Academic & Teaching staff
+44(0) 113 343 2693
My research, at heart, concerns memorialisation, modernity, and embodied histories. The specific trajectories along which I conduct my work are:
- Culture, conflict and protocols of memory in contemporary South Asia, particularly arising from the Kashmir conflict; the Partition of India; the emergence of Bangladesh
- The cultures of global and local Islam, especially Sufi music and performance
- The movement of rhythm traditions across the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and their transnational evolution
- Comparative modernities across the Global South: Hispanophone and Anglophone postcolonialisms in dialogue
- The shared lineages of medievalism, Empire and modernity, particularly those involving German and Scandinavian intellectual traditions
I am a keen linguist: I can make my way comfortably in French and German and very comfortably in Spanish, apart from native speaker fluency in English, Bengali and Hindi. I have dabbled in Türkmen and Arabic, and for my doctoral research, intensively studied Old Norse, Old Saxon, Old English and Medieval Latin.
As part of my evolving research project on transnational rhythm cultures, I have been dancing salsa, mostly Cuban style, for the past three years, and, more recently, have taken up Lusophone and Francophone dance styles: Kizomba and Zouk/ Zouk Lambada (lambazouk).
Wherever possible I bring my knowledge of multiple linguistic and cultural traditions into my research, supervision and teaching.
I currently supervise five PhD students working on diverse aspects of cultural production in South Asia and its diasporas:
'Adda' as a Bengali activity at the intersection of radical capitalism and post-Partition melancholia
Representations of 'home' in diasporic Bengali authors
Mauritian Sega music and Creolité
Vaishnavism in colonial and postcolonial Mauritian Literature
Strategies for cultural representation amongst doubly displaced British East African Gujaratis
In the past I have supervised PhD and MA dissertations on vernacular modernities in Indian novels, Pakistani identity politics as expressed in literature, British Asian dance music, and water politics in South Indian cinema, amongst other topics
As one of the first Arts and Humanities Knowledge Transfer Fellowship holders (November 2007- June 2010) I curated and delivered, in partnership with the Manchester-based Shisha: The Agency for South Asian Crafts and Visual Arts, an ambitious programme that has brought cutting-edge South Asian visual art to audiences across the North of England: Between Kismet and Karma: South Asian Visual Artists Respond to Conflict, See the programme website here:
Hear me describe this programme in an AHRC podcast:
In addition, I continue to engage in a range of Knowledge Exchange activities with cultural producers nationally and internationally (for some recent and forthcoming instances, see below).
Media experience: TV, Radio, major Indian print media.
Some Recent and Future Activities
In April 2011, I will spend two weeks at the University of Kairouan, Tunisia, as visiting professor and plenary speaker at their annual conference, 'Postcolonial Celebration'.
In March 2011, I will participate, at the invitation of the South Asian Studies Centre at the University of Stanford, USA, in a symposium on the Kashmir conflict
In February 2011, I will chair a discussion based on the screening of the documentary film 'India's Forgotten Women', at the New Art Exchange, Nottingham
In December 2010, I will offer a guest seminar for the 'Production of Knowledge' course at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
In December 2010, I will speak on my research on Latin dance in contemporary India at EHESS (Ecoles Hautes en Sciences Sociales), Paris
In November 2010, I will offer a guest seminar at the Film Studies MA programme at the University of Oviedo, Spain
In November 2010, I will speak on my research on salsa congresses as transnational sites at the University of Southampton
In October 2010, I attended the Tenth Berlin Salsa Congress as part of a British Academy funded research project on 'Postcolonial Theory, Transnational Dance: Salsa Congresses as Sites of South-North-South Encounters'
In October 2010, I co-organised and taught at the Ilkley Literature Festival's South Asian Literature Study Day
In August 2010, I visited the University of Copenhagen under the Leeds-Copenhagen Universities agreement in order to plan a research project on the theme of 'alienation in Europe'
In August 2010, I delivered a Public Lecture, 'Arthur, Revived: The Undying Attractions of the Arthurian Legend', at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Summer School in Stratford-on-Avon; this lecture was based on the RSC's adaptation of Malory's 'Morte D'Arthur'
In April 2010, I delivered a Public Lecture, 'Aftermath of Desire: Kashmir, Kashmiris and the Burden of Representation', at Jnanapravaha, Mumbai; this lecture coincided with the Chemould Art Gallery's landmark show of artist's Nilima Sheikh's Kashmir paintings
In April 2010, I spoke on 'Embodied Histories and the Transmission of South Asian Modernity' at the Centre for South Asian Studies, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA
Representing Kashmir: Bollywood and Beyond