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Meena Alexander
Position: Distinguished Professor, Hunter College. English.
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center|Hunter College
Phone: (212) 817-8344
Room Number: 4404
Office Hours: By appointment
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D., Nottingham University, U.K.
Research Interests: Indian Ocean Cosmopolitanisms ;Poetry and poetics; Trauma, Migration and Memory; South Asian literature; Postcolonial literature (Anglophone and Francophone) ; Asian American literature; Feminism, Gender and Sexuality; Autobiography, Embodiment, Phenomenology; early English Romanticism.
Specialization: Affect Studies|Autobiography, Biography, and Life-Writing|Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist/Queer Theory|Literature after 1945|Poetics and Aesthetic Theory|Postcolonial, Transnational, and Global Literature and Theory|Romantic Literature|Twenty-first-Century and Contemporary Literature
I have a special interest in poetics, Indian Ocean Cosmopolitanisms, transnational migration, trauma and memory, autobiography. I have worked both as a poet and as a theorist and critic in the fields of phenomenological and postcolonial poetics. Questions of body and affect, postcolonial feminism and border crossings of nation, gender and sexuality are all important to my reflections.  Often I work on South Asian and Asian American literatures. My previous research in phenomenological theory (Husserl and Merleau-Ponty) and the poets of early English Romanticism (William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Percy and Mary Shelley ) focused on landscape and poetic space, body, gender and internal time consciousness. These concerns have deepened as I continue to reflect on Twentieth and Twenty First century postcolonial and transnational materials and questions of Indian Ocean crossings. I welcome students in these and other related areas.

  • `Phenomenology of Passage’ PMLA (special issue on `Literature in the World’) Fall 2016
  • Name Me a Word: Indian Writers Reflect on Writing , edited by Meena Alexander. (Yale University Press, forthcoming 2017)
Selected Publications:
  • Atmospheric Embroidery (Delhi: Hachette India, 2015)
  • DebtSpecial issue of WSQ (Women’s Studies Quarterly) co-edited with Rosalind Petchesky, Published, May 2014
  • Birthplace with Buried Stones ( TriQuarterly Books/ Northwestern University Press, 2013)
  • Poetics of Dislocation (University of Michigan Press, Poets on Poetry series, 2009).
  • Quickly Changing River (TriQuarterly Books/ Northwestern University Press, 2008).
  • Indian Love Poems, editor. (Everyman's Library/Knopf, 2005).
  • Raw Silk (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2004).
  • Illiterate Heart (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2002). Winner of the PEN Open Book Award.
  • Manhattan Music (San Francisco: Mercury House, 1997).
  • The Shock of Arrival: Reflections on Postcolonial Experience (Boston: Southend Press, 1996).
  • Fault Lines (New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1993; Penguin India, 1994). Publishers Weekly Best Books of 1993; new expanded edition with preface by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, 2003.
  • Nampally Road (San Francisco: Mercury House, 1991); new edition with preface by Githa Hariharan (Hyderabad, Orient Blackswan, 2012).
  • Women in Romanticism: Mary Wollstonecraft, Dorothy Wordsworth and Mary Shelley (London: Macmillan, 1989/Lanham. Md.: Barnes and Noble, 1989).
  • House of a Thousand Doors (Washington DC: Three Continents Press, 1988).
  • The Poetic Self: Towards a Phenomenology of Romanticism (New Delhi: Arnold-Heinemann, 1979; paperback 1983; Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1981).

Recent Shorter Publications:
  • 'Univocity' published in English (Journal of the English Association, U.K) vol 63, no 240 pp 79-84
  • `Journey to Jerusalem: A Poet Faces the Separation Wall’, India to Palestine, ed. Githa Hariharan (Delhi: Leftword Books, 2014)
  • Five poems by Marcel Proust, translated from the French in The Collected Poems of Marcel Proust (edited by Harold Augenbraum) (New York: Penguin, 2013)
  • `What Use is Poetry?’ (Address to the Yale Political Union, April 23rd 2013) published in World Literature Today September/ October 2013