Aarthi Vadde

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
Office Hours: 

Wednesdays 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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 outstanding 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 book will historicize 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 monograph projects, Vadde is co-editor of a volume on the history of literary criticism entitled The Critic as Amateur (Bloomsbury Academic 2019).  Read the intro here. She is also co-editing 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

Majumdar, Saikat, and Aarthi Vadde. The Critic as Amateur. Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.

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

Vadde, A. “Book Review.” Comparative Literature Studies, vol. 52, no. 1, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2015, pp. 208–208. Crossref, doi:10.5325/complitstudies.52.1.0208. Full Text

Vadde, A. “Cross-Pollination: Ecocriticism, Zoocriticism, Postcolonialism.” Contemporary Literature, vol. 52., no. 3, 2011, pp. 565–73.

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, vol. 11, 2009, pp. 115–17.

Vadde, A. “Narratives of migration, immigration, and interconnection.” The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction since 1945, 2015, pp. 61–76. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CCO9781139628754.006. Full Text

Vadde, A. “From Impasse to Operative.” Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, vol. 6, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 133–39. Scopus, doi:10.1017/pli.2018.39. Full Text Open Access Copy

Micir, M., and A. Vadde. “Obliterature: Toward an amateur criticism.” Modernism  Modernity, vol. 25, no. 3, Sept. 2018, pp. 517–49. Scopus, doi:10.1353/mod.2018.0038. Full Text Open Access Copy

Vadde, A. “Amateur creativity: Contemporary literature and the digital publishing scene.” New Literary History, vol. 48, no. 1, Dec. 2017, pp. 27–51. Scopus, doi:10.1353/nlh.2017.0001. Full Text Open Access Copy

Vadde, A. “Putting foreignness to the test: Rabindranath Tagore's Babu English.” Comparative Literature, vol. 65, no. 1, Dec. 2013, pp. 15–25. Scopus, doi:10.1215/00104124-2019257. Full Text Open Access Copy

Vadde, A. “National myth, transnational memory: Ondaatje's archival method.” Novel, vol. 45, no. 2, June 2012, pp. 257–75. Scopus, doi:10.1215/00295132-1573967. Full Text Open Access Copy

Vadde, A. “Reading deliriously.” Novel, vol. 45, no. 1, Mar. 2012, pp. 23–26. Scopus, doi:10.1215/00295132-1541324. 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, vol. 41, no. 3–4, 2010, pp. 231–47.

Vadde, A. “The backwaters sphere: Ecological collectivity, cosmopolitanism, and Arundhati Roy.” Mfs  Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 55, no. 3, Sept. 2009, pp. 522–44.

Vadde, A. ““Scalability” Cluster on “Global Scale and Critical Form.”.” Modernism/Modernity, edited by Thomas Davis and Nathan Hensley.

Vadde, Aarthi, and Melanie Micir. "Weak Theory in the Mainly Precarious Room". Modernism/Modernity PrintPlus, 15 Aug. 2019.

Vadde, A. Rabindranath Tagore. 2016.

Vadde, A. Megalopolis Now. Aug. 2013.

Vadde, Aarthi. Scalability. Project Muse. Crossref, doi:10.26597/mod.0035. Full Text

Vadde, Aarthi, and Melanie Micir. "Weak Theory in the Mainly Precarious Room".

Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants

Faculty Teaching/Research Enhancement Grant (FTREG) awarded by Duke University (2020 to 2021)