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Bhavya Tiwari

Bhavya Tiwari, Ph.D.

Instructional Assistant Professor

649 Agnes Arnold Hall,
University of Houston,
Houston, TX 77204
Phone: (713)-743-1737
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Biographical Summary

Bhavya Tiwari holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from The University of Texas at Austin. She is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and World Cultures and Literatures Program at University of Houston. She teaches a range of courses, starting from "World Cultures Through Literature and Arts," "Indian Cinema: Bollywood and Beyond," “Comparative Modernisms: The Global South” to Hindi language. Her courses are cross-listed with English, World Cultures & Literatures, Comparative Cultural Studies, Religious Studies, and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at University of Houston. Her research interests are comparative and world literature, translation studies, global modernisms, postcolonial theory, and South Asian, Anglo American, and Latin American literary traditions.


2016: Institute of World Literature, Harvard University.

2014: Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, The University of Texas at Austin. Dissertation Title: “Beyond English: Translating Modernism in the Global South.” Committee: David Damrosch, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, Cesar Salgado, Hannah Wojciehowski, and Martha Selby.

2008: MA in Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.

2006: BA in English Literature, with Honors, University of Calcutta, India.


Hindi-Urdu (native), English (native fluency), Bengali (native fluency), Spanish (reading knowledge), Sanskrit (reading knowledge), Braj and Avadhi (near native fluency).

Research & Teaching Interests:

Global modernisms, world literature, comparative literature, global south, translation studies, poetry, postcolonial literature, women and gender studies, and language pedagogy.

Book Project (forthcoming)

Modern Indian Literature as World literature, under contract with Bloomsbury Academic Press  (forthcoming: Fall 2019). My book shows that modern Indian literature is neither the sum total of all the literary and linguistic traditions, nor a one-on-one comparative juxtaposition of single literary texts; instead, it is a spatial and temporal translation, raising questions of politics, circulation, language, gender, genre, aesthetics, and myths in local and world literatures.


Peer-reviewed journal essays:

  • “Ultraminor Literature in a Major Language: An Indian Way of Thinking the Case of Chemmeen in Malayalam.” Journal of World Literature. 2.2 (June 2017). 255-71. ()
  • World Literature and the Case of Joyce, Borges, and Rao.CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture. 14.2 (June 2012).
  • “Following the American Dream in the short stories of Julio Ramon Ribeyro, and Neruda's play Splendor and Death of Joaquin Murieta.” La Cultura Hispánica. Kolkata: Organ of the Indo Latin American Association, 2008. 18-21.

Peer-reviewed book chapters:

  • Babri Mosque, Bollywood, and Gender in Tulsidasa’s Ramcharitmanas.” The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature, Vol 2. Ed. Ken Seigneurie. Forthcoming in 2019.
  • “World Literature and the Case of Joyce, Borges, and Rao.” The Cambridge Companion to Comparative Literature and Comparative Cultural Studies. Ed. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek and Tutun Mukherjee. Cambridge University Press, 2013, 382-396. (Reprint).
  • “Rabindranath Tagore’s Comparative World Literature.” The Routledge Companion to World Literature. Theo D’haen, David Damrosch, and Djelal Kadir. New York: Routledge Companions Series, 2012. 41-48.


  • “How to do World Poetry as a Comparatist?” under peer-review at Comparative Literature Studies.
  • “Anglophone World Literature: Translation, Vernacular, and Literature in South Asia” for PMLA.
  • “Literary Theory and World Literature” for The Comparatist.

Research Fellowships

  • New Faculty Research Grant, University of Houston, February-August 2017.
  • Project Completion Grant, University of Houston, February-August 2017.
  • Institute of World Literature, Harvard University, June 17th -July 15th 2016.
  • Graduate Research Fellowship (summer 2014): Comparative Literature, UT Austin.
  • Dissertation completion fellowship (fall 2012- spring 2013): Graduate School’s Named Continuing fellowship by The University of Texas at Austin.

International and National Academic Awards and Honors

2011: Horst Frenz Award, Honorable Mention for the best presentation at the American Comparative Literature Association’s annual conference, held in Vancouver, Canada.

Citations of ACLA Prizewinning Scholarship, Comparative Literary Studies, Penn State University Press Vol. 48, No. 4 (2011), pp. 576-580.

2010: Honorable Mention for the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award by the Department of English, UT Austin.  

National and International Conference Presentations

  • “World Literature and Chayavaad Sansaar,” American Comparative Literature Association, UCLA, Los Angeles, 03/29 to 04/01/2018.
  • “Comparative World Poetics: Gabriela Mistral and Mahadevi Varma,” American Comparative Literature association, Utrecht University, Netherlands, 07/07/2017.
  • “Ultraminor Literature in a Major Language: An Indian Way of Thinking The Case of Chemmeen in Malayalam,” American Comparative Literature Association, Harvard University, 03/19/16.
  • “Worlding Comparative Literature’s Theory,” American Comparative Literature Association, New York City, 03/22/2014.
  • “The Death of Theory and the Birth of New Comparative Literature,” Modern Language Association, Boston, 01/03/2013.
  • “Poetry, Translation, and Comparative Literature: Mistral and Mahadevi,” American Comparative Literature Association, Brown University, Providence, 03/31/2012.
  • “Translation and Comparative Literature in India,” American Comparative Literature Association, Vancouver, Canada, 04/03/2011.
  • “Metempsychosis of James Joyce in India and Latin America,” Colloquium, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, The University of Texas at Austin, 02/15/2011.
  • “Comparative World Literature in India,” American Comparative Literature Association, New Orleans, 04/04/2010.
  • “A Comparative Study of Gender and Nationalism in Cuba and India through Bama and Reyita’s Testimony,” American Comparative Literature Association, Harvard University, 03/27/2009.

Invited lectures and Public talks

  • Seminar Lecture, “Ultraminor Translation From the Global South” at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, April 8, 2018.
  • Guest Lecture, “A Passage to India” for Reading Culture Events at Houston Community College, March 1, 2018.
  • Public lecture, “Beyond Religion: Female Divinities in Modern Hinduism,” Unity Church, Houston, July 23, 2017.
  • Guest Lecture, “India as World,” Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, April 21, 2017.
  • Guest Lecture, “Divinities in Hinduism,” Department of Modern & Classical Languages, University of Houston, April 6, 2017& 2018
  • Guest Lecture, “Hinduism,” Moody Methodist Church’s World Religions series, September 21 & 28, 2016.
  • Panel Moderator, Talk by Dr. Tejaswini Niranjana on “Feminism and Translation: Understanding Contemporary Social Movements in India,” English department, University of Houston, April 2016.
  • Guest Lecturer, “Ramayana,” Religious Studies, University of Houston, November 2015.
  • Guest Lecturer, “Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children,” Modern & Classical Languages, University of Houston, November 2015.
  • Participant, Article-writing workshop, organized by Comparative Literature Studies (CLS) and American Comparative Literature Association, NYU, March, 2014.

Courses Taught (selected)

  • WCL3371: Indian Film: Bollywood and Beyond, University of Houston, undergraduate seminar. This course aims to provide an immersive study of Indian cinema, analyze the appeal and popularity of Indian cinema in local and global traditions, and probe questions of national identity, gender, masculinity, women's roles, caste, class, and wealth, while unpacking the fantasy, fears, pleasures, hopes, and anxieties of a modern Indian. Spring 18.
  • WCL 2351: World Cultures Through Literature and Arts, University of Houston, undergraduate seminar. This course studies local and global developments and conflicts through works of literature, paintings, and film. It pays special attention to colonial history, nationalism, globalization, transnationalism, and migration of people and ideas. Fall 17, 18 & Spring 18.
  • CCS2394/WCL 2370: Cultures of India, University of Houston, undergraduate seminar. This course exposes students to various literary and cultural traditions of India via poetry, films, novels, essays, and short stories. The course centers around answering the fundamental question: what is an Indian literature/culture? Spring 15, 17, 18, Summer 18, & Fall 16, 17, 18
  • ILAS 2350: Introduction to Liberal Studies, University of Houston. This required introductory course initiates students to do critical thinking, reading, and writing that forms the backbone of liberal arts education. I introduce students to various philosophic, religious, and literary texts to initiate them into a journey of life-long learning. Fall 15, 16, 17. Spring 15, 16, 17. Summer 15 &16.
  • RELS3380: Introduction to Asian Religions, University of Houston. This course introduces students to the various ancient religious and traditional practices in Asia. Students recognize the various debates and principles that form the basis of these religious beliefs in the globalized world. Spring 16.
  • HIN 2302/2301/1501/1502: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced Hindi, University of Houston. This course teaches students reading, writing, speaking skills in Hindi by introducing them to grammar, literature, registers, and cultures of Hindi-speaking ethnicities. Fall, 16,15, 18 & Spring 16, 17.
  • CCS3356/WCL3397: Comparative Modernisms: The Global South, University of Houston. This course introduces modernism as a “world” aesthetic and its different forms in the global south, especially South Asia and Latin America, by looking at poems, movies, essays, novels, letters, and plays written and translated in English. Fall 15.
  • HIN 330: Hindi and English: Translation and Meaning, The University of Texas at Austin. Graduate Seminar. This course explores the meaning of translation by helping students appreciate the expressive capabilities of both “source” and “target” languages. By taking Hindi and English languages as examples this course deepens the understanding of language, specifically Hindi, and how it expresses sentiments and its meaning in a variety of contexts and registers. The course focuses on finding solutions to problems of translation. Fall 14.
  • RHE 306: Rhetoric and Writing, The University of Texas at Austin. First-year rhetoric and argumentation. This is a course in argumentation that situates rhetoric as an art of civic discourse. It is designed to enhance students’ ability to analyze various positions held in public debates and to advocate a position effectively. I used a portfolio assessment method that requires students to compile a portfolio of work and maintain a series of reflection essays to serve as evidence of their learning. Fall 12& 13. Spring 12 & 14.
  • E 316K: Masterworks of American Literature, The University of Texas at Austin. Undergraduate survey course. This course examines American literature from the Enlightenment era of 18th century America through the end of the 20th-century to define, if possible, a genuine national literature that is strong, multicultural, and inclusive. I was responsible for conducting weekly discussion, assisting students with their writings, and grading exams. Fall 08-Spring 11.

Dissertation and Honors Thesis Committee

  • Honors Thesis Reader, Ahad Azimuddin, “Bangaldesh 1971: Analyzing the Possibility, Initialization, Action, and Aftermath of Genocide,” Honors College, University of Houston, Spring 2018.
  • Dissertation Committee, Amy Aroopola Thomas, “Postnational Feminism in the Postmodern Novels of Transnational Women Writers,” Department of English, University of Houston, Spring 2016.

Professional Service:

Peer-reviewer and on the editorial board, Journal of World Literature

Adviser, CoogPalz, University of Houston

Professional Affiliations: