office hours: M 12:30-1:30, W 9:30-10:30
uanjaria @ brandeis.edu
See Professor Anjaria's Faculty Guide page for more information.
Undergraduate Advising Head
Ph.D., Stanford University
South Asian literatures and film; postcolonial literature and theory; narrative theory; the global novel; interdisciplinary approaches; literary theory
Realism in the Twentieth-Century Indian Novel: Colonial Difference and Literary Form, Cambridge University Press, 2012.
"Introduction to the New Edition." Reprint of Nature and Grounds of Political Obligation in the Hindu State by J.J. Anjaria. New Delhi: Academic Foundation, 2012. 15-22.
“‘Relationships Which Have No Name:’ Family and Sexuality in 1970s Popular Film.” Journal of South Asian Popular Culture 12.1(2012): 23-35.
“‘Why Don’t You Speak?’: The narrative politics of silence in three South Asian novels.” Colonialism, Modernity and Literature: A view from India. Ed. Satya P. Mohanty. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011. 153-170.
"Staging Realism and the Ambivalence of Nationalism in the Colonial Novel." NOVEL: A Forum for Fiction. 44.2(2011): 186-207.
“Slumdog Millionaire and Epistemologies of the City.” (co-authored with Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria) Economic and Political Weekly. 45.24(2010): 41-46.
“A Literary Kartography: Urban space and the postcolonial novel.” South Asian Review 29.1(2008): 216-233.
“Text, Genre, Society: Hindi youth films and postcolonial desire” (co-authored with Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria), in Journal of South Asian Popular Culture 6.2 (2008): 125-140.
"On Beauty and Being Postcolonial: Aesthetics and form in Zadie Smith." Zadie Smith: Critical essays. Ed., Tracey Lorraine Walters. New York: Peter Lang, 2008.
"Satire, Literary Realism, and the Indian State: Six Acres and a Third and Raag Darbari." Economic and Political Weekly 41.46(2006): 4795-4800.
"Literature and the Limits of Law: Crime, guilt and agency in Premchand's Ghaban." Sarai Reader 05: Bare Acts. New Delhi: Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, 2005. 437-43.
Ambivalent Utopias: The New Social Realism in India
Ambivalent Utopias argues that since around 2000, there has been a dramatic rise in social realism in India, despite what many critics see as the irrelevance of the genre to today’s world. I address the question of why, in the context of economic liberalization and an increased consumer culture, do we see the reemergence of this seemingly outdated genre: a literature devoted to social concerns? I show how today’s social realism is in fact comprised of new forms – which foreground ambivalence and indeterminacy rather than certainty and closure – and new contents – positing the middle class as a social subject alongside the more traditional farmers, outcastes and workers. As such, it is more aesthetically experimental and politically ambiguous than its name suggests. My book will outline the contours of this new, experimental genre in Indian novels, short stories, popular films, television serials, documentaries, non-fiction books and journalism published in India between 2000 and 2010. I demonstrate the range and diversity of these texts, and their continuities with earlier progressive traditions in Indian literature, while also showing how revised understandings of class, citizenship, trope and time have compelled writers to seek out alternative ways of representing social concerns outside of the overdetermined aesthetics of twentieth-century socialism. Works studied include fictional and non-fictional writings by Aravind Adiga, Chetan Bhagat, Arundhati Roy, Manu Joseph and Vikas Swarup, and films such as Rang De Basanti, Lage Raho Munnabhai, No One Killed Jessica, A Wednesday, Kahaani, Viruddh and others.
Selected Courses Taught
Bollywood (ENG 20a)
Filmi Fictions: From Page to Screen in India (ENG 22a)
Totalitarian Fictions (ENG 162a)
Decolonizing Fictions (ENG 167a)