Professor Sonita Sarker

Contact details

Professor Sonita Sarker
Position/Fellowship type:
2017 Luisa Selis Visiting Fellow
Fellowship term:
02-May-2017 to 31-Jul-2017
Institute of Modern Languages Research
Home institution:
Macalester College, MN
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Cultural memory, Language and Literature (Italian), Philosophy
Summary of research interests and expertise:

Sonita Sarker (MA and PhD, UCLA; MA, Kolkata) held chair of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Macalester College from 2001-2006. She is professor in WGSS and the English Department. Sonita's research and teaching interests are: feminist and literary theories, cultural globalization as it intersects with nationalism, democracy, and imperialism, and in 'minoritized' literatures, with a transnational comparative basis in Western Europe and South Asia. She offers courses in feminist postmodern and postcolonial theories, 20th- and 21st- century transnational comparative women's writing, and sociopolitical activism. Her co-edited collection 'Trans-Status Subjects: Gender in the Globalization of South and Southeast Asia' was published by Duke University Press (2002). 'Sustainable Feminisms' (2007) appeared in the series 'Advances in Gender Research' (Elsevier). 'Post/Colonial Modernisms', a section she has collated and edited, has appeared in 'The Gender of Modernism' (Indiana University Press). She is currently finishing a monograph on six intellectuals as 'native' and 'subaltern' in the early part of the 20th century - Grazia Deledda (Italy), Victoria Ocampo (Argentina), Gwendolyn Bennett (USA), Zitkala Sa (USA), Cornelia Sorabji (India), and Virginia Woolf (England). She is also planning a volume on Antonio Gramsci and Feminism. Her most recent publications include an essay on Antonio Gramsci and Michel Foucault, another on subalternity in Cultural Studies, and another on Bloomsbury and Empire is forthcoming. She has published essays on Shashi Deshpande, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, and Virginia Woolf in publications by The Feminist Press, in Archiv Orientalni, and in the National Women's Studies Association Journal. Her reviews appear in 'Women's Review of Books', 'Women's Studies Quarterly', 'Modern Fiction Studies', and 'Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History', 'Cultural Critique', 'Callaloo', and the 'University of Toronto Quarterly'. She is the recipient of awards from the Ford, Mellon, Bush, Hewlett, FaCE, and Wallace Foundations. In 2007, she was Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. In Fall 2002, she garnered the Ford Foundation Emerging Leaders, New Directions 2-year grant for WGS; one major event in this grant was the 'Sustainable Feminisms' conference at Macalester (October 3-5, 2003) at which academics, activists, social workers, and policy makers gathered to discuss the relationships between feminist theories and practices. She has been the convener of the International Task Force at the NWSA (5 years) and an executive committee member of the MLA division in Women's Studies in Language and Literature (2 years), and has served as chair of International Relations at the Modernist Studies Association.

Project summary relevant to Fellowship:

She currently holds the first Luisa Selis Fellowship, under which she is undertaking research on Sardinian culture and politics, particularly through the works of Grazia Deledda and Antonio Gramsci.

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