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Jay Rajiva

Associate Professor, Director of Literary Studies

Ph.D., University of Toronto


Global Anglophone and Postcolonial Literature, Trauma Theory


Jay Rajiva’s second book, Toward an Animist Reading of Postcolonial Trauma Literature (Routledge 2020), uses the conceptual framework of animism, the belief in the spiritual qualities of nonhuman matter, to analyze representations of trauma in postcolonial fiction from Nigeria and India. Examining novels by authors such as Chinua Achebe, Jhumpa Lahiri, Nnedi Okorafor, and Arundhati Roy, the book considers how animist beliefs shape the aesthetic representation of trauma in postcolonial literature, paying special attention to complex metaphor and narrative structure. He is also the author of Postcolonial Parabola: Literature, Tactility, and the Ethics of Representing Trauma (Bloomsbury 2017), which analyzes literature of partition and civil war on the Indian subcontinent alongside apartheid and post-apartheid South African fiction. His scholarship has appeared in journals such as Studies in the Novel, Twentieth-Century Literature, ARIEL, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, and Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities. He was the recipient of the Dean’s Early Career Award in 2019.

For more information, please visit Dr. Rajiva’s website.