Wesleyan portrait of Indira  Karamcheti

Indira Karamcheti

Associate Professor of American Studies

255 High Street, 205

Associate Professor, Education Studies

Coordinator, Caribbean Studies


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 plantation sof Martinique.

Among classes taught are:

  • Colonialism and Its Consequences
  • New England and Empire
  • Writing in the South Asian Diaspora
  • Childhood in America
  • History of American English
  • Sites of the Self:  Maps, Gardens, Houses

Selected Published Work:

Born in India, immigrating to the U.S. at an early age, educated here with brief forays in 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.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

I am on sabbatical from July 1 to December 31, 2021, and will be checking my email irregularly.  The interim Chair of American Studies during that time is Professor Amy Tang.  Please contact her or the departmental Administrative Assistant, Laura Borhman, lborhman@wesleyan.edu, on departmental matters.

However, I will continue as Coordinator of the Caribbean Studies Minor.  If you wish to contact me about the minor, please email me at ikaramcheti@wesleyan.edu.


Spring 2022
AMST 178 - 01
Intro to American Studies

AMST 241 - 01
Childhood in America