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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Shital Pravinchandra, BA, MA, PhD (Cornell)


Lecturer in Comparative Literature

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5738
Room Number: Arts One 1.19B
Office Hours: Mondays, 11am-1pm


I am interested in the relevance of postcolonial studies today, and whether it has been supplanted by other approaches, such as ecocriticism, world literature or globalization studies.

My current book project is entitled "Same Difference: Postcolonial Studies in the Age of Life Science." In it, I ask what happens to postcolonial studies, a discipline defined by its attention to racial and cultural difference, in an era when new drugs, and new medical and therapeutic procedures are making it possible to argue that we are all one biologically unified species who can, say, exchange organs no matter what our race. I argue that that our newly revealed biological similarity actually enables new patterns of domination and permits the biomedical exploitation of vulnerable populations in the third and fourth world.

My other chief research interest is South Asian literary studies. As a speaker of Hindi and Gujarati, I am keen to challenge the Anglophone dominance that plagues most exisiting scholarship on South Asian literary production. I am especially interested, also, in the short story form, and future projects will explore the popularity of this genre in South Asian regional-language literatures, and the contrasting dominance of the novel in Anglophone South Asian writing.

I have previously taught at SOAS and at Yale, and here at QM I offer an undergraduate course on postcolonial studies entitled “Colonial Literatures, Postcolonial Perspectives” and a postgraduate course entitled “Postcolonial Studies Today.”

I co-edit the Routledge book series Global Literatures: Twenty-First Century Perspectives and the Journal of Commonwealth Literature.


Research Interests:

Postcolonial studies, Literatures of South Asia, World literature, Medical humanities, Contemporary Anglophone literature.



(In progress) Same Difference: Postcolonial Studies in the Age of Life Science.

Journal articles

'‘More than biological’: Cherie Dimaline’s The Marrow Thieves as Indigenous countergenetic fiction', Medical Humanities 47 (2), 2021:135-144.

Claire Chambers and Shital Pravinchandra. Guest Editorial: Postcolonial past, world present, global futures? Journal of Commonwealth Literature (53:3, 2018)

"One Species, Same Difference? Postcolonial Critique and the Concept of Life." New Literary History, Special issue on Climate, Species, Anthropocene (47:1, 2016)

"Not Just Prose: Amitav Ghosh's The Calcutta Chromosome, the South Asian Short Story and the Limits of Postcolonial Studies." Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies (May 2013: online publication) (print: 16:3, 2014)

"Hospitality for Sale or Dirty Pretty Things." Cultural Critique (Fall, 2013)

Book chapters

Short Story and Peripheral Production. In The Cambridge Companion to World Literature, Cambridge University Press, 2018.

“Body Markets: The Technologies of Global Capitalism and Manjula Padmanabhan’s Harvest.” In Science Fiction, Imperialism, and the Third World: Essays on Literature and Film, McFarland Press, 2010.

“The Third World Body Commodified.” In Commerce of the Body: Issues, Challenges and Ethics, Hyderabad, Icfai University Press, 2008.

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