Transnational and Postcolonial


The transnational and postcolonial research cluster brings together department faculty whose work spans historical periods and geographies. Graduate students have the opportunity to study with José Aranda (Mexican American Literature After 1848, Chicano/a Literature, Modernity, Latin American Studies), Krista Comer (Critical Regionalism, Global Wests and Settler Colonial Theory, Feminist Critical Race/Indigeneity), Rosemary Hennessy (Feminist Theory, Sexuality Studies, US-Mexican Border Studies), Emily Houlik-Ritchey (Comparative Medieval English and Spanish Studies, Ecocriticism, Ethics), Betty Joseph (Eighteenth Century Studies, Postcolonial Literature, Globalization, Literary and Social Theory), Caroline Levander (Hemispheric Studies, US 19th Century Empire), Amanda Johnson (Early American Transatlantic Old World/New World Literary Cultures, Global Eighteenth Century Studies), Helena Michie (Victorian Literature and Culture, Global Modernities), Alexander Regier (Enlightenment Literary Cultures, Anglo-German Romanticism), and Nicole Waligora-Davis (African American Studies, Black Internationalism, the Caribbean).

Students with interests in transnational/postcolonial studies have written dissertations about postcolonial cynicism in an era of melancholy, authorship and romance narratives in popular Hindi song and cinema, governmentality and literary nationalism in twentieth century Australia, human rights discourse in contemporary Indian, Caribbean, and African literature, gender and sexuality across British colonial and Indian national cultures, the politics of indigeneity in Chicano/a nationalism and literature, trauma and healing in Chicano/a literatures, women’s sexual trauma and the Vietnam War, sustainability and women and gender studies in early nineteenth-century transnational American literature, sound in African American and African diasporic literatures, the figure of the mestizaje in US Latino imaginaries, the rise of the Mexican American middle class in US/Mexico border literatures.

Faculty and graduate students go to conferences such as the Modern Language Association, the American Studies Association, Jornada Internacional, Monterrey Technological Institute, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, México, National Association for Chicano and Chicana Studies, C-19 The Society for Nineteenth Century Americanists, the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Dickens Universe Conference, the Western Literature Association, MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States), the American Literature Association, the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project.

Students specializing in particular fields may also participate in seminars and workshops sponsored by Rice faculty including the interdisciplinary Long Nineteenth-Century Seminar in British Studies and, by invitation, the annual summer works-in-progress seminar in Chicano/a Studies.

Students have published essays in journals such as Early American Literature, Studies in American Fiction, American Studies in Scandinavia, American Literature, ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature, The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, Journal of Narrative Theory, Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature, Australian Literary Studies, Postcolonial Studies: Culture, Politics, Economy.

Recent Rice PhDs working in this area of the program have secured tenure track or postdoc positions at the University of Colorado, Boulder, University of Houston, University of Virginia, Plymouth State University, University of Utah, Syracuse University, University of Wollongong (Australia), University of Montevallo, California State University, Fresno, and Columbia University.