Chandrima Chakraborty, Ph.D.
University Scholar and Professor of English and Cultural Studies
Office: Chester New Hall, Room 309
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 23777
Areas of Interest
South Asian Literatures and Cultures; Diaspora; Postcolonial Cultural Studies; Religion, Nationalism, Masculinity; History, Memory, & Ethics; Bollywood Cinema
Dr. Chandrima Chakraborty’s initial contributions to scholarship have been through her investigations of the complex and intimate relations among religion, masculinity, and nationalism in India, explored in specific instances of literature, film, and media. Her book Masculinity, Asceticism, Hinduism (2011) unravels the strategic reworking of histories and memories in Indian nationalist discourse that makes Hindu asceticism a critical site for performing masculinity. Nationalist investments in the ascetic Indian male body are traced from colonial accounts, through the writings of prominent nationalist thinkers Bankim, Tagore, and Gandhi, to the more recent propaganda of the Hindu right. Her edited book, Mapping South Asian Masculinities (2015), examines critical historical events in South Asia and the South Asian diaspora conceptualizing history as differentiated encounters among bodies, cultures, and nations, through the frame of political crises.
Her ongoing research is on the 1985 Air India bombings and the violent racism elicited by political crises in the West, such as the scapegoating of South Asian men after 9/11. She has refocussed the attention of the scholarly community on the 1985 Air India bombings, initiating the first scholarly efforts to consolidate research on the subject with an edited feature section in TOPIA (2012). In May 2016, Dr. Chakraborty co-organized with her graduate students an international conference, funded by SSHRC, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Air India disaster. This event brought together for the first time the families of those who had perished in the Air India crash, scholars from around the globe, Canadian artists and writers, and interested members of the public to engage in a conversation about this little-remembered event in Canadian history and public memory and reflect on its impact on our shared present. She has been conducting interviews with Air India family members and gathering materials from family members and other critical witnesses for the first-ever archival collection and open online archive on Air India, engaging McMaster Library as the repository, thereby creating a public site for memorialization and ongoing research. A co-edited anthology, Remembering Air India, brings together international scholars, Air India family members, creative writers, and visual artists in thinking through the complex processes of mourning and memorialization that have ensued in the aftermath of the 1985 Air India bombings. Her current SSHRC-funded book manuscript, tentatively titled, Unfinished Pasts, examines the socio-cultural effects of post-9/11 violence against South Asians in North America and minoritized communities within South Asia.
Dr. Chakraborty has published essays on: postcolonial theory; globalization and Hindu asceticism; religion and nationalism; Canadian multiculturalism; racial violence and racial grief; Indian, Caribbean, and South Asian Canadian writers and artists; and Bollywood cinema. Her work has appeared in journals such as ARIEL, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Studies in Canadian Literature, Economic and Political Weekly, Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, International Journal of the History of Sport and Postcolonial Text.
Dr. Chakraborty’s undergraduate courses have included: Cultural Studies and Visual Culture; Studies in Women Writers; Spectacular Bodies; Postcolonial Cultures: Theory and Practice; Postcolonialism and Globalization; and Bollywood and Beyond. Her current graduate seminars are Decolonizing Bodies; Mapping South Asian Masculinities; and Migratory Routes: Indian Diasporic Fiction and Film.
Chakraborty, Chandrima, Amber Dean, and Angela Failler., Eds. Remembering Air India: The Art of Public Mourning. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press. <http://www.uap.ualberta.ca/titles/878-9781772122596-remembering-air-india>
Chakraborty, Chandrima., Ed. Mapping South Asian Masculinities: Men and Political Crises. London: Routledge, 2015. <https://www.routledge.com/Mapping-South-Asian-Masculinities-Men-and-Political-Crises/Chakraborty/p/book/9781138890510>
Chakraborty, Chandrima. Masculinity, Asceticism, Hinduism: Past and Present Imaginings of India. New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2011.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Special Issues:
Coedited with Robin Field, South Asian Canadian Literature and Culture. South Asian Review 37.1 (2016).
Air India Fight 182: A Canadian Tragedy? TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies 27 (2012): 173-269 – Feature Section
Translated Worlds: History, Diaspora, South Asia. Postcolonial Text 10.3-4 (2015) – Double Special Issue
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:
“Unauthorized Pasts and Communities of Memory: Anita Rau Badami’s Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? and Renée Sarojini Saklikar’s children of air india.” Dialog (2016): 1-16.
with Robin E. Field, “Moving Ahead, Looking Back: New Directions in South Asian Canadian Literature and Culture.” South Asian Review 37.1 (2016): 1-19.
with Anupama Mohan, “Translated Worlds: Passages, Journeys, and Returns.” Postcolonial Text 10.3 (2015): http://postcolonial.org/index.php/pct/issue/view/51/showToc
“Official apology, Creative Remembrances, and Management of the Air India Tragedy.” Studies in Canadian Literature 40.1 (2015): 111-13
“Speaking Through Bodies, Exhibiting the Limits: British Colonialism and Gandhian Nationalism.” Forum for World Literature Studies 6.4 (2014): 675-691
“Introduction: Mapping South Asian Masculinities: Men and Political Crises.” South Asian History and Culture. 5.4 (2014): 411–420
“The Future of the Nation: Rabindranath Tagore’s Ethics of Friendship.” OASIS 5.1 (2013): 1-12
“India via Trinidad and Canada: Negotiating Hospitality in Shani Mootoo’s Short Stories.” Studies in Canadian Literature. 37.1 (2012): 66-81
“Introduction: Air India Fight 182: A Canadian Tragedy?” TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies 27 (2012): 173-76
“”But that was before 9/11”: The Work of Memory in Neesha Meminger’s Shine, Coconut Moon.“ Journal of Postcolonial Writing 48.3 (2012): 278-88
“Shaming the Indian Diaspora, Asking for “Returns”.” TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. 26 (2011): 11-28
“The Hindu Ascetic as Fitness Instructor: Reviving Faith in Yoga.” The International Journal of the History of Sport. 24.9 (2007): 1172-86
“Ramdev and Somatic Nationalism: Embodying the Nation, Desiring the Global.” Economic and Political Weekly. 41.5 (2006): 387-90
“Reading Anandamath, Understanding Hindutva: Postcolonial Literatures and the Politics of Canonization.” Postcolonial Text. 2.1 (2006) http://postcolonial.org/index.php/pct/article/view/446/161
“Edward Said and Worldliness: Reading the Hindu Right.” Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. 11.1-2 (2004-05): 195-209
“Interrupting the Canon: Samuel Selvon’s Postcolonial Revision of Robinson Crusoe.” ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature. 34.4 (2004): 51-72
“Bollywood Motifs: Cricket Fiction and Fictional Cricket.” The International Journal of the History of Sport. 21.3/4 (2004): 549-72
“Subaltern Studies, Bollywood and Lagaan.” Economic and Political Weekly. 38.19 (2003): 1879-84
“Creolization and Diasporic Caribbean Identity in Samuel Selvon’s Moses Ascending.” Journal of Contemporary Thought. 16 (2002): 117-30
Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters:
“Remembering Air India Flight 182 in an Age of Terror.” South Asian Racialization and Belonging after 9/11: Masks of Threat. Aparajita De. Ed. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016. 1-19.
“Nationalist Ascetics and the Ethical Male Subject in Tagore’s The Home and the World.” Rabindranath Tagore: Reclaiming a Cultural Icon. Kathleen M. O’Connell and Joseph T. O’Connell. Eds. Kolkata: Visva-Bharati University Press, 2009. 77-92
“The Hindu Ascetic as Fitness Instructor: Reviving Faith in Yoga.” The Politics of Sport in South Asia. Subhas Ranjan Chakraborty, Shantanu Chakrabarti and Kingshuk Chatterjee. Eds. London: Routledge, 2009. [Reprint]
“History and the ‘Other’: The Search for the Subaltern in Indian Popular Cinema.” Representing the Rural: Space, Place, and Identity in Films about the Land. Catherine Fowler and Gillian Helfield. Eds. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2006. 119-34
“Bollywood Motifs: Cricket Fiction and Fictional Cricket.” Sport in South Asian Society: Past and Present. Boria Majumdar and J. A. Mangan. Eds. London: Routledge, 2005. 213-36 [Reprint]