Sneharika Roy

Associate Professor, Writing Program Administrator

  • Department: Comparative Literature and English
  • Office: 
  • Office Hours: 
    Tuesdays & Fridays 14:00–15:00 or by appointment

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Professor Roy studied English, French, and Indian literature at the University of Mumbai before pursuing a Ph.D. at La Sorbonne Nouvelle. During her doctorate, she taught courses in Postcolonial Studies and Literature as well as history and civilisation courses in French universities and grandes écoles. She joined the American University in 2014 where she teaches English and Comparative Literature courses, often drawing from her research in classical and contemporary trends in epic. Her forthcoming book Postcolonial Epic, a revised version of her thesis manuscript, identifies a contemporary avatar of classical epic—“postcolonial epic”—prefigured by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, a founding text of North America, and exemplified by Derek Walcott’s Caribbean masterpiece Omeros and Amitav Ghosh’s South Asian saga Ibis trilogy. Postcolonial Epic demonstrates the epic genre’s rich potential to articulate and interrogate postcolonial concerns of cultural hybridity, historical revisionism, and post-independence nation-building across the Global North/South divide. Professor Roy has continued to explore hybrid theoretical frameworks bridging classical and postcolonial paradigms in articles published in Commonwealth Essays and Studies and Journal of Postcolonial Writing. She is currently working on varied projects, notably a chapter for a volume on Amitav Ghosh in the MLA series “Approaches to Teaching World Literature” and entries for Le Dictionnaire des littératures de l’Inde.


  • Ph.D. (2013), Langues et Littératures Étrangères, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III
  • MA (2010), Littérature Générale et Comparée, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris III
  • MA (2007), French and Francophone Literature, University of Mumbai
  • BA (2005), English Literature, University of Mumbai


Co-editor of an issue of a Journal —. 2014. With Madeleine Laurencin, Commonwealth Essays and Studies 36.2.

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals

  • 2016. Review of Karthika Naïr’s Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 52.3: 374-5. —. 2016. Review Le Postcolonial comparé: anglophonie, francophonie, ed. Claire Joubert. Études anglaises 69.2 (2016).
  • 2014. “Postcolonial Epic Rewritings and the Poetics of Relation: A Glissantian Reading of Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel and Derek Walcott’s Omeros” in Journal of Postcolonial Writing 51.1: 59-71.
  • 2014. “‘An Empire’s Bookends’ : vers une poétique de l’inachèvement dans les réécritures postcoloniales d’épopées chez Shashi Tharoor et Derek Walcott” in L’inachevé ou l’ère des possibles dans la littérature anglophone : récits ouverts et incomplets. Ed. François Gallix, Armelle Parey, and Isabelle Roblin. Caen: UP of Caen, 219-230.
  • 2014. “Shining in ‘Paradoxical Splendor’: The Staging of the ‘difficult Relation’ in Faulkner’s Sagas as a Prefiguration of Postcolonial Epic.” Commonwealth Essays and Studies 37.1: 79-87.
  • 2011. “Postcolonial Engagements with the Epics: Multiple and Movable Tectonic Plates” in Commonwealth Essays and Studies 34.1: 25-32.
  • 2009. “The White Tiger: The Beggar’s Booker” in Commonwealth Essays and Studies 31.2: 57-67. Chapters


  • 2012. “An Ever-Extending Dialogue with the Dead Poets: Nekuia as a Site of Dialogization in New World Epics” in The Epic Expands: Rereading and widening the Epic Corpus / Relecture et ouverture du corpus épique. Ed. Vincent Dussol. Brussels: Peter Lang, 267-276.
  • 2011. “Hybridizing Homer: A Case of Epic Genes and Genre” in Hybridity: Forms and Figures in Literature and the Visual Arts. Ed. Vanessa Guignery, Catherine Pessoa-Miquel, and François Specq. Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 312-321.

Conferences & Lectures

  • “Facets of Freedom: Social Death and Karmic Rebirth in Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies”. Relations and Networks in Indian Ocean Writing. Autonomous University of Barcelona. November 2015.
  • “What’s Postcoloniality got to do with it? Classical, Modern, and Postcolonial Perspectives on the Post- War Expatriate Experience of Neurosis”. Empire and Neurosis. University of Dortmund. October 2015. 
  • “Why Faulkner? Aporetic Nonpassage and Édouard Glissant’s ‘difficult’ Relation”. 54th Congress of the S.A.E.S. University of Caen. May 2014
  • “Moby Dick and the Narrative of the Heroic Slave: Affinities with Epic and Slave Narratives, Anticipations of Postcolonial Epic”. The Ninth Melville Conference, George Washington University. June 2013.
  • “La ‘dés-héllenisation’ d’Homère et la ‘dés-orientalisation’ de Ved Vyas : la réappropriation postcoloniale de l’épopée chez Shashi Tharoor et Derek Walcott”. Littératures et Théories Postcoloniales. E.N.S. d’Ulm. January 2012. Invited speaker. 
  • “The Great Indian Novel and the ‘little’ Indian traditions: Situating Shashi Tharoor’s Great Indian Novel in the Pre-Colonial Traditions of Epic Allegory in India”. Chotro 4: Imagining the Intangible: Languages, Literature and Visual Arts of the Indigenous, co-organised by E.A.C.L.A.L.S. and Bhasha. University of Vadodara, India. January 2012. 
  • “‘An Empire’s Bookends’ : vers une poétique de l’inachèvement dans les réécritures postcoloniales d’épopées chez Derek Walcott et Shashi Tharoor”. The Unfinished / L’inachevé. University of Caen Lower Normandy. December 2011. 
  • “New World Epics: Multiple and Movable Tectonic Plates”. 51st Congress of the S.A.E.S. La Sorbonnne Nouvelle, Paris. May 2011. 
  • “Epic Rewritings as Postcolonial Gateways: A Comparative Approach to Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel and Derek Walcott’s Omeros”. 14th Triennial E.A.C.L.A.L.S. Conference. University of Istanbul. April 2011. 
  • “An Ever-Extending Dialogue with the Dead Poets: Nekuia as a Site of Epic Dialogization”. The Epic Today / L’Épopée aujourd’hui. Paul Valéry University-Montpellier 3. October 2010. 
  • “Hybridizing Homer: A Case of Epic Genes and Genre”. Hybridity / Hybridité. E.N.S. de Lyon. October 2010. 
  • “Epic Horizons and Intertextuality in Moby Dick”. 50th Congress of the S.A.E.S., doctorials. University of Lille. Mai 2010. 


  • Modern Language Association
  • European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies
  • Société des Anglicistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur

Research Areas

  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Indian Literature
  • Classical Studies