I am a PhD candidate in the department of English at Ohio State University, specializing in media studies and post-1960s Anglophone narratives from the US, UK, and Canada. In my dissertation, “Materiality-effects of Multimodal Literature,” I examine visual-verbal and visual-tactile “materials” such as handwriting, typeface, and paper, used to design multimodal literary book-objects in the digital era (eg: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, S., Nox, Woman’s World). I show that the formal design of these book-objects promote readerly engagement and interactions in ways that reveal as well as challenge our culture’s dominant assumptions about (post)human perception and cognition. I theorize the qualitative experience of “presence” in order to account for the role of the body and its senses in reading books. My method of analysis combines rhetorical and cognitive approaches to narratives and multimodality. Media theories, particularly those that attend to the sensory impact of media forms through the twentieth and twenty-first century, offer the historical bases for my analysis. In addition, I am a fan-cum-student-cum-teacher of American and South Asian electronic literature, films, and comics.
When I am not writing academic papers, I write fiction and poetry. And when I am not writing at all, I am usually performing (dancing/acting) or thinking about writing, dancing, or acting. Growing up in India, I was trained in the Kathak dance form and currently, in Columbus, I participate in performances that bring together contemporary Indian dance with English poetry. Here too I am interested in multimodality—the sensory and cognitive experiences activated through the combination of gestures (mudra) and language. To that end, I have collaborated with graduate students from several departments across OSU to adapt my poems “Herstories” and “Vermillion” for dance performances.