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) held the position of chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from 2001-2006 and 2008-2009. She is professor in WGSS and the English Department. Sonita’s research and teaching interests are: feminist and literary theories, cultural globalization as it intersects with nationalism, democracy, post/modernity, and imperialism, and in ‘minoritized’ literatures, with a transnational comparative basis in Western Europe and Asia.

She offers courses in feminist postmodern and postcolonial theories, 20th and 21st century transnational comparative women’s writing, and sociopolitical activism. Her co-edited collectionTrans-Status Subjects: Gender in the Globalization of South and Southeast Asia was published from Duke University Press (Fall 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.

Since then, she has published essays on Shashi Deshpande, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, and Virginia Woolf in publications from Cambrdge 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 Gramsci and Foucault in Cultural Studies and from Ashgate Press.  Her reviews appear in Women’s Review of BooksWomen’s Studies Quarterly,Modern Fiction Studies, and Journal of Colonialism and Colonial HistoryCultural CritiqueCallaloo, and the University of Toronto Quarterly.

Her forthcoming essays are on Cold War feminist transnational literature in a volume on Cold War literature from Palgrave Press, on transnational modernist literature on the digital platform Modernism/modernity Print Plus, and on subaltern studies from Oxford University Press.  On the Luisa Selis Fellowship in Italian Studies at the University of London and the Italian Cultural Centre in London, she researched Antonio Gramsci and Grazia Deledda, and delivered lectures on the project in London and New York—she is editing it for publication.  She is currently finishing a monograph, tentatively titled “Native, native” that includes analyses of cultural and political citizenship in the works of Virginia Woolf (England), Gwendolyn Bennett (USA), Ziktala Ša (USA, Victoria Ocampo (Argentina), Cornelia Sorabji (India/England).

She is the recipient of awards from the Luisa Selis Fellowship, Ford, Mellon, Bush, Hewlett, FaCE, 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).


  • Grant, Luisa Selis Fellowship (London)
  • Grant, Bush Foundation
  • Grant, Hewlett Foundation
  • Grant, Wallace Foundation
  • Grant, Keck Foundation
  • Grant, Mellon Foundation
  • Grant, Ford Foundations

M.A: Kolkata

PhD: M.A. University of California Los Angeles