Stacey Balkan is assistant professor of Environmental Literature and Humanities at Florida Atlantic University
. Her research focuses on postcolonial ecologies and the politics of representation in the Global South; landscape aesthetics and counter-pastoralism; Anthropocene studies; radical materialism; and environmental justice. Stacey’s recent articles for The Global South
and ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment
examine the legacy of uneven and combined development in Nigeria and India; and she is now at work on two book-length manuscripts–Rogues in the Postcolony: Developing Itinerancy in India
and Oil Fictions: World Literature and our Contemporary Petrosphere.
Critiquing development policies in colonial and postcolonial India, Rogues in the Postcolony
foregrounds the intersection(s) between landscape ideology, agricultural improvement, and historical trauma as each obtains in British-occupied Bengal, post- independence Mumbai and New Delhi, and late-capitalist Bhopal. From the transformation of commonly held land for agriculture, whether in the form of plantation regimes or contemporary agribusiness, to the emergent slum ecologies of India’s premier urban enclaves, modern improvement
schemes have hinged on the removal of figures who have lately found expression in novels that replace the neoliberal fictions of the “new India” with the itinerant narratives of the postcolonial pícaro
. These stories constitute what Balkan calls an “aesthetics of indigence,” which brings into sharp focus what picaresque enthusiasts have long characterized as la vida buscóna–
translated loosely as the “low life” of the working-class protagonist.
Stacey is also co-editing a forthcoming collection entitled Oil Fictions: World literature and our Contemporary Petrosphere–
an anthology situated within the emergent field of Petrocultures. Oil Fictions
presents an attempt to grapple with the pervasiveness of this often-invisible biocultural agent through the cultivation of a robust petro-aesthetic practice.
Her recent work also includes essays on the Anthropocene and its relationship to Empire for Global South Studies
and Public Books;
and her earlier research, born of several years teaching Contemporary Latin American Literature and Anglophone World Literature at Bergen Community College in New Jersey, has been published in The Cambridge Companion to Comparative Literature, World Literature and Comparative Cultural Studies
and Comparative Literature and Culture.
At BCC, she also served as the co-director of the college’s Literary Arts Series and as a fellow for the Center for Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation.
Education2016 The Graduate Center, CUNY
Ph. D. in English
Concentrations: Global South Studies, Postcolonial Literature and
Dissertation: Rogues in the Postcolony: The New Picaresque and the Making of Modern India.
Committee members: Ashley Dawson (director), Robert Reid-Pharr, Alan Vardy, Siraj Ahmed
2015 The Graduate Center, CUNY
M. Phil. in English, with Distinction
2012 The Graduate Center, CUNY
M.A. in Liberal Studies
Thesis title: “Working Toward a Phenomenology of Postcolonial Latin American Literature: Deconstructing the ‘Lettered City.’”
Advisor: Gerhard Joseph
2003 Montclair State University
M.A. in English
Thesis title: “Postcolonial Lack and the Function of Satire in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children.”
Advisor: Fawzia Afzal-Khan
2000 Montclair State University
B.A.in English & Women’s Studies
2018. “A Memento Mori Tale: Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People and the Politics of Global Toxicity.” ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. In press.
2016 “Rogues in the Postcolony: Chris Abani’s GraceLand and The Petro-Picaresque.” The Global South 9.2 (2016): 18-37.
2015 “Representing India’s ‘Suicide Economy.’” Social Text Online. 8 Mar. 2015.
2013 “Latin American Semiotics: ‘Metropolitan (Im)migrants’ in the ‘Lettered City.’” CLC Web: Comparative Literature and Culture. 14.5 (2013): 1-10.
2012 “Murdering the Innocents: The Dystopian City and the City as Corollary in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times and Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus.” Rupkatha 4.1 (2012): 22-34.
2013 “Abject Spaces and the Hinterland in Bolaño’s Work.” The Cambridge Companion to Comparative Literature, World Literature and Comparative Cultural Studies. Eds. Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek and Tutun Mukherjee. New Delhi: Cambridge University Press India, 2013.
2010 “’City of Clowns:’ The City as a Performative Space in the Prose of Daniel Alarcón, Junot Díaz, and Roberto Bolaño.” Wretched Refuge: Immigrants and Itinerants in the Postmodern. Eds. Jessica Datema & Diane Krumrey. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010.
2017 Rev. Ecological Imaginations in Latin American Fiction by Laura Barbas-Rhoden. Configurations 25.2 (2017): 256-259.
2016 “Anthropocene and Empire.” Rev. of The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh. Public Books. 15 Oct. 2016. http://www.publicbooks.org/anthropocene-and-empire/
“Anthropocene.” Global South Studies: A Collective Publication with The Global South
ProjectsWORKS IN PROGRESS
Rogues in the Postcolony: Developing Itinerancy in India (book manuscript)
Oil Fictions: World Literature and our Contemporary Petrosphere (edited collection, manuscript in progress)
“Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Thermocene: A Petro-Aesthetic Critique of Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace” (chapter for Oil Fictions, manuscript in progress)
“Inhabiting the Chthulucene: Tentacular Intimacies in Jamaal May’s Detroit.” (manuscript in progress)
Upcoming Talks and Conferences2018 “Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Thermocene: Documenting ‘Cheap Nature’ in Amitav Ghosh’s The Glass Palace.” NeMLA Annual Convention, Pittsburgh, PA.
2018 “Cultivating the Local in Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s The Mushroom at the End of the World and Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies.” MLA Annual Convention, New York City.
2018 “Inhabiting the Cthulucene: Tentacular Intimacies in Jamaal May’s Detroit.” MLA Annual Convention, New York City.
MembershipsCURRENT PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
Modern Language Association (MLA)
Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE)
American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)
Northeastern Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Postcolonial Studies Association (PSA)
Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA)
South Asian Literary Association (SALA)
New Jersey Education Association (NJEA)