Kanishka Chowdhury  portrait

Kanishka Chowdhury

Professor of English / Director of American Culture & Difference Minor
Degree
M.A., Ph.D., Purdue University
B.A., St. Xavier's College, Calcutta (India)
At St. Thomas since 1993
Office
JRC 342
Phone
(651) 962-5646

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 on cultural studies, immigrant literatures, Marxist theory, transnational literatures, and writing and resistance. I’ve also written on many of these topics, as well as on contemporary India—the connections between its emerging forms of citizenship and neoliberal economic changes. Lately I have been researching transnational human rights discourse, trying to understand more clearly how that discourse names, locates, and categorizes subjects who are positioned as victims of injustice.

Fall 2018 Courses

Fall 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ACST 200 - L01 Intro to Amer. Culture & Diff. M - W - - - - 1335 - 1510 JRC 126

Days of Week:

M - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1335 - 1510

Location:

JRC 126

Course Registration Number:

42458 (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)
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:

42455 (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)

J-Term 2019 Courses

J-Term 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2019 Courses

Spring 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ACST 200 - L01 Intro to Amer. Culture & Diff. - T - R - - - 1330 - 1510 JRC 126

Days of Week:

- T - R - - -

Time of Day:

1330 - 1510

Location:

JRC 126

Course Registration Number:

20003 (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)
GENG 660 - 01 Transnat Text Age Neoliberalis - - W - - - - 1800 - 2100 JRC 481

Days of Week:

- - W - - - -

Time of Day:

1800 - 2100

Location:

JRC 481

Course Registration Number:

21952 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:

3 Credit Hours

Instructor:

Kanishka Chowdhury

In a recent piece, "The Location of Literature: The Transnational Book and the Migrant Writer," Rebecca Wolkowitz suggests that "contemporary literature in the age of globalization is, in many ways, a COMPARATIVE literature: works circulate in many literary systems at once, and can-- some would say, need [to]--be read within severe national traditions" (my emphasis). In this course, we will examine the premise of this claim, examining a range of texts within the context of some of the vast changes that have taken place in the global economy in the last twenty years. We will focus on just a few distinctive feature of the present conjuncture: the political economy of transnationalism--how the acceleration in transnational capital accumulation and the accompanying dispossession of the poor and rise in migrant and refugee populations (especially in/from the Global South), have been highlighted or displaced in the transnational text; the emergence of a transnational citizen --how questions about citizenship have evolved at a time when national borders have become both more rigid and more fluid; gender in a transnational world--how gender has been used to demarcate and negotiate political and economic conflicts; and finally, the idea of transnational ethics-- how the events of 9/11 and the subsequent "war on terror" have realigned our notions of human rights. The texts we will read do not merely serve as "vessels" for economic or social positions, nor are they simply allied or resistant to dominant neoliberal paradigms; instead, like most texts, they yield contradictory "meanings," and we will consider ways in which these texts succeed or fail within the conditions of their own production. The course will explore a range of voices, including Arvind Adiga, Anthony Appiah, Giovanni Arrighi, Alain Badiou, Judith Butler, Rey Chow, Teju Cole, Amma Darko, David Harvey, Eduardo Galeano, Muhammed Hanif, Caren Kaplan, Arundhati Roy, Amartya Sen, Gayatri Spivak, and Slavoj Zizek. Each student will write blog entries, a mid-term paper, and a final essay, and s/he will also be responsible for an extended presentation. A list of books and films will be available at the end of the fall semester. This course satisfies the Multicultural Literature distribution requirement and counts as one 600-level course. This course also satisfies the Literature in a Global, Transatlantic, or Transnational Perspective for new curriculum. Prerequisite: GENG 513 or permission of the instructor.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)