Bishnupriya Ghosh

With a doctorate from Northwestern University, Bishnupriya Ghosh is Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she teaches postcolonial theory and global media studies. Much of her scholarly work interrogates the relations between the global and the postcolonial; area studies and transnational cultural studies; popular, mass, and elite cultures. While publishing essays on literary, cinematic, and visual culture in several collections and journals such as boundary 2Journal of Postcolonial StudiesPublic Cultureand Screen, in her first two books, Ghosh focused on contemporary elite and popular cultures of globalization. When Borne Across: Literary Cosmopolitics in the Contemporary Indian Novel (Rutgers UP, 2004) addressed the dialectical relations between emerging global markets and literatures reflexively marked as “postcolonial,” and Global Icons: Apertures to the Popular (Duke UP, 2011) turned to visual popular culture as it constitutes the global. Research is underway for a third monograph, The Unhomely Sense: Spectral Cinemas of Globalization that tracks the relations between globalization and cinematic/post-cinematic images.

Apart from these works that directly address the question of the “global” in contemporary mediascapes, in the last three years, Ghosh has turned to risk and globalization—or, rather, how the risk media globalize technoscientific rationality. The shift began in 2008-9 with the research collaboration, “Speculative Globalities” that met at the UCHRI (The University of California Humanities Research Institute). Drawing on this seed project, a group of faculty at University of California, Santa Barbara, convened a series of conferences, screenings, readings, and discussion groups in 2010-2012. In turn these ventures have led to several individual and collaborative projects, including a co-edited (with Bhaskar Sarkar) collection on Media and Risk , a residency at Cornell University's Society for the Humanities (with its 2012-13 theme, Risk@Humanities(link sends e-mail)), and a single-authored short monograph (The Virus Touch: Living with Epidemics). Interrogating modular globally scalable risk instruments, programs, and institutions, Ghosh turns to a comparative study of living-with-risk in the United States, South Africa, and India. Much of her recent work explores human-virus encounters more widely treated in The Virus Touch.

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