Pavithra Narayanan

Associate Professor and Program Leader of English, and Co-Director, Center for Social and Environmental Justice (CSEJ)
Phone: (360) 546-9732
Fax: (360) 546-9036
Located in Multimedia (VMMC) 202F
Support Staff: Annette Bradstreet

Pavithra Narayanan's research analyzes categorical shifts taking place in the Indian political scene and in the realm of literature. Much of her scholarly work focuses on the intersections between literature and market forces, the politics of nation formation, consequences of neoliberalism, and contemporary indigenous and civilian resistance movements. Interdisciplinary not only in content, but also in form, her research uses the medium of film alongside the written word to explore articulations of the term “postcolonial.” Narayanan teaches courses on global and postcolonial literature and theory, film theory, and documentary film theory and production.

Honors and Awards
2011. Lewis E. & Stella G. Buchanan Distinguished Scholar in English & Writing. Dept. of English, WSU.
2010 & 2011. Nominated for the Distinguished Woman of the Year Award, WSUV. Special Mention - 2011.
2010. Teacher of the Year. WSUV.
2009. Second Place, C. D. Narasimhaiah Prize by the Indian Association for Commonwealth Studies, India, for conference paper “Speaking in Tongues: Translation and Transnationalism.”
2001. Second Place in the "Documentary division: advanced category" Spindletop Film Fest Hosted by Lamar University, Texas – Film India and Free Trade: A Closer Look at Bhopal.
2001. Finalist at the Athens International Film and Video Festival, Ohio – Film India and Free Trade: A Closer Look at Bhopal.


Course ID Title Meeting Time Location Semester Syllabus
Engl 595 Topics in English - The Global South & Social and Environmental Justice Mondays 3:10 - 6 pm VECS 125 Fall 2015
HUM 304 [H] [HUM} Humanities in the Modern World: Hollywood Cinema: Theory and Meaning Tuesdays 6-8.40 VLIB 261 Fall 2015


  • Decolonization
  • Global and Postcolonial Literature and Theory
  • Social and Environmental Justice
  • Indigenous Literature, Land Rights, and Movements
  • Intersections of class, caste, race, and gender
  • Civil Liberties
  • Documentary and Popular Film Theory and Production

Recent Publications

2012. What are you reading? The World Market and Indian Literary Production. New Delhi, Routledge.

Documentary Films
2000. India and Free Trade: A Closer Look at Bhopal. Documentary Film. Distributed by Indie-India. (Indie-India is a New York based organization promoting independent cinema from India).
In post-production. “Facing North-East: Remembering Manipur, Manorama Unforgotten.”  (Preview). Producer, director, writer, and videographer for documentary on civil liberties, with a focus on the civil resistance by women in the State of Manipur.  

Selected Peer-reviewed Articles and Book Chapters
(Forthcoming) Co-authored with Clare Wilkinson. “Urban Dreams: Sudhir Mishra’s Representations of Social and Political Change.”  In “Contemporary Bollywood Directors.” Ed. Aysha Viswamohan. (Sage Publications)
(Forthcoming) “This Land is My Land: Adivasi Resistance in Kerala (India) within the framework of global indigenous struggles.” In Global Mining History. Eds. Stefan Berger and Peter Alexander.
2014. “Patrick White and Australia: Perspective of an Outsider.” In Patrick White Centenary: The Legacy of a Prodigal Son. Eds. Cynthia vanden Driesen and Bill Ashcroft. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, UK. 125-40.
2013. “Transcending Borders in Publishing: The example of Mallika Sengupta, Bengali Woman Writer.” In Transnationalism and Resistance: Experience and Experiment in Women's Writing. Eds. Stephenie Young and Adele Parker. Rodopi Press, Amsterdam. 259-84.
2012. “Mapping Manipur.” In Countering Displacements: The Creativity and Resilience of Indigenous and Refugee-ed Peoples. Eds. Daniel Coleman, Erin Goheen, Wafaa Hasan, Agnes Kramer-Hamstra. U of Alberta Press, Edmonton: 115-50.
2010. “Speaking in Tongues: The Politics of Language in India.” Journal of the School of Language, Literature & Culture Studies (JSL): 7-22.
2010. “Economic Viability of Languages: An Interview with Nabaneeta Dev Sen.” Wasafiri 63: 4-8. 

Selected Presentations
2015 (Invited). “Who's Afraid of Andrew Wylie? Gatekeepers, Markets, and Knowledge Production." International conference on “Writing (for) the market – Narratives of global economy.” DFG Research Training Group, Ludwig Maximilian U of Munich, Germany.
2014. “Women Arresting Violence: The Meira Paibi Movement.” National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) conference: Feminist Transgressions, Puerto Rico.
2014. “A NATION CHANTS”: Aboriginal struggles for sovereignty, justice, and recognition in
Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria.” Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) Conference: Worlds Within, Sydney, Australia.
2014 (Invited). “Patrick White, the public intellectual: A perspective of an outsider.” American Association of Australasian Literary Studies (AAALS) Annual International Conference. Portland State U, OR.
2013 (Invited). “This Land is My Land: Adivasi Resistance in Kerala (India) within the framework of global  indigenous struggles.” International conference on Global Mining: Digging for Treasure. Ruhr Museum, Essen, Germany.
2012 (Invited) “What Are You Reading? Power, Prestige and the Business of Intellectual Production.” Princeton University, NJ.
2012. “An Outside Perspective: Patrick White and Australia.” Patrick White Centenary International Conference, Hyderabad, India.
2012. “This Land is Mine: Adivasi Resistance in Kerala and Chhattisgarh (India) against corporations and governments,” 9th International Mining History Congress Johannesburg, South Africa.


  • 2000 - M.A. Mass Communication, Miami University, Oxford, OH.
  • 1992 - Ph.D. English (Postcolonial Literature), Bharathidasan University, India.

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