Mandel Center for the Humanities

Who We Are

Dr. Ulka Anjaria in a purple shirt
Dr. Ulka Anjaria
Director, Mandel Center for the Humanities
Professor, English Department
781-736-2162 Mandel Center for the Humanities, 106

Ulka Anjaria is a professor of English and affiliated with the programs in South Asian Studies, and Film, Television and Interactive Media at Brandeis University. She is the author of three books, Realism in the 20-Century Indian Novel: Colonial Difference and Literary Form (2012), Reading India Now: Contemporary Formations in Literature and Popular Culture (2019) and Understanding Bollywood: The Grammar of Hindi Cinema (2021). She is also the editor of A History of the Indian Novel in English (2015) and has published on Indian and Pakistani literature and film in a variety of scholarly and public-facing venues.

Photo of Esha Senchaudhuri in three quarter profile
Dr. Esha Senchaudhuri
Assistant Director, Mandel Center for the Humanities
Pronouns: she/her

Esha Senchaudhuri is the Assistant Director of the Mandel Center for the Humanities, where she focuses her energies on the 'Humanities and Global Affairs' project area and the 'Education Policy & Social Justice' working group.   She currently serves as a Council on Foreign Relations Education Ambassador for Higher Education. Esha received her PhD in philosophy at the London School of Economics and Law Diploma focused on economic regulation from the University of London, and was an early career policy fellow in Humanities, Arts & American Institutions at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. There she supported the National Commission on  Language Learning and helped establish the National Commission on Arts. She also traveled with the Academy's Global Security team to NATO and the European Parliament to present her research on the protection of cultural heritage in war zones. This work was sponsored through an initiative of the Getty Trust. In 2022, Esha was also a subject matter contributor to the strategic re-alignment process of Americans for the Arts.             

Steering Committee

Dr. Brandon Callender
Dr. Brandon Callender

Brandon Callender is an assistant professor of English at Brandeis University where he specializes in Black queer literatures and horror studies. He received his doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in spring 2020 and is currently working on his book manuscript, "The Charge of the Other in Black Gay Men's Literatures."

Dr. Emilie Connolly
Dr. Emilie Connolly

Emilie Connolly is an assistant professor of early American history at Brandeis. She is a historian of the 19th-century United States with a focus on the history of political economy, colonialism and Indigenous peoples of North America. She is currently at work on a book manuscript, "Empire’s Succession: Trusteeship, Capitalism and Native Dispossession in the United States," under contract with Princeton University Press. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of the Early Republic and the American Historical Review.

Dr. Emilie Diouf
Dr. Emilie Diouf

Emilie Diouf is an assistant professor of English at Brandeis University. Her research explores how the complex legacies of civil war, genocide and dictatorship bear on gendered experiences of the contemporary moment and allow us to articulate idioms of trauma capable of centering the often complex socio-political, cultural, and discursive conditions through which African women’s experiences of trauma are mediated locally, regionally and globally.

María J. Durán teaches courses on Latinx literatures and cultures. Her research focuses on political agency and the performance of resistance in 20th- and 21st-century U.S. Latinx cultural productions. Her other research interests include Latinx theater, Latinx speculative fiction, and third world feminisms. Durán is currently working on her solo-authored monograph, which examines structural violence and grief in contemporary Latinx literature to illuminate manifestations care in vulnerable Latinx communities and to theorize future visions of care work anchored in feminist scholarship.


Photo of Dr. Howie Tam
Dr. Howie Tam

Howie Tam is an assistant professor of English at Brandeis University, where he is also affiliated to the Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies Program. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania, and he is completing a book that rethinks the legacies of the Vietnam War in diasporic Vietnamese literature published in France and the U.S. Tam's scholarly essays have appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as American Literature, the Journal of Vietnamese Studies, and Verge: Studies in Global Asias.

Dr. Gowri Vijayakumar
Dr. Gowri Vijayakumar

Gowri Vijayakumar is an associate professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, affiliated with the South Asian Studies Program at Brandeis. She is the author of At Risk: Indian Sexual Politics and the Global Aids Crisis, published by Stanford University Press in 2021.