Prof Priyamvada Gopal, Churchill



Biographical Information

Born in New Delhi, India, Schooling in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Thimpu, Bhutan;  Delhi, India; Vienna, Austria. Subsequent education at Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Purdue University (USA) and Cornell University (USA, PhD 2000).

Currently Professor of Postcolonial Studies at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge and Professorial Fellow, Churchill College. 

Research Interests

My present interests are in the literatures, politics, and cultures of empire, colonialism and decolonisation. I have related interests in the novel,  South Asian literature,  and postcolonial cultures.  Published work includes Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence (Routledge, 2005),  After Iraq: Reframing Postcolonial Studies (Special issue of New Formations co-edited with Neil Lazarus) , The Indian English Novel: Nation, History and Narration (Oxford University Press, 2009) and, most recently, Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent (Verso, 2019) which was shortlisted for the British Academy Prize for Global Cultural Understanding and the Bread and Roses Prize. My writing has also appeared in The Hindu, Outlook India, India Today, The Independent,  Prospect Magazine, The New Statesman, The Guardian, Al-Jazeera English (AJE) and The Nation (USA). I've contributed occasionally to the BBC's Start the Week and Newsnight as well as programmes on NDTV-India,  Al-Jazeera, National Public Radio and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 

I am currently on leave from Cambridge and on a fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, working on a new project called Decolonization: the Life and Times of an Idea which examines a range of thinkers, contexts and struggles across the Global South. 

Areas of Graduate Supervision

Colonial and Postcolonial Studies; Anticolonial Thought; Literatures of the Global South; South Asian Literature; British and American Asian literature and culture; Black British and African American literature and culture; Critical Race Studies; Comparative Postcolonialisms; Decolonisation; Indigenous Literatures; Critical Caste Studies. 

Selected Publications

    • 'On Decolonisation and the University' in Textual Practice, 35:6, 873-899, DOI: 10.1080/0950236X.2021.1929561 (open access)
    • "Of Capitalism and Critique: 'Af-Pak Fiction in the Wake of 9/11" in Alex Tickell (ed.) South-Asian Fiction in English: Contemporary Transformations. Palgrave MacMillan, 2016, pp 21-36.

    • "Redressing anti-imperial amnesia" in Race and Class, January–March 2016 vol. 57 no. 3, pp.18-30.

    • "The Limits of Hybridity: Language and Innovation in Anglophone Postcolonial Poetry" in The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature,
      Routledge, 2012
    • The Indian English Novel: Nation, History and Narration, Oxford University Press (2009)
    • "The 'Moral Empire': Africa, Globalisation and the Politics of Conscience", New Formations: a Journal of Culture/Theory/Politics, ed. Priyamvada Gopal and Neil Lazarus 59, 2006, 81-97
    • Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence, Routledge, 2005, 173
    • "Reading Subaltern History", Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Literary Studies, Ed. Neil Lazarus, Cambridge University Press, 2004, 139-161
    •  "Amitav Ghosh", World Writers in English, Ed. Jay Parini, New York: Gale, 2004
    • "Sex, Space and Modernity in the Work of Rashid Jahan, 'Angareywali'", Marxism, Modernity and Postcolonialism, Cambridge University Press, 2002, 150-66
    • "Frantz Fanon, Feminisim and the Question of Relativism", New Formations 47 (Summer 2002), 2002, 38-43
    • "'Curious Ironies: Matter and Meaning in Bhabani Bhattacharya's Novel of the 1943 Bengal Famine", ARIEL: A Review of International English Literatures 32:3, July 01, 2001, 61-88
    •  'Nationalist thought and the Postcolonial world', Review, Textual Practice Spring 2001, 2001, 173-79
    •  "Dangerous Bodies: Masculinity and Morality in Manto's 'Cold Meat'", The Partitions of Memory: The Afterlife of the Division of India, Permanent Black Press and Indiana University Press, 2001, 242-268
    • Women Writing in India'", 16 Nos 1-2, 1994