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Aisha Karim

Title:Associate Professor
Office:Warde Academic Center
Department:Language and Literature


I am broadly interested in exploring how novels work within the world economic system. My current research focuses on the ways in which contemporary Nigerian and Indian novels attempt to posit solutions to the problem of national economic dependency upon the world superpowers, but also recognize their inability to imagine alternatives to global capitalism.

The result is texts that posit solutions to the state of national economic turmoil, only to retract the solutions as unviable. This simultaneous attempt to solve a problem and retract the solution places the novels in a paralytic double bind, from which emerges a literary artifact that can only be compared to a consciousness in its own right. I am currently working on these issues in a manuscript titled "The Orphaned Text: A Theory of the Contemporary Third-World Novel."

I love teaching, gardening and cooking. What I do not like at all, but do anyway, because work is work: grading and endless faculty meetings.


Duke University

University of Michigan

Areas of Specialization

My area of specialty is contemporary English literature from the ex-British colonies.

Courses Taught

  • English 120: Rhetoric and Writing
  • English 160: Writing and Resistance
  • English 313: Modern African Literature
  • English 340: Critical Theory
  • English 349: World Literature

Selected Honors/Awards

  • Phi Beta Kappa, lifetime member
  • College of Arts and Sciences Research Grant, Saint Xavier University, 2007
  • John Hope Franklin Fellow, Duke University, 1999
  • H.F. Guggenheim Foundation Research Grant, 1998
  • H.F. Guggenheim Foundation Course Development Grant, 1998
  • Mellon Fellowship for the Humanities, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, 1994


"Representation in Crisis in Wole Soyinka's Season of Anomy," Mediations, 24:2, 2010

On Violence: A Reader, co-edited with Professor Bruce Lawrence, Duke University Press, 2008

Poetry and Protest: A Dennis Brutus Reader, co-edited with Lee Sustar; anthology of the work of South African poet and activist, Dennis Brutus;

Haymarket Press, Chicago; co-published by University of Kwazulu-Natal Press, South Africa; and by James Currey, London, UK, 2006