A long-time advocate and researcher on academic labor, I also do work in writing studies and American literature.
modernism, aesthetics, women writers, working class studies, Marxism, fashion theory and history, materialism, labor history, and knitting.
Adjunct Activism, Labor Organization, 19th-C British Literature, Decadence
My research covers twentieth- and twenty-first century Latin American cultures with a focus on Comparative Luso- Hispanic Studies. I am interested in the figure of workers, urban labor culture, and political activism.
Sheshalatha Reddy is an Associate Professor at Howard University where she teaches colonial and postcolonial British and Anglophone literature. She has published articles in Victorian Literature and Culture and the Journal of Commonwealth Literature and edited an anthology entitled Mapping the Nation: An Anthology of Indian Poetry in English, 1870-1920 (2012). Her recent book, British Empire and the Literature of Rebellion: Revolting Bodies, Laboring Subjects (2017) is a a comparative study of the discourses surrounding three roughly mid-nineteenth century rebellions: the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857 in India, the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865 in Jamaica, and the Fenian Rebellion of 1867 in Ireland. Following the industrial capitalist revolution in England, British imperial capitalism sought to expand its laboring force by attempting to transfigure the oppressed colonized worker into a laboring subject (one whose identity would be created and limited by labor) through the deployment of biopolitics, the disciplinary techniques of states and corporations to manage and regulate populations. Revolting Bodies, Laboring Subjects argues that the supposedly unsuccessful rebellions in India, Jamaica and Ireland can be read as flashpoints in imperial labor history: a moment when the colonized reacted against early attempts by British imperial capitalism to create a new pool of labor for capitalist accumulation in the colonies. These rebellions thus marked a shift in the driving impetus behind revolt against British authority as the colonized now began to resist a new regime of biopower that attempted not merely to exploit them as workers, but to transform them into urban and rural laboring subjects, sources of capitalist accumulation. This transformation would always remain incomplete since it was always resisted to varying degrees by the colonized.
19th, 20th, 21st century literatures; global studies; modernism and modernity studies; colonial/postcolonial/Empire studies; the novel; film, media, new media studies; critical and political theory; aesthetics and philosophy; queer and feminist theory; visual culture; the Global South; critical geography; Global Wests, American West; eco-critical studies and activism; precarity, labor, poverty, class; mass culture, TV studies; classics; the epic; Irish literature and culture; contemporary global fiction; science; mysticism.
…Lecturer, U.S. History & Labor Studies…
18th-19th C cultures, literatures; comparative studies; gender, sexuality; material culture; cultural history; Spain; Spain-Cuba and Spain-North Africa 18th-19th centuries; convict transport history; labor history and history of women’s work; fashion and costume history; Madrid; Iberian studies; Enlightenment; book history; translation; media studies; popular culture; popular theatre; prose fiction; European literary history; history of ideas.
I received my MFA at Washington University in Saint Louis and my Ph.D. in English, with Creative-Writing dissertation, at University of Tennessee where I am a post-doctoral lecturer. I study poetics and the Victorian Novel with an emphasis on place, the environment, and labor. My articles have appeared in Dickens Studies Annual and George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies. My fiction and poetry explore the rural landscape and labor, subjects I see as underrepresented in contemporary writing. My current novel project, Present Blusters, explores the hidden past of the Hudson Valley through the story of a woman who, after getting Lyme disease, sees ghosts on the rundown estate where she lives. One chapter is forthcoming in Witness, while another has appeared in cream city review as the winner of the A. David Schwartz Fiction Prize.