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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 3, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Mariam Pirbhai

Associate Professor

Contact Information
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext.2530

Office Location: 3-119 Woods Bldg.
Office Hours: Wed. 1:30-3:30
Academic Background

  • Ph.D. University of Montreal 2004 

    (Recipient of Governor General's Gold Medal, University of Montreal)

  • M.A. McGill University 1998
  • B.A. Hons. Dalhousie University 1994

Major Grants:

SSHRC Standard Research Grant: 2010-2014

Research Interests:

Post-Colonial Studies; South Asian and Caribbean literatures; diaspora, migration and multiculturalism; post-colonial feminisms; indenture histories/historiography; British imperial narratives; South Asian Canadian literature 


Graduate courses:

Caribbean Women's Fiction

(Re-)Reading Post-colonial Literature and Theory

Undergraduate courses:

Caribbean Literature: Cross-Cultural Encounters

Multicultural Literary Perspectives

Narratives of Empire

Post-Colonial Literature: An Introduction

Reading Fiction

South Asian Literature in English

Graduate Supervision:

I have supervised doctoral candidates in various areas of Postcolonial and Diaspora studies. Recently completed or near completion dissertations include a study of Arab-American /Arab-Canadian Fiction (nominated for UMI Dissertation Award/Gold Medal) and a study of Humour in South African Drama. I am happy to discuss prospective dissertation projects or major research papers on Caribbean literature, South Asian literature (in English), South Asian Canadian literature, Indo-Caribbean literature, post-colonial women's writing, minority/multicultural writing in in North America.  



Critical Perspectives on Indo-Caribbean Women's Literature. Co-editor with Joy Mahabir (New York: Routledge, 2013).

Mythologies of Migration, Vocabularies of Indenture: The Novels of the South Asian Diaspora in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia-Pacific. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.  (Nominated for MLA Best First Book Award, 2009) of-the-South-Asian-Diaspora-in-Africa-the-Caribbean-and-Asia-Pacific.html

Guest Editor. "South Asian Canadian Literature: A Centennial Journey." Special Issue of Studies in Canadian Literature (forthcoming: 2015)


"The Poetics and Politics of Snow: Re-Orienting Discourses of Spousal Sponsorship and Gendered Violence in Anita Rau Badami’s Tell it to the Trees.Canadian Literature 219 (Winter 2013): 39-56.

“From Shinebourne to Gunraj: Tracing the Emerging Tradition of Indo-Guyanese Women’s Fiction.” Arts Journal 7.1 & 2 (2011): 22-32.

“The Jahaji-Bhain Principle: A Survey of the Indo-Caribbean Women’s Novel, 1990-2009.” Journal of Commonwealth Literature 45.1 (2010): 37-56.

“Against the Oriental(ist) Current: Homosexuality and Empire in E.M. Forster’s ‘The Other Boat’” Dalhousie Review 86.3 (2006): 345-358.

“A Question of Cultural Conviction for ‘This time generation’: The Guyanese Response to Contemporary Caribbean Experience in Rooplall Monar’s Janjhat and Narmala Shewcharan’s Tomorrow is Another Day.” Journal of Postcolonial Writing  Special Issue on Caribbean Literature 39.1 (2001): 37-53.

“The Paradox of Globalization as an ‘Untotalizable Totality’ in Salman Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet.” International Fiction Review 28 (2001): 54-66.

Book Chapters:

“South Asian Canadian ‘Geographies of Voice’: Flagging A New Era of Criticism.” Oxford Handbook of Canadian Literature. Ed. Cynthia Sugars. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Forthcoming 2015).

“Plantation History and the Indo-Caribbean Women’s Novel in Guyana, Trinidad and Martinique.” Critical Perspectives on Indo-Caribbean Women’s Literature. Eds. Joy Mahabir and Mariam Pirbhai. New York: Routledge, 2013. 25-47.

 Critical Introduction. The Short Stories of Cyril Dabydeen by Cyril Dabydeen. Guyana Classics Series/Leeds: Peepal Tree Press, 2011. 1-11.

“Diasporic Poetics of Selfhood in Caribbean Women’s Fictional Autobiography: Lakshmi Persaud’s Butterfly in the Wind and Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John.Coral Identities: Indo-Caribbean Literature. Eds. David Dabydeen and Letizia Gramaglia. Leeds, UK: Peepal Tree Press (Forthcoming: 2014).

 “An “Ethnos” of Difference, a Praxis of Inclusion: The Ethics of Global Citizenship in Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night.” Asian Canadian Writing Beyond Autoethnography. Eds. Eleanor Ty and Christyl Verduyn, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008. 247-66.

 “To Canada from My Multiple Selves: ‘Addressing’ the Theoretical Implications of South Asian Diasporic Literature in English as a Pedagogical Paradigm.” Home-Work: Postcolonialism, Pedagogy, and Canadian Literatures. Ed. Cynthia Sugars. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, May 2004. 385-403.

Non-Refereed Articles:

 “Sexuality as (Counter) Discourse and Hybridity as Healing Practice in Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night.” The Journal of Caribbean Literatures 4.1 (2005): 175-185.

Encyclopedia Entries:

“Shani Mootoo.” Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Eds. Sangeeta Ray and Henry Schwartz. New York: Blackwell (Forthcoming: 2015)

Book Reviews:

Pathologies of Paradise: Caribbean Detours by Supriya Nair (forthcoming 2015)

Imaginary Origins, Selected Poems, 1970-2002 by Cyril Dabydeen. Arts Journal 2.1 (September 2005): 104-5.

Drums of My Flesh by Cyril Dabydeen. The Arts Journal 4.1 & 2 (March 2008): 178-80.

 also available in: Fall 2008 & Fall 2008.

Creative Writing:

“Amrikan Dreams.” Jaggery: A DesiLit Arts and Literature Journal. 1 (Fall, 2013):

“Sunshine Guarantee.” Pakistani Creative Writing in English (Tracing the Tradition: Embracing the Emerging). South Asian Review Special Issue 31.3 (2010): 274-88.

“Air Raids.” Her Mother’s Ashes 3: Stories by South Asian Women in Canada and the United States. Ed. Nurjehan Aziz. Toronto: TSAR, 2011. 114-23.

“Mrs. Akbar.” When Your Voice Tastes Like Home: Immigrant Women Write. Eds. Nila Somaia-Carten and Prabjhot Parmar. Toronto: Second Story Press, 2003. 51-59.

“Origins.” When Your Voice Tastes Like Home: Immigrant Women Write. Eds. Nila Somaia-Carten and Prabjhot Parmar. Toronto: Second Story Press, 2003. 163.