Project Coordinators

Associate Professor Chandani Lokugé (Project Director) is a former Australian Commonwealth Scholar from Sri Lanka and Associate Professor of Literary Studies and Creative Writing at Monash University.  She founded and directed the Monash Centre for Postcolonial Writing from 2002-2012.  Her research interests include South Asian and South Asian diaspora literatures.  She is the author or editor of fourteen books including the Oxford Classics Reissues series of Indian Women’s Writing; three novels of which Softly, as I leave you was awarded Sri Lanka’s Godage National Literary Award for Best Novel 2013; and a book of short stories.  Among co-edited special issues of journals are Journal of Postcolonial Writing (forthcoming 2016), Moving Worlds, New Literatures Review and Meanjin.  Her short fiction and scholarly research are widely anthologized. Chandani actively engages with the wider community and has presented at public platforms such as Melbourne/Sydney/Adelaide/Calcutta Writers’ Festivals, Australian and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporations, and has secured funding for various research projects from Myer and Ian Potter Foundations, Australia-India Council and Arts Victoria. She has held visiting Professorial or Chair positions at Harvard University (2008), Freie University, Berlin (2012); Le Studium, Advanced Studies Institute, Loire Valley (2012-3); and Goethe University, Frankfurt (2015). Monash profile here.

Professor Susheila Nasta (Project Director) founded the Wasafiri magazine in 1984 and is an academic, critic, literary activist and presenter. Judge of several literary prizes, she has published widely on Caribbean, South Asian and Black British literatures. Books include, Home Truths (2002), Writing Across Worlds (2004), India in Britain (2012) and Asian Britain: A Photographic History (2013). Now Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at Queen Mary University of London and Emeritus at the Open University in the UK, she is currently writing a book on The Bloomsbury Indians and co-editing the first major Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing.

Known for pioneering Wasafiri’s distinctive role as beacon for literary diversity, she also established curriculum change within academic institutions. She has led a number of publically-funded research projects; most recently leading the curation of an outdoor photographic exhibition featuring the long history of India/South Asia in BritainClick here to see the India in Britain photographic timeline.

Passionately committed to public engagement, she received an MBE for her services to black and Asian literature in 2011.

Dr Alexandra Watkins (Project Manager) is an Adjunct Research Fellow and Teaching Associate in literary studies at Monash. Her research includes the South Asian diaspora, multiculturalism policy, Islamophobia, refugee identities, postcolonial fiction, and touristic literature. She has published Problematic Identities in Women’s Fiction of the Sri Lankan Diaspora (2015). Her work has appeared in Postcolonial Text, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and Mascara Literary Review, and she has been a guest panelist on the Radio National “Subcontinental Bookclub Show”.

Dr Chris Ringrose has a BA in English from the University of Cambridge and won a Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship to do his PhD at The University of Alberta. He was Assistant Professor of English at Dalhousie University, before moving to the University of North Carolina and the University of Northampton, where he was awarded the University’s prize for teaching excellence. He is currently Adjunct Associate Professor of English at Monash. His poetry has won awards in England, Canada and Australia, and he has published critical work on modern fiction, literary theory and children’s literature. Recent publications include New Soundings in Postcolonial Writing (2016; with Janet Wilson) and “Redreaming the World: The Poetry of Ben Okri” in Callaloo (2015). He co-edits the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and the book series Studies in World Literature for Ibidem/Columbia University Press, and is a poetry reviewer for the Australian Poetry Journal.

Dr Maryam Mirza  is Assistant Professor in World Literatures in English at Durham University. She previously held a BeIPD-COFUND Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Liege, and a Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Bonn; she has also taught at several colleges and universities in Pakistan, including Kinnaird College for Women. She is the author of a monograph entitled Intimate Class Acts: Friendship and Desire in Indian and Pakistani Women’s Fiction (Oxford University Press, 2016), and her work has appeared in journals such as The Journal of Commonwealth LiteratureJournal of Postcolonial Writing and South Asian Diaspora, as well as in anthologies.