I’m a doctoral candidate at the University of Delaware Department of English, specializing (implied scarequotes) in the fuzzy venn-diagram-shaped space between popular genre fiction, postcolonial theory, adaptation and global anglophone cultural studies. In terms of texts, I favor genre fiction in print, film, television, and games, and I specialize in South Asian and East Asian postcolonial genre fictions. I occasionally link this work to late-19th century “canonical” works, particularly when talking about transcultural adaptation, colonialism, and genre.
For instance, my dissertation applies theories of adaptation and a postcolonial lens to the global anglophone detective fiction genre in order to reveal how 1. academic discussion and histories of the genre are inherently colonial exercises, 2. how detective fiction produced or adapted in postcolonial environments are marked as colonially subordinate, and 3. how these text can (and often do) turn this subordinate position into a subversive advantage.
My other current research interests revolve around different varieties of the heroic protagonist across genres (the detective, the trickster, superwomen, cyborgs and space marines, et cetera) and how they assist and are shaped by the cultural work genre fiction does in specific circumstances–for example, how popular detectives in detective stories interpellate their readers as national, ethnic or transnational subjects. I’m also particularly interested in the way popular literary figures are constructed as trans-, super- or post-human, and how such critical models enable new readings of embodiment, belonging and subjectivity in an increasingly post-national world. In a related way, I often find myself drawn into disability theory, the digital humanities, and literary historiography.
My primary corpus of texts includes 19th, 20th and 21st century popular texts from the Anglophone world, with a particular emphasis on the United States and South Asia. While most of my texts are currently in English, I am currently progressing towards literacy in Bangla/Bengali, with the eventual objective of expanding my archive to include critical and creative work in global varieties of English (where I already possess fluency), Bangla and Hindi. I also need to learn Bangla to speak to my grandparents-in-law. I also read Spanish, though this is more strongly connected to my daily life than to my academic research.
Abstracts of some of my previous research work is available in the “Abstracts” page of this site. In a surely futile attempt to cling to the ever-more-impossible idea of intellectual privacy, while my dissertation abstract is freely available, the other abstracts are password-protected. Please contact me directly via the email in the sidebar to acquire this password.