Postcolonial Studies at NYU

Graduates in Postcolonial Studies

Ph.D Students

Durba Basu
MA in English, Jadavpur University (2003), BA in English, University of Calcutta (2001)
     Research interests: Postcolonial literatures and cultures with a focus on South Asia, history of the book, nineteenth-century British literature, modernisms and modernities, translation and world literature.
     I entered the PhD program in English at NYU in Fall 2006 and after coursework at NYU and through the NY consortium that helped me pursue my interests, and initiated new ones, am now beginning on my dissertation entitled ‘“Bilingualism” and language-choice in literary production in colonial Bengal.’

Mosarrap Khan
Education: Ph.D. in progress (2009 - ), New York University; Ph.D. Coursework (2008-09), University of British Columbia, Canada; M.A. in English Literature, University of Hyderabad (1999), India.
     Research interests: My research interests lie at the intersections of post-colonial studies, religious subjectivities, and ethical possibilities.
     Previous Employment: Lecturer-in-English (2002-2008), Kurseong College, North Bengal University, India.

Monika Konwinska-Connolly
MA in Comparative Literature, NYU (2007), BA in Comparative Literature, NYU (2002).
     Research interests: Postcolonial studies, contemporary Anglophone and Francophone novels, spatial theory, cultural anthropology, comparative modernities.
     Dissertation in progress: ‘Strategies of Empowerment in Post-Cold War Anglophone Novels’.

Laurie Lambert
MA in English, University of Toronto (2007); BFA in Film Studies, Ryerson University (2002)
     Research interests:  20th century Caribbean literature and cultural history; socialist revolutions and cultural production; Postcolonialism; African Diaspora; history in literature, moving images and other forms of cultural production.
     Dissertation: “Edging Left: Cultural Production and Political Ideology in the Grenada Revolution, 1979-1983”. My dissertation examines plays, novels and poetry written about the Grenada Revolution.  I juxtapose these cultural forms with government memoranda, press releases, and journalistic accounts of events related to the revolution as it unfolded on a regional scale.  Reading these archives alongside each other I investigate the crossroads between the cultural, the political, and the popular – a crossroads where I argue the revolution was formed, transformed and contested by the Grenadian masses.

Nicholas Matlin
M.A. in English and Postcolonial Studies, University of Sussex (2006); B.A. in English (Anthropology minor), Kenyon College (2005).
     Research interests: Southern African literature and culture; settler colonialism; theories of utopia and futurity; literature of the colonial and postcolonial city; media and visual art; propaganda and memory
     I came to NYU in the fall of 2008 and am now finishing my coursework. In addition to courses in the English department, I have taken classes in Comparative Literature, Performance Studies and Media, Culture and Communications. I am also working hard to learn Zulu. In the summer of 2009, I received a grant from the Anglophone Studies Project at NYU to attend the inaugural 2009 session of the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism, held at the Witwatersrand Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Caroline Mwaniki
BA French Cultural Studies, Wellesley College, 2006; MA French Cultural Studies, Columbia University, 2007; MA French Literature, NYU, 2008; Ph.D French/French Studies, NYU, in progress.
     Research interests: Colonial and postcolonial anglophone and francophone literatures; Autobiography; Postcolonial Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; Cultural Studies.

Joseph Napolitano
BA (English/Philosophy), 2001, Notre Dame; MA (English), 2006, Georgetown.
     Research Interests: South African literature and literary history; isiZulu language and literature; postcolonial theory; subaltern studies; translation/transculturation; Marxism(s); animal studies; critical pedagogy.
     I started the Ph.D program at NYU in 2007. My dissertation project, tentatively titled ‘Amadevu and Amahwanqa: Managing Modernity, Translating Enlightenment in the Zulu Novel,’ begins with a sustained reading of the work of Sibusiso Nyembezi, both in his translation of Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country (1948) as Lafa elihle kakhulu (1957) and in his classic novel Inkinsela yaseMgungundlovu (1961). I consider how Nyembezi translates key concepts
modernity, civilization, enlightenmentby drawing on the resources of isiZulu, and frame Nyembezi's output as an ongoing response to Paton's imagining of the Zulu encounter with modernity. I then move on to consider several more recent texts in isiZulu, juxtaposing them with more popular and widely read texts in English. I thus argue for a more comparative approach to South African literature, and an approach that pays more attention both to writing in isiZulu and to issues of language and translation more broadly.
     Publications: ‘ “Mr Melancholy and Mr Magpie”: The Lives of Animals in J. M. Coetzee's Diary of a Bad Year.’ Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies 11.1-2 (2010): 49-66.

Shirley Lau Wong
MA in English Literature, NYU (2010); BA in English Literature and Art History, Columbia University (2006).
     Research interests: postcolonial studies and literature; Irish studies; twentieth-century Anglophone literature; poetics; utopian studies.
     Dissertation: ‘Figural Utopias: Politics in Contemporary Irish Poetry.’ My dissertation examines the formation of alternative utopian communities in Irish studies criticism and contemporary Irish poetry, specifically the works of Ciaran Carson, Medbh McGuckian, Paul Muldoon, and Peter Sirr. I argue that the impulse of comparativism in Irish studies
which undergirds both nationalist and revisionist scholarshiparticulate a desire to accommodate different forms of community possible after the ‘failure’ of a united Ireland: the EEC, postcolonial world, Irish diaspora. Such ‘comparative communities,’ I argue, are extensions of the same longing that produce utopian communities in Irish poetry.

Chun-Hsien Wu
BA Dept of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan, 2004; MA Dept of English, National Central University, Taiwan, 2007.
     I started the Ph.D. program in the English Department at NYU in 2008.
     My research interests are mainly focused on postcolonial historiography and diaspora studies. At the present moment, I am thinking about undertaking a comparative project between African and Taiwanese literature to explore the impact of different colonial models
European colonialism and Japanese colonialism in each caseon nation formation and modernity in different postcolonial sites.

MA Students

Niamh Kathleen Slevin Roberts
‘Seamus Heaney and the Language of Ireland’

Kimberly Southwick
‘The Novels of Zadie Smith’

Lindsay Erin Bognor
BA in English Literature and International Studies, Stonehill College (2008)
     Research Interests: postcolonial theory, Caribbean literature, diaspora and migration studies, multiculturalism, human rights, subaltern studies, theories of ‘smallness’
     Thesis: My evolving thesis examines the limitations of multiculturalism as a political policy in Britain, critiquing how it conceives of culture in a reified, static manner and fails to address power hierarchies determining group rights. I look at Caribbean diasporic communities in particular for how they construct cultural identity in process, thus allowing for a rethinking of culture and national identity, certain generic or narrative structures, and political policies like multiculturalism that have thus far been inadequate to deal with the effects of immigration and an increased demand for group or cultural rights.

Erika Snyder
B.A. in English Literature, SUNY Albany (2007)
     Research interests: West African child soldier memoirs, Francophone West and North African literature, diaspora and refugee studies, translation and human rights
     Thesis: My thesis looks at the function of names and naming in child soldier memoirs and autobiographical "fictions" with a particular focus on disposability

Kelly Craig
     ‘ “Virtues in Deprivation”: The Menace and Imagination of Mimicry Beyond Naipaul’



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