Young India Fellowship Programme, Ashoka University (2013)

Work Experience:

  • Junior Dean, Somerville College (2021-Present)
  • Founder, Mother Tongue Twisters, a digital multilingual platform with curated, contemporary Indian language poetry for young readers (2020)
  • Former Assistant Director, Academics and Dean’s Office, Vedica Scholars Programme for Women (2015-2020)
  • Guest Lecturer in Translation at Ashoka University, SOAS University of London, and Aberystwyth University
  • Former editorial intern at Hurst Publishers (London)
  • Former editorial intern at Caravan Magazine (New Delhi)


English, Hindi, Urdu, Welsh, Spanish

Research Interests:

My research work is centred around the politics of language in South Asia, with a focus on sociolinguistic hierarchies between English and Indian languages. I am keen to look at language pedagogy in primary schools, to understand how it impacts attitudes of the urban Indian youth towards the language(s) they speak. My interest lies at the intersection of language, society, and contemporary tropes of nationalism in the country.

Recent Publications and/or Conferences:

  • Rethinking Education in the Context of Post-Pandemic South Asia: Challenges and Possibilities (May 2023; Routledge UK) edited by Karen Valentin, Uma Pradhan and Mohini Gupta (link)
  • The Hindu Bard: The Poetry of Dorothy Bonarjee (Feb 2023; Honno Press) edited by Mohini Gupta and Andrew Whitehead (link)
  • 'The Burden of Textbooks: Language Socialisation in India and Wales' published in the fourth volume of NISSEM’s Global Briefs 'Doing More With Language Teaching' (June 2023) (link)
  • Presented a paper '“Our Land, Our Life": The Value of an Alternate Educational Initiative in Uttarakhand' at the Himalayan Studies Conference 6 at the University of Toronto, organised by the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) and supported by the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (Oct 2022)
  • Roundtable panelist at the 'Metaphors in Translation' conference held at St Ann's College, University of Oxford, hosted by the Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Centre (Feb 2022)
  • Co-Convenor, 'Education in Crisis: Re-thinking Education in (Post)-Pandemic South Asia' Conference hosted by Education South Asia, based at the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford (Jul 2021)
  • 'Hinglish Hierarchies: The two-way process of humiliation on TV' chapter published in Hinglish Live: Language Mixing Across Media edited by Francesca Orsini and Ravikant (Orient BlackSwan; 2021)
  • 'The Implications of "Mother Tongue Education": India’s National Education Policy 2020' published as a ThinkPiece by Education South Asia, University of Oxford (Feb 2021) (link)
  • Speaker and Delegate at the 'Translating Poetries Symposium', hosted by SOAS University of London and Poetry Translation Centre, UK (2019)
  • Regular speaker and moderator at the Jaipur Literature Festival (India and UK), Mountain Echoes Festival (Bhutan) and the Asian Festival for Children's Content (Singapore)
  • Regular contributor on language, literature, and translation in The Caravan Magazine,, The, Huffington Post and Asymptote

Mohini Gupta