Ani Maitra

Ani Maitra
Year entered: 2007 

Research and Teaching Interests 
Theories of reading and spectatorship, psychoanalysis, critical race theory, gender and sexuality, queer Marxism, queer diaspora studies, Asian-American literature, African-American literature, queer cinema and documentary, global queer media.

"Narcissism and the Scene of Reading: Towards a Global Politics of Local Aesthetics"

Chair: Lynne Joyrich
Readers: Rey Chow, Wendy Chun, Mary Ann Doane

This dissertation argues that there is a fundamental relationship between narcissism and “reading,” to be understood both as a quotidian meaning-making practice and as the professionalized exercise of “critique” in the humanities. Arguing against the parochialism of the dominant clinico-cultural approaches to narcissism, I turn to psychoanalysis, diasporic literature, and postcolonial-queer cinema to contend that, lying at the heart of ethics and politics of critique, narcissism is a formative topology of vulnerability shaped by the mirrors of the globalizing social. I argue that it is an aesthetic awareness of this simultaneously universal and particular structure of narcissism that needs to shape the ethics and politics of reading-as-critique if the humanities wishes to retain its disciplinary specificity, reinvigorate its auto-critical and comparative faculties, and evade both the traps of theoretical myopia and uncritical “globalism.”

Courses Taught:
MCM 0901A "Unruly Crossings: Queerness, Race, and Globalization" (Spring 2011)

"Outside the Shadow of the Homoglobal: Queer Cosmopolitanism in Tsai Ming-liang's  I Don't Want to Sleep Alone" (Under Review)

"Hearing Queerly: Musings on the Ethics of Disco/sexuality." Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 25.3 (June 2011):375-396.

"Why isn’t Michelle Lopez on Judge Judy?: Citizenship and Televisuality in Hima B.’s And I Do Survive." Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies 25.2 (2010):183-195.

"Confessions of the (Ethnic) Narcissist: Intermedia in Diaspora." InterMedia in South Asia: The Fourth Screen. eds. Rajinder Dudrah, Amit Rai, Anustup Basu (London and New York: Routledge, 2012).

"The Flight of the Eunuch: Mapping Homotextualities in South Asian Diaspora Literature." Anxieties, Influences and After: Critical Responses to Postcolonialism and Neocolonialism. Eds. Kaustav Bakshi and Samrat Sengupta. (New Delhi: Worldview Publications, 2008).

Book Reviews
Glen M. Mimura, Ghostlife of Third Cinema: Asian American Film and Video (Minneapolis and London: U of Minnesota P, 2009) MELUS: The Society for Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States (Winter 2011): 183-187.

Fellowships and Awards
Five College Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (2012-2013, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA)
Cogut Graduate Fellowship (2011-2012)
Cogut Cornell SCT Tuition Fellowship (2010-2011)
Pembroke Graduate Fellowship (2009-2010)
Paul Foundation Graduate Scholarship (2007-2008)