Shilpa Bhat

Assistant Professor
PhD (Gujarat University)
Areas of interest
South Asian Narratives, Canadian Studies, Diaspora Studies and Postcolonialism
4004 4161/ 430

Dr. Shilpa Bhat is Assistant Professor at Ahmedabad University. She has a Phd from Gujarat University (dissertation guided at Gujarat and Toronto Universities); an MPhil from Central University Hyderabad and an MA from Mysore University. Her areas of interest are South Asian Literature, Diaspora and Postcolonial theories, Canadian Studies and Children’s Literature. She was a Visiting Fellow, Oxford University, UK (2019-20); Visiting Fellow, McGill University, Montreal, Canada (2017); International Visitor, York University, Canada (2015); Commonwealth Fellow, Trinity College, University of Toronto, Canada (2011-12); and has visited University of Western Ontario (2011) and Korea University, South Korea (PANCS Grant, 2011) for research. Most recently, her  interest in migration of objects (in addition to her inclination to material/visual culture studies) due to diasporic movements led her to do the Eloquent Things course at Oxford University.

She has published articles in reputed journals like Social Identities (Routledge, Taylor and Francis); Green Letters (Routledge, Taylor and Francis); Culture and Religion (Routledge, Taylor and Francis); Sikh Formations (Routledge, Taylor and Francis) and Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change (Routledge, Taylor and Francis). Her book length publications include Indians in Victorian Children’s Narratives: Animalizing the 'Native', 1830-1930 (monograph, Rowman and Littlefield, US, 2017); Diaspora and Homing in South Asian Women's Writing:Beyond Trishanku, Rowman and Littlefield, US, 2018 (edited anthology); Women Writers of the South Asian Diaspora: Interpreting Gender, Texts and Contexts Rawat Publishers, Jaipur, 2019 (Co-edited anthology); and Diasporic Inquiries into South Asian Women’s Narratives: Alien Domiciles (edited anthology, Rowman and Littlefield, US, 2020).


The guiding threads of Shilpa Bhat's research are the migratory orientations of diaspora and postcolonialism; and how the related theoretical and conceptual terrains allow the study of the inscription of manifold operations of power and axes of differentiation. In addition to interdisciplinary, theoretical and conceptual interpretations in the exploration of narratives and material/ visual culture, she is particularly interested in the historical and political backgrounds that influence cultural productions and how Indian epics shape migratory world-views in certain narratives.

Examining the roles of indentured diaspora, military migration, the South Asian woman’s diaspora, tourism, digital diaspora and personal and group histories, she looks at questions of Orientalist hermeneutics, international mobilities, material/ visual culture and diasporic subjectivities. Her publications address historicized trajectories of South Asian migration to different parts of the world and to Canada in particular; and specific structures of transnational configurations in wide-ranging narratives (fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, newspaper articles, epistolary).


Key Publications/Recent


Diasporic Inquiries into South Asian Women’s Narratives:Alien Domiciles. ( Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, Maryland, US, 2020).

Women Writers of the South Asian Diaspora: Interpreting Gender, Texts and Contexts.  (Coedited Anthology. Jaipur: Rawat Publishers, India,  2020).

Diaspora and Homing in South Asian Women's Writing:Beyond Trishanku (Edited Anthology, Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, Maryland, US, 2018).

Indians in Victorian Children’s Narratives: Animalizing the 'Native', 1830-1930 ( Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, Maryland, US, 2017).


Journal Articles

“Delhi, diaspora and religious consciousness: heritage and palimpsest architecture in M. G. Vassanji’s A Place Within: Rediscovering India, Culture and Religion. Routledge (Taylor and Francis). Abingdon, United Kingdom. October 2020. 1-18. 

Fifteen minutes of fame’: The “good Indian”, Diasporic Identities and the American Media Representation in Thrity Umrigar’s If Today Be Sweet. Social Identities. Routledge (Taylor and Francis). Abingdon, United Kingdom. 2020. 1-17.

“Aamchi Mumbai” in Rohinton Mistry’s Fiction: Urban Ecology, Filth and Foliage”. Green Letters. Abingdon, United Kingdom. Routledge (Taylor and Francis). 1-16. 2020.

"Military/ Warrior Legacy, the Taj and Sikh-Canadian Diaspora in Breakaway". Sikh Formations. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge (Taylor and Francis). 2020. 1-17. 

"Ambulocetus Versus Trishanku: ‘Nowhere’ Space, Diaspora and Genealogical Tourism through Paleontology and Hindu Mythology". Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change. London: UK, Routledge Informa Ltd (Taylor and Francis). 2019. 1-17.

"e-Diaspora, the Great War and Sikh Military Migration to Canada: Commemorating Buckam Singh". Sikh Formations. Abingdon UK: Routledge (Taylor and Francis). 2019. 1-16. 

"Hackeneying Hybridity?: Fending Off 'Foreigness', Khoja Community and Hybridization in The Magic of Saida". Culture and Religion. Vol: 20.Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK: Routledge. (Taylor and Francis). 2019. 1-18. 

“Sikh Diasporic Negotiations: Indian and Canadian History in Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?”. Sikh Formations. Vol. 14. No. 1. Abingdon, UK: Routledge (Taylor and Francis). 2018. 55-70.

Chapters in Edited Anthologies  

“Maritime Links, Imperialism and Diaspora in the Ibis Trilogy”. Eastern and Western Synergies and Imaginations. Editor: Katrine K Wong. Boston, Leiden: Brill. Forthcoming, 2020.

“Women Within Precincts: Colonialism and Racialization in The Madwoman in the Attic, Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre”. Women’s Human Rights in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture.  Elena V. Shabliy, Dmitry Kurochkin, and Gloria Y.A. Ayee. Eds. Maryland, US: Lexington Books: Rowman and Littlefield. Forthcoming, 2020.

"Afropolitanism and the Afro-Asian Diaspora in M. G. Vassanji's And Home Was Kariakoo". Afropolitan Literature as World Literature. Ed. James Hodapp. Bloomsbury Press: New York, 2020. 57-70. 

"Historical Ripple Effects in Indo-Canadian Narratives: The 1984 Sikh Carnage in M. G. Vassanji and Anita Rau Badami". (E)razed Chapter: Remembering the Tales of Mourning Carnage'84. Ed. Ishmeet Saini. Orient-Blackswan, India. Forthcoming.

""The Return of the Native": Homecoming 'Returnee' Migrant in M.G. Vassanji's Narratives". 2018. The Postcolonial Subject in Transit: Migration, Borders and Subjectivity in African Diaspora Literature. Ed. Fongang Delphine. Lanham, US: Rowman and Littlefield-Lexington. 111-123.

“Inhabiting Trishanku in Canada: Threshold Experience in the Oeuvre of M. G. Vassanji”. In-Between: Liminal Spaces in Canadian Culture and Literature (Canadiana Series). Ed. Stefan L Brandt. Frankfurt, Oxford et al.: Peter Lang. 2017. 47-59.

Scholarly Book Review (Refereed)

Book Review of Commerce with the Universe: Africa, India and the Afrasian Imagination (Columbia University Press, 2013), by Gaurav Desai. South Asian Review: Journal of the South Asian Literary Association. Volume 38, Issue 3.  UK: Routledge, Taylor and Francis. 2017.

Courses Offered:

  • Indian Diaspora
  • World Literature
  • East African Narratives by Authors of Gujarati Origin
  • Indian Literature in Translation
  • Academic Reading and Writing
  • Communication for Management
  • Effective Reading and Comprehension

 (Recent Presentations/Talks/ Workshop Participation)


  • Seminar Talk at Oxford University, United Kingdom; December 3, 2019. Title: “Reading Diaspora Narratives: Conceptualizing Third Space Metaphorically”.

  • Participated in “Bibliotherapy workshop” Oxford University, United Kingdom, November 26, 2019.

  • Participated in "Image and Thought Workshop", Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University, United Kingdom, November 21, 2019.

  • Participated in “Artefacts of a Written World” workshop organized by The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH), Oxford University, United Kingdom, November 14, 2019.

  • Participated in “Decolonising colonial ports and global history: rethinking archives of power” workshop organized and funded by The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH), Oxford University, United Kingdom, November 9, 2019.

  • Talk at the The Oxford Critical Theory Network workshop/study day organized and funded by The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH), Oxford University, United Kingdom, October 14, 2019. Title: "Reading the ‘Nowhere Space’ through Metaphors, Diaspora and Tourist Theories".

  • Seminar talk on M. G. Vassanji's fiction, York University, Canada; December 27, 2015.

  • Presented paper in the multidisciplinary conference organised by the University of Western Ontario, Canada, on May 12, 2012. Title of the Paper: “Pushing Political Regimes to the Brink of Precipice: The Anna Hazare Movement in India”.

  • Presented paper in the International Conference organised by Pacific-Asia Network of Canadian Studies on October 6, 2011, in Korea University, Seoul, South Korea. Title of the Paper: “Contemporary India through Generalist Narratives: “Eyes” and Perspectives”.



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