Dr Sourit Bhattacharya
- Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies (English Literature)
I completed my BA and MA degrees in English literature from Presidency College (Calcutta University) and Jadavpur University and MPhil degree in social sciences from the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. I earned my PhD in English and Comparative Literary Studies from the University of Warwick in 2017. Before joining Glasgow in Aug 2019, I was an Early Career Fellow at Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study (2017-2018) and an Assistant Professor of English at IIT Roorkee, India (2018-2019).
Colonial and postcolonial literatures
Ecology, catastrophe, commodities, food security
Realism and fantasy
Translation and indigenous studies
Materialist aesthetics; ecocriticism
My research interests lie in postcolonial literatures and theories, especially in the intersections of empire, environment, and literary and cultural practices. My first monograph, titled Postcolonial Modernity and the Indian Novel: On Catastrophic Realism (Palgrave 2020), explores through novels based on three ‘catastrophic’ events from twentieth-century Indian history – the 1943 Bengal Famine, the 1967-1972 tribal peasant Naxalite movement, and the 1975-1977 Indian emergency - the historical-aesthetic link between modernity, agrarian and food crisis, catastrophe, and vulnerability in postcolonial India. In so doing, the work developed an alternative ‘canon’ for postcolonial Indian literature and a new literary theory of ‘catastrophic realism’. I have essays broadly related to the project either published or forthcoming in such journals as 'Ariel', 'Textual Practice', 'Irish University Review', and in edited volumes such as 'Cambridge Critical Concepts: Magical Realism', 'Aesthetics and Politics of Global Hunger', and others.
My interest in reading world literature from an eco-materialist/critical regionalist perspective resulted in a co-edited volume on the left radical Indian-Bengali author, Nabarun Bhattacharya, Nabarun Bhattacharya: Aesthetics and Politics in a World after Ethics (Bloombury 2020). This book, which stems from an ACLA seminar and a supplement in the journal 'Sanglap' (below), and includes translations of Nabarun's work as well as eleven critical essays on him, introduces the maverick author, whose writings have cut across such relevant social/literary issues as class struggle, subaltern resistance, ecological crisis, consumerism, millennial capitalism, postcolonialism, postmodernism, magic realism, and so on, to a global audience.
I'm currently writing my second monograph on 'Postcolonialism Now: Literatures and Contexts in the 21st Century' (Orient BlackSwan, 2021). This book engages with several topics within postcolonialism which have either drawn more attention in the last two decades, been relatively under-studied within the field, or transformed over the years (including those of caste and untouchability, hunger, ecology, civil war, the refugee crisis, literary festivals, etc.). The book draws upon literature from diverse postcolonial regions (Nigeria, India, Australia, Bangladesh, the US, Palestine, etc.) as well as literary-theoretical fields such as cultural studies of disaster, critical theories of race, refugee and migration studies, gender and sexuality studies, translations studies, book history, and others.
My forthcoming funded projects include a Carnegie research incentive grant on the literary and cultural works of the 1943 Bengal famine; a cross-disciplinary initiative on cultural foodways in Britain; and a proposed work on modern European empires, world-famines, and world-literature.
I am a co-founding editor of the online, open-access, peer-reviewed literary journal, Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry. At Glasgow, I'm on the academic advisory board of the Hunterian Museum and run the fortnightly reading group in colonial and postcolonial studies.
2021-2023: Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network Award (P-I)
Topic: The British Empire, Scotland, and Indian Famines: Writings on Food Crisis in Colonial India
Award ID (and sum): 69777 (£19939)
P-I, 2020-2021: Carnegie Research Incentive Grant (P-I)
Grant Reference (and sum): RIG009840 (£14981)
Topic: Literary and Cultural Works of the 1943 Bengal Famine (delayed to May 2021-2022 due to the Covid-19 panedemic)
2018-2020 Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, University College Dublin (declined)
2017-18 Postdoctoral Funding, Early Career Fellowship, Warwick Univ.
2013-17 Full Ph.D. Funding, Chancellors Int’l Scholarship, Warwick Univ.
2017 Travel Grant, PSA grant (Univ of London), Postcolonial Studies Association
2017 Research & Travel Grant, ACLA Conf. (Utrecht), Warwick & ACLA
2016 Research Grant, Postcolonial Studies Association, UK
2016 Research Grant, Humanities Research Fund, Warwick
2016 Research & Travel Grant, MLA Conf. (Austin), Warwick & MLA
2016 Travel Grant, ECSAS conf. (Warsaw Uni.), English & CLS, Warwick
2015 Travel Grant, PSA Conf. (Leicester Uni.), English and CLS, Warwick Univ.
2015 International Conference Organization Grant (Warwick), Warwick Univ.
2014 Travel Bursary, Modernism Conf. (London), Univ. of London
2012: Fully funded PhD scholarships offered at the Universities of Warwick, Sydney, Edinburgh, and Singapore
2010-2015: UGC-Junior Research Fellowship, full MPhil and PhD funding for five years (MPhil completed)
I'm interested in supervising dissertations broadly in the field of postcolonial and world literatures and more specifically in the areas of nation and political struggle, food and famines, ecology and vulnerability, race and racism, gender and sexuality studies, caste and untouchability, university and decolonial theories, translation and regionalism, publishing industries and literary festivals, literary aesthetics and form, and Marxism.
Shruti Shukla: Dalit and African American poetry
Laura Scott: Intersectionality and Scottish minority writings
- Scott, Laura
From Identity Politics to Intersectionality
Co-convenor, "Raw Materials: Literature, Empire, Commodities" (Hons)
Tutor, core course, 2A "Writing and Ecology" (Pre-hons.)
Convenor, "Postcolonialism: Writing and Theory" (Hons.)
Deputy Convenor, core course 2B "Writing and Text (Pre-hons.)
Lecturing and Grading:
MLitt in Modernities
Literary Theory (Hons.)
Contemporary Literature (Hons.)
Core Course: Author, Context, World (Junior Hons.)
Co-founding Editor (2014-now): Sanglap: Journal of Literary and Cultural Inquiry
Sanglap (ISSN 23498064) is an open access, peer reviewed biannual journal in literary and cultural studies which publishes on themed isuses. Past themes have included terror and the literary, critiquing humanism, caste and untouchability, speculative fiction, psychoanalysis, and most recently academic writing in Indian higher education. The journal is indexed in the UGC Care List, DOAJ, MLA international bibliographies, ProQuest, LION and others. Sanglap also holds a virtual seminar series called Considerations which I often co-host. Link here.
Recent Invited Talks:
- Title TBC, "Beyond the Anglocentic Fantastic", Glasgow International Fantasy Conference, University of Glasgow, April 28-30, 2021)
- "Hunger, Food Movement, and Modernist Bengali Poetry", The Evolution of Bengali Identity Reflections in Literature, Culture & Society, Young Researcher's International Webinar, PostScriptum Journal, Sarat Centary College, India, Oct 10-12, 2020.
- "Critical Observations on the NEP 2020", Undrstanding NEP: An Evening with the Intellectuals, IQAC, Netaji Subhash Mahavidyalay, Tripura, India, Aug 19, 2020.
- "Catastrophic Realities and Humanities Studies” in Rethinking Humanities and its Entanglements, Amity Institute of English Studies, Amity University, India, Aug 5-7, 2020.
- “Postcolonial Toxicity and the Ecogothic: Nabarun Bhattacharya’s Khelnanagar (Toycity)” in Postcolonial Negotiations: History, Literature and Culture, Sidhu Kanho Birsa University, West Bengal, India, June 2-5, 2020.
- "Colonial Epidemics and Literary Form: Reading Kipling and Sharatchandra", Epidemics, Body and Medicine: Inquiries through Literary and Cultural Texts, Department of English, Gokhale Memorial Girls' College, India, June 14, 2020.
- "Nabarun and Environmental Consciousness", A-Nanda Group of Contemporary Studies, Book Panel on Nabarun Bhattacharya: Aesthetics and Politics in a World after Ethics, Nov 20, 2020.
- "Literature and Skteches of the 1943 Bengal Famine: On Catsatrophic Realism", Centre for Ecology and Culture Lecture Series, Durham University, Oct 29, 2020.
- "How to Read Literature: Poetry and Close Reading" Online Lecture Series, Berhampore Girls' College, India, Oct 17, 2020
- "Postcolonial Studies: Current Configurations", Postcolonial Studies: Women and Current Configurations, Lady Brabourne College, India, 21-22 Sep, 2020.
- "Museums and Colonialism: Reading Leila Aboulela", Confluence 2020, Pijush Kanti Mahavidyalaya, India, Aug 20-22, 2020.
- "Catastrophic Realism: Theorising an Aesthetic of Crisis", Lecture Series in Media and Communication Studies, Manipal Academy of Higher Ediucation, Jun 26, 2020
- "Catatrophe, Crisis, and Literary Imagination", Humanities and Social Sciences Webinar Series, IISER Bhopal, India, June 19, 2020
- "Ecology, Resources, Postcolonial Literature", Online lecture Series, Midnapore College, India, June 12, 2020.
- Insurgent Empire: Conversation with Priyamvada Gopal", Socialist Theory and Movement Network Seminars, University of Glasgow, Oct 22, 2020.
- "Creative Conversations Homi K Bhabha on 'The Unprepared'", Creative Conversations, University of Glasgow, Oct 01, 2020.
Conferences and Special Panels Organised
Co-organizer, “Does the Untranslated Travel?: Towards a Regional World Literature”, proposed seminar, ACLA Annual Meeting, Georgetown University, March 2019
Sole organizer, Panel, “Postcolonial Disasters: Globalization, Conflict, and Representation” in Postcolonial Studies Association (PSA) Biennial Convention, Senate House, London, Sep 18-20, 2017.
Co-organizer, Conference, The Matter of Resistance, Univ. of Warwick, Apr 29, 2016.
Member of the organising committee, Conference, Victorian World Literature, Univ. of Warwick, May 19-20, 2016
Co-organizer, Special Panel, “Peripheral Modernity and South Asian Literary-World.” 24th Biennial European Conference on South Asian Studies. Univ. of Warsaw, July 27-30, 2016.
Co-organizer, Roundtable, “Peripheral Aesthetics and World Literature.” 131st Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Austin, Texas, Jan 7-10, 2016 (Jan 8).
Invited Contributions and paper Presentations (Selected)
- "Postcolonial Disasters and Literary Aesthetics: An Eco-materialist Reading", ACLA Annual Meeting, April 8-11, 2021 (Invited).
- “World-Famines and World-Literature.” Historical Materialism: Sixteenth Annual Conference. University of London, Nov 7-10, 2019
- “Food Crisis and Welfare State in Postcolonial India: A Literary Instance.” Postcolonial Studies Association Biennial Convention. University of Manchester, Sep 11-13, 2019.
- “Uneven Modernity in the Postcolonial Metropolis: Nabarun Bhattacharya’s Critical Irrealist Tales.” Uneven and Combined Development in the 21st Century: A Conference. University of Glasgow, Sep 5-7, 2019
- “Poets of the World: Literature and Internationalism in Mid-20thC Bengal.“ American Comparative Literature Association Annual Conference. Georgetown University. Washington D.C., March 8, 2019
- “Towards A New Literary Historiography: The Cultural Poetics of Food Crisis in Twentieth-Century Indian Literature.” The Literary Across Cultures: Cultural Poetics of Bhasha Literatures in Theory and Practice. Forum on Contemporary Theory, Baroda, Feb 25- 27, 2019
- “Outside of the City: Food Crisis and Literature in Post-Famine Bengal.” Trans/Region/Nation: Literature Cinema Interface Conference. BITS Pilani Goa, Goa, Jan 31-Feb 2, 2019 (invited)
- “Food Crisis and Protest Culture in Contemporary India.” Workshop on Postcolonial Unrest(s): State, Citizen Rights, Trauma(s). IIT Kharagpur, Jun 30, 2018 (invited)
- “From Colonial Famine to Postcolonial Hunger.” Two guest lectures at CSSS, Calcutta (invited) and at University of Oxford (part of the Global Hunger Conference). June 20 and 25, 2018
- “Torture, Class, and Literary Form: Novels of the Indian Emergency.” Disciplining Reproduction in Modern South Asia: Emergency and Beyond, Univ. of Exeter, Sep 4-5, 2017 (invited).
- “Neo-colonialism, Indigenous Struggle, and Mahasweta Devi’s Fiction.” ACLA Annual Convention, Univ. of Utrecht, Jul 6-9, 2017 (invited).
- “Fashion Victims: Bangladesh Rana Plaza Disaster and Resistant Art-work”. Postcolonial Studies Association Biennial Conference. Univ. of London, Sep 18-20, 2017.
- “Globalization, Postcolonial Ecology, and Critical Irrealism: The Fiction of Mahasweta Devi and Pepetala.” Other Globes: Past and Peripheral Imagination. Univ. of Amsterdam, Jul 4-5, 2017.
- "Intolerance and Crisis in Indian Democracy."16th South Asian Literary Association Annual Convention, Austin, Texas. Jan 5, 2016 (Presidential Panel: invited).
- “What is World Literature for a Postcolonial Nation?” World Literature and Dissent, Univ. of St. Andrews, Jun 17-18, 2016.
Supervision and Examination of Dissertations
Sourit has examined an M.Phil. dissertation at Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and, for a brief period in IIT Roorkee, supervised three Ph.D. theses on Dalit Literature, Toxicity and Postcolonial Literature, and Magical Realism in South Asia. He currently supervises three PhD stduents at Glasgow and serves on the Academic Progress Review and viva committees at Glasgow.
Deputy Convenor, 2B: Writing and Text, University of Glasgow
Convenor, Website Management Committee, IIT Roorkee
Member, Departmental Research Committee, IIT Roorkee
member, Departmental Academic Programme Committee, IIT Roorkee
Early Career training at Academic Career and Employability of Warwick’s Institute of Advanced Study (completed, Mar 2018)
Peer Reviewer of Journals and Books
I regularly peer review for the following publications,
- Books: Routledge; Brill
- South Asian Review
- ISLE: Interdiscipinary Studies in Literature and Environemnt
- Mosaic: An Interdisciplinary Critical Journal
- South Asian Diaspora
- Porn Studies
- Open Library of Humanities
- Exchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal