Comparative literature | world literature
Global, Diasporic, and Oceanic History
Human rights Law, History, and Advocacy
Canada | HONG KONG | India | Pakistan | South Africa | UK | US
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 ('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, and am involved in working groups focusing on the shifting needs of human rights advocacy in the age of accellerated climate change.
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, Quartz, and Public Books.
When I was seventeen, I wrote and directed a musical based on the epic of Gilgamesh.