My current research is focused in two areas:
1. TRAVEL AND TRANSNATIONALISM
- I work on the effects of travel on the literary output of a number of late-20th- and early-21st-century authors from South Asia, the UK, and North America
- I consider how their experiences of travel have shaped their transnational identities, and how this is expressed in their work
- I also focus on the marginalizing and ‘other’-ing associated with migrations, flights, and diasporas
These interests are pursued in various ways. For example:
- my first monograph: Travel Writing and the Transnational Author
- an article commissioned by the journal editor: ‘The Performing Wanderer: The Travel Writing of Vikram Seth’, Studies in Travel Writing, 18 (2014): 57–73.
- an article commissioned after a conference paper: ‘Sri Lankan “Gates of Fire”: Michael Ondaatje’s Transnational Fiction, from Running in the Family to Anil’s Ghost’, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 45 (2010): 429–41.
2. POSTCOLONIAL GRAPHIC NOVELS
- I am interested in the different media — such as the graphic novel form — that can be used to represent the experiences of postcolonialism
- and whether the valuation of both visual and written parts of the cultural experience affects the process of ‘canonisation’
- particularly with respect to the formation of a postcolonial literary canon, a relatively recent phenomenon
- I also wonder whether the graphic novel enables an immediacy of postcolonial response that is often denied to other literary forms
These ideas are the basis of my other research outputs:
- ‘Marginalisation, Trauma, and the Graphic Novel: From Maus to Malta’, in Postcolonial Traumas: Narrative, Memory, Resistance, ed. Abigail Ward (Houndmills: Palgrave, 2015), pp. 83–96.
- ‘Joe Sacco’s “Prying Outsiders”: Marginalization, Graphic Novel Form, and the Ethics of Postcolonial Representation’, in Postcolonial Comics: Texts, Events, Identities, ed. Binita Mehta and Pia Mukherji (London and NY: Routledge, 2015), pp. 44–58.
And a special issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, ‘Trans/forming Literature: Graphic Novels, Migration, and Postcolonial Identity’, to be released as #52.4 in August 2016. For more information, see here.
These two areas of interest come together in my planned second monograph — more on this in ‘Research Plans’.