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Dr Caroline Herbert


About Dr Caroline Herbert

Dr Caroline Herbert is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures. Her research centres on postcolonial literature and culture, specifically South Asian literature and film, and narratives of the postcolonial city.

Caroline’s research centres on contemporary South Asian literature in English and in translation, and on Indian visual culture and film. She has specific interests in: representations of the city, urban modernity, and urban dwelling (including poverty, homelessness, and itinerancy); secularism, Hindu nationalism, minority and minoritised subjects; neoliberalism in contemporary India; Indian modernity and cultures of ‘new’ India; the poetics and politics of postcolonial spectrality. With these issues in mind, she is currently completing a monograph exploring representations of Bombay/Mumbai in fiction, poetry, and film (contracted to Liverpool University Press).

Recently, Caroline edited Postcolonial Cities: South Asia, a special issue of Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings (2013), which brings together critical essays with creative work on the South Asian city, including poetry, short fiction, and graphic fiction. Beyond the city, Caroline co-edited (with Claire Chambers) Imagining Muslims of South Asia and the Diaspora: Secularism, Religion, Representation (Routledge, 2014), and has published widely on Indian and Pakistani literature, postcolonial cities, and postcolonial spectrality, in journals such as Textual Practice, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and in prize-winning edited collections, such as Popular Ghosts. Drawing directly on her undergraduate teaching, Caroline recently published an essay on ‘Postcolonial Cities’ for The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which explored literary representations of Bombay/Mumbai, Delhi, Johannesburg, Karachi, Lagos, London, and Toronto.

Caroline joined the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities in 2009, after a Canadian Commonwealth Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Concordia University, Montreal, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Figura: Centre de Recherche sur le Texte et l'Imaginaire, at the University of Quebec, Montreal. She has previously taught at the University of Leeds, Huddersfield, and at Leeds Trinity.

Current Teaching

Caroline’s main teaching interests are in contemporary postcolonial literature and theory, particularly South Asian literature and postcolonial urban literature. On the BA (Hons) English Literature programme she teaches Postcolonial Cities (Level 6 option) and Postcolonial Writing (Level 5), and regularly teaches on the Critical Reading, Texts and Theories, and Haunted Narratives modules (Level 4). On the MA English: Contemporary Literature, Caroline contributes to the interdisciplinary Researching Cultures module and the New Yorkshire module, and teaches a module based on her own research into contemporary Indian literature and culture, entitled India Shining.

Caroline is the Course Leader for the MA English: Contemporary Literatures and is currently supervising PhD students exploring: Gender and nation in Bangladeshi writing; Nigerian feminist fiction; carnival cultures and city spaces. She welcomes applications from students wishing to pursue projects in any area connected to her research interests.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (4)

  • Herbert C (2012), Spectrality and secularism in Bombay fiction: Salman Rushdie's the Moor's Last Sigh and Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games. Textual Practice, vol. 26 (5), p. 941-971.
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0950236X.2012.703227
  • Herbert C (2011), Lyric maps and the legacies of 1971 in Kamila Shamsie's Kartography. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, vol. 47 (2), p. 159-172.
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17449855.2011.557188
  • Abodunrin F; Dale L; Tiffin C; Lane R; Scafe S; Herbert C; Lean C; Wattie N (2009), XVII: New literatures. Year's Work in English Studies, vol. 88 (1), p. 1068-1212.
    https://doi.org/10.1093/ywes/map003
  • Herbert C (2008), "Dishonourably Postnational"?: The Politics of Migrancy and Cosmopolitanism in Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance.. Journal of Commonwealth Literature, vol. 43 (2), p. 11-28.
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0021989408091229

Books (2)

  • Chambers C; Herbert C (2014) Imagining Muslims in South Asia and the Diaspora Secularism, Religion, Representations. . Routledge.
  • Herbert C (2013) Postcolonial Cities: South Asia. Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings 13 (2). .

Chapters (3)

  • Herbert C (2014) Postcolonial Cities. In: Herbert C The Cambridge Companion to the City in Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 200-215.
  • Herbert C (2011) Owning the City: Urban Space and Postcolonial Citizenship in Taxi 9 2 11. In: Herbert C Postcolonial Spaces. : Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 97-111.
  • Herbert C (2010) Haunted Nation: Spectres of Socialism in Shree 420 and Deewaar. In: Herbert C Popular Ghosts. : Continuum International Publishing Group, pp. 79-93.
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