Professor Ankhi Mukherjee

While my first monograph, Aesthetic Hysteria: The Great Neurosis in Victorian Melodrama and Contemporary Fiction (Routledge, 2007), drew largely on Victorian literature and culture, my second book,  What Is a Classic? Postcolonial Rewriting and Invention of the Canon (Stanford University Press, 2014) asks how classics emanate from postcolonial histories and societies. Exploring definitive trends in twentieth- and twenty-first century English and Anglophone literature, I examine the relevance of the question of the classic for the global politics of identifying and perpetuating so-called core texts. Emergent canons are scrutinized in the context of the wider cultural phenomena of book prizes, the translation and distribution of world literatures, and multimedia adaptations of world classics. The book's ambitious historical schema includes South Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America. What Is a Classic? won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for English Literature in 2015.

I am currently working on an interdisciplinary project that examines the institution of psychoanalysis and its vexed relationship with race and the urban poor in the context of three global cities: Mumbai, London, and New York. 

I have co-edited, with Laura Marcus, a Blackwell Companion to PsychoanalysisLiterature, and Culture, a project that showcases path-breaking new work by leading critics in the field of literary psychoanalysis. I am currently editing After Lacan, a collection of essays on the intellectual and cultural legacies of the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press).

Undergraduate

Prelims Paper 1: Introduction to English Language and Literature, English literature 1760 to the present, various special authors and topics

I primarily teach Victorian literature, Modern British and Anglophone literature, the history and theory of criticism, postcolonial and world literatures. 

Graduate

MSt in English (1900-present) and MSt in World Literatures in English

My graduate teaching is closely allied to my research interests and has included topics such as literature and psychoanalysis; race and writing; postcolonialism and feminism; the novel and human rights.

I have supervised ten doctoral students to date on a wide range of topics including Victorian women's travelogues on Meiji Japan; the aesthetics of hunger in Beckett, Auster, and Coetzee; partition narratives from South Asia and the Middle East; representations of disability in the postcolonial Anglophone novel. 

I was Deputy Chair of Moderations in English Language and Literature from 2011-12 and Chair of Preliminary Examinations from 2012-13. I co-convene, with Elleke Boehmer, a long-running Postcolonial Studies seminar, usually held fortnightly in term at Wadham College.

I am on the editorial board of The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry and the consultative group ofWomen: A Cultural Review. I review books for Cambridge University Press, Stanford University Press, Routledge, and a host of international peer-reviewed journals, including Interventions, Ariel, Notes and Queries, Postcolonial Literary Inquiry. 

I was a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre, The Australian National University, in 2014.

College Website

Publications

  • "Other Classics"

  • "Slums and the Postcolonial Uncanny"

  • Funny English, Queer Indian: The New Novel in 50s India

  • Poor like them: Representations of Poverty in South Asian Literature and Cinema

  • Postcolonial Responses to the Canon

  • More
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