Mandel Center for the Humanities

Who We Are

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

Ulka Anjaria is 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 Twentieth-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.

Meet Our Steering Committee

photo of 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 U.C. Berkeley in the spring of 2020, and is currently working on his book manuscript, The Charge of the Other in Black Gay Men’s Literatures.

photo of 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.

photo of Dr. Emilie Diouf

Emilie Diouf ( is 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.

photo of Dr. Sarah Mayorga

Sarah Mayorga ( is an Associate Professor of Sociology and a core faculty member in the Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies program. She is a scholar of race and racism, urban sociology, and Latinx migration. She is the author of Behind the White Picket Fence: Power and Privilege in a Multiethnic Neighborhood (UNC Press, 2014).

photo of Dr. David Sherman

David Sherman (, faculty in English at Brandeis University, writes and teaches about global modernism, elegy and the politics of commemoration, public sphere theory, comedy, literature in the criminal justice system, and literature and philosophy.

photo of Dr. Gowri Vijayakumar

Gowri Vijayakumar ( is an Assistant 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.