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Dr Shamira Meghani

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor in the Department of English Studies


About me
Prior to joining the Department in September 2022, I taught Postcolonial and Related Literatures in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge, from 2017 onwards. I have taught in English Studies at the Universities of Sussex, Leeds, Chichester, and the Open University, primarily in South Asian, African and Caribbean postcolonial and diaspora literatures. My DPhil was completed part-time at the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies and the Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence at the University of Sussex.
Research Interests

Currently I am working on two book projects: the first (nearing completion) examines the uses of gender variance and same-sex intimacy from South Asia’s literary heritage in modern South Asian writing from the nineteenth century to the present, thinking especially about caste and sexual dissidence. The second (in its early stages) reads gender and sexuality across broader postcolonial diaspora literatures from South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean as interrelated through colonisation. Both projects develop historical understandings of textual representations of identity, and situate these in the context of unfolding colonial legacies. My work probes the way that gender and sexuality are constitutively interrelated with racial, caste and ethnic forms of identity, stratification, and exclusion. I have published on the employment of metaphors of ‘untouchability’ in queer South Asian film and literary representations, and the way these are paralleled by the absence of investigations into caste ‘untouchability’ in the cultures of HIV healthcare. My work on queer diasporic South Asian Muslim narratives showed the way that critiques of homophobia have, in the post-9/11 period, become particularized to minoritized ethnoreligious groups, partly re-forming the writing of the closet through racialised conceptualisation.

I welcome inquiries from prospective PhD students who wish to pursue research in any aspect of my interests.

Supervision students