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Jay Rajiva

Assistant Professor    

Ph.D., University of Toronto


Postcolonial and Global Anglophone Literature, Trauma Theory


Jay Rajiva works at the disciplinary intersection between postcolonial literature, trauma studies, and phenomenology. He has an ongoing research focus on South Asian literature, particularly texts that respond to partition and civil war, and apartheid and post-apartheid South African fiction. His forthcoming book, titled Postcolonial Parabola: Literature, Tactility, and the Ethics of Representing Trauma, interrogates two aspects of the representation of trauma. First, how do we experience the act of reading a literary account of collective trauma? Second, what makes postcolonial literature uniquely suited to do justice to the representation of collective trauma? His next book project, tentatively titled Hollow Phenomenology: Reading and Redeeming the Postcolonial Margin, examines South African, Haitian, and Bangladeshi fiction through the critical lens of Caribbean philosopher Edouard Glissant, in order to understand how postcolonial subjects can transform the marginalizing experience of psychic “hollowness” into a state of subjective and ethical potential.

Dr. Rajiva teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on postcolonial literature and theory, world literature, and modern and contemporary British fiction. At all levels, his classrooms encourage rigorous but creative engagement with literature as a mode of representing the singularity of lived experience.