Kavita Daiya
Biography . Research . Teaching . Talks & Publications . Links & Networks
Kavita Daiya currently teaches a range of English courses that are cross-listed with the Women’s Studies Program at GWU. Following up on her research interests, the courses she teaches explore transnational South Asian literature and film, as well as more broadly, postcolonial literature and film from Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the United States. Gender and sexuality are prominent concerns in her research and pedagogy, and a transnational feminist approach to culture and politics informs both. What her courses and her scholarship have in common is a commitment to think across boundaries – disciplinary, cultural and national -, to find new and humane answers to the urgent questions of our times, about violence, identity, nations, and power.

The graduate seminars she has taught in the past include Eng 247 “The Location of Postcolonial Theory,” which surveys the historical development of, and current debates in the field of feminist postcolonial studies, on topics including nationalism, colonialism, modernity, globalization, subalternity and violence; Eng 241 “Conceptualizing Genders” which engaged theories of gender and sexuality in feminist scholarship (in the Humanities and Social Sciences), with postcolonial and contemporary American literature and film; Eng 241 “Gender and Sexuality in a Postcolonial World,” an interdisciplinary seminar on the theory, history and politics of gender through postcolonial studies, queer theory, African American literature and globalization studies; and Eng 247 ‘Gender, Religion and Globalization in Transnational Literature and Cinema” on modern and postmodern literature and postcolonial film from Britain, South Asia and the United States.

Dr. Daiya’s undergraduate introductory and advanced courses also take a transnational approach to the study of national literatures and cultures, and engage British, postcolonial and ethnic American literature and film. Her undergraduate courses include Eng 173 “Rethinking Culture and Violence: Ethnicity, Identity and Violence in Postcoloniality” on philosophical critiques of violence, theories of culture, and international literature; Eng 175 “Embodiment, Sexuality and History in Transnational Literature: South Asia and Beyond” about gender and sexuality in global South Asian, British, South African and Caribbean Literatures and Third Cinema; Eng 173, “At Home in the World: Nation, Migration, Modernity and Identity in South Asian Literature and Culture” on vexed belongings-national, cultural, racial-in South Asian and Asian American literature and cinema; Eng 91 and 92, “Reading Cultures: Literature, History, and Empire” introductory sequence on a range of aesthetic, historical and social questions regarding the relationship between literature, empire and its aftermath.

In addition to serving as an undergraduate advisor to English majors and minors, Dr. Daiya also directs dissertations, M.A. theses (English, Women’s Studies) and English Honors Program theses at GWU. Her advisees include students in English, Gender Studies, American Studies, Human Sciences and International Affairs.

Before joining GWU, Dr. Daiya has taught at the University of Chicago (in English and the M.A. Program in the Humanities) and at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, on subjects including Colonial and Postcolonial Literature, Victorian Literature, Modernism, Cultural Studies, and Writing and Composition.