Saronik Bosu (New York University)


Mark Byers




Toral Gajarawala’s (New York University) areas of teaching and research include theories of the novel and narrative, postcolonial studies, subaltern studies, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Recent essays include “Some Time between Revisionist and Revolutionary: Reading History in Dalit Fiction” (PMLA) and “Fictional Murder and Other Descriptive Deaths” (Journal of Narrative Theory). She is the author of Untouchable Fictions: Literary Realism and the Crisis of Caste (Fordham, 2012). Her current work considers the politics of postmodernism in the context of the Anglophone novel.

 HalaTahirHala Halim (New York University) is the author of Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism: An Archive, which interrogates how modern Alexandria was nominated as the cosmopolitan Middle Eastern city par excellence. Arguing that Alexandrian cosmopolitanism is a Eurocentric discourse, the book is a comparative study of literary representations by canonical writers such as C. P. Cavafy, E. M. Forster, Lawrence Durrell as well as the virtually unpublished librettist Bernard de Zogheb. The book sets the European representations in dialogue with Arabic critical, historical and artistic texts to consider alternative and more egalitarian modes of solidarity. Her current project, on postcolonial cosmopolitanism, builds on her article “Lotus, the Afro-Asian Nexus, and Global South Comparatism.” The article addresses the journal Lotus: Afro-Asian Writings once published by the Afro-Asian Writers’ Association that she has been researching for many years in relation to post-Bandung Third Worldism. Other projects include editing Bernard de Zogheb’s unpublished libretti and a study that develops her previous work on the Egyptian novelist and critic Edwar al-Kharrat.

Nicholas Laughlin

mandhwaniAakriti Mandhwani is a doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Languages and Cultures, SOAS, University of London. Her research focuses on North Indian middle class reading practices through the archive of the post-1947 commercial magazine and paperback in Hindi. Parts of her thesis have been accepted for publication in Modern Asian Studies. She is the co-editor, Indian Genre Fiction: Pasts and Future Histories, (Routledge). Her areas of interest include book history, popular literature, cultural anthropology, and urban studies.

marzagoraDr. Sara Marzagora is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at SOAS University of London. She is the research leader of the Horn of Africa strand of the project Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies (MULOSIGE), which explores world literature and intellectual history from the perspective of multilingual societies. Her PhD thesis was focused on the political thought of Amharic-speaking intellectuals in Ethiopia from the end of the 19th century to the late 1960s. She has published on Ethiopian intellectual history, Amharic written and oral literature, African critical theory and African philosophy.

newellStephanie Newell is a Professor of English and Senior Research Fellow in International and Area Studies at Yale University. Her books and articles on the intersections between colonial identities and creative writing in African newspapers, pamphlets, novels, and magazines form part of a growing interest in African print cultures among cultural historians. Her recent book, The Power to Name: A History of Anonymity in Colonial West Africa (2013) studies the ways African contributors to colonial-era newspapers experimented with the English language, developed genres, and adopted voices that were often playful and satirical as well as intensely anti-colonial. It was a finalist for the Herskovitz Prize for African Studies in 2014. In all her recent books and articles, she focuses on colonial power relations as articulated through local print cultures in colonial West Africa, particularly African-owned newspapers.

SarahniaziSarah Niazi is a Doctoral researcher at the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), University of Westminster, UK. Her current work focuses on the relationship between cinema and the Urdu public sphere in India. She did her M.Phil from the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her thesis, “Cinema and the Reinvention of the Self: Women performers in the Bombay film industry (1925- 47)”, is an attempt to revive and recuperate from the debris of archival absence the cultural history of women performers in modern India.

Francesca Orsini is Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature at SOAS. She took her undergraduate degree in Hindi at the University of Venice, followed by a long spell in Delhi. Her PhD research at SOAS was on the Hindi public sphere of the 1920s and ’30s, published as The Hindi Public Sphere 1920-1940: Language and Literature in the Age of Nationalism (OUP Delhi 2002, Hindi tr. Vani 2010). She taught at the University of Cambridge for several years and joined SOAS in 2006, where she teaches courses on Hindi language, literature, the literary history of South Asia, and contemporary politics of culture. Her most recent book, Print and Pleasure (Permanent Black 2010), explored the genres of commercial publishing in nineteenth-century north India, while the collection she edited on Hindi and Urdu Before the Divide (Orient Blackswan 2009) proposed ways of approaching Hindi and Urdu literary genres not as watertight traditions but as possibilities within the multilingual literary and linguistic world of early modern North India. At present she is working on two projects: an international collaboration with SARAI/CSDS (New Delhi) on Hinglish, funded by the British Academy; and a new project on a multilingual history of Awadh that seeks at the same time to engage with current models of world literature by offering a ground-up perspective that is mindful of local audiences and of multiple levels of literary production and circulation.

Jeremy Poynting (Peepal Tree Press)

Krupa Shandilya is Assistant Professor of Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies at Amherst College. Her monograph Intimate Relations: Social Reform and the Late Nineteenth Century South Asian Novel (forthcoming, FlashPoints, Northwestern University Press) engages in a comparative analysis in two South Asian literary traditions, namely Bengali and Urdu. Her book argues that both literary traditions resolve the “women’s question” or the reform of marginal female subjects such as widows and courtesans through surprisingly similar notions of reform and literary narrative techniques. She has also published a translation of and written a critical introduction to Urdu novelist M.H. Ruswa’s novella The Madness of Waiting (Zubaan/University of Chicago Press, 2013; with Taimoor Shahid). Her third book project, The Poetics of Revolution: The Progressive Writers’ Association and Contemporary Bombay Cinema, focuses on the influence of the romantic and political registers of Urdu poetry and literature in contemporary Bollywood cinema. Her research and teaching interests include Hindi and Urdu literature and poetry, Bengali literature, postcolonial theory, feminist theory, and South Asian cinema. Her work has appeared in New Cinemas, Postcolonial Text, Gender and History and South Asian Popular Culture.


Emily Sibley is a PhD Candidate at New York University.  Her dissertation, “Uncivil Tongues: Genealogies of Adab in Modern Arabic Literature,” examines how satire, protest, and incivility are central to an expanded view of literary practices in modern Arabic literature. She holds an M.Phil (with distinction) in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford University and a BA in English from Wellesley College. Her research interests include 19th-21st century Arabic literature, political theory and praxis, translation theory, Arabic literary history, and Maghrebi literature. She received a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship for 2017-2018 and was a Center for Arabic Studies Abroad Fellow in 2014-2015, stationed in Amman, Jordan.

Sejal Sutaria is a postdoctoral Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at Kings College London. Her research and teaching interests include postcolonial approaches to twentieth-century global Anglophone literature with particular focus on British modernism, South Asian literature, and Dalit and indigenous writing. She has just been awarded a Marie Curie grant to complete research on a monograph entitled Multipolar Modernity and the Making of Modernist Resistance in Britain and India. She is also at work on a collaborative project about Dalit protest literature in Indian vernacular languages.

Fionnghuala Sweeney (Newcastle University)

zecchiniLaetitia Zecchini is a research fellow at the CNRS in Paris. Her research interests include contemporary Indian poetry, the politics of literature/art, modernisms in India, and questions of censorship, cosmopolitanism and translation. She co-translated Arun Kolatkar and Kedarnath Singh into French, and is the author of Arun Kolatkar and Literary Modernism in India, Moving Lines (Bloomsbury, 2014). Based on archival and unpublished material, this book aims at “moving lines” of accepted genealogies / cartographies of modernism and ‘postcolonial literature’ and at telling a story of modernism in India through a particular bilingual poet, Arun Kolatkar, and the little magazine ‘conspiracy’ of which he was part, and a particular time and space, the ebullient post-independent Bombay scene of which his poetry is inseparable. She also co-edited the following special issues “Problèmes d’histoire littéraire indienne” (Revue de Littérature Comparée, 2015), “A partir de l’Inde” (Littérature, 2016) and “The Worlds of Bombay Poetry” (Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 2017). In collaboration with Rachel Potter and Peter D. Mcdonald, she is currently working on a comparative (UK, India, South Africa) AHRC-funded project exploring the impact of writers’ organisations (especially PEN) on free expression, available here.