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Personal profile

Personal profile

Say My Name: "Jaw-tee, Ker-bee"

My research focuses on novels post 1990 and food writing written by diasporic Desi writers domiciled in the UK or North America, where food plays a key role in the narrative, to assess what role foodways are given in developing narratives that deal with the Desi diasporic experience, in Western best-selling novels written after 1990.

Food is a central part of all cultural imagination, and even more so for diasporic people. The simultaneous ambivalence yet symbolic value of food, as well as its universal need across temporal, geographic, and cultural boundaries, makes it an intriguing marker for, social, economic, ethnic, class, religious and other identity signifiers. Food becomes an important identity marker for diasporans moving to a new domicile in Britain or the North America.

My thesis is interested in how different food tropes provide insights both into the development of the transnational narrative and the complex nature of the diasporic Desi experience. This work is interdisciplinary in its approach, employing post-colonial social and literary theory, such as Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978), Homi K. Bhaba’s The Location of Culture (1994) and Anita Mannur’s Culinary Fictions (2009) as well as more socio-anthropological theory like Claude Fischler’s Theory of Incorporation (1988).

Before embarking on this research project for my PhD, I completed my BA(Hons) in English Literature at Royal Holloway, and a Masters by Research thesis on the figure of the "Female Freak" in 20th Century North American, Female authored ficiton.

Research interests

I am intrigued by anything food-studies! I am particularly interested in the intersection of foodways and cultural imaginations in modern food writing and literature. I am interested in theories of Orientalisms, food theory and socio-anthropological approaches to literature, including globalisation. My wider research interests include diasporic literature - particularly that of South Asia, Feminism, and the development of online food-trend culture.

Teaching

LA1000 Cultural Encounters (Teaching scheme)

EN2328 American Gothic (Visiting Tutor)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities