Professor Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English
Feminist and literary theories; cultural studies of globalization as it intersects with nationalism, democracy, and imperialism; "minoritized" literatures, with a transnational comparative basis in Western Europe and Asia.
Old Main, 317
Sonita Sarker (MA and PhD, UCLA; MA, Kolkata) is chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; she was chair of WGSS from 2001-2006 and 2008-2009. She is full professor in WGSS and the English Department. Sonita’s research and teaching interests are:
- Feminist, literary, and cultural theories
- Cultural globalization as it intersects with nationalism, democracy, post/modernity, and imperialism
- ‘Minoritized’ literatures, with a transnational comparative basis in Western Europe and Asia
Prof. Sarker offers courses in feminist postmodern and postcolonial theories, 20th and 21st century transnational comparative women’s literature, and on culture and sociopolitical activism. Some titles are: “Transnational Perspectives on Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Class,” “Gender and Sociopolitical Activism in 20th century Feminist Utopias,” “Whiteness and Post/colonialism,” “Worlds Upside Down: Revolutions in Theories and Practices,” and the Senior Seminar which is subtitled “Linking Theory and Practice.”
Past and recent publications: Her co-edited collection Trans-Status Subjects: Gender in the Globalization of South and Southeast Asia was published from Duke University Press in 2002. Another edited project, Sustainable Feminisms under the series Advances in Gender Research, Elsevier Press, was published in 2007. Post/Colonial Modernisms, a section she collated and edited, was published in The Gender of Modernism from Indiana University Press also in 2007. She has published essays on Shashi Deshpande, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, and Virginia Woolf, and Walter Benjamin in publications from Cambridge University Press, Bloomsbury Press, The Feminist Press, in Archiv Orientalni, and in the National Women’s Studies Association Journal. She has also published essays on neoliberal globalization and subalternization, and on Gramsci and Foucault in Cultural Studies and from Ashgate Press. Her essay on Cold War feminist transnational literature appeared in a volume on Cold War literature from Palgrave Press. Another article on transnational modernist literature was published on the digital platform Modernism/modernity Print Plus. 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.
Forthcoming publications: Her monograph Women Writing Race, Nation, and History: N/native is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in 2022. It includes analyses of cultural and political citizenship in the works of Virginia Woolf (England), Gwendolyn Bennett (USA), Zitkála-Šá (USA), Victoria Ocampo (Argentina), Cornelia Sorabji (India/England), and Grazia Deledda (Italy). An essay on New Criticism (early twentieth century British and American literary theory) has been published in a collection on Modernism and Literary Theory from Bloomsbury Press. A review and source essay on subaltern studies is forthcoming from Oxford University Press and a chapter titled “Technologies and Traces” will be included in a volume on Modernism and Empire under contract with Cambridge University Press.
Fellowships, Grants, and Awards: On the Luisa Selis Fellowship in Italian Studies at the University of London and the Italian Cultural Centre in London (2017), she researched Antonio Gramsci and Grazia Deledda, and delivered lectures on the project in London and New York. She is also the recipient of awards from Ford, Mellon, Bush, Hewlett, FaCE, Keck, and Wallace Foundations. She has served as Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the College of Holy Cross (in Women’s Studies), and as Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford in England. In Fall 2002, she garnered the Ford Foundation Emerging Leaders, New Directions 2-year grant for WGSS; 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). She has also served as chair of International Relations at the Modernist Studies Association for 5 years (2004-2009).