Photo of Mayurika Chakravorty

Mayurika Chakravorty

Assistant Professor

Degrees:B.A. Honours (Calcutta University); M.A., M.Phil. (JNU); Ph.D. (SOAS, University of London)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 2117
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
  • European Association of South Asian Studies
  • Ottawa International Writer’s Festival (Board Member)
  • IBBY (International Board of Books for Young People) Canada (Member, Scientific Committee 2023-2026)

Honours and Awards:

  • SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (Collaborator); Project title: Learning with and from the Global South: Opportunities for engaging girls and young women with disabilities across Southern spaces (ENGAGE), 2021-24
  • FASS Teaching Development Award, 2021
  • Carleton University Professional Achievement Award, 2020
  • SSHRC Connection Grant (co-applicant), Project title: “Republic of Childhood: Imagining the Future of Children’s Rights,” 2019
  • Carleton University Experiential Learning Development Fund Award, 2019
  • Felix Scholar, School of Oriental and African Studies, United Kingdom


Recent Presentations:

  • “Children in the Diaspora: Imagining Communities and Bridging Identities in Contemporary South-Asian Canadian Literature.” Keynote lecture delivered at the 21st Annual EGSS Conference, Université de Montréal, March 23, 2024.
  • “Fantasy and Subversion: Children’s Fantasy Literature in Colonial Bengal,” Invited talk delivered at The Centre for South Asian Critical Humanities, University of Toronto, Mississauga, November 3, 2023.
  • “Feminization and De/Reterritorialization in a Transnational Adaptation of Ramayana,” European Conference of South Asian Studies, University of Vienna, July 27, 2021
  • “Childhood, Gender, and Non-Linear Time in South Asian Literature,” The IX Conference in Childhood Studies, Tampere University, Finland, May 10, 2021
  • “Childhood and Trauma: Literary Representations,” Childhood and Youth Studies Winter Speaker Series, Carleton University, March 11, 2020.
  • “Post-humanism in Postcolonial Science Fiction,” The Conference on Canadian Content in Speculative Arts and Literature, Ottawa, October 18, 2019.
  • Invited lecture titled “Gandhi and Women”, Annual Women’s Peace Conference, Ottawa organized by Ahmadiyya Women’s Association of Ottawa, Mar 8, 2016.
  • “Science, Fiction, and Subversion: Science Fiction in Colonial India,” Annual Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, Toronto, March 17-19, 2012.

Courses Taught:

  • ENGL 1009A: Literature in the Global Context
  • ENGL 2936A: South Asian Literature I
  • ENGL 2937A: South Asian Literature II
  • ENGL 3930: Topics in Decolonization and Migration
  • ENGL 3940A: Studies in Diaspora Literature
  • CHST 3201A: Children’s Knowledges, Cultures, Representations
  • ENGL 4976A: Issues in Postcolonial Literature
  • ENGL 5004: Studies in Transnational Literatures