Asif Iqbal

Postcolonial Literature and Theory, South Asian Literature and Cultures, Global Anglophone, World Literature, Ethnic and Asian American Literature, College Composition  

Office: C707 Wells Hall


Asif Iqbal is a doctoral candidate working on his dissertation Two Partitions: Postcolonial Culture and Nation in Bangladeshi and South Asian Anglophone Literatures. The dissertation is an interrogation of Bangladesh’s formation through the partitions of 1947 and 1971. In Two Partitions,Iqbal argues that the citizens of Bangladesh have inherited a complex postcolonial identity. It is realized through their active participation in the Pakistan Movement, but also through their disinheriting the idea of Pakistan to adopt a Bengali ethno-linguistic nationalism during the East Pakistan period (1947-1971). In addition, Two Partitions highlights the 1971 war in many dimensions including gendered violence as well as the conflict’s fratricidal after-effects. Iqbal is also widely published – he has an article published in South Asian Review and he has contributed articles to the Routledge publications Transcultural Humanities in South Asia and Routledge Handbook of Bangladeshi Literatures. He is also participating in the British Academy sponsored “Pakistan to Bangladesh 1947-70 Writing Workshop” to undergo a mentored peer-review process to prepare his article on Shawkat Ali’s Dhakkhinayoner Din, a major Bengali novel depicting the East Pakistan era, for top journal publication.    


“Thinking Beyond Nationalism in South Asia: Reading the Local as Postcolonial in Fault Lines: Stories of 1971.” South Asian Review 38.1 (2017): 101-113


“Transnational Dilemma in The Good Muslim: An Analysis of Bangladesh Through the Competing Visions of Maya and Sohail.” Transcultural Humanities in South Asia.

“The Language Movement in East Pakistan and the Emergent Bengali Postcolonial Culture of Bangladesh.” Routledge Handbook of Bangladeshi Literary Culture.

“Between Memories of Bangladesh and the Anglo-American Lived Experience: Diasporic Travails in Bangladeshi Anglophone Short Stories.” Special Issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 58.3 (June 2022)


Summer 2021, IAH 204: Asia and the World

Course Title: “When South Asia Meets East Asia: Asian and Asian American Encounters”

The course examined multiple narratives including media narratives, historical documents, literature and visual arts to understand South Asian encounters with the modern East Asian nations China and Japan. Also included were Asian American narratives dealing with the cultural interactions between East Asians and South Asians in a racialized milieu. The literary and visual narratives illuminated cross-cultural encounters between two distinct Asian traditions as well as the Asian American diasporic experiences.

Spring 2020, ENG 206: Global Literatures

Course Title: “The World and Politics in Global Anglophone Literatures”

The upper division undergraduate course focused on Asian and African Anglophone novels, including Salman Rushdie’s Shame (1983)and Chinua Achebe’s Anthills of the Savannah (1987), depicting authoritarianism in the Global South. The students also explored the complex interconnections between anti-colonialism and neocolonialism, nationalism and national culture, democracy and dictatorship.   

Fall 2018, ENG 140: Literature and Society

Course Title: “Postcolonial Homes”

The introductory course focused on postcolonial literatures and films that emphasized anti-colonial resistance. Tagore’s Home and the World (1916), Alejo Carpentier’s Kingdom of This World (1949) and V.S. Naipaul’s The Mystic Massuer (1957) were more explicit postcolonial text in the course. While they focused on the larger historical processes shaping communities in the formerly colonized countries, they also helped students learn that the world is not something exotic, menacing, or inhospitable but an accretion of what we call home in the world.