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The DOECL is excited to welcome Professor Shinjini Chattopadhyay! Professor Chattopadhyay joins the ECL faculty as an Assistant Professor of English. She holds a PhD from the University of Notre Dame as well as an MPhil in English and an MA in English from Jadavpur University. 

Prof. Chattopadhyay is “currently writing a book chapter on Virginia Woolf’s oceanic cosmopolitanism. The city, the countryside, the nation, or generally speaking geographically identifiable land masses, which are sites of human community, are usually considered as locations of transnationalism in modernist studies. In ‘Virginia Woolf’s Oceanic Cosmopolitanism’ I argue that the ocean in Woolf’s works becomes a site of cosmopolitanism which critiques British maritime colonialism and challenges colonialist constructs of exoticization. I compare the depictions of the ocean and the sea in Woolf’s first novel The Voyage Out (1915) and her late novel The Waves (1931) to show that whereas in the former the ocean is a harbinger of a belated modernity to an imaginative colonial location, in the latter the rhythms of the sea infused with the form of the novel stand for deconstructing British colonial modernity. The juxtaposition of Woolf’s early and late novels enables us to compare how in her works the ocean evolves into a vehicle of critique of British imperialism and becomes a medium for developing cosmopolitan connections.”

In addition to her research, Prof. Chattopadhyay enjoys sharing her love for modernist literature with students: “I aim to instill a love for modernist literature in my students. I found modernist literature transformative for my own intellectual growth when I was a student and I was struck by how modernism destabilizes established conventions of literature, race, gender, sexuality, class, nation, coloniality, and almost every aspect of life. I hope that my students will also find joy in their exploration of modernism and modernist literature will become their lifelong companion.”

Prof. Chattopadhyay is excited to be at UNC for many reasons: “I am excited to work with graduate and undergraduate students and share with them the joy of reading modernist literature. Modernist literature is best enjoyed in a communal setting, and I hope to create that collaborative environment for my students. I am also excited to utilize the wonderful research resources available at UNC. Finally, I am looking forward to enjoying the beautiful outdoor spaces on campus.”

A fun fact about Prof. Chattopadhyay is that she is “a great admirer of cats.” Her cat’s name is Gablu. 

Learn more about Prof. Chattopadhyay here.

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