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Ankhi Mukherjee

Ankhi Mukherjee, Professor of English and World Literatures and Tutorial Fellow

PhD (Rutgers University, USA)

Faculty of English Language and Literature

  • Wadham Image - ankhimukherjeepref_3

Professor Ankhi Mukherjee, Fellow and Tutor in English

Ankhi Mukherjee is Professor in the Faculty of English and a Tutorial Fellow at Wadham.

English at Wadham Contact Ankhi

Hinkley Visiting Professor, Johns Hopkins University (Spring term, 2019)
Visiting Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, The Australian National University (April 2014)
British Academy Post-doctoral Research Fellow (2003-2006)
Lecturer in English, Wadham College (2002-2003)
Visiting Lecturer, Royal Holloway College (2001-2002)

Research Interests
While her first monograph, Aesthetic Hysteria: The Great Neurosis in Victorian Melodrama and Contemporary Fiction (Routledge, 2007), drew largely on Victorian literature and culture, Ankhi’s second book, What Is a Classic? Postcolonial Rewriting and Invention of the Canon (Stanford, 2013) asks how classics emanate from postcolonial histories and societies. Exploring definitive trends in twentieth- and twenty-first century English and Anglophone literature, she examines 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.

She is 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.

Ankhi’s primary teaching areas are Victorian and Modern (British and Anglophone) literature, critical theory and intellectual history, particularly psychoanalysis, and postcolonial and world literatures. At the graduate level, she teaches on the MSt in English (1900-present) as well as the MSt in World Literatures in English. She has supervised eleven 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; the vegan canon; V. S. Naipaul in the Caribbean intellectual context; literature and neuroscience in American fiction.

Ankhi was Deputy Chair of Moderations in English Language and Literature from 2011-12 and Chair of Preliminary Examinations from 2012-13.

Ankhi's research project, "The Psychic Life of the Poor: A City Unseen in Mumbai, London, and New York," has been the recipient of four grants: an AHRC Leadership Fellows Grant, a Wellcome Trust and two John Fell Fund travel grants. More information about this project can be found here.

Ankhi is on the editorial board of Oxford Bibliographies Online, a flagship project of Oxford University Press designed to enhance the reference field for scholars in this electronic age, and has contributed two annotated bibliographies on "Race (Victorian Literature)" and "Canonicity." She is on the editorial board of Contemporary Literature, The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry and Women: A Cultural Review. She reviews for Cambridge University Press, Stanford University Press, Routledge, and a host of international peer-reviewed journals, including Interventions, Ariel, Notes and Queries, and Callaloo.

In 2017, Ankhi contributed an article to The Hysterical Material, a catalogue published in relation to an exhibition of the same name, featuring works by Auguste Rodin and Bruce Nauman, at the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art. She is one of the authors in a collected volume of essays titled Brexit and Literature (Routledge, 2018).

Selected publications

Aesthetic Hysteria: The Great Neurosis in Victorian Melodrama and Contemporary Fiction (Routledge, 2007).

Editor (with Laura Marcus), A Companion to Psychoanalysis, Literature, and Culture (Blackwell Publishers, 2014).

What is a Classic? Postcolonial Rewriting and Invention of the Canon (Stanford University Press, 2014). Winner of the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for English Literature.

Editor, After Lacan (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Journal Articles (selected)
Guest editor, Special Issue: "Postcolonial Reading Publics," The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, December 2016

"The Great Bengali Novel in English: A Critical Review of Neel Mukherjee's The Lives of Others." Contemporary Literature 57.3 (Fall 2016)

"Creole Modernism." Affirmations: Of the Modern. 2.1 (December 2014) “‘This Traffic of Influence’: Derrida and Spivak,” Special Issue “Gayatri Spivak: Postcolonial and Other Pedagogies,” Parallax 60 (Summer 2011)

“‘What is a Classic?’: International Literary Criticism and the Classic Question,” Special Topic “Literary Criticism for the Twenty-first Century,” ed. Cathy Caruth and Jonathan Culler, PMLA 125.4 (October 2010)

“‘Yes, sir, I was the one who got away’: Postcolonial Emergence and the Question of Global English,” Études Anglaises N°3 (2009)

“The Death of the Novel and Two Postcolonial Writers,” special issue “Influence” ed. Andrew Elfenbein, Modern Language Quarterly 69.4 (December 2008)

“Fissured Skin, Inner Ear Radio, and a Telepathic Nose: The Senses as Media in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children,” Paragraph 29:6 (November 2006)

"Buried Alive: The Gothic Carceral in V. S. Naipaul’s Fiction,” special issue “V.S. Naipaul” ed. Pradyumna Chauhan, South Asian Review (Fall 2005)

“Missed Encounters: Repetition, Rewriting, and Contemporary Returns to Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations,” Contemporary Literature  46:1 (Spring 2005)

“Stammering to Story: Neurosis and Narration in Pat Barker’s Regeneration,” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 43 (Fall 2001)

Chapters in Multi-author Texts (selected)
"Affective Form." Affect. Ed. Alex Houen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.

"Nautical Melodrama." The Cambridge Companion to English Melodrama. Ed. Carolyn Williams. Cambridge: CUP, 2018.

"Slums and the Postcolonial Uncanny." Planned Violence: Post/Colonial Urban Infrastructures, Literature and Culture. Ed. Elleke Boehmer et al. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018

"Canonicity." Oxford Bibliographies Online, 2017.

"Borderless Worlds?" Conflicting Humanities. Ed. Rosi Braidotti and Paul Gilroy. London:     Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.

"Politics." Nineteenth-Century Poetry: Criticism and Debates. Ed. Emma Mason et al. London: Routledge, 2015.

"Primetime Psychoanalysis." A Companion to Psychoanalysis, Literature, and Culture. Ed. Laura Marcus and Ankhi Mukherjee. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2013.

“Race: Victorian Literature.” Oxford Bibliographies Online, 2012.

“The Rushdie Canon.” Salman Rushdie: Contemporary Critical Perspectives. Ed. Robert Eaglestone and Martin McQuillan. London: Bloomsbury, 2012.

"Postcolonial Responses to the Western Canon.” The Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literature (2 volumes). Ed. Ato Quayson. Cambridge: CUP, 2011.

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