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School of English and Drama

Dr Ananya Mishra, BA, MA, (EFLU) MPhil PhD (Cambridge)


Lecturer in Global Race Studies



I grew up in Sambalpur (Odisha) and studied for my BA and MA at English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad (Telangana). I came to the U.K. initially to complete an MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies, and then later a PhD in English at University of Cambridge with a Gates Trust (2014-2015) and Cambridge Trust Scholarship (2016-2021). I was a Visiting Student Researcher at Department of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley between February-March 2018.

During my time at Cambridge, my work developed in the intersection of research on global Indigenous studies and creating alternative spaces for engaging with museums and performance. I am thrilled to live in east London as an educator and creative practitioner.



  • ESH126 London Global
  • ESH293 The Long Contemporary
  • ESH6027 After Postcolonialism
  • ESH295 London: Walking the City
  • ESH6000 Undergraduate Research Dissertations


  • ESH7001 Production of Texts in Context


Research Interests:

  • Critical Indigenous Methods and Theory
  • Adivasi, Australian and North American Indigenous Literatures
  • Climate Histories, The Anthropocene and Indigeneity
  • Environmental/ Land Rights Movements and Song Cultures
  • Colonial histories of art, ethnography, museums, and archives

Recent and On-Going Research

I am working on my first monograph which is based on the research for my PhD thesis titled “Evidence and Sustenance in Transnational Indigenous Literatures”. I am interested in Indigenous literatures emerging from postcolonial and settler colonial states. My work looks at Indigenous sovereignty as expressed in land rights/climate justice movements and in literatures from India, Australia and North America by Alexis Wright, Simon Ortiz, Bhagban Majhi, Dambu Praska, Joan Naviyuk Kane, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Jacinta Kerketta, among others. Research methodologies developed by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Chadwick Allen, Craig S. Womack, Audra Simpson, among others inform my methods in literary criticism and I see how their work speaks transnationally, especially to read Adivasi literatures. I am interested in historical readings of Indigenous philosophies of the non-human/ more-than-human to trace local climatic histories. My forthcoming paper in Transmotion is titled “The Crisis in Metaphors: Climate Vocabularies in Adivasi Literatures”.

I was convenor of the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) conference on Climate Fictions/Indigenous Studies at University of Cambridge in January 2020. The conference was highlighted by ERC SouthHem Project, University College Dublin here.  I am co-editing a volume of essays based on the conference with Dr Robert Newton and Dr Louis Klee.

A significant part of my research is practise-based. This has involved co-creating projects to rethink museums and incubators for creatives (details in Performance and the Public Engagement sections). My work on museums attempts to connect research in literary criticism to public outreach. I work on the poetry of Jeanine Leane and Natalie Harkin and their literary responses to histories of scientific racism in the Australian state’s colonial archives. This work included organising the presentation of Natalie Harkin’s excerpt Archive Fever Paradox 2/ Whitewash Brainwash from her installation Archive Fever Paradox 2014 as part of Climate Fictions/ Indigenous Studies conference in 2020 for the wider public.  In 2018, I co-founded Untold Histories Museum Tours which brought new readings of museum collections and labels to the wider public to question colonial and racist narratives within museums. This project was based on research we conducted at Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA), University of Cambridge.


Selected writing:


I would welcome enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in any of the areas of my research.

Public Engagement

Museum Outreach:

Untold Histories Museum Tours was based at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA), Cambridge between 2018 to 2019. I co-founded the tours along with Dr Akshyeta Suryanarayan and Dr Danika Parikh, following a successful pilot for the Festival of Ideas.

Details about the aims of the project from our case study written for Society of Museum Archaeology: “We hoped to decentre the focus on collectors in labels and consider the histories of the communities and original owners of the objects. Information on the latter was almost impossible to find given the nature of erasure both at the point of collection, and within archives. Therefore, we directed our efforts to critically examine the contexts through which objects came to be at the museum and to reveal the problematic pasts of figures who are still celebrated in the museum. The tours demonstrated how museums were products of colonialism, how they historically benefited from invasions, conquest and looting during conflict, and how they continue to benefit from colonial and neo-colonial practices while simultaneously erasing these violent histories through whitewashed narratives”.

Check Publications for more articles on the research behind Untold Histories Museum Tours.



I co-founded Bread Theatre and Film Company with Prof Suchitra Sebastian in 2019. It is an art & performance collective and incubator for creatives. We experiment with fresh ways of storytelling and genres to disrupt traditional narratives of power. We felt a need for a community like Bread when I was directing The Djinns of Eidgah, a play by Abhishek Majumdar, about characters caught between worlds in a conflict-torn Kashmir. The vision behind Bread was to create a space where more voices could tell more such stories. Bread Cambridge currently continues as a successful student-run society at University of Cambridge (I: Bread Cambridge).

Bread London (I: @bread_london) is an arts & performance collective and the London chapter of Bread Theatre and Film Company. It is started by Hannah Shury-Smith and Una McKeown together with us. Follow the Instagram handle (@bread_london) to know more about the kind of work we do and upcoming events.

Articles on Bread:

Mishra, A. “The Narrative and the Body”:

Sebastian, S. “Bread Theatre and Film Company: Reimagining Spaces”:


Alumna cover:

Selected performances:

Director and actor, The Djinns of Eidgah,

Edinburgh Fringe (2019)

Corpus Playroom (2018)

The Wee Review:

Lucy Writers’ Platform:

Full artist resume (available on request)

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