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Sonia Nayak, Graduate Student  

Sonia Nayak

Office Location: Allen Building
Email Address: sonia.nayak@duke.edu

Modern to Contemporary
American Literature
The Novel

MA, New York University, 2012
BA, Brown University, 2008


My research combines the microeconomic vestiges of colonial capitalism, with a reengagement with psycho-affective pain in literature, or the microaggression, into what I call microcruelty—the interior, psychological and economic effects of repeated, minor cruelties— to help us see the vestiges of colonialism in the contemporary Global Anglophone novel. When compared to the more spectacular brutality of dehumanization that colonial and modernist fiction stereotypically delivers, reengaging the interior, psychological effects of these repeated, minor cruelties in the novels of Jamaica Kincaid, W.G. Sebald, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Rachel Cusk allows us to interrogate and historicize those more nuanced remnants of imperial ideology which literature still grapples with to this day. Now we can begin to reinvestigate the violence of colonialism that continues, more palatably, in our current moment.

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