Leela Gandhi

Professor of English

University of Chicago

Leela Gandhi's research and teaching interests include sixteenth- and seventeenth-century drama, the culture of late-Victorian radicalism, Indo-Anglian literature, and Postcolonial theory. Postcolonial Theory (1998), her first book, gave to her a formative understanding of two paradigmatic themes that have since formed the basis of her writing. The first of these is the view that colonialism instantiates a structural relation of ‘contrapuntality’ between West and non-West, and the second is the notion that colonialism also provokes surprising proximities and intimacies between unlikely cultures and entities: across West and non-West, within the West, and between various non-Western locales. The first theme she explored in a co-authored study, England Through Colonial Eyes (2001), which read ‘contrapuntality’ as shorthand for the discomfiting yet mutually transforming cosmopolitanism between coloniser and colonised. The second theme of counter-colonial proximity and intimacy, closer to her heart, finds its fullest expression in her previous book, Affective Communities (2006).