Comparative literature and world literature
Global, Diasporic, and Oceanic History
Twentieth-Century Solidarity and Activism
Human rights Law, History, and Advocacy
Academic research & teaching
I work on literature & history of the 'global south', especially anticolonial and nationalist movements in British India in the early twentieth century. I also work on Black American anti-racist thought in the 1920s and 1930s, Third World solidarity movements during the Cold War, and anti-Apartheid activism in South Africa in the 1960s-1980s. I have written about Bhagat Singh, M.K. Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, W.E.B. Du Bois, Emma Goldman, among others. I have published essays in many journals including Postcolonial Studies, Interventions, and the PMLA.
I am an assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong. In 2018-2019, I am a Fellow in the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University. I have previously taught at the University of Toronto, and in 2015-2016, I was the Mellon Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral Fellow in 'Bibliomigrancy' at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
My teaching has focused on comparative world literature, especially literature from South Asia, Africa, and the Black Diaspora. I regularly teach courses on 'rotten Englishes', postcolonial theory, diaspora studies, and human rights law & literature.
Human rights advocacy & public engagement
I approach human rights by starting from histories of people of colour, diasporic communities, and other marginalised communities and populations. In South Asia, I am committed to recuperating the legacy of B.R. Ambedkar and asserting Dalit (formerly 'untouchable') rights, as well as LGBTQ rights. In South Africa, I work on post-Apartheid anti-racist activism, especially movements to decolonise university curricula. In the US and Canada, I am committed to both diasporic and indigenous community rights advocacy. I have written about the relationship between human rights and global climate change.
I am currently working on a series of public essays on twentieth-century activism, focusing especiallyon movements like Afro-Asian solidarity and ACT-UP.
Personal projects & research
I am currently working on a book about queer relatives and the families we find out we had all along. I am also translating Asja Lacis's memoir about avant-garde theatre, Bertolt Brecht, and Walter Benjamin, from German to English.
I have written various book reviews, personal essays, and other essays for sites around the internet, including pieces for Los Angeles Review of Books, Quarterly Conversation, and Public Books.
When I was seventeen, I wrote and directed a musical based on the epic of Gilgamesh.