Wesleyan portrait of Indira  Karamcheti

Indira Karamcheti

Associate Professor of Global South Asian Studies

255 High Street, 205

Co-Chair, Global South Asian Studies

255 High Street, 205

Associate Professor, Education Studies

255 High Street, 205

Coordinator, Caribbean Studies

255 High Street, 205


BA University Calif Santa Bar
MA University Calif Santa Bar
PHD University Calif Santa Bar

Indira Karamcheti

Indira Karamcheti's work focusses on the South Asian Diaspora, Caribbean Studies, translation, children's literature, and cultural geography.   Her scholarship and teaching raise questions of authority:  literary, cultural, ethnic/racial, geographic, personal.  Articles such as "The Graves of Academe" and "Caliban in the Classroom" explore the question of literary canonization and the bases for the pedagogical authority of the minority teacher.  Classes such as "Prizing the Book" and "The Nobel Writers" bring these issues to the attention of students in the classroom.

Current projects include oral histories of South Asians who immigrated to the U.S. between 1945 and 1965, the era of the Cold War and the "Barred Zones"; and translations of Aimé Césaire's Toussaint Louverture and Raphaël Confiant's La Panse du chacal.  Her longstanding interest in the South Asian diaspora is reflected in archival research on the French Imperial use of South Asian indentured labor in the Caribbean sugar plantations of Martinique.

Among classes taught are:

  • Writing in the South Asian Diaspora
  • Caribbean Literature in the Diaspora 

Selected Published Work:

Born in India, immigrating to the U.S. at an early age, educated in the U.S., Switzerland and Ghana, Indira Karamcheti has long been intrigued by questions of cultural geography; translation cultural, linguistic, and personal; and the problematics of self-(re)presentation.  Trained in literary studies, specializing in postcolonial literature and theory, the history of literary theory, and medieval and Old English literature, she was engaged by the English Department of Wesleyan University in 1990, and moved her departmental affiliation to the American Studies Department in 2013.

In the American Studies Department, while her primary material continued to be literary studies, Indira Karamcheti expanded her course offerings to colonialism/imperialism, lived material culture, children's literature, the South Asian diaspora, Caribbean literature, memoirs and immigrant literature, and the development of the English language.  Among other classes, in AMST, she taught "Colonialism and Its Consequences," "Sites of the Self:  Maps, Gardens, Houses," "Caribbean Literature in the U.S. Diaspora," and "South Asian Literature in the American Diasporas."  

The Global South Asian Studies Program (GSAS) was approved by the Faculty in Spring 2023.  Indira Karamcheti moved her institutional home to GSAS in 2023 and serves as co-Chair from 2023-2025.  In addition, she serves as co-Coordinator of the Caribbean Studies Minor from 2020 to the present.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Spring term 2024 office hours are Tuesdays, 4:30-6 in #114, Fisk Hall, and by appointment.  If an appointment is needed, please email me at ikaramcheti@wesleyan.edu.

Office:  #114, Fisk Hall, Global South Asian Studies Program



Fall 2024
GSAS 150 - 01
India, South Asia, Diaspora

GSAS 287 - 01
South Asian Diaspora Maps