Kanishka Chowdhury portrait

Kanishka Chowdhury

Professor of English / Director of American Culture & Difference Minor
Office
JRC 342
Hours
(Fall 2019) By appointment
Phone
(651) 962-5646
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-5646
Mail
JRC 333

I’m interested in the ways that culture, politics, ethics, and aesthetics intersect, so in all of my classes we analyze texts as part of complex social formations and in specific historical contexts. Recently, I’ve taught courses in cultural studies, immigrant literatures, global film, transnational literatures, and writing and resistance. I’ve also written on many of these topics, as well as on contemporary postcolonial cultures and their connections to emerging forms of citizenship and neoliberal economic changes. My latest book, Human Rights Discourse in the Post-9/11 Age examines some of the contradictions that emerge in contemporary rights language when material relations are not sufficiently perceived or acknowledged, while directing attention to the role of some rights talk in maintaining and managing the accelerated global project of capital accumulation.

Academic History
M.A., Ph.D., Purdue University
B.A., St. Xavier's College, Calcutta (India)
At St. Thomas since 1993 

Expertise/Specialties
Postcolonial Literature and Theory
Twentieth-century Cultural Theory
Contemporary South Asian Culture and Politics
Theories of Globalization


Books

Human Rights Discourse in the Post-9/11 Age. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

The New India: Citizenship, Subjectivity and Economic Liberalization. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

 

Selected Articles, Review Essays, and Reviews

“Globalization and the South Asian Novel.” Oxford History of the Novel in English, Volume 10. Oxford University Press, 2019. 

“Rosa Luxemburg's The Accumulation of Capital, Postcolonial Theory, and the Problem of Present Day Imperialisms.” New Formations: A Journal of Culture/Theory/Politics Vol. 94, 2018: pp.142-60.

“Imperialism.” Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Literature. Eds. Henry Schwartz and Sangeeta Ray. New York: Wiley Blackwell, 2015.

Review of On Anger: Race, Cognition, Narrative. MELUS 40.1 (Spring 2015): 206–208.

Review of Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital by Vivek Chibber. Science and Society. 78.4 (October 2014): 645–647.

“The American Dispossessed: Outsiders in Ferguson.” Counterpunch. August 21, 2014.

“Paths to Revolution.” With Barbara Foley. Mediations 27.1–2: (Fall/Spring 2013–2014): 411–418.

“Malala Yousefzai and the Modern Subject.” Counterpunch. October 11–13, 2013.

"Deflecting Crisis: Critiquing Capitalism’s Emancipation Narrative.” Works and Days. Special Issue on Culture and Crisis. 30.59/60 (2012): 349–360.

"Interrogating the New: Globalization, Endless War, and Postcolonial Theory." Cultural Critique. 62 (Spring 2006): 126-62.

"Transnational Transgression: Reading Mira Nair's Kama Sutra and Deepa Mehta's Fire in a Global Economy," South Asian Review 24.1 (Summer 2003): 180-201.

"It's All Within Your Reach: Nationalisms in the Age of the Global Economy," Cultural Logic, November 2002. Reprinted in Freeindiamedia.com.

"Postcolonial Longings." Modern Fiction Studies. 46.2 (Summer 2000): 496-500.

"Afrocentric Voices: Constructing Identities, (Dis)placing Difference." Race-ing Representation: Voice, History, and Sexuality, eds., Kostas and Linda Myrsiades. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1998: 21-54.


Recent Conference Presentations, 2013-2017

“Surplus Population and the Value of Money in Patnaik’s A Theory of Imperialism.” Institute of Theory and Culture.” UC, Davis, June, 2017.

Chair and Speaker, “What’s Going On: Imperialism in the 21st Century.” Left Forum, New York City, June 2017.

Invited Speaker, “Rosa Luxemburg Reads the Present Crisis,” Concordia University, Montreal, June 27, 2016.

“Imperialism and the Racial Other” John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, May 21, ,2016.

“Racism, Exploitation, and the Credit Mechanism of Contemporary Capitalism.” Conference on Capital: The Basement Tapes. Georgetown University, June 25, 2015.

“Naturalizing Transnational Exploitation.” Left Forum. John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, May 30, 2015. 

“Transformative Justice and the Transactional Moment.” Left Forum. City University of New York, May 31, 2014.

“Rights Talk and the Accumulation of Wealth.” 15th Triennial Conference of EACLALS. University of Innsbruck, April 17, 2014.

Chair, “Narratives of Enrichment.” 15th Triennial Conference of EACLALS. University of Innsbruck, April 17, 2014.

“Justice, Dialectics, and the Discourse of Rights.” Ohio State University. June 24, 2013.

 

Fall 2019 Courses

Fall 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ENGL 110 - PW4 Intensive Writing - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 JRC 301

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1330 - 1510

Location:

JRC 301

Course Registration Number:

41933 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Kanishka Chowdhury

The course provides students with intensive practice in writing, enabling them to adapt to the demands of differing rhetorical contexts. Emphasis on understanding writing processes and learning to respond thoughtfully to writing at various stages. Critical reading will be practiced as an integral part of the writing process. Prerequisite: participation in the Academic Development Program

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ENGL 337 - L01 Refugee Writers, Refugee Lives - T - R - - - 1525 - 1700 OEC 209

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1525 - 1700

Location:

OEC 209

Course Registration Number:

42558 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Kanishka Chowdhury

Clearly, what is now termed by mainstream scholars and activists as the “refugee crisis” is a subject that needs serious study. This course will examine the historical and political conditions that determine this “crisis,” exploring concepts such as displacement, migrancy, exile, and transnationalism within the context of global capitalism. We will study the works of a variety of writers, such as Leila Abdelrazaq, Jason De León, Nadifa Mohamed, Óscar Martínez, Dinaw Mengetsu, and Viet Than Nguyen, among others. This course provides an in-depth exploration of how literature engages Christian thought, experience, and practice and how a reader engages works of imaginative literature from an intellectually serious Christian perspective. The course will also provide an introduction to theories in the interdisciplinary field of religion and literature. Religious themes studied will come from a variety of literary forms, including those of myth, history, parable, short story, essay, children's literature, poem, and novel. The literature chosen may reflect a variety of cultural backgrounds so that, among other things, we may consider how meaning may be affected by changes in worldview. Specific topics vary; accordingly, credit may be earned more than once for this course number. This course fulfills the Contexts and Convergences requirement in the English major. Prerequisites: ENGL 201, 202, 203, or 204. This course satisfies the core Literature and Writing requirement for students who started that requirement with an ENGL 201-204 class, the core Human Diversity requirement, a Diversity Literature and Contexts and Convergences requirement for English majors, a 300-level elective for English with Creative Writing and English with Professional Writing majors, and a WAC Writing to Learn requirement.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
GENG 516 - 01 Critical Lit Topics: Borders - - W - - - - 1800 - 2100 JRC 481

Days of Week:

- - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1800 - 2100

Location:

JRC 481

Course Registration Number:

42531 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Kanishka Chowdhury

In this course, we will examine the border both as geographical line and limit and imaginative space and method. How might the current regimentation of borders work on and against the increasing dispersal of global culture and capital? How might our analysis of the border as an epistemic framework shape the way we read texts? This class will consider the ways in which writers and theorists are rethinking notions of the border as a political and aesthetic category. This course is required by all students entering the program in the summer of 2018 and beyond.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2020 Courses

J-Term 2020 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2020 Courses

Spring 2020 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ACST 200 - L01 Intro to Amer. Culture & Diff. - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 JRC 246

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1330 - 1510

Location:

JRC 246

Course Registration Number:

20002 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Kanishka Chowdhury

In ACST 200, students learn about the historical and theoretical foundations of Cultural Studies as an academic discipline and use cultural theory to analyze a variety of cultural products and representations. In this course, students look specifically at dominant and subversive constructions of gender, race, ethnicity, national and sexual identities, and how these constructions are deployed through cultural practices and productions such as sports, film and television, folklore and popular culture, youth subcultures, music, and so on. For example, the course may contain units on "nation" and the creation of American mythologies; the process of hero-making in American history; stereotypes and the representation of race and ethnicity in television and film; representations of gender and sexuality in advertising; as well as a section on American music from jazz, blues, folk and roots music, to rock and roll, punk, and hip-hop. This course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement in the core curriculum.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
ACST 450 - 01 Amer. Culture & Diff. Capstone - - - - - - - -

Days of Week:

- - - - - - -

Time of Day:

-

Location:

Course Registration Number:

23328 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

0 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Kanishka Chowdhury

The American Culture and Difference Capstone Project will integrate learning from the Introduction to American Culture and Difference course and elective courses that compose each student’s ACD Minor. The capstone experience will articulate and enhance the interdisciplinary studies of an ACD minor and synthesize that learning in a culminating project. Two capstone seminars will provide structure for students to transition from knowledge acquisition to knowledge production (i.e.: article, essay, or research) or cultural production (i.e.: music, poetry, visual art, creative writing), and provide guidance from ACD Faculty to complete a capstone project and presentation. Registration is restricted to American Culture and Difference minors in their senior year. Prerequisite: ACST 200

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)
FILM 300 - L01 World Cinema - T - R - - - 1525 - 1700 MHC 210

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1525 - 1700

Location:

MHC 210

Course Registration Number:

20906 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

4 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Kanishka Chowdhury

In this course, students will view, discuss, and read and write about feature-length films from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and possibly India and/or the Middle East. Following critical viewing of films both in and outside of class, students will engage in critical reflection, discussion, and analytical writing as a way of practicing the art of film analysis. This course asks students to think critically about the ways in which cinema engages the world as a form of entertainment, as art, as historical document, and as an instrument of social change. The course fulfills the Human Diversity requirement of the core curriculum at UST by addressing issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and geopolitical status. It scrutinizes the ways in which institutionalized and structural power and privilege are reflected in the subject matter, creation, and audience reception of film.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)