My research in literary and cultural studies is centered in two historical fields: nineteenth-century British and twentieth and twenty-first century postcolonial literatures. Within both these fields, I specialize in the history and theory of the novel, with particular focus on questions of realism, literary epistemology, and the intersections between law, politics, and literature.
A comparatist by training, I have degrees in both law and literature. Indeed, my early work and first book, Common Precedents: The Presentness of the Past in Victorian Fiction and Law, (Oxford University Press, 2013) explored the intersection between these disciplines, arguing that precedent is powerful mechanism for managing social and cultural change in both literature and the law.
My second book, Genres of Emergency: Crisis and Continuity in Indian Writing in English, forthcoming with Oxford University Press in 2023, offers literary genre as a way to understand and negotiate the varied states of emergency and crisis that have become a fixture of our contemporary world. Building on a critical study of the literature written during and about the State of Emergency declared by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in India (1975 – 1977), the book establishes emergency and its genres as an important interpretative site: an exceptionally violent episode marked as a one-off crisis, which also functions as a locus for an ongoing renegotiation of a modern polity and culture.
While this book follows my previous one neither in period nor in area of study, it does share with it an understanding that forms and formal concerns travel across disciplinary and textual categories to shape our culture at large. If the first book recognized "precedent" as a cross-disciplinary idea and form that came to shape disparate parts of Victorian law and culture and provide a way for Victorians to understand their relation to the past in the sake of a future, here I argue that "emergency" carries similar weight, conceptualizing new ways of imagining the relationship between politics and literature.
Additional research includes work on the South Asian Partition, as well as writing on literary theory, which includes the first article in Hebrew on the phenomenon of post-critique and surface reading as well as work reevaluating realism and realist epistemology in a postcolonial context. Building on these, I am now beginning research for my next book on the on the ethical, political, discursive, and scholarly problem of complicity. Continuing my work on genre theory, I ask how genre and fictional epistemologies mediate situations of ethical complicity in the postcolonial world and what happens when oppositional theory becomes orthodoxy.
University of California, Berkeley Comparative Literature, 2005.
Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Comparative Literature 1998, cum laude.
Hebrew University Law School, Jerusalem, 1994.
Admitted to the Israeli Bar Association, 1995.