Tilottama Rajan is Distinguished University Professor and a former Canada Research Chair (2001-21) at the University of Western Ontario, where she has also served as Director of the Centre for Theory and Criticism (1995-2001, 2011-15). Before coming to Western in 1990, she taught at Queen's University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a Visiting Professor at the University of California San-Diego. She has also been Visiting Northrop Frye Professor of Theory and the University of Toronto, and has held fellowships at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), Ludwig Maximilien’s Universitat (Munich) and the Centre for Research in the arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (Cambridge). In 1992 she founded the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, which she chaired until 2020.

The author of four books and over a hundred articles, she has also edited or coedited seven book collections and two scholarly editions. Her research and supervisory interests include British Romantic literature (the 1790s novel, Mary Shelley, and the now marginalized "Big Six"), Romantic philosophy and science, and Contemporary Theory (particularly deconstruction and phenomenology) in its interrelations with Romantic and Idealist philosophy.

She is now working on encyclopedic organisations of knowledge from the Romantic period to deconstruction, and in particular on Hegel and Schelling as encyclopedic and interdisciplinary thinkers. As part of a focus on the relations between the life sciences and philosophy in the Romantic period, she is currently working on a study – both archival and philosophical – of the late eighteenth-century medical theorist John Hunter, his context, his uptake by the Germano-Coleridgeans and the more radical ways in which he can be read from the perspective of German Idealist philosophy of science itself.