Photo credit: Aveek Ghosh

Short story: Torsa Ghosal is the author of a book of literary criticism, Out of Mind (Ohio State University Press), and an experimental novella, Open Couplets (Yoda Press, India). Her fiction, essays, and translation have appeared in The Brooklyn Review, Massachusetts Review, Berkeley Fiction Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Literary Hub, Bustle, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor of English at California State University, Sacramento, and a host of the Narrative for Social Justice podcast.

The longer version: Torsa Ghosal is a writer and scholar of humanities with research interests in narrative theory, cognitive studies, world literature, and form-bending arts across media. She was born in Calcutta, India, and lives in Sacramento, USA, where she is an associate professor of creative writing and literature at California State University. Her experimental novella, Open Couplets, was published by Yoda Press (India), and her scholarly book on literature and cognitive cultural studies titled Out of Mind: Mode, Mediation, and Cognition in Twenty-First-Century Narrative was published by the Ohio State University Press in fall 2021, and has since become an academic bestseller.

Torsa’s work has appeared in Catapult, Bustle, Lit Hub, Massachusetts Review, Himal Southasian, Los Angeles Review of Books, Asymptote, won annual fiction contests of Berkeley Fiction Review and The Brooklyn Review, and named a finalist for the Best Literary Translations Anthology (Deep Vellum Press). Identified as one of the notable books of September 2017 by World Literature Today, her novella Open Couplets follows the chimera-chasing adventures of ethnographer Ira Chatterjee for a lost idol-maker in Kolkata and a missing poet in Lucknow. 

From 2016-19, she edited the South Asian literary magazine, Papercuts. She has also worked as a freelance reporter for The Times of India’s Kolkata Mirror, a web portal of Network 18, and as a coordinator for The Statesman Voices. The Government of India awarded her the National Bal Shree Honor for excellence in Creative Writing when she was sixteen.

An alumna of Community of Writers and Tin House Writing Workshop, Torsa is currently completing a novel about religious conflict in contemporary India.

Out of Mind, Torsa’s first monograph, builds on her doctoral thesis and explores how aesthetic treatments of “thought” and scientific models of cognition cross-pollinate, especially in the aftermath of the “cognitive revolution.” The book traces patterns in consciousness representation and representation of mental pathologies. Torsa’s research is informed by theories of cognition (present-day cognitive science as well as twentieth century philosophies of experience), narrative theories, multimodality studies, and comparative media studies. Her scholarly essays have appeared in Poetics Today, Studies in the Novel, Storyworlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies, Media-N: Journal of the New Media Caucus, South Asian Review, Post Script, and Latinos and Narrative Media. She is the editor of Global Perspectives on Digital Literature (Routledge) and co-editor (with Alison Gibbons) of Fictionality and Multimodal Narratives (University of Nebraska Press). 

Listen to the Narrative for Social Justice podcast she co-hosts at Anchor, Spotify, or Apple podcasts.