Gaurav Majumdar

Professor and Chair, English

Olin Hall 245
509-527-5209 (phone) 509-527-5039 (fax)


New York University

University of Rochester

University of Delhi

His main areas of research are British and Irish modernism, as well as postcolonial literature in English. His teaching interests include British and postcolonial literatures since 1900, film, and Victorian literature.  He is particularly interested in the modernist novel, aesthetics, postcolonial solidarity, and revisions of cosmopolitanism in literary studies.

In addition to his first book, Migrant Form: Anti-Colonial Aesthetics in Joyce, Rushdie, and Ray (Peter Lang, 2010), he has published essays on James Joyce, Katherine Mansfield, postcolonial solidarity, critical cosmopolitanism, the modern elegy, Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, and Howard Hawks, as well as several book reviews.

His second book, Illegitimate Freedom: Informality in Modernist Literature, 1900-1940 (Routledge, 2021) explores the links between informality—as an aesthetic, behavioral, and political model—and a wide range of British and anglophone modernist works.  Examining a particular aspect of informality in each chapter, this project investigates disgust and intimate playfulness, colloquialism, promiscuity, liberal traditions that champion “male freedom,” repeatedly revised selves, and before its concluding discussion of informality as a kind of ease with strangeness and its related risks.

Gaurav’s next book-project concentrates on the depiction of cosmopolitan solidarity with “failed” constructions (of the self, language, friendship, sexual relations, architecture, and community) in anti-colonial literature.  The project sees assertion and disagreement as crucial for a critically energetic solidarity.

The recipient of the Dublin Award for the Study of Global Multiculturalism in 2008, and the George M. Ball Award for Excellence in Advising in 2016, Gaurav worked as the Director of Whitman College’s Encounters program from 2013 to 2015, and was the college’s founding Institutional Representative for the Scholars at Risk network.