Research

My research focuses on the intersections of language ideology, political movements, and aesthetic form in the global twentieth century. I am currently completing a book manuscript, New Words, Old Embarrassments: Print Internationalism and its Interpretive Communities, 1899-1945. For a preview of that book, please see my earlier publications in the journals Callaloo and in Social Dynamics.

In my second book project, I focus exclusively on South Asia, analyzing the shifting relationships between spoken language and print culture across the languages of Hindi, Bengali (Bangla), and English. In a recent article in Comparative Literature, I demonstrate the utility of comparing the Chinese and Bengali experiences of vernacularization; in an essay published in Interventions, I theorize the overlapping vernacular of northern India and Pakistan that is sometimes called Hindustani.

I have a sustained secondary research interest in southern Africa, whose historical and linguistic complexity provide rich insights into the operations of language and culture in general. A portion of this work has appeared in the film journal Black Camera.

I am, finally, committed to the search for a feminist and anti-racist methodology for the comparative study of culture. You can find a (somewhat polemical) articulation of this method, focusing on contemporary debates around gendered violence, in the journal Feminist Africaa more historically invested approach to this problem, focusing on the Indian-British cultural interface, was published in the edited collection India in Britain.