Assistant Professor Nagesh Rao, Phd. was denied tenure and reappointment by the English Department. I took Multicultural Literature LIT217 in Spring 2007, and I am currently taking his Senior Seminar in Research and Theory; Literature and Politics in Post Colonial Africa.
I have found him to be one of the best, if not the best, teacher in any department in which I have taken courses. He uses student questions and disagreements in order to develop the students’ ideas. For example, a student raised the question “What is modernity and what does it mean to be modern in a postcolonial context?” and Rao used that question as the basis for a class-long lecture and discussion.
He challenges and encourages his students to take risks in their writing and thinking. In February, he recommended and encouraged me to attend a symposium at Rutgers University on modernism and postcolonial studies. This symposium was an academic symposium where papers were read and helped me to look at the different arguments in postcolonial and modernist literary studies.
The passion and dedication that he puts into his classes and material is inspiring and contagious to his students. Losing Rao would be a great loss to the English department because he is an amazing teacher and academic.