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Javed Majeed

Professor Javed Majeed

Professor Javed MajeedProfessor of English and Comparative Literature


Tel +44 (0)20 7848 2756

Address Department of English and Comparative Literature
King's College London
Room 6.14 Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway
London WC2B 6LE



From 1981 to 1984 Professor Javed Majeed read English Language and Literature at Magdalen College Oxford, in which he was awarded a First.  After completing his DPhil at Oxford, he went on to a Smuts Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellowship in English Literature at Churchill College Cambridge from 1988 to 1992.  The interdisciplinary combination of Area Studies with English Literature continues to inform his teaching and research. After teaching Comparative Literature and Urdu at SOAS, he moved to the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London, in 1999, where he became Professor of Postcolonial Studies in 2007.  He joined King’s College London as Professor of English and Comparative Literature in January 2012.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Colonial and postcolonial literatures in English
  • Intellectual and cultural history of British India and postcolonial South Asia
  • Religion, colonialism and postcolonialism
  • Urdu literature, especially poetry
  • Linguistic ideas, language and translation in colonial and postcolonial South Asia

Javed Majeed is currently writing a book on the Linguistic Survey of India, conducted by the colonial state under the supervision of Sir George Abraham Grierson (1851-1941) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  In this ongoing work, he addresses the themes of the territorialisation of India as a linguistic entity, the presence of ‘native’ voices in the colonial archive, the role of uncertainty in the creation of linguistic knowledge and classification, and the complex relationships between imperial ideologies and the production of knowledge in British India.  He has an additional research interest in the cultural politics of lexicography in English, Urdu and Persian in 19th century India, on which he has a number of forthcoming essays in edited books and one published article.

Javed is interested in supervising PhD topics in any of his areas of interest.

For more details, please see his full research profile.

Selected publications
  • Muhammad Iqbal: Islam, Aesthetics and Postcolonialism (London, New York and Delhi: Routledge, 2008).
  • Autobiography, Travel and Postnational Identity. Nehru, Gandhi and Iqbal (Basingstoke UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
  • Ungoverned Imaginings. James Mill’s The History of British India and Orientalism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992).
For a complete list of publications, please see Javed's full research profile.

Professor Majeed’s teaching on the English and Comparative Literature programmes focuses on his areas of interests as outlined above.  He also teaches courses jointly with other members of staff in the Department of Comparative Literature, such as a module on ideas of the nation with a twin focus on India and Australia.  He is planning a number of English and Comparative Literature courses on a range of topics.

Expertise and public engagement

Media appearances

Professor Javed Majeed was one of the main speakers in a programme called Man versus God on Muhammad Iqbal’s Shikva and Javab-e Shikva, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on March 27th 2011 (repeated April 2nd).  He was also one of two participants in a discussion of Arundhati Roy’s Listening to Grasshoppers. Field Notes on Democracy (2009) on ‘Epilogue’, Press Television, London, in May 2010.

Presentations outside the academy

Javed Majeed spoke on Faiz Ahmed Faiz as a world poet, at Poet in the City (Faiz Centenary Celebrations) King’s Place, London in January 2011.  In June 2009 he also delivered a lecture on Iqbal at the Mahfil Ali Community Centre in North Harrow in London.


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