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Paulus Pimomo

Portrait of Dr. Paulus Pimomo in front of bookcase

Department of English


Professor Emeritus


Education and Work history:

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 latest publications are in interdisciplinary studies):

  • Editor (with Veronica Wain), Encountering Empathy: Interrogating the Past, Envisioning the Future. (e-Book), Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford, UK, 2015.
  • Editor (with Mary Ditton), Finding Opportunities in Crisis (eBook), Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford, UK, 2013.
  • “The Basis for Responsibility in Empathy, an Exploration” was accepted for publication as a chapter in an eBook, but funding for the project, including publications and global conferences, came to an end in 2016 following Brexit.
    I have co-authored two books of English usage for Japanese learners and users. A third volume is forthcoming. I collaborate with professor Hidemi Masamura on these projects partly because I don’t speak Japanese, but mostly because I want to match Hidemisan’s love of the English language and working with him, even if only virtually through email, brings me close to his unfailing humanity.
  • Co-author (with Hidemi Masamura), English-Japanese Dictionary of Everyday Words with Illustrations and Sample Sentences, Japan, forthcoming in 2017/2018.
  • Co-author (with Hidemi Masamura), A Practical and Illustrated English-Japanese Dictionary, Shogakukan, Tokyo, Japan. 2013.
  • Co-author (with Hidemi Masamura), Dictionary of English Word-Images, Taishukan, Tokyo, Japan, 2002.

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.


Teaching areas:

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. 

Professional Service & other Scholarly Activities:

  • Editorial Board, International Journal of Indigenous and Marginalized Affairs, 2015-date.
  • Editorial Board, Tetso College Interdisciplinary Journal, 2016-date.
  • Editorial Board, Fazal Ali Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies, 2016-date.
  • Expert Reviewer, Book manuscripts, Palgrave/Macmillan, 2015-16.
  • Invited Keynote Speaker, International Conference on Indigenous Peoples’ Redefinitions in the Contemporary World. March 20-21, 2015. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India. “Contemporary Nagas: Villagers, Nationals, and Transnationals.”
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, 1993-date.
  • Secretary General, Overseas [Global] Naga Association, 2009-date.

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