Posted by: gdevi | January 15, 2017

A good visit

The Australians just left today. We had a lovely visit with teju, kunji, ameya and damini. And ammu, kunji and naani. It was so lovely to see you all and have you here with us, even if for a short time. Thank you. Thank you, ammu, for driving everyone from New Jersey to PA in this unfair weather. Daisy is absolutely heartbroken that all the kids are gone–she has never received so much love and attention from humans for such a long time! We will definitely plan to visit you in the northern territories soon. Or at least send Dayani over for her vacation–she is old enough to travel on her own now. Have a safe flight back to Sydney and Darwin. Love you, gayatri chechi/valliamma.

Posted by: gdevi | January 6, 2017

Obituary: Om Puri (1950-2017)

Sad day: Om Puri has died. Here is BBC’s good obituary. Great loss of a great actor for cinema. So many great movies. Great actor, great career, great life. Rest in peace, Om Puri.


Posted by: gdevi | January 4, 2017

CFP: NDQ Special Issue on Transnationalism

In his essay “Reflections on Exile,” the Arab intellectual Edward Said noted that the difference between earlier exiles and those of our own times is “scale”: “our age—with its modern warfare, imperialism, and the quasi-theological ambitions of totalitarian rulers—is indeed the age of the refugee, the displaced person, and mass migration.” Exile and migration—the experiences of being separated from one’s homeland—have informed intellectual, cultural, artistic and political thought since antiquity all over the world. But the large scale human migration and displacement that took place in the twentieth century as an outcome of the two world wars, and the current mass exodus of large numbers of people across geo-political borders in parts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South America, and North America speaks to a unique and new man-made historical crisis whose resolution remains as yet unknowable.

The transnational turn in cultural and literary studies may be understood as one attempt to contextualize and comprehend the experiences of the mass movement of people across national borders, mass movement that simultaneously affirms and negates these very same borders. How do we give voice and form to the phenomenon of mass displacement and uprootedness; the loss of tradition, belonging, language and citizenship; and the possibility of a future where home is not defined by a specific geography or a language, but some other state of being that moves beyond possession and loss to articulate an emergent subjectivity that transcends nation and home?

The transnational perspective also productively engages with the transformations brought about by globalization in which material goods cross national and international borders as part of a “container market” economy.  While globalization claims to promote the development of a “global citizen”  through the erosion of cultural homogeneity and state sovereignty, it has also aided, by omission or commission, the birth of a new form of insular patriotism, cultural and religious fundamentalism, and a parochial and ethnic populism that is anything but global in practice. The effects of globalization in countries as different as India and the United States have in many cases deepened and widened the existing inequalities and asymmetries within the society, effectively minimizing its economic gains. The transnational perspective critically interrogates the contours of the nation at exactly those points where it claims to disregard them.

Thus transnational identity may be seen to be richly constitutive of complex linkages that challenge and complicate certain fundamental binaries that characterize nation-states, such as assimilation and multiculturalism, citizens and immigrants, the indigenous and the foreign, to name a few obvious and compelling constructs. Indeed it would not be inaccurate to argue that transnationalism might be the new mode of being evolving out of the crucible of twenty first century challenges to twentieth century nations, national boundaries, and hyper-insular allegiances disguised as citizenship.  Transnationalism is the historical force designing the twenty first century.

To this end, for this special issue, we invite thoughtful critical essays, creative pieces, and photography or other visual art engaged with (but not limited to) the following topics, all of which invite contributors to explore the complex experience of transnationalism from a humanities perspective:

  • Self-hood and identity in transnational contexts
  • National responses to transnational presences
  • Transnational refugee and global citizenship
  • Diaspora, homeland and transnational migration
  • The visual culture of transnationalism
  • Memories of homeland, visions of immigrant land
  • The cinema of exile and transnationalism
  • Transnational memoirs
  • Travelogues of transnationalism
  • The politics of transnationalism
  • Philosophies and philosophers of transnationalism
  • Methodologies of transnational inquiries
  • New epistemologies of transnationalism
  • The political imaginary of transnationalism
  • Transnationalism’s imagined communities
  • Nationhood, citizenship and the transnationalism
  • Local and global cultures and transnational vectors
  • The global north and the global south
  • Gender and transnationalism
  • Gender and globalization
  • Race and transnationalism
  • Subalterns and the underclass in transnationalism
  • “Sending money back home”: Diaspora, homeland, citizenship and migrant labor
  • Human Trafficking in transnational contexts
  • Native American sovereignty and transnationalism
  • The Arab spring, The Arab winter, and transnationalism
  • Europe and the Arab World and transnationalism
  • The Gulf Economy in South Asia in literature and films
  • The United States and Mexico and transnational issues
  • “Kuwait of the Plains”: The Bakken Shale and transnationalism as metaphor
This special issue of NDQ will be co-edited by Gayatri Devi (Lock Haven University), Çiğdem Pala Mull (Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University) and Sharon Carson (University of North Dakota).


Submissions Deadline: Friday, March 3, 2017. Please send submissions and queries about additional topics to Sharon Carson at

All submissions must be in MLA format. Thanks!

Dr. Gayatri Devi
Associate Professor, Department of English
Raub 302
Lock Haven University
Lock Haven, PA 17745
Tel: 570-484-2284
“And what rough beast, its hour come round at last
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
W. B. Yeats, The Second Coming (1919)
“پردہ نہیں جب کوئی خدا سے بندوں سے پردہ کرنا کیا؟”
Fall 2016 Office Hours: MW: 2:30-4:30; T: 2pm-4pm and by appointment
Posted by: gdevi | December 28, 2016

Brazos River et al.

We took all the kids to Brazos Bend State Park today–it is about an hour and a half from Appu’s house: 249 South, Beltway 8 West, and 59 South, to Brazos Bend State Park.  We saw the Brazos river. It is very pretty big sky Texas country. We took three cars for the 17 of us. I drove one of the kid caravans. The youngest –Dev–was 4 years old and the oldest–Ketaki–was 20 years old–and all ages in between. All the kids and all the adults enjoyed the park–the walking, the wading birds, and the alligators. We must have seen at least 25 alligators, countless birds, snakes and turtles. We stopped counting after a while. We walked nearly seven miles. It was 81 degrees in Houston today. A beautiful day to be outside. We had a nice picnic in the park with all kinds of bread, cheese, meats, fruits, and the surprise pick of the day–smoked salmon! Who knew kids loved smoked salmon?


Posted by: gdevi | December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, all! The Australians arrived yesterday and we were all up until 3 in the morning. Appu’s friends invited us to their house this evening for the christmas party but since we didn’t want to shock them by showing up in full force of 15 adults and kids, we sent only the men to the party. Women, kids and dogs are staying back at our house. We have been watching dumb movies and singing dumb songs all day. And eating the incredible food that we made. 78 degrees in Houston. But cool at night. So long walks around the lake for Charlie. Merry Christmas to all!


Posted by: gdevi | December 19, 2016

End of the semester and Merry New Year!

I finished grading all five classes and the three independent studies just a while ago. What a semester it was! Oy. Thank you, all, for a good semester. See some of you in spring.

Now I have to do laundry, clean house and pack to leave for Houston tomorrow. My daughter is thrilled–she and my niece have already made plans to go to their favorite bubble tea shop as soon as we arrive. And I look forward to collapsing in my brother’s house for two weeks. I also look forward to seeing Teju and Kunji and the Australians! Such a long long time, cuz! Appu’s house will be bursting at the seams, but in a merry way. Merry New Year, all!

Posted by: gdevi | December 9, 2016

First day of snow in central PA

Today is the first day of snow in central PA. It is also the last day of class for the fall semester for the university. What a semester. Right around the time I left work around 3pm, it started to snow. I had to take my car to the Volvo dealership in State College for routine service and I drove in the nicely falling feathering snow. It is still snowing. I reviewed for the final exams next week in all of my classes. My grammars students asked to take a group class picture with me. Sierra went outside and found a student in the hallway and asked the student to come in and take our group picture. Thank you, dear students–you all did well. It was a pleasure teaching you this semester. Keep in touch, and see some of you in Spring.

Posted by: gdevi | December 4, 2016

Tournament Day 3

The red carded team did not get disqualified–nobody knows why–and they played our girls this morning. It was incredible. The coach was there on the field coaching. We couldn’t understand. Maybe it was just as well since the recruiting coaches from universities were there and they got a chance to see the professional comportment of that team. Anyway they played our team. Our girls scored one goal in the first half. They scored two goals in the second half. Our girls played incredibly well. Awesome game. They beat that team hands-down. You know, you don’t have to play dirty, and say eff you to the referee, and call the players of the opposite team “bitches” to win a soccer game. I have not seen a more unpleasant, disrespectful team in this tri-state area so far.  The way the girls on that team mouthed off to the referees was just unbelievable. Our coach told our girls that each one played their personal best in this game; it is true. Even with one player short–with Callan sitting out because of the injury–our girls played so incredibly well. Well done, team! We are proud of you.

I brought everyone home and dropped them all off–gave all the ER things to Callan’s mother; I hope you get well soon, Callan, and ready to play in the next game. The girls slept most of the whole way back. They were exhausted, but good exhausted. You did extremely well.

Posted by: gdevi | December 3, 2016

Tournament day 2

The girls played two games today. They played really well. They lost one game (1-0) and tied the other one. Very good forward and defensive play. Good work, girls! The parents froze in the bone-chilling winds. Alissa’s dad gave me some hand warmers–some sort of something that you tuck inside your gloves and suddenly your hands are like oven mitts. Thanks, Mark! There was notoriety today at the games. The team that was playing right next to the field where our girls were playing–one of their players got red carded. Their coach got in the referee’s face. The referee red carded the coach. The coach continued to go to the huddle and coach the girls. A federation official came and walked the coach off the field. There was shouting and apparently the eff word was used. Then another one of their players got red carded! Two players and the coach red carded in one team in one game. Boy, that is some coaching for sure! It was unbelievable. A red card is a suspension. We don’t know if the team has been disqualified. We will find out what the federation decides this evening.

Callan injured her knee in the first game when she took a shot. So she sat out the second half of the first game. In the second game, one of the girls from the other team knocked Callan and her knee gave out and Callan fell to the ground. She was in pain. After the game got over, I took Callan, Tara and Dayani to the nearest ER–Riddle Hospital, in the nearby town of Media, PA. Even though we are not from here, they were very good to us when I explained the injury to them. They took Callan in to the ER immediately. I called Kevin and Liza and got consent and other information so the ER could treat Callan quickly. They x-rayed her knee since there was swelling to check for fracture. Fortunately, there is no fracture. Since they didn’t want to do an MRI when there is swelling, they have immobilized the knee and she is on crutches. They think it is pretty much a soft tissue injury–meniscus, in all probability. She has to see an orthopedic surgeon back in Lock Haven on Monday. Meanwhile it is crutches, ice pack,  and ibuprofen. Very good hospital and ER staff.

So the girls decided to stay in this evening and not go out with the other families for dinner. Callan cannot really walk on the crutch and she is supposed to rest her leg as much as possible. They wanted Domino’s pizza and pasta. So I got cheese pizza, chicken alfredo pasta, cheesy bread, cinnamon sticks, and marbled cookie brownie for the girls. I got a small anchovies and spinach pizza for myself. After dinner, all the other girls from the team came over to our room to see Callan. Callan is feeling better now though she is bummed out that she can’t play tomorrow.

I am going to work on the mythology conference program and catch some more sleep. It feels so wonderful to sleep for seven hours. Thank you, universe, for making that possible.


Posted by: gdevi | December 2, 2016

FCUSA tournament Day 1

After teaching today I brought Dayani, Callan and Tara to the FCUSA Philadelphia Turf College Showcase soccer tournament. It is in Chadds Ford, PA: Andrew Wyeth country. I have been up since 3 this morning grading and working blah blah blah so what is new. Anyway I am exhausted. The girls as usual have gone downstairs with all the other STN girls to the pool. What will the world do without pools, I wonder? The other Lock Haven parents are downstairs; I sat for a bit with them and then came back to the room. I want to sleep. In all of last week, I have probably had an average of about 3 hours of sleep per night–I am teaching 5 classes (overload) and 3 independent studies, and I had so much grading, reading, and writing to do this semester, it is not even worth mentioning. So anyway, I am going to sleep. The girls don’t play at 8 tomorrow morning, so I can sleep for a little bit. I am hungry but sleeping is more important than eating. The girls ate all kinds of junk mostly chicken fingers and other dead meat in the car. So they are okay. I am  relieved that I am finishing taking these sulfa drugs today; two weeks ago I had contracted MRSA–the doctors said that I could have picked it up from any contaminated surface at school. I have never been so sick in my entire life. But these sulfa drugs kill everything–the good the bad the ugly. The bacteria — they are all dead. Goodbye. Anyway I am done with the two week regimen today. So there is much cause for breathing a sigh of relief. I cannot wait for the semester to be over. Good lord–what a semester.

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