Aarthi Vadde

Office Hours: 

On Leave Fall Semester 2018

Aarthi Vadde

Associate Professor of English

External Address: 
303-I Allen Building, Box 90015, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90015, Durham, NC 27708

Aarthi Vadde works in the field of 20th-21st century Anglophone literature with particular interests in the historical and technological forces conditioning migration and globalization.  She looks at how literary history interfaces with theories of internationalism, the history of computation, and media studies more generally. 

Her book Chimeras of Form: Modernist Internationalism beyond Europe, 1914-2016 was published by Columbia UP in 2016 and won the ACLA's 2018 Harry Levin Prize for best first book in the field of comparative literature.  A special forum on the book was convened by The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry.  Chimeras illustrates how modernist and contemporary writers from Rabindranath Tagore to Zadie Smith reimagine the nation and internationalism in a period defined by globalization. Drawing on close readings of individual texts and on literary, postcolonial, and cosmopolitical theory, Vadde explains how modernist challenges to traditional notions of aesthetic form enable newfound understandings of the cohesion and interrelation of political communities.  An interview related to the book is available here.

Vadde is at work on a second book tentatively entitled “We the Platform: Contemporary Literature in the Sharing Economy” which considers the effect of mass amateurization on literary production and publishing practices.  The concept of mass amateurization historicizes shifts in contemporary literary culture made possible by digital forms of writing, crowd-based informational platforms (from Twitter to Amazon Mechanical Turk), and structural changes to employment. 

In addition to her monographs, Vadde is co-editing two essay collections.  The first is on the history of literary criticism entitled The Critic as Amateur (forthcoming Bloomsbury) and the second is the 20-21st century volume of Palgrave's Handbook on Literature and Science.

Vadde joined Duke in 2011 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the English Department at Harvard University.


  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison 2010
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin at Madison 2005
  • A.B., Columbia University 2003

Vadde, A. Chimeras of Form: Modernist Internationalism Beyond Europe, 1914-2014 (Accepted). Columbia University Press, 2016. (Monograph)

Vadde, A. "The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms." COMPARATIVE LITERATURE STUDIES 52.1 (2015): 208-212. Full Text

Vadde, A. "Cross-Pollination: Ecocriticism, Zoocriticism, Postcolonialism." Contemporary Literature 52.3 (2011): 565-573.

Vadde, A. "Review of Laura Doyle. Freedom’s Empire: Race and the Rise of the Novel in Atlantic Modernity, 1640-1940." Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 11 (2009): 115-117.

Vadde, A. "Narratives of migration, immigration, and interconnection." The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction since 1945. January 1, 2015. 61-76. Full Text

Vadde, A. "From Impasse to Operative." Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry 6.1 (January 1, 2019): 133-139. (Review) Full Text

Micir, M, and Vadde, A. "Obliterature: Toward an amateur criticism." Modernism Modernity 25.3 (September 1, 2018): 517-549. (Review) Full Text

Vadde, A. "Putting Foreignness to the Test: Rabindranath Tagore's Babu English." Comparative Literature 65.1 (December 1, 2013): 15-25. Full Text

Vadde, A. "National myth, transnational memory: Ondaatje's archival method." Novel 45.2 (June 1, 2012): 257-275. (Review) Full Text

Vadde, A. "Reading deliriously." Novel 45.1 (March 1, 2012): 23-26. Full Text

Vadde, A. "Guidance in perplexity:' Recasting Postcolonial p\Politics in J. M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello." Ariel:A Review of International English Literature 41.3-4 (2010): 231-247.

Vadde, A. "The backwaters sphere: Ecological collectivity, cosmopolitanism, and Arundhati Roy." Mfs Modern Fiction Studies 55.3 (September 1, 2009): 522-544. (Review)

Vadde, A. "“Scalability” Cluster on “Global Scale and Critical Form.”." Ed. Davis, T and Hensley, N. Modernism/Modernity.