Photo of Mayurika Chakravorty

Mayurika Chakravorty

Degrees:B.A. Honours (Calcutta University); M.A., M.Phil. (JNU); Ph.D. (SOAS, University of London)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2117
Email:mayurika.chakravorty@carleton.ca
Office:1907 Dunton Tower

Research Interests:

  • Postcolonial Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • South Asian Literature and Popular Culture
  • Childhood/Girlhood in Literature
  • Diaspora Literature
  • Literature and/of Globalization

Current Research:

Within the fields of South Asian Literature and Postcolonial Studies, my primary area of research is popular speculative fiction, specifically, science fiction and fantasy writing in colonial India. Through the lens of postcolonial theory, my research explores how fantasy and science fiction can be regarded as expressions of resistance and subversion in the colonial context. Any study of fantasy texts written in a colonial context has to consider their liminality and propensity for transgression especially as these texts are often written from within a tightly configured grid of proscription and control. My doctoral dissertation, which is forthcoming as a monograph, explored how ‘fantasy’ or the literature of the ‘fantastic’, so often marginalized as non-serious children’s literature unworthy of critical attention, provides a fertile ground for upending traditional binaries of sacred and profane, solemnity and mirth, serious and the comic, thus opening up potential spaces of sacrilege and satire.

My research on speculative fiction that often overlaps with children’s literature, and my keen interest in popular fiction, have led me to new areas of research which include the cultural representations of childhood in literature and popular media. I am particularly interested in the construction of girlhood in South Asia (and in the South Asian diaspora) as well as narratives of resistance against prescriptive normativity.

Professional Associations

  • Association of Asian Studies (AAS)
  • British Association of South Asian Studies (BASAS)
  • British Society for Literature and Science (BSLS)
  • Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council of Ottawa (President)

Publications

  • Enchantment and the Politics of Subversion: Speculative Fiction in Colonial India (monograph). Manuscript in preparation.
  • “Girlhood in Sidhwa’s Cracking India and Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things.” Forthcoming in South Asian Review
  • “Skeletons of History: Fact and Fiction in Rakhal Das Bandyopadhyay’s SasankaSouth Asia Research (London, November 2004), 171-183.

Conference Presentations

  • “Science, Fiction, and Subversion: Science Fiction in Colonial India” presented at the Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, Toronto, March 17-19, 2012.
  • “Crossing the Line, Twice: Mapping Race and Gender in the Works of Three Postcolonial Women Sci-Fi Writers from India”, at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, Florida, 17-21 March, 2010.
  • “The Other Science: A Study of Amitav Ghosh’s Calcutta Chromosome (1996)” at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, Orlando, Florida, 19-22 March, 2009.
  • “Genesis of a Genre: A Study of Early Novels in 19th Century Bengal” at the 19th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, Leiden, the Netherlands, 27-30 June, 2006.