Associate Professor, Lehigh University

Curriculum Vitae


Office: 201 C Drown Hall

35 Sayre Drive, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015









Fall 2001-present

Assistant/Associate Professor, English Department (Received tenure in 2008)

Lehigh University





Duke University

Ph.D., Department of English (2001)

      Dissertation: Post-Secular Subjects: Religious Identity and Difference in the Modern



Tufts University

      M.A. in English, 1996


Cornell University

      B.A. in English, with Honors, 1995







      Literary Secularism: Religion and Modernity in Twentieth-Century Fiction.

          Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006.




       Re-Orienting Forster: Intimacy and Islamic Space.”

            Criticism: A Quarterly, 2008.


“Republics of the Imagination: Afghan and Iranian Expatriate Narratives.” in Minnesota Review, 2007.


       Anonymity, Authorship, and Blogger Ethics.” Forthcoming in Symploke, 2007.


“Hinduism in Indian Fiction.”  In Studying Hinduism: Key Concepts and Methods.

     Ed. Gene Thursby and Sushil Mittal.  Routledge UK, 2007.


      “The Lifting and the Lifted: Prefaces to Colonial Modernist Texts.” Wasafiri 47,

            Spring 2006, 1-10.


      “Forward,” South Asian Review 26.3, fall 2005, 2-5.


      “A Pisgah Sight of Ireland: Religious Embodiment and Colonialism in Ulysses.”

            Semeia 88, fall/winter 2001, 129-147.


      “Preface,” Polygraph 12, April 2000, 3-13.


      “They Would Rather Listen to Samba or Death Metal: Channeling Global

            Subcultures,” Polygraph 11, April 1999, 89-114.


Articles under Consideration


      “’More than Priestly Mumbo-Jumbo’: Religion and the Deferral of Authorial

            Responsibility in G.V. Desani's All About H. Hatterr.   (Currently under ‘revise and resubmit’  status)



Edited Publications


      Special Issue co-Editor, South Asian Review, “Imagining South Asia,”

             forthcoming, 2007.


      Special Issue Editor, Polygraph 12,  “World Religions and Media Culture,” April



      Edited collected abstracts. Special Issue of South Asian Review

             26.3, fall 2005.





       “Four Challenges to Postcolonial Theory,” in Framing Theory’s Empire.  Ed. John

              Holbo. Review essay. Parlor Press/Glassbead Book.  Forthcoming, 2007.


       Post-colonial Critics and the Critics of the Postcolonial.”  Journal of

             Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. Review essay. Forthcoming, 2007.


       “The Communalization of Censorship,” Himal Southasian, August 2006, 68-70.


       “’More democracy, but less liberty' Fareed Zakaria's The Future of Freedom.”

             Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies 9.2: 2004, 184-191.


        Dis-Orienting Rhythms: Politics of the New Asian Dance Music,”

            Contemporary South Asia 8.1, May 1999, 114-5.


       Intizar Husain, The Seventh Door and Other Stories.” Contemporary

South Asia 8.2, November 1999, 240-1.



Online Scholarship


        “Science Fiction aus IndienPhantastik Couch. German Translation of “Indian

             Science Fiction: An Introduction to Two Authors.” May 2007. Online at



        “Indian Science Fiction: An Introduction to Two Authors.” SF-Revu. November

             2006. Online at


       “Ideas in Movement: Mani Ratnam's Yuva.” South Asian Women's Forum, June

 2004. Online at  



        Scholarly Weblog, 2004-2006 Lehigh University:


          Over 800,000 visitors. Short essays on literature, art, film, music, politics. This

          weblog has been widely cited by other academic and general-interest weblogs, as

          well as occasionally by the mainstream media. A starting point is a “best of” page

          to be found here: of blog.htm





2005 Elected to Executive Committee of South Asian Literary Association





Fall 2005: Received Lehigh Faculty Research Grant to support the annual conference of the South Asian Literary Association, held in Washington DC in December



Summer 2002: Received Lehigh Faculty Research grant to attend School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University. Participated in six-week seminar on Modernity and Religion with Vincent Pecora






Invited Lectures and Presentations


March 2007: Faculty colloquium speaker, “The Kite Runner and Globalization,” at St. Anselm College, New Hampshire. Arts & Sciences faculty primarily in attendance.


March 2007: Classroom lecture, “Secular Sikh Literature,” St. Anselm College, New Hampshire.


March 2007: Campus-wide speaker on “The Kite Runner and Globalization,” Catawba College, North Carolina. Addressed the entire first-year class as part of general education/ first-year writing program.


March 2007: Classroom lecture, “Travel Writers and Globalization,” Catawba College, North Carolina.


June 2006: “Ethics in Secular Sikh Literature.” Workshop at Hofstra University.


May 2006: Invited to serve as Moderator for the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective Conference at Marymount Manhattan College, New York City. Invited panelists included Amitav Ghosh, Vijay Seshadri, and Sara Suleri-Goodyear.


February 2006: “Searching for the Authentic Afghanistan: Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner.” Faculty workshop and public lecture, Portland State University.


April 2005: Invited respondent at “Rethinking South Asia” conference at Yale University.


October 2004: “Joyce's 'Cyclops'”; Guest lecture, Franklin and Marshall College.


March 2004 “Globalization and Consumer Culture in India”; Panel on Globalization at Lafayette College

            (This event was written up in the Easton Express-Times)


August 2002 “Homeland Sikh-urity: Securitization and Civil Rights for Religious Minorities after 9/11” At APARRI Conference, UC-Berkeley



Recent Conference Talks (Refereed Presentations)



December 2006 “Literary Criticism in the Public Sphere.” Part of an MLA Special Session. Co-panelists included Michael Bérubé and Rita Felski.


November 2005: “The Indian Modernist on a Platter: Desani’s All About H. Hatterr.”

            Modernist Studies Association, Chicago, Illinois.


October 2005: “New Creative Non-Fiction From South Asia.”

            Conference on South Asia, Madison, Wisconsin.


October 2004, “E.M. Forster's Orientation to Islam,” at Modernism Studies Association, Vancouver, Canada


 “A (Hindu) Writer in the World : Naipaul, Writing, and Religion”

            Modern Language Association, New York, December 2002


“Prefacing Alterity: From Gitanjali to Orphee Noir
            For Modernist Studies Association (MSA), Madison Wisconsin, October 2002


“Secularism in the Diaspora – and Back”

      Siting Secularism Conference, Oberlin College, April 2002


“Diasporic Sexuality: Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night

      American Comparative Literature Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, April 2002


“Representations of the Indian Mutiny,” Center for South Asia Conference, University of Wisconsin, October 2001.


"Disraeli in Parliament," Jewish Cultural Studies Panel at MLA Convention, Washington

DC, December, 2000


"The Post-Secular Nose: Religious Difference and the Territories of the Body"

—at Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference, at CCCS, Birmingham, England, June 2000

—at Narrative Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, April 2000

—at Theory at the End of the Millenium Conference, Udaipur, India, December 1999



Organized Panels and Conferences


December 2005: “Secularism in South Asian Literature”

            Proposed, fundraised, and co-organized a national conference for the South Asian

Literary Association. Conference was held in Washington DC in 2005 in parallel

with the Modern Language Association Convention


December 2004: Chaired a panel at MLA Philadelphia: “Hybridity's Children”


“Sri Lankan Literature of Conflict” Co-chaired panel with Erangee Kumarage

                Modern Language Association, New York, December 2002


“LOST MEASURE: A Conference on H.D.”

            Proposed and co-organized a national conference on H.D. with the H.D. Society,

the English Department at Lehigh, and the Lehigh Humanities Center

Lehigh University, September 20-22, 2002



Other Presentations


October 2005: Public presentation at Lehigh University: “Images from the Kashmir Earthquake.”


October 2005: Guest lecture in Professor Dork Sahagian’s Environmental Studies class: “Social Implications of the South Asian Tsunami”


September 2005: Lecture to entering first year students on The Kite Runner


March 2005: Public presentation at Lehigh University: “India’s role in response to the

South Asian Tsunami”


February 2005: Presentation at Lehigh University “Lehigh Lab”: “Why I Blog”


September 2004: “An Introduction to Edward Said's Orientalism,” “Remembering Said” panel at Lehigh University





Service Outside of Lehigh


August 2006: Judge for the Asian American Writers' Workshop National Best Asian American Fiction Prize. National fiction contest in existence for five years. 20 novels were submitted, and reviewers were required to read and evaluate all 20 books.


August 2006: Invited to do peer-review work for South Atlantic Review


June 2006: Invited to do peer-review work for Signs.


April 2006: Invited to do peer-review work for South Asian Review.


December 2005—present: Elected to the Executive Committee of the South Asian

Literary Association


Service at Lehigh


Graduate Student Advising:

Supervisor, 3 M.A. Theses

Dissertation Chair: 4 Ph.D. Dissertations (2 in progress, 2 completed)

Dissertation Reader: 5 Ph.D Dissertations

Chair, Ph.D. Qualifying exams: 3

Examiner, Ph.D. Qualifying exams: 8


Undergraduate Advising: 8-10 English Major Advisees per year


Undergraduate Thesis Advising: 2 Theses


Undergraduate Independent Study: 5 Independent studies


Undergraduate Club Advisor: Faculty advisor to LU Bhangra intramural club (2004-present)


Fall 2002: Gave address at Lehigh’s Diwali celebration in Zoellner Audtorium



Service at Lehigh, Committee Work


Fall 2005—present First-Year Writing Committee, English Department

Fall 2003—Spring 2005 Humanities Center Planning Committee

Fall 2003—Spring 2005 Undergraduate Committee, English Department

Fall 2002—Hiring Committee, Religion Studies Department (for a position in South

Asian Islam)

Fall 2002—present Department Web Page Planning and Maintenance

Fall 2001—Spring 2003 Graduate Committee -- graduate admissions, curriculum revision

Fall 2001—Graduate Placement committee coordinator





December 2005—present: Executive Committee of South Asian Literary Association

            Member of MLA


Member, Modernist Studies Association


Member, Modern Language Association





June 19, 2007 Cited in Chicago Sun-Times. “Lightning Rod: Five takes on Salman Rushdie's British knighthood.” p. 6.


May 20, 2007 Cited in Times of India. Ashwin Ahmad, “What Makes Kalam People’s Prez.”


 “Race and Hurricane Katrina: Two Questions.” Included in “Teaching The Levees: A Curriculum for Democratic Dialogue and Civic Engagement,” a curriculum to be distributed in American high schools in conjunction with Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke. Teacher’s College Press (Columbia University). Forthcoming, 2007.


January 27, 2007, Cited in Associated Press article. Marcus Wohlsen, “Mild-mannered Author Delves Deeply Into India's Underworld.” This review of Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games appeared in over 100 American newspapers.


January 22, 2007, Cited in Washington Post article. Bob Thompson, “Literary Ambition Without Borders.”


November 2006, Cited in article by Andrew Leonard on the South Asian

            American factor in the midterm elections (“Macacagate”).


October 2006, Commentator on NPR’s “Radio Open Source” show. Cameo appearance

            in a conversation on “What Should Colleges Teach?” The main guests for the

            hour-long conversation were Susan Gallagher and Martha Nussbaum.


July 2006. Cited in the Times of London Newspaper. “Gandhi film shelved by leader who shuns life in the limelight. July 21, 2006.



Commentator, February 2006, on NPR’s “Radio Open Source” show with Christopher Lydon. Invited to participate in an interview on “Craigslist” and the Internet

            as a reconstituted public sphere.


Cited in Miliyet Newspaper (Istanbul), October 27, 2005. With reference to Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk.


Commentator, June 2005 on NPR’s “Radio Open Source” show with Christopher Lydon. Invited to participate in an interview on South Asian literature.


Cited in Boston Globe, June 26, 2005. “Like His Genre-Bending Music, Musician Knows No Borders.” Article on Indian jazz musician Vijay Iyer.





Reading: French, Hindi
Fluency: Punjabi