Professor Rashna Singh Set to Retire After Years of Teaching Diverse Classes

Professor Rashna Singh is set to retire at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year. Born and raised in India, Singh obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Calcutta before coming to the United States, where she received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Over the course of her career, Singh has published two books: “The Imperishable Empire: British Fiction on India” and “Goodly is Our Heritage: Children’s Literature, Empire, and the Certitude of Character.” Additionally, she has presented conference papers, written numerous scholarly articles, contributed chapters to numerous publications, and been instrumental in bringing distinguished speakers to Colorado College.

Rashna Singh. Photo by Beau Carlborg

Although she has taught at CC for more than a decade, Singh’s first relationship with the college was not as a professor, but rather as a parent. Her son and daughter graduated from CC in 2002 and 2005 respectively. Just as her daughter finished her career at CC, Singh began her own. Moving to Colorado to accommodate her husband’s job, Singh started teaching several blocks and was later asked to be a full-time visiting English Professor at the college in fall of 2004. A definite change in pace from the traditional semester system, Singh embraced the challenge of CC’s Block Plan. “It’s exhausting and intense for both the professor and students, but you get a lot done,” said Singh. “I like that our discussion doesn’t get cut short.” During her time at CC, Singh has taught blocks on post-colonial literature. Some of her courses include Hearts of Darkness: The Conrad Variations, Literature of the Indian Ocean World, African Literatures, Asian American Women Writers, and The Empire Writes Back: Postcolonial Literature.

Reflecting on her time teaching at CC, Singh notes that although the college has gotten more selective, the caliber of CC students has never faded and has been by far her favorite part of CC. “Students are bright, curious, interested, and respectful,” said Singh. “[CC] has allowed me to teach from my interests and strengths and find students who are also interested and appreciative of my diverse subject matter.” On a more personal note, Singh credits student relationships and recognition as a key factor in helping her recognize the impact she has had throughout her career. Citing student emails, comments, and conversations throughout the years, Singh said, “It’s gratifying to find that I’ve had the impact I have on students.”

As for what’s next, Singh and her husband plan to remain in Colorado Springs for the foreseeable future, and possibly move back to Massachusetts in a few years. She also intends to keep writing creative nonfiction, starting with a book project based on her chapter “In ‘the Vortex of the Expulsion:’ The Search for an Asian African Imagery” in The Critical Imagination in African Literature. Despite approaching official retirement and impending plans, Professor Singh has not ruled out the possibility of returning to CC to teach a block down the road.

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