Skip to main content
School of Business and Management

Dr Amit Rai


Reader in Creative Industries and Arts Organisation; Programme Director for MA Creative Industries and Arts Organisations

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2700
Room Number: Room 3.28b, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus
Office Hours: Friday 9.00 am - 11.00 am




Amit S. Rai was born in Bhopal, India in 1968 (14 years later Bhopal would become the site for one of the worst industrial 'accidents' in the history of capitalist production, the Union Carbide disaster). In 1971 his family moved to Providence, Rhode Island, and over the course of 40 years split between the two coasts of the USA, he became Asian American and bookish. After graduating magna cum laude in English Literature and Theology from Georgetown University, Dr. Rai received his MA and PhD from Stanford University in 1995 in Modern Thought and Literature, with a focus on postcolonial theory, Victorian studies, cultural anthropology and South Asian studies. He has taught at Stanford, the New School for Social Research, Lorton Maximum Security Prison, Georgetown University, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai), the Florida State University, and, since 2010, at Queen Mary, University of London.


He is the author of Rule of Sympathy: Race, Sentiment, and Power, 1750-1860 (Palgrave 2002) and Untimely Bollywood: Globalisation and India’s New Media Assemblage (Duke University Press/Oxford University Press, 2009). He has written numerous articles for journals in North America, Europe, and South Asia; most recently “This is not ‘interesting’ research: Authentically Co-Creating Participatory Action Research in UK’s Post-Covid Culture Industries,” co-authored with Will Essilfie, was published in Conjunctions: Transdisciplinary Journal of Cultural Participation, October 2023; and “Decolonising Attention in and through Live Art” in Contemporary Theatre Review, forthcoming in September 2024. “Jugaad Time: Ecologies of Everyday Hacking in India,” was published by Duke University Press in February, 2019. He is currently at work on a monograph on attention, value, and racial capitalism. 



  • BUS212: Ethics and Business


Research Interests:

Dr Amit Rai is the author of Rule of Sympathy: Race, Sentiment, and Power (Palgrave: 2002); Untimely Bollywood: Globalisation and India’s New Media Assemblage (Duke University Press/Oxford University Press, 2009); and Jugaad Time: Ecologies of Everyday Hacking in India (Duke University Press, 2019). He has written on creativity in frugal innovation, attention in the creative economy, Indian masculinity in film, anthropologies of monstrosity, sympathy and colonial governmentality, and the swerves within and against media ecologies. His study of new media in India, entitled Untimely Bollywood: Globalization and India’s New Media Assemblage was published by Duke University Press in May of 2009. His blog on the history of media assemblages and the politics of perception can be found at He was awarded a Collaboration Grant from QMUL to develop action research with the Live Art Development Agency, the Department of Drama (Nick Ridout), Arts Admin (Cecilia Wee), and Gini Simpson (independent Arts organiser and strategist) and Orlagh Woods (independent Arts organiser and strategist), of which more can be found here:

Centre and Group Membership:



  • Rai, A. (2015) “The affect of Jugaad: Frugal innovation and postcolonial practice in India’s mobile phone ecology” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.


Peer reviewed articles

  • “Composite Photographs,” forthcoming in South Asian Popular Culture.
  • “Truths of Times to Come: Deleuze, Media, India,” under consideration at Deleuze Studies.
  • “Monstrous Mutations, Sympathetic Monsters” in Third Text (UK), Vol. 21, Issue 6, November, 2007, 745–759.
  • “’Every Citizen is a Cop without the Uniform’”: The Populist Outside in Bollywood’s New Angry Young Man Genre,” in Interventions (Vol. 8, no. 2), Summer 2006, 193-227.
  • “The Future is a Monster,” in Camera Obscura, 61 (vol. 21, no. 1), Spring 2006, 58-63.
  • “Haptic Bollywood,” (with Rajinder K. Dudrah, Senior Lecturer, Department of Theatre, University of Manchester) in New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film, 3:3 (2005), 143-158.
  • “The Promise of Monsters: Terrorism, Monstrosity, and Biopolitics,” in International Studies in Philosophy, 37:2 (2005), 81-92.
  • “Of Monsters and Terror-Tali-Tubbies: Biopower, Terrorism and Excess in Genealogies of Monstrosity,” in Cultural Studies, 18:4 (2004) 538-570.           
  • “The Remaking of a Model Minority: Perverse Projectiles Under the Spectre of Counter-Terrorism,” (with Jasbir Puar, Associate Professor, Women’s Studies, Rutgers University) in Social Text 80 (2004), 75-104.
  • “‘Start Narrative Here’: Excess and the Space of History in Asian Diasporic Films” in South Asian Popular Culture (UK), 1:1 (2003), 13-32.
  • “The Black Spectre of Sympathy: The Occult Relation in Jane Eyre,” in Literature, Interpretation, Theory, 14 (3), 2003, 243-268.
  •  “Terrorist, Monster, Fag: The War on Terrorism and the Production of Docile Patriots,” (with Jasbir Puar, Associate Professor, Women’s Studies, Rutgers University) in Social Text, Fall (72), Vol. 20, no. 3, 2002, 117-148.
  • “`Thus Spake the Subaltern . . . ' Post-colonial Criticism and the Scene of Desire” in Discourse (USA), vol. 19, no. 2, 1997.
  • Rpt. in Special Collection on The Psychoanalysis of Race, edited by Chris Lane, published by Columbia University Press, 1998, 91-119.
  • “India On-Line: Electronic Bulletin Boards and the Construction of a Diasporic Hindu Identity” in Diaspora (USA), vol. 4, no. 1, 1995.
  • “An American Raj in Filmistan: Images of Elvis in Indian Films” in Screen (UK), vol. 35, no.1, Spring, 1994.
  • “A Lying Virtue: Ruskin, Gandhi and the Simplicity of Use Value” in South Asia Research (UK), vol. 13, no. 2, November 1993.



  • Rule of Sympathy: Sentiment, Race, and Power, 1760 - 1840, Palgrave-St. Martins Press, 2002.
  • Untimely Bollywood: Globalization and India’s New Media Assemblage, Duke University Press, 2009.



Current Doctoral Students:

2nd Supervisor

  • Maher Anjum,
  • Monica Majumdar, 'How do skin-lightening advertisements work in relation to the broader system of meanings?' 
  • Chandres Tejura, 'Is Accounting education/training overly focused on profit and wealth maximisation at the expense of ethics, if so, what are the ramifications for society?'

PhD Supervision Completions:

  • Bue Rubner-Hansen, 'Money between the economy, politics and the state - A critique of money as the nexus of contemporary society as a whole, and the institutions, practices and theories that uphold money in its current form.' Awarded 2013
Back to top