PhD Creative Writing Sindhu Rajasekaran, India

Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I was born in Madras, India. I’ve lived in various cities and countries over the years. Called Vancouver, Edinburgh, Delhi and Bombay home in the past, before moving here to Glasgow. So I’m something of a nomad. I yearn for adventure. Love exploring new cultures. My educational background is pretty nomadic too – I like to jump disciplines. Trained as an electronics and communications engineer, I decided to become a writer and got a master’s in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh.

What initially sparked your interest in Creative Writing?
I’ve always loved to read. I suppose that’s what led me to writing.

Tell us about the nature of your research...
I’m researching queer South Asian pasts. Being queer myself, I was curious about queer histories in and around India. And I was fascinated to find out that the region was largely queer-inclusive before the British criminalized it in 1861. In postcolonial times, the moral and sexual panics of the colonial period continued. I’m interested in retelling the stories of the past through a queer feminist decolonial lens, and examine how things changed in the colonial moment and what that means.

What do you like about the Creative Writing programme?
In a PhD, which can be a very isolating experience, it’s a boon to have supervisors who understand your work and are encouraging. My supervisors Dr. Rodge Glass and Dr. Churnjeet Mahn are absolutely amazing. They inspire, motivate, and give me insightful feedback that helps me grow as a writer and researcher. Plus, I love the flexibility that the CW programme offers, letting me explore in my own time and space.

What's the Strathclyde research community?
Honestly, I love that the Strathclyde research community is generous when it comes to sharing knowledge. People are always happy to help and suggest/advice on where to find what you’re looking for.

What can you tell us about your published work?
I’m the author of three books. My debut novel, Kaleidoscopic Reflections, was nominated for the Crossword Book Award. My second was a collection of short stories titled So I Let It Be – which revolved around female sexuality. My latest, Smashing the Patriarchy, is a book of non-fiction and examines contemporary feminisms in India.

I’ve also been published in anthologies in the UK and Canada. Plus my creative non-fiction, short stories and poetry have appeared in several magazines, including: The Room, Asia Literary Review, Kitaab, The Selkie, Gaysi, The Swaddle, The Lipstick Politico and Elsewhere Lit.

What are you most proud of that you have published, so far?
I suppose everything. Every little piece of prose or poetry matters. The joy that I get to see it published, be it as a book or online, is immeasurable.

Given your experiences as a writer already, what made you want to apply for a PhD at Strathclyde?
I had a long conversation with Dr. Rodge Glass and Dr. Churnjeet Mahn during the application process. I felt they understood my work and that’s very important in a PhD – to find the right supevisors. So, the main reason I chose Strathclyde was because I wanted their guidance.

How did the funding opportunities available at Strathclyde support you in your studies at Strathclyde?
I’m a recipient of the Dean’s Global Research Studentship Award. In my experience, I’ve found that Strathclyde has several funding opportunities.

What would be your advice for people considering a PhD?
To take your time to find a topic that you’re really passionate about – because you will be spending a lot of hours thinking about it!

What are your career ambitions for the future?
I’d like to be able to teach. I love sharing my knowledge of creative writing and helping other writers grow in their craft. I hope to do more of that in the near future.