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
  • European Association of South Asian Studies
  • Ottawa International Writer’s Festival (Board Member)
  • Mahatma Gandhi Peace Council of Ottawa (Board member)

Honours and Awards:

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

Publications:

  • Enchantment and the Politics of Subversion: Speculative Fiction in Colonial India (monograph). Manuscript in preparation.
  • “Skeletons of History: Fact and Fiction in Rakhal Das Bandyopadhyay’s SasankaSouth Asia Research (London, November 2004), 171-183.

Recent Presentations:

  • “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:

2019-2020

ENGL 1009A: Literature in the Global Context (Fall 2020)

ENGL 2936A: South Asian Literature I (Winter 2019)

ENGL 2937A: South Asian Literature II (Winter 2020)

ENGL 3940A: Studies in Diaspora Literature (Fall 2019)

CHST 3201A: Children’s Knowledges, Cultures, Representations (Winter 2020)

ENGL 4976A: Issues in Postcolonial Literature (Winter 2019)