Language & Literature 423
Department of English
I did my graduate studies in English literature in Dibrugarh University, Assam, India, and in Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA, from where I received my PhD. I’ve taught in five universities in two countries: Dibrugarh University and North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, before emigrating to the United States in the mid-1980s, and since then in Southern Illinois University, Georgia Southern University and, starting 1994, in Central Washington University, Ellensburg. I retired in 2020.
My other publications, including a co-authored book on the Nagas of northeastern India, articles, and shorter pieces on various subjects in postcolonial and cultural studies, have appeared in India, UK, and USA, in journals like Critical Quarterly, Economic & Political Weekly, Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, among others. I still find it singularly interesting that my first academic publication, on William Wordsworth’s poetry, appeared in the The Explicator, a New Critical journal devoted to ferreting out literary form and meaning through meticulous close reading of texts. Literary studies have come a long way from those days, but attention to textual detail promoted by journals like it has such staying power in the profession even today that no critical approach can legitimately ignore it.
I grew up in northeastern India, was born in an indigenous Lotha village in Nagaland, went to Catholic schools in Assam and Meghalaya, and studied college in public universities because I could not afford private colleges, before migrating to the United States, with my family, to continue my graduate studies. I’ve done nothing notable in life, just been reading anything and everything I had time for, most of which has turned out to be literature and humanities and some social sciences. My personal background and the breadth of my reading inform both the range of my teaching and the approaches I bring to it. I was hired to teach modern British literature at Central Washington University, but most of the courses I’ve taught in the last twenty years have been in other areas and periods, including postcolonial studies, African American literature, multicultural literatures, literary theory and praxis, and theme-based graduate courses in literature and human rights, literature and emotion and empathy, as well as introductory courses in literature across cultural traditions, historical periods, and genres.
My approach to literary studies, hence to teaching as well, is a medley of analytical and interpretive practices I’ve learned over the decades, from the traditional strategies of close reading and history-related scholarship, pedagogies of empathy for the oppressed, the voiceless, and the underprivileged, all converging in ways of reading that take us to the heart of the literary endeavor: imaginative, creative, critical, and compassionate understanding and application of the best writings human beings from diverse knowledge and cultural traditions have done for millennia the world over.
Congratulations to Emily Holyoak (Professional & Creative Writing major) whose debut Young AdultCongratulations To Karla Maravilla!
Congratulations to Karla Maravilla (double major in Language & Literature and Professional &Congratulations To Gianna Starble!
Congratulations to Gianna Starble (Professional & Creative Writing major) whose hybrid prose/poe