Speaker Bios

Keynote SpeakerRey Chow is Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature and the current director of the Program in Literature at Duke University. Her more recent publications include Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture (2012) and Not Like a Native Speaker: On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience (2014). With James A. Steintrager, she is the coeditor of a forthcoming collection of essays, Sound Objects. Chow’s work has been widely anthologized and translated into numerous languages. In 2016, she was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Christopher Ali (Assistant Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia)

Mrinalini Chakravorty (Associate Professor of English, University of Virginia)

Nico Israel, a professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center and Hunter College, is the author of two books, Outlandish: Writing between Exile and Diaspora (Stanford, 2000) and Spirals: The Whirled Image in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art (Columbia, 2015). He has published numerous articles on modernist and contemporary literature and literary theory and over seventy-five essays on contemporary visual art, many of them for Artforum.

David James is a Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Queen Mary, University of London. The author, most recently, of Modernist Futures (Cambridge University Press, 2012), his edited volumes include The Legacies of Modernism (Cambridge University Press, 2012), The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction since 1945 (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and Modernism and Close Reading (Oxford University Press, 2018). His articles in recent years have appeared in Contemporary Literature, New Literary History, PMLA, and Twentieth-Century Literature. For Columbia University Press he co-edits the book series Literature Now. He is currently working on a new book, Discrepant Solace: Contemporary Writing and the Work of Consolation, forthcoming with Oxford University Press.

Jarvis C. McInnis holds a BA in English from Touglaloo College and a Ph.D. in English & Comparative Literature from Columbia University. He is an interdisciplinary scholar of African American & African Diaspora literature and culture, with research interests in the global south (primarily the US South and the Caribbean), sound studies, performance studies, and visual culture. He is currently at work on his first book project, tentatively titled, The Afterlives of the Plantation: Aesthetics, Labor, and Diaspora in the Global Black South, which aims to reorient the geographic contours of black transnationalism and diaspora by exploring the hemispheric linkages between southern African American and Caribbean literature and culture in the early twentieth century. Jarvis’s research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, the Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral and Dissertation Fellowships, and Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies postdoctoral fellowship. His work appears or is forthcoming in journals and venues such as Callaloo, MELUS, Mississippi Quarterly, Public Books, and Global South. He serves as an assistant to the editor for Callaloo and a consultant for the W. E. B. Du Bois Scholars Institute housed at Princeton.

Sonali Perera is the author of No Country: Working-Class Writing in the Age of Globalization (Columbia UP, 2014). She is an associate professor of English at Hunter College, City University of New York, where she teaches courses in working-class literature, Marxist theory, feminist theory, comparative literature, globalization studies, and post-colonial literature and theory. Her work has appeared in PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association of America), differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Signs: Journal of Women and Culture in Society and in interdisciplinary anthologies, including South Asian Feminisms. She is currently at work on her second book, Between Imperialism and Internationalism: World Literature and Human Rights.  At Hunter, Professor Perera is a faculty associate of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute Human Rights Program. She is also affiliated faculty with the Department of Women and Gender Studies.

Jahan Ramazani is University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. His books include Poetry and Its Others: News, Prayer, Song, and the Dialogue of Genres (2013) and A Transnational Poetics (2009), winner of the ACLA’s Harry Levin Prize for the best book of comparative literary history. He edited the just-published Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Poetry and co-edited the most recent editions of The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry and The Norton Anthology of English Literature. He is the recipient of an NEH Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His paper is entitled “The Local Poem in a Global Age,” part of a longer essay forthcoming in Critical Inquiry.

Scott Selisker is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arizona, where he teaches and writes on science and technology in U.S. literature and culture since 1945. He is the author of Human Programming: Brainwashing, Automatons, and American Unfreedom (Minnesota, 2016), a history of how ideas about the programmable mind have shaped American conversations about democracy, totalitarianism, and fundamentalism. He has published essays in American Literature, Science Fiction Studies, NOVEL, New Literary History, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, work which has been recognized by the MLA’s Norman Foerster Prize, the SFRA Pioneer Award, and NLH’s Ralph Cohen Prize. His current project, tentatively titled Social Medium: Fiction and the Network Society, examines how fiction models social networks in its considerations of privacy, agency, and collectivity.

Aarthi Vadde is Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of English at Duke University.  She is the author of Chimeras of Form: Modernist Internationalism Beyond Europe (1914-2016), which was published by Columbia UP in 2016.  Her articles on contemporary fiction, modernism, and postcolonialism have appeared in such venues as NOVEL, Comparative Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, ARIEL, and Public Books. She is currently at a work on a second book project about the role of amateurism in contemporary literature and digital media.  Articles related to this project are forthcoming in New Literary History and Modernism/Modernity.