My interest in narrative and power began as a postgraduate student with a Masters in Twentieth-Century Literature at Sussex, specialising in my dissertation on the work of J.G.Farrell. For my doctorate, also at Sussex, I undertook a study of narrative and ideology in four British writers on India – Kipling, Forster, Masters and Scott. This became the basis of my first book, Fictions of India: Narrative and Power. Thereafter, I worked extensively on the literature of the South Asian diaspora, producing a single-author study of Rohinton Mistry, and writing numerous chapters, essays and journal articles. More recently, I have focussed on minority/majority relations as played out in literature, thinking about the links between those same questions of form and content that can also be seen operating in popular narratives about, for example, multiculturalism, or the Muslim ‘Other’.
My new book, Islamophobia and the Novel will be published by Columbia University Press in 2018. I have received two substantial funding awards for projects entitled Framing Muslims and Muslims, Trust and Cultural Dialogue. Issues of narrative and power continue to inform my current work which focuses on questions of trust, empathy and interculturalism (the latter understood as a dynamic process, rather than an achieved state or a political programme).
After my DPhil, I taught postcolonial, modern and contemporary literature modules at the Universities of Sussex, Leeds, and Worcester. Subsequently, I taught for many years at the University of East London, devising and delivering modules covering literature from the eighteenth century rise of the novel to the present day, as well as being subject head for three years, assisting in preparations for REF, and serving on various committees.
I joined the University of Birmingham in 2017 and currently teach on contemporary and postcolonial literature modules and supervise undergraduate dissertations.