Wesleyan portrait of Indira  Karamcheti

Indira Karamcheti

Associate Professor of American Studies

255 High Street, 205

Chair, American 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 plantation sof Martinique.

Among classes taught are:

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

Selected Published Work:

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

Fall 2022 Office Hours:  Wednesdays 4:30-6 and by appointment

205, in the Department of American Studies, 255 High St.





Fall 2022
AMST 200 - 01
Colonialism & Its Consequences

EDST 241 - 01
Childhood in America

Spring 2023
AMST 210 - 01
School Days: Junior Colloquium

AMST 273 - 01
Diasporic South Asian Writing