2019 Conference Program

South Asian Literatures in the World

You can download the 2019 Conference Program here as a PDF file. You can also download the Conference Abstracts PDF and the participant Biographies PDF.

Keynote Address: John Stratton Hawley, Barnard College, Columbia University, NYC

5:00-7:00 PM: Executive Committee Meeting


● John C. Hawley, SALA President
● Madhurima Chakraborty, Conference co-chair. “South Asian Literatures in the World.”

SESSION 1: 8:30-9:45 AM
Locating the Inventions of South Asia—Opening Plenary (Roundtable)
Chair: Nalini Iyer, Seattle University

● Neilesh Bose, University of Victoria
● Rajani Sudan, Southern Methodist University
● Susan Andrade, University of Pittsburgh
● Ana Cristina Mendes, University of Lisbon, Center for English Studies
● Waseem Anwar, Forman Christian College, Lahore

SESSION 2: 10:00 -11:15 AM
2A Wilde
Gender, Environment, and Crisis in South Asian Graphic Narratives (Roundtable)
Chair: Kavita Daiya, George Washington University

● Kavita Daiya, George Washington University. “Migration Stories.”
● Lopamudra Basu, University of Wisconsin-Stout. “Postcolonial Masculinities in Sarnath Banerjee’s Novels.”
● Sukanya Gupta, University of Southern Indiana. “Sarnath Banerjee’s All Quiet in Vikaspuri as Text/Image Activism & Cli-Fi.”
● Nidhi Shrivastava, University of Western Ontario. Priya’s Shakti:, Recasting of Familiar Mythological Constructs in Order to Criticize Rape Culture.”

2B Cibo Matto
The Politics of Kashmir
Chair: Abdollah Zahiri, Seneca College

● Rituparna Mitra, Marlboro College. “The Ghazal and the Gathering of World’s in Ali’s ‘The Country Without a Post office’.”
● Wafa Hamid, Lady Shriram College for Women, University of Delhi. “’Discourses of Silence’: (Re)Writing Cashemere, Kashmir, Kashimir in Agha Shahid Ali’s Poetry.”
● Upasana Dutta, University of Chicago. “The Broken Body, the Stuttering Image: Malik Sajad’s Munnu: A Boy from Kashmir.”
● Prithwa Deb, Debraj Roy College, Golaghat, Assam. “Nation, Identity and Body: Reading the Disputed Boundaries in Contemporary South Asian Graphic Narrative.”

2C Churchill
Aravind Adiga and the Contours of South Asia
Chair: Waseem Anwar, Forman Christian College, Lahore

● Md. Rezaul Haque, St. John’s University, New York. “Going beyond the Binary of Self and Other: The Case of South Asian English Fiction.”
● Matthew Nelson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “My Shanghai”: China and Fantasies of Futurity in Adiga’s Last Man in Tower.”
● Amrita De, SUNY Binghamton. “Of Regional, Homosocial Interactions and the act of ‘Writing Itself Into Being’: Locating The White Tiger in South Asian literary imagination.”
● Ambreen Hai, Smith College. “Indian and Sri Lankan Connections and Disconnections: Male-Male Servant-Employer Relations in Aravind Adiga’s White Tiger and Romesh Gunesekera’s Reef.”

SESSION 3: 11:30 AM-12:45 PM
3A Wilde
The Indian Ocean and the Past Present of Empire
Chair: Pallavi Rastogi, Louisiana State University

● Nienke Boer, Yale-NUS College. “Oceanic Tales, Imperial Legacies: Robinson Crusoe in the Indian Ocean.”
● Sean M. Kennedy, CUNY-Grad Center. “Corruption: A Pre-History From Fanqui-Town.”
● Usha Rungoo, SUNY Purchase. “The Shipping Container and the Human Cargo Ship: Bridging (Neo)Colonial Histories in Amal Sewtohul’s Made in Mauritius.”
● Nelofer Qadir, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “Kifa Urongo’: Structures of Unfreedom in Paradise.”

3B Cibo Matto
South Asia in Conflict: The Ethics and Politics of Postcolonial Witnessing
Chair: Kavita Daiya, George Washington University

● Amanda Lagji, Pitzer College. “The Enduring Spectacle of the Aftermath: Embodying the Blast in The Association of Small Bombs.
● Purnima Bose, Indiana University. “History and Rumor in Mohammed Hanif’s A Case of Exploding Mangoes.”
● Saumya Lal, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “Precarious Empathy and the Crisis of Witnessing in Mirza Waheed’s The Collaborator.”
● Maryse Jayasuriya, University of Texas at El Paso. “Ethics and Empathy in Sri Lankan Representations of Refugees.”

3C Churchill
South Asian Waterways: Contemporary Migratory and Sexual Flows
Chair: Christopher Ian Foster, Jackson State University

● Christopher Ian Foster, Jackson State University. “From A. R. F. Webber’s Sunlit Western Waters to Shani Mootoo’s Gulf of Paria: On the Intersection of Migration and Sexuality in South Asian Caribbean Literature.”
● Rahul K. Gairola, Murdoch University. “Peering Outside of the Pink Tent: Postcolonial DH along the Queer Rim of the Indian Ocean.”
● Respondent: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Columbia University.

1:00-2:00 PM—LUNCH

SESSION 4: 2:15-3:30 PM

Professionalization Panel I: Publications: Challenges and Opportunities (Roundtable)
Chair: Nalini Iyer, Incoming Editor, South Asian Review

● John C. Hawley, Professor, Santa Clara University
● Ranjit Arab, Senior Acquisitions Editor, University of Iowa Press
● Rebecca Guest, Managing Editor, Arts & Humanities Journals, Taylor & Francis
● Sage Milo, Development Editor, Digital Resources, Taylor & Francis

SESSION 5: 3:45-5:00 PM
The World of South Asian Literature: A Creative Writing Panel
Chair: Madhurima Chakraborty, Columbia College Chicago

● Mary Anne Mohanraj, University of Illinois Chicago. “Putting Sri Lankans in Space.”
● S. Shankar, University of Hawai‘i. “Challenges of Literary Invention: Writing in English What is Outside English.”
● Samrat Upadhyay, Indiana University. “Translating South Asia.”
● Amin X. Ahmad, Northwestern University. “Sex, Lies, and Bad Guys: Writing the
Immigrant Suspense Novel.”
● Oindrila Mukherjee, Grand Valley State University. “This or That?: The Conundrum of Writing Contemporary South Asia.”



Chair: Amritjit Singh, Ohio University


SESSION 6: 8:00-9:15 AM
6A Wilde
Professionalization Panel II: Altered Expectations in Uncertain Times (Roundtable)
Chair: Moumin Quazi, Tarleton State University; Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

● Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay, Texas A&M University-Kingsville. “Going on the Job Market as an International Grad Student”
● Anuja Madan, Kansas State University. “My First Two Years on the Tenure-Track.”
● Cynthia Leenerts, East Stroudsburg University. “Stickin’ to the Union: Solidarity in the Face of Uncertain Times.”
● Robin E. Field, King’s College. “Planning your Long-Term Career Arc.”
● Moumin Quazi, Tarleton State University. “A New Professor’s Changing Expectations for New Faculty.”

6B Cibo Matto
South Asia and Diasporas before World War II
Chair: Nalini Iyer, Seattle University

● Prabhjot Parmar, University of the Fraser Valley. “‘The corner of a picture’”: Literary Representations of Indian Soldiers in the Great War.”
Clara A.B. Joseph, University of Calgary. “The Account of Priest Joseph (1502): Why an Indian Christian Text Does (Not) Matter.”
● Abdollah Zahiri, Seneca College (King Campus). South by the Southwest: Ghadar Activists in Iran in the 1930’s and 1940’s.”
● Amrita Mishra, University of Texas at Austin. “Indenture’s Intimacies: Effects of early Indian Nationalism in Raise the Lanterns High and Sea of Poppies.”

6C Churchill
Transnational Circulations of South Asia
Chair: Maryse Jayasuriya, University of Texas at El Paso

● Supurna Dasgupta, University of Chicago. “The ‘slithering fish’: Feeding the Global ‘Popular’ through South Asian Anglophone Poetry.”
● Sayanti Mondal, Illinois State University. “Picturing Experience: Performing Transnational Identity in Bhajju Shyam’s The London Jungle Book.”
● Bhavya Tiwari, University of Houston. “Going Beyond English: World Literature and South Asian Literature.”
● Sohinee Roy, North Central College. “Playhouse: Art and Politics in the Bildung of a Child.”

SESSION 7: 9:30-10:45 AM
7A Wilde
Situating South Asian Anglophone Literature in the World: The Oxford History of the Novel in English, Volume 10. (Roundtable)
Chair: Alex Tickell, The Open University
● Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, New York University. “The Novel of India.”
● Ruvani Ranasinha, King’s College. “Novels of Sri Lanka: Feminist Readings of Conflict within the ‘Global’ Economy of South Asian fiction.”
● Kavita Daiya, George Washington University. “Gender, Sexuality, and the Family in South Asian Fiction.”
● Charlotta Salmi, Queen Mary, University of London. “Picturing South Asia: The Rise of the Regional Graphic Narrative.”

7B Cibo Matto
Interrogating the Space of Transnationalism
Chair: Robin E. Field, Kings College

● Sagnika Chanda, University of Pittsburgh. “The Mexican and South Asian Telemigrant: Transnational Immigrant Labor and Internet Utopianism in Sleep Dealer and Digital India.”
● Sritama Chatterjee. “‘As if a map had been redrawn in front of us’: Reading Spatiality, Aesthetics of Slowness, and Ethics of ‘Worlding’ in Benyamin’s Goat Days.”
● Robin E. Field, King’s College. “Space and Temporality in Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Third and Final Continent’.”
● Kay Sohini Kumar, Stony Brook University. “Across Borders and In-Between Spaces.”

7C Churchill
Connecting in Margins
Chair: Meghan Gorman-DaRif, University of Texas at Austin

● Meghan Gorman-DaRif, University of Texas at Austin. “Decentering Division: Representations of Indian-Kenyan Solidarity in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction”
● Muhammad Waqas Halim, Information Technology University, Lahore & Asad Ahmad Khan, Heidelberg University. “The Untold Story of Resistance in Balochistan: Voices of dissent in Balochi Short Stories of Anees Sharif.”
● Amelie Daigle, Boston College. “Tangible Gains and Intangible Losses: Global Inequity and Labor Migration in Ratika Kapur’s The Private Life of Mrs. Sharma and Laila Lalami’s Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits.”
Jessica K. Young, New College of Florida. “‘This is a Dirge for the World…This is Saga for a Nation:’ The Air India Tragedy and (Trans)national Recognition.”

SESSION 8: 11:00 AM-12:15 PM
8A Wilde
Cosmopolitanism and South Asian Identity
Chair: John Hawley, Santa Clara University

● Brant Moscovitch, St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford. “Cosmopolitanism and the Rise of Anti-Colonial Internationalism, 1919-1939.”
● Sarah Beth Mohler, Truman State University. “Russian Literary Imagination’s Influence on South Asian Literature: A Close Analysis of Tolstoy’s Influence on Seth and Mueenuddin.”
● Arnab Dutta Roy, University of Connecticut. “Cosmopolitanism and Tradition: A Critique of U.R. Ananthamurthy’s Samskara.”
● Maswood Akhter, Fulbright Scholar, Regis College. “‘Universal’ or ‘Culture-Specific’? : Raising the Issue of Critical Injustice (and Academic Apartheid) in the Reception of South Asian/Postcolonial Literature.”

8B Cibo Matto
The Unwanted
Chair: Shazia Rahman, Western Illinois University

● Tavleen Purewal, University of Toronto. “‘Final Humiliation’: Opaque Relations of Shame in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss.”
● Binod Paudyal, Northern Arizona University. “Undesirability: Refugees and the Undocumented in South Asian Diasporic Literature.”
● Shazia Rahman, Western Illinois University. “Postcolonial International Conflict Through an Animal Studies Lens.”
● Sreyashi Ray, University of Minnesota. “Pachyderms, Tribals and the Precarity of Postcolonial Animality: A Comparative Reading of Mahasweta Devi’s Fiction.”

8C Churchill
Resistance, Borders, Conflict in South Asian Literature
Chair: Rahul K. Gairola, Murdoch University

Nudrat Kamal, Habib University, Karachi. “Borders, Diaspora, and Belonging: Tracing the Conceptualization of Home in South Asian Partition Fiction.”
● Md. Alamgir Hossain, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “University, Neoliberalism, and the Undercommons: Resistance in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.”
● Asif Iqbal, Michigan State University. “Partition of East Bengal in Shahidulla Kaiser’s Sangsaptak.”
● Arun Kumar Pokhrel, Oklahoma State University. “Global Subaltern Spaces: Landscape,
Community, and Historical Memory in Kiran Desai’s Inheritance of Loss.”

12:15 -1:15 PM—LUNCH
● Discussion group on Neil Lazarus’s The Postcolonial Unconscious (Wilde)
● Open session lunch (Dickinson)

SESSION 9: 1:30- 2:30 PM
9A Wilde
Pakistani Literatures in the World
Chair: Amritjit Singh, Ohio University

● Waseem Anwar, Forman Christian College, Lahore. “Pakistani English Literatures in the World: Center-Margin Dialectic and Alternative Epistemologies in Shahid Nadim’s Plays.”
● Zakia Resshid Ehsen, Riphah International University, Pakistan “Falling Through the Cracks: Neoliberalism and Power Constructs in Nadeem Aslam’s novel A Blind Man’s Garden.”
● Sushil Sivaram, Rutgers University. “(Re)Staging the Postcolonial in the World: The Jaipur Literature Festival and the Pakistani Novel.”
● Masood Raja, University of North Texas. “National Expectations, Metropolitan Market and Pakistani Writing in English.”

9B Churchill
Genre Innovations
Chair: Cynthia Leenerts, East Stroudsburg University
● Hans-Georg Erney, Georgia Southern University. “Stung by a Charso-Bee: Daljit Nagra’s Transnational Ramayana Retelling.”
● Hella Bloom-Cohen, St. Catherine’s University. “The Case of Victoria and Abdul: Archival Creative Nonfiction and the Violent Romance of Highbrow Cinema.”
● Anwesha Maity, University of Winsconsin-Madison. “Technoscience and the Global South: Postcolonial Science Fiction (SF) from Bangladesh.”
● Titas De Sarkar, University of Chicago. “The Lives of the Lowly—Postcolonial Youth and the Problem of Genre.”

SESSION 10: 2:30- 3:45 pm
10A Wilde
The Subaltern in Context
Chair: Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

● Fouzia Rehman Khan, Sardar Bahadur Khan Women’s University. “Can the Subalterns Sketch? A Critical Semiotic Analysis of the Novel Munnu. A Boy from Kashmir.”
● Anjali Singh & Rajiv Ranjan Dwivedi. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University. “Studying Postcolonialism in Dalit Narrative: A Critical Take on Sushila Takbhoura’s Autobiography Shikenje Ka Dard.”
● Aniruddha Mukhopadhyay, Texas A&M University-Kingsville. “Disconcerting Dalit Masculinity in Daya Pawar’s Baluta.”

10B Cibo Matto
The Global Salman Rushdie
Chair: Moumin Quazi, Tarleton State University

● Ana Cristina Mendes. University of Lisbon. “Globetrotting Shakespeare: The King Lear Intertext in Preti Taneja’s We that are Young and Salman Rushdie’s The Golden House.”
● Romy Rajan, University of Florida. “Neoliberalism and the Return of Religion in Salman Rushdie’s The Moor’s Last Sigh.”
● Pennie Ticen, Virginia Military Institute. “Updating the Interregnum: Salman Rushdie’s ‘Anti-Chutnification’ in The Golden House.”

10C Churchill
Community and Belonging
Chair: Prathim-Maya Dora-Laskey, Alma College

● Prathim-Maya Dora-Laskey, Alma College. “More than Kin(d): Building Community and Solidarity in Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.”
● Ruma Sinha, Syracuse University. “Living Among the Dead: The Graveyard as Site of Affiliation and Antagonism in The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.”
● Manju Dhariwal, LNM Institute of Information Technology. “Gender, Narration and Nation: A Critical Rereading of Alka Sarawgi’s Kali katha: Via Bypass.”

4:00-5:00 PM
Cibo Matto
Graduate Student Caucus


● John Stratton Hawley. Barnard College, Columbia University. “Verbal Icon, Iconic Word: Surdas Between Poem and Painting”

Venue: Gaylord Restaurant 100 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60611