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Poulomi Saha

Assistant Professor
C36 Hearst Field Annex
MW 2-3 & by appointment
psaha@berkeley.edu


Professional Statement

My research and teaching agenda spans eastward and forward from the late 19th century decline of British colonial rule in the Indian Ocean through to the Pacific and the rise of American global power and domestic race relations in the 20th century. Engaging postcolonial studies, ethnic American literature, and gender and sexuality theory, I hope to map an expansive view of empire and of what constitutes Anglophone literature routed not primarily through Great Britain and Western Europe but rather through circuits of affiliation and encounter between Asia and the Americas.

I am currently completing my first monograph, Object Imperium, which considers the relationship between materiality and affect through an examination of East Bengal from the late 19th century to the contemporary moment. It argues that East Bengal, which has historically been seen as a site of raw material and poetic feeling, in fact fundamentally challenges the narrative of political modernity offered by postcolonial studies as it has focused on West Bengal as a synecdoche of British empire and anticolonialism. Bringing postcolonial historiography, feminist and queer theory, and psychoanalytic critique to bear on an archive ranging from Oriental antiquities in Freud’s London office to Rabindranath Tagore’s novels, to handloom textiles and contemporary garments labor, and to the unpublished diaries of female revolutionary terrorists, the project seeks to introduce a set of reading practices by which affect and materiality coincide to offer an account of forms of political feeling and desire that are not contained within boundaries of the nation, the ideology of anticolonial nationalism, or a vision of postcolonial development and progress.

I earned my BA in International Relations and English from Mount Holyoke College and my PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania. 

 



Specialties

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

“Women on Fire: Sati, Consent, and the Revolutionary Subject.” differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies. (24.3: Summer 2013) 63-100.
 
 
 


Recent English Courses Taught